Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Marinade

4.77 from 52 votes
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Grilled flat iron steak with an earthy spice blend of garlic, onion, smoked paprika, and generous amounts of kosher salt and pepper. Served with delicious coleslaw.

close up of grill marks on a flat iron steak

Hey you juicy piece of steak, get in my belly NOW! Wow, you guys won’t believe how unbelievably tender and delicious this marinated grilled flat iron steak is, it’s pretty amazing. I was inspired by our recent restaurant visit to Ad Hoc in Yountville, CA during our anniversary trip to Napa.

Jason and I had a similar dish, and I wanted to recreate all of the goodness at home. This cut of beef is lean and tasty on its own, but adding marinade for a few hours, or even days, if you have time infuses more flavor and tenderness into each irresistible bite. Excuse me as I stop drooling so we can talk more about how to make this family-style feast happen!

Juicy marinated flat iron steak just off the grill resting on cutting board

You don’t hear a lot about flat iron steak aka butler, book, lifter, petite, top blade steak. The more popular tenderloin cut has overshadowed this meat. However, it is getting more popular in upscale restaurants.

The flat iron steak is cut from the shoulder and usually has a significant amount of marbling. It’s second in tenderness when compared to tenderloin and is less expensive. If you can find this cut at your local market, it’s a must-try! It is wonderful for marinating, and grills in a matter of minutes, a perfect combination for this recipe.

Marinated Grilled Flat Iron Steak

So what’s in the marinade you say? I went for an earthy spice blend of garlic, onion, smoked paprika, and generous amounts of kosher salt and pepper. Tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar helps tenderize the meat and infuse all of those great flavors into each bite.

You want to let the meat marinate for at least 2 hours, so get this going early in the morning. The longer you allow it to marinate the better, I cooked this the next day, and it was so good!

If you like a medium-rare piece of steak as I do, a pound of flat iron steak will only take about 8 minutes to grill, super fast. This portion was perfect for the two of us famished parents, but you could slice these pieces thinner if you have more people to share with, but I’ll bet you won’t want to, hehe. If you can’t find Flat iron steak, skirt steak would work too!

close up of a slice of steak

This marinated grilled flat iron steak recipe pairs very nicely with some cool, crunchy, creamy coleslaw. Try my Caribbean coleslaw along with this steak dish, you can also pair it with a glass of red wine or hoppy IPA beer, and you are in food heaven!

What is the benefit of Marinating the flat iron steak?

Marinating meat like flat iron steak that has a looser texture and better ability to absorb marinade has many advantages. The tomato paste contains glutamates which naturally enhances the meaty flavor, yum! The salt-based marinade helps make the meat juicier as it acts as a brine and a little bit of acid from the vinegar help further tenderize the meat in a shorter period of time. Imparting more flavor and better texture is a great reason to incorporate marinades!

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Marinade

Grilled flat iron steak with an earthy spice blend of garlic, onion, smoked paprika, and generous amounts of kosher salt and pepper. Served with delicious coleslaw.
4.77 from 52 votes
Prep Time2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American


  • 1 pound flat iron steak
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, roughly chopped


  • In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Evenly sprinkle the seasoning mix on both sides of the steak.
  • In a medium-sized bowl combine tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, and water.
  • Add steak to a large re-sealable plastic bag. Add in tomato mixture and evenly coat with the marinade. Add olive oil to the bag and coat the steak.
  • Evenly sprinkle the onions and garlic over the steak, seal the bag, removing any air and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (1 day would be even better).
  • Remove the steak from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Lightly season steak with additional salt and pepper on each side.
  • Clean and oil grill grates. Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Transfer steak to the grill and cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove steak from grill to a clean plate. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice against the grain and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 360kcal (18%)Carbohydrates 10g (3%)Protein 23g (46%)Fat 26g (40%)Saturated Fat 6g (30%)Cholesterol 75mg (25%)Sodium 598mg (25%)Potassium 642mg (18%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 245IU (5%)Vitamin C 8mg (10%)Calcium 38mg (4%)Iron 4mg (22%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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  1. Bill says

    Trying this with skirt steak. Any additional pointers when using this steak to grill or marinate ? Can I let this marinate overnight?

  2. Thalia @ butter and brioche says

    Cooked to perfection! This flank steak looks SO good.. and the marinade sounds pretty good too.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thanks Thalia! I can’t believe how fast it cooks so you don’t have to wait to devour 🙂