Flat iron steak is one of the most versatile cuts for quick grilling, and in this fast recipe, we are showing you how to use summer’s bounty to its fullest with a tequila lime marinated flat iron, char-grilled and served as a loaded salad. You’ll never look at steak salads the same. 

In this recipe:

Why Flat Iron Steak?

Cut from the shoulder blade of the beef, flat iron steak is tender, juicy, and delicious when thinly sliced against the grain. This cut, in particular, has a lot of marbling, which heightens its beefy, rich flavor.

It’s deliciously savory but still a relatively lean source of protein. It’s the second most tender cut after filet mignon and will satisfy you without being too heavy. Because it’s tender but lean, it is best for quick hot cooks. Pan-searing in a cast iron skillet or grilled flat iron steak work great, but so does the control of sous vide.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

What we love best about this steak salad is that it uses up fresh summer ingredients. The grilled watermelon adds a burst of freshness totally different from the ripe tomatoes, and smoked corn is my summertime side dish every chance we get. But really, it would work with cherries, grilled peaches, chèvre, or pretty much anything else you happened to pick up because it was fresh at the market and in season.

The tequila flat iron steak marinade is the perfect punchy blend with a hint of lime juice to cut through and tenderize the flat iron quickly. Flame-kissed over a charcoal grill to a perfect rosy red center, this is an amazing flat iron steak recipe.


Learn how to grill a steak like a pro with one of our favorite types of steak!


  • Flat iron steak – typically found at your local grocery store, but if not check out or favorite places to order meat online.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Tequila – blanco
  • Juice from one lime
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Salt – we always use kosher salt


  • Arugula
  • Watermelon
  • Corn, husked, and silks removed
  • Red onion
  • Cherry red tomatoes
  • Flavored olive oil – we love lime olive oil for this recipe, but you can use your favorite neutral oil.
  • Blue cheese – or try this blue cheese sauce as an amazing dressing idea.
  • Lime

How to cook a Flat Iron Steak

Marinate the flat iron steak

Firstly, you’ll want to marinate your flat iron steak. Sprinkle the steak generously with black pepper. Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil, tequila, and lime juice. Pour the flavorful marinade over the steak in a resealable bag and allow the steak to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.

While the steak marinades, set up your grill for indirect heat (allow the grill to heat up by arranging the coals in a pile off to one side).

Cook the Flat iron

When you’re ready to grill, add Western Wood Chips to the hot coals (I chose cherry wood chips to tie in with the other summer flavors in this salad). This will produce some gentle smoke flavor to add to the lump charcoal you’re using. Grill the steak, corn, and watermelon with the grill’s lid closed (open it only to rotate the corn and flip the steak).

Grill the flat iron steak until its internal temperature reaches 130 degrees (you can check with a  meat thermometer) before removing it from heat and tenting it with foil.

Once the watermelon has grill marks on both sides, remove it from heat as well. By rotating the corn, you’ll achieve a good smoked color on all sides, and the kernels will turn golden. Once the corn is smoked and the kernels are tender, cut the corn off the cob and slice the watermelon into bite-sized pieces.

Then, arrange your salad. Toss the arugula with the red onion, chopped watermelon, corn kernels, and cherry tomatoes.

When you’re ready to serve the salad, slice the flat iron steak thinly. It’s important to slice flat iron in thin strips, against the grain for the most tender bites.. Lay the steak over the salad and top it all off with the blue cheese crumbles.

How to Store Leftovers & reheat

This flat iron steak should last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. It should also keep in the freezer for up to 4-6 months.

You can reheat your flat iron steak slices on the stove or in the oven (or eat them cold over another salad)! If you’re going to reheat steak, wrap it in foil and pop it into a preheated oven for a few minutes until heated through.

What to Serve with Flat Iron Steak

This unique cut of steak is delicious when sliced atop a salad (as it is in this recipe). You can swap out the salad for almost any salad of your choice or whatever happens to be in season. We also love grilled flat iron steak over marinara for a savory dish. Hasselback potatoes, smoked mushrooms, and tomatoes make more delectable pairings. You can even use leftovers to make steak tacos or steak fajitas, or add them to a stir fry.

Recipe FAQs


Flat iron is a long thin cut. It is loaded with flavor and can be incredibly tender if you cook it to medium rare. Be sure to grill quickly over medium to high heat to an internal temp of 130 and then allow the steak to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slicing the flat iron against the grain in thin strips is crucial to keep that tenderness. From there, slices are perfect on salads (like this one), in tacos, or even steak sandwiches. 


A flat iron steak, also known as a “top blade” steak, is cut from the “chuck” or shoulder area of the cow. While you might find a tough sinew in the middle of the cut, this cut is tender, juicy, and offers a lot of marbling (which means more beefy flavors).


A flat iron steak may be sold under several other names at the grocery store, including “butler’s steak,” “top blade steak,” “oyster blade steak,” or “feather steak.” However, it’s often confused with a flank steak–a true flat iron steak is cut from the shoulder or “chuck” of the cow rather than the “flank” (abdominal muscles).


If you’ve tried my Grilled Flat Iron Steak Recipe or any other recipe on GirlCarnivore.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. I get inspired by your feedback and comments! You can also Follow Me on Instagram: @girlcarnivore, Twitter and Facebook.

Grilled Flat Iron Steak Salad

5 from 14 votes
Prep: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Flat iron steak is the perfect cut for grilling hot and fast and then shaving super thin to toss into salads. It's got big beef flavor, and when sliced thin and against the grain, a great tender chew.


For the Flat Iron Steak Marinade

  • 2 lbs flat iron steak
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tequila
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Salt

For the Salad

  • 6 cups Arugula
  • 6 slices watermelon
  • 2 ears corn husked and silks removed
  • ¼ red onion sliced
  • 8 to 10 cherry red tomatoes sliced
  • 2 tbsp oil we love lime infused olive oil
  • ¼ cup blue cheese crumbled
  • 1 lime sliced


Marinate the steak

  • Whisk the olive oil, tequila and lime juice together. Sprinkle the flat iron liberally with black pepper and pour the marinade over the steak in a resealable bag.
  • Allow the steak to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to four.

Prep the grill

  • Meanwhile, set up your grill for indirect heat and allow the grill to heat up by arranging the coals in a pile to one side.
  • When ready to grill, add Western Wood Chips directly over the coals and allow the flames to smolder before cooking. Cover the lid and let the grill come to 400 – 450 degrees F.

Grill the flat iron steak

  • Arrange the steak over direct heat and if making the salad, add the corn and watermelon as well.
  • Close the lid for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Grill the flat iron to 125 degrees F, flipping and rotating as needed to manage the heat ut 10 to 12 minutes total, depending on how big your steak is.
  • Remove the steak from the grill and tent with foil to rest.
  • Remove the watermelon from the heat one grill marks are formed on both sides.
  • Rotate the corn to get a good smoked color on all sides. The kernels will take a golden hue.


  • Once the corn is smoked and kernels are tender, cut the kernels from the cob and cut the watermelon into bite sized pieces.
  • Arrange the salad by tossing the arugula with the red onion, chopped watermelon, corn kernels, and cherry tomatoes with the oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • When ready to serve, slice the flat iron steak thinly against the grain into thin strips. Lay over the salad and top with the blue cheese crumbles.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 754kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 289mg | Potassium: 1537mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 3476IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 8mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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Recipe Rating


  1. This looks delightful and tasty. I would love to try making this. This is my kind of a weekend treat

  2. Your steak salad looks perfect for a summer evening. I would love to pair it with my wine to enjoy this delicacy.

  3. This is a brilliant dish and love how there are so many ingredients add in to make one dish. Love also there are lots of fresh vegetables/salad. This is what I like and can’t live without.