Nothing tastes better than a huge, juicy steak, whether you make it at home or get it as a treat in a restaurant. There are steak cuts for every occasion.
You can get the less formal steak with fries for a family dinner, or a five-star sirloin with wine and red-skinned potatoes if you are having a meal in a fancy restaurant.
Steak is a favorite among meat eaters regardless of the occasion, and its buttery tenderness surpasses that of chicken and fish when properly grilled.
Here is everything that you need to know about steak, including which are the best cuts, and how to recognize the superior cuts when you see them.
How To Choose The Best Cut
There is no other beef cut that can compete with steak, no matter how well you cook the beef.
Everyone can enjoy a steak and it is the ideal meal for when you are celebrating something, planning a family dinner, or preparing for a summer BBQ.
The most essential question you will probably be asking is “What is the best steak to eat?” Selecting the optimal steak cut is challenging.
With so many selections in the supermarket’s meat section, it may be tough to choose the best beef cut to bring home.
There are a few essential characteristics that you can use to identify the best cut of steak on the store shelves.
The thickness of practically every steak is of utmost importance.
Thinner steak slices can be cooked effectively on the grill or in the oven, but they are more challenging to prepare.
A steak that is cooked for 30 seconds or a minute longer than necessary may end up being too chewy and tough to eat.
You have a bit more time to grill the meat to perfection without overcooking it if the pieces are larger.
Depending on your preferences, the optimal thickness may vary, but it’s advisable to choose a cut that’s at least 1 inch thick.
Examine the marbling next. Do you see the white lines that connect each cut? This is marbling, which is a name for the fat veins that run through the steak.
Some people who are inexperienced in cooking steak may think that having a lot of fat in the meat is a bad thing, but this could not be further from the truth.
Naturally occurring marbling throughout the muscle gives flavor and tenderness to your steak.
As the steak cooks, the fat melts away, imparting the perfect texture and flavor. Because of this, a modest amount of fat is beneficial.
Instead of slabs of fat, look for small lines of marbling if you like a lean steak.
There are several steak cuts that are great for grilling, pan-frying, or baking, and expert grill masters can prepare any steak to perfection.
If you are going out to eat, the price of the steak will often reflect the quality.
The same can be said when buying steak from a butcher or a supermarket.
Steak is one of those items where the price really does matter, and it is often worth spending a bit more for a tastier cut.
The Best Steak Cuts
Even though everything depends on individual preferences and how the meat is served, if we were forced to choose the greatest steak cut, we would likely choose the ribeye.
Numerous individuals across the world appreciate this steak cut.
It originates from the cow’s rib, which means it contains a high proportion of marbling, making it a soft and juicy cut. The ribeye is the greatest cut of beef.
In addition to ribeye, the Denver, skirt, and picanha, steaks are typically considered to be among the best available.
Continue reading to find out more about these steak cuts.
This steak is included on our list of the top steaks for obvious reasons: it is the finest steak available.
This steak originates from the rib of the animal, giving it the name ribeye.
The considerable amount of marbling on the ribeye is its distinguishing feature and what makes the cut so tender, as each bite contains a little proportion of salty fat.
Ribeye is one of the larger steak cuts (especially the Tomahawk Steak), and the marbling is uniformly distributed across the whole cut, making each bite equally tender.
Kobe beef, which originated in Japan and is the most expensive steak cut in the world, is derived from ribeye. To put it plainly, steak has never tasted better than this.
Because slicing a ribeye steak is a tricky task, only the most competent chefs should prepare this cut of meat. It is easy to make some mistakes when cutting up this meat.
This is why ribeye steak is often served in the most elite steakhouses, where the chefs have undergone rigorous training on how to cut, grill, and prepare ribeye steak correctly.
Even if you are not a steak connoisseur, if you have ever tried the tenderloin cut then you will understand why it placed so highly on this list.
It is one of the most popular steak cuts on the market.
The tenderloin is derived from the calf’s short loin, which contains less connective tissue and is so is a very delicate and flavorful cut of meat.
Since tenderloin steak is among the most expensive in the world, only elite steakhouses offer it. The filet mignon is an excellent beef cut.
As it is placed near the end of the tenderloin, it is especially soft. Its mild flavor makes it an excellent vehicle for other tastes and the chef’s preferred cut.
The tenderloin pairs well with almost everything, but its preparation is complicated and should be left to people with the right skills and understanding.
When it comes to steaks, larger is not always better. However, size is very useful when you need to distinguish a porterhouse steak from a T-bone steak.
In fact, size is the sole distinction between the T-bone and porterhouse steaks.
This cut originates from the cow’s hindquarter and contains the same cuts as the T-bone steak, with somewhat more tenderloin than the T-bone steak.
If it included less tenderloin than a T-bone steak, it would not qualify as a porterhouse. When it comes to pricey steak cuts, the smallest details are crucial.
Most porterhouses are at least 3 inches thick, making them enormous chunks of beef. They are huge, juicy, and brimming with flavorful tastes.
For the greatest heat control and taste intensity, these cuts of meat should be prepared on a cast-iron skillet by expert steak chefs.
You will need to get a flawless sear on this huge steak, or else the middle will be uncooked.
T-bone steaks are the most conventional and typically chosen cut of steak to have when out for dinner.
It is featured on our list for good reason since it is the typical expensive steak that people will see.
This steak is sliced from the short loin, which is closer to the center of the cow’s stomach and hence more tender than the tougher rear of the animal.
On one side of the T-bone is the upper loin, while on the other side is the tenderloin.
Those who choose this cut enjoy the softness and juiciness of both cuts. This is why those who consume a variety of high-quality steaks like this cut so much.
T-bone steaks are often one of the more expensive steak cuts, which is a drawback for many steak lovers, especially those who consume steak regularly (and not just at fancy steak houses).
Typically, these steak cuts are served at upmarket restaurants.
However, this does not prevent the home cook from preparing a wonderful T-bone by following the proper cooking processes.
This steak should not be overcooked, since doing so would impair its tenderness and juiciness.
Grilling it is a fantastic option; however, it must be prepared properly.
The hanger steak is cut from the short plate, which is located on the underbelly of the animal.
It is flavorful and incredibly tender, unlike other cuts that are produced from muscles that undergo heavier lifting and are thus chewier.
This cut of beef is very understated and is typically forgotten about by steak lovers, despite how tasty and juicy it is.
It is less costly than a tenderloin or T-bone, while it is still on the costlier side, and its texture and flavor are comparable.
However, the hanger steak is difficult to find and was traditionally known as the “butcher’s steak” since it was the steak the butcher liked to make at home.
Due to its flavor and suppleness, hanger steak is very easy to cook. This beef cut is tough to overcook and rarely becomes rubbery.
It is renowned for its tenderness and for being a rare and undervalued steak.
This cut of beef is preferred by steak enthusiasts and is more desirable than the tougher bottom sirloin.
This section of the cow’s hindquarter is often more tender and flavorful than other cuts despite being boneless.
When correctly prepared, it hardly ever turns too chewy and rubbery. In terms of flavor, this steak is equivalent to steaks with higher prices but is given at a lower price.
The prime sirloin steak is easy to cook and adaptable to a variety of cultures and recipes.
There is no need for the innovative chef to worry about overcooking top sirloin, which increases its adaptability.
It is extremely delicious and quite lean. Therefore, it is a healthier alternative for those concerned with their diet.
The strip steak is cut from the less muscular portion of the animal right behind the ribs. This results in a more tender steak.
The T-bone steak is composed of fifty percent strip steak.
Because this steak has been around for so long, it has several names. It is also known as the New York strip and strip loin steak.
In either case, this is a classic cut for anyone who loves meat that is neither too tender nor overly chewy.
This steak has quite a lot of marbling, which is always accompanied by a price increase, but for the price, it is a high-quality cut.
This strip steak may be prepared in a variety of ways.
The strip steak may be cooked in a pan with oil and spices, roasted in the oven with potatoes, or grilled in the backyard with corn and your preferred beer.
Cooking strip steak is super easy due to its adaptability and resistance to texture degradation.
The flat iron cut (also known as feather steak) is very often overlooked on the best steak cut lists as it has only very recently begin to gain popularity both at home and in restaurants.
Flat iron steak is famous for its strong flavor. It is sliced from the animal’s oyster blade, a portion of tissue connected to the shoulder blade.
This steak requires a highly skilled butcher, but if prepared properly, it delivers a delicate and tasty cut of meat.
This cut is most delicious when served as a fillet and rarely requires seasoning. Rare to medium-rare is the ideal level of doneness.
The bottom sirloin, one of the oldest and most well-known steak cuts, has been added to our list as a classic cut that seldom disappoints when properly prepared.
Even though the bottom sirloin is used less frequently than the top sirloin or the back section of the tenderloin, it remains a popular cut since it is less expensive and easy to prepare.
This cut is derived from the animal’s hip, which is often a more substantial part of the cow. The secret to getting the best taste lies in the preparation technique.
It is preferable to cook bottom sirloin differently than a traditional steak, since roasting it whole would simply highlight its toughness.
The greatest way to highlight bottom sirloin is by incorporating it into stews or sandwiches, where its flavor and tenderness are not compromised.
Flank steak makes this list thanks to its famous flavor.
This cut comes from the underside of the cow’s plate, which makes it somewhat tougher, but its tasty connective tissue more than makes up for this drawback.
This section of the animal has little fat, making it easy to clean and rather delicious when properly cooked.
This steak is at its best when cut thinly and marinated. Marination helps tenderize meat.
Once the heat is added, proceed cautiously, since overcooking this steak will leave it inedible.
When thinly sliced, this steak would make a fantastic sandwich. For the most visually appealing flank steak, any home cook must cut the flesh against the grain.
Due to its particular flavor when grilled in the traditional churrasco style, picanha is the most popular cut of beef in Brazil.
In the United States, it may be sampled in local Brazilian steakhouses or purchased in smaller pieces from well-equipped butchers.
Picanha steak is affordable and simple to make, in addition to having a particular flavor.
It originates from the upper portion of the cow’s rump, above the fat. This cut is also called sirloin and rump cap.
In terms of their cuisine, Brazilians keep things simple. You may season it with sea salt and barbeque it in your backyard.
This cut requires no additional seasoning to bring forth its exceptional qualities.
The skirt steak is a long, thin steak sliced from the cow’s diaphragm.
This beef slice is leaner and more robust than others since it originates from a muscle portion and is rather thin.
For those who prefer leaner cuts, skirt steak is the best meat for lunch or supper preparation.
For a skirt steak to be tender and supple, it must be prepared rare or medium-rare; otherwise, the flesh would become too chewy and tough to eat.
When cooked at the correct temperature, the flavor is fairly powerful and meaty.
It may be cooked for three to four minutes on each side in a pan or on the grill. This meal is recommended to be served with baked potatoes, mushrooms, and a spinach sauce.
The Denver steak is a relatively new cut of beef, but it has quickly become the steak of choice for many meat lovers owing to its inexpensive price and powerful flavor.
This steak is referred to as “under the blade” or “chuck steak” in local butcher shops and restaurants.
It stems from the legendary meaty slices of the cow’s front shoulder.
The Denver steak is simple to prepare. To get the best flavor and tenderness, however, we advise using the reverse sear cooking technique.
Among the steaks, you may be unfamiliar with is the vacio steak, which is very popular in Argentina (but is also available in many other countries).
The vacio is a flank primal cut, however, it differs significantly from flank steak.
The vacio hangs behind the cow’s loin and is supported by the belly, which envelops the meat in fat layers.
The vacio steak has a characteristic diamond shape, weighs between four and five pounds, and can feed a large number of hungry people.
The meat is always slow-grilled whole, then sliced, and is incredibly tender and flavorful. The steak’s crisp belly fat is valued almost as much as the meat itself.
In France, the vacio steak is known as the bavette d’aloyau.
The exact same cut is cooked French-style, as anticipated. Individual steaks of bavette are either grilled or sautéed in butter and served with shallot sauce.
So, the next time you are enjoying a holiday in France find steak-Frites (steak and fries) on the menu, order it and enjoy a steak that is popular on both continents.
It is understandable that making a steak selection might be tough when there are so many different steaks to choose from, so hopefully this list has helped you out a bit.
As a rule, most steak cooking methods are successful for practically every steak cut, with a few slight variations dependent on thickness, preferred cooking temperature, and the type of steak being prepared.
Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to grilling, pan-frying, or broiling your steak, so if it does not work out the first time around you can give it another go.
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