The best part of a beef is the steak, of course. But what is the best part of beef for steak you can buy? You may want to know the difference between ribeye, flank and hanger steaks, but it’s important to know how to select quality beef in the first place. This article covers everything from where to buy your steak from to how to choose the cut that’s right for you.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CUT OF STEAK
Steak. It is unlike any other piece of beef. A steak dinner is a special occasion at our house. No matter what occasion we are celebrating, a steak night is always something we look forward to.
WHAT’S THE BEST CUT OF STEAK?
The response to this query will vary a little depending on taste and preference, but there are four steaks that consistently rank at the top of the list. You can choose your particular favorite out of those four options with the help of this post.
But first, a brief history lesson before we determine your preferred steak cut:
BEST CUT OF STEAK….YESTERDAY AND TODAY
A steak is a meat cut, derived from the Old Norse “steik” or “steikja”. Steaks weren’t traditionally associated with cattle, despite how we tend to think of them now. The definition of steak in the Oxford English Dictionary begins: “A thick piece of meat cut for roasting, grilling, or frying, occasionally used in a pie or dessert.” The dictionary item goes on to discuss “steak fish,” and writings from the fifteenth century also make reference to steaks when discussing venison or beef.
The best cut has changed a little bit over time, but not significantly. Here is a recipe from Mary Randolph, who produced “The Virginia Housewife,” one of the country’s earliest cookbooks, in 1827. Before the Civil War, this was a well regarded cookbook, and Ms. Randolph discusses her preferred cut and how to prepare it.
The best cuts of beef for making steaks are the seventh and eighth ribs because the fat and lean are better combined, and if they are kept for a long enough period of time, they become more tender than the rump. The steaks should be cut half an inch thick, beaten slightly, and cooked over fine clear coals. The dish must be very hot, with some onion slices on it, before adding the steaks and seasoning them with salt. Broil them quickly, flipping them regularly. Everything needs to be prepared because the greatest excellence of a beef steak is consuming it straight from the grill. “The Virginia Housewife,” by Mary Randolph, 1827.
According to this description, Mary preferred hot off the grill steak from the rib or loin area.
We still enjoy that region today. Cuts including Filet, Strip Steak, Ribeye, and T-Bone are available there.
WHY HASN’T THE BEST CUT OF STEAK CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
The greatest steak cut hasn’t changed in America since the 1800s despite how much has changed since then.
Since the top and center of the steer have little effort over its existence, the meat from these areas is particularly delicate.
The general rule of thumb is to keep in mind that beef becomes more soft as it moves further away from the horn and foot. Since the legs of a steer do the majority of the labor, their muscles are firmer. As a result of receiving less exercise, the loin and ribs are more sensitive.
WHAT’S THE BEST CUT OF STEAK FOR ME?
Tenderloin, ribeye, strip, and T-bone are the four cuts that steak lovers and steakhouses prefer to order. Your personal favorite of these four will probably be how you respond to the inquiry “what’s the best cut of steak?”
TENDERLOIN – THE MOST TENDER CUT OF STEAK
- Also Known As: Chateaubriand, Filet, and Filet Mignon.
- The tenderloin is by far the most tender beef cut in terms of taste and texture. It has a buttery, delicate flavor. This is the highest-end steak with the least amount of fat, and because it is so tender, it will melt in your mouth.
- Where it comes from: Tenderloin’s thicker end
- Cooking Suggestions: We enjoy grilling tenderloins at our house. It’s important to keep in mind that because tenderloins are so low in fat, they cook much more quickly than other steaks. They consequently have a considerably higher likelihood of drying out. You’ll frequently see this on restaurant menus served with sauces or spices, or wrapped in bacon before being grilled to add more taste.
RIBEYE – VERY MARBLED. THE MOST JUICY AND FLAVORFUL CUT OF STEAK
- Additionally Called: Scotch Filet, Cowboy Ribeye, Delmonico Steak (when served with rib still attached)
- Taste and Texture: Of all steaks, the ribeye is the most flavorful and juicy. The great flavor is derived from the fat marbling, which is visible throughout the cut. This cut is not for you if you dislike beef marbling.
- Where it originates: The ribcage
- Ribeyes are very adaptable meats, therefore there are many different ways to prepare them. You should cook it over a high heat source; we advise grilling, broiling, or pan-searing it in a cast iron skillet. If you chose to grill it, watch out for fat flare-ups.
STRIP STEAK – AN ALL-AROUND FAVORITE WITH FULL-BEEFY FLAVOR
- Also Known As: Club Steak, Shell Steak, Top Sirloin, Kansas City Strip, and Top Loin.
- Strip steaks have a fantastic meaty flavor and a tender texture. They have a fine, tight grain texture that gives them a medium level of tenderness. It is slightly chewier (tougher) than a ribeye or tenderloin because it has less marbling than a ribeye. At every steakhouse, this is a standard and classic dish.
- Short Loin is the source.
- This steak is simple to prepare, which is why many people consider it to be a personal favorite. We advise grilling.
T-BONE – TWO-FOR-ONE STEAK
- Flavour and Texture: The T-bone is for you if you are unsure of what kind of steak texture and taste you like or if you enjoy both equally. The tenderloin and strip steaks are combined to become the T-bone. In other words, with this incredible two-fer steak, you get a meaty strip steak on one side of the T-shaped bone and a tender and buttery tenderloin filet on the other.
- How it is made: Short loin
- Grilling or broiling are recommended methods of cooking. You should be aware that the meat around the bone tends to cook more slowly than the other portions of the steak while it is cooking. The tenderloin piece should be placed on the grill farther from the heat source than the strip. This is because the T-bone contains two distinct meats that cook in two different ways (tenderloin cooks faster than the strip steak).
The 7 Best Cuts of Steak to Buy and Tips on How to Cook Them
There’s a good chance that if you identify as a carnivore, you enjoy steak. That is, of course, assuming that red meat doesn’t offend you in any way. We offer our sincere condolences if such is the case.
But if you’re the kind of guy who believes that the more blood, the better, then stay with us. We’re about to discuss some of the greatest steak cuts to purchase for your summertime grilling adventures. Steak purchases and consumption are increasing, claims Tastewise. This could be because we’re spending more time at home, where we can experiment with uncommon beef cuts on the grill.
However, if cooking the ideal steak is new to you, you could feel anxious when choosing a beef piece. It’s natural; don’t be alarmed. With the help of this manual, you can be sure that the meat you buy won’t be tough or flavorless. You’ve probably already come to the conclusion that, like most anything sold on a free market, the cost of steak rises as both demand and quality do. We all understand, though, that something’s not necessarily wonderful just because it’s popular.
Take, for instance, the top-selling steak cuts in America in 2018, as determined by data provided by Beef Retail.
Advice: Avoid acquiring stew meat. It’s essentially chuck roast, but because the butcher already chopped it up and added some other waste, it’s priced higher. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most well-liked steak cuts. You may find a list of the best steak cuts, along with advice on how to prepare them, below. So grab your preferred beverage, turn on the barbecue, and get to cooking.
The King of Flavor
Even if we might not concur with all of the aforementioned list’s top steaks for Americans, the rib-position eye’s as the top choice is accurate. You get a lot more food for your money when you choose the rib-eye. It’s a substantial chunk of meat with a few flavorful fat pockets (marbling). Although it will be more fatty than a tenderloin cut, that is where the distinctive beef flavor comes from. If the rib-eyes are thick enough, like a cowboy cut, you can try cooking them using the reverse sear technique. Rib-eyes are excellent to cook over direct high heat.
The Godfather of Steaks
Filet mignon is the father if rib-eye is the king. Due to the fact that it comes from the very tip of the tenderloin, it is one of the most expensive cuts of beef you can purchase. Each one only yields a small number of slices, but it’s the most tender flesh on the cow. It has a delicate, buttery texture since it is virtually entirely free of fat, sinew, and tendon.
The best part about filet mignon is that it can be prepared in a variety of ways and still taste fantastic. If you don’t overcook it, that is. Serving filet that is any more done than medium rare should be against the law, yet it does happen.
When grilling a filet mignon, we advise utilizing both direct and indirect heat. It can be seared on high heat before being finished on low heat. Alternately, you might consider using the sous vide reverse sear technique.
You can’t go wrong with a strip steak if you want to forego a rib-eye but still get a steak with great flavor. Although it comes from the same area of the animal as the filet (the loin), it is heavier and has more fat. Although it still tastes fantastic rare, if you don’t like bleeding meat, this is a great steak to serve medium to well-done. On a grill or in high-quality cast-iron skillets, New York strips cook up beautifully by beginning with a hard sear and then letting it finish at a lower heat in the oven.
The Best of Both Worlds
Why not spend a little bit more money and get the beefier T-bone steak instead? The New York strip and filet mignon portions of the loin are combined in porterhouse steaks, which are bone-in cuts. Because porterhouse steaks are cut further up the cow’s loin, they include more tenderloin than T-bone steaks. However, it must be at least 1.25 inches thick to be considered a porterhouse. Therefore, if you see your neighborhood market trying to pass off thin porterhouse steaks in order to make a few extra dollars, skip it and go to a renowned butcher instead.
You can fully enjoy the rich flavor of the New York strip and the buttery tenderness of the filet mignon thanks to the porterhouse. The same as most, grilling up these giants is the best option. Heavy searing on high heat should be done first, followed by finishing with indirect heat.
Leanest and Fattiest Beef Cuts for the Best Steak
Few things compare to a delicious steak that has been grilled to perfection. Red meat’s unfavorable effects on your heart and your waistline, in all its fat-marbled, butter-basted beauty, are the only thing that might stand between a man and his steak. It goes without saying that lean meats are healthier for you, but that doesn’t mean you should completely give up steak. You simply need to be aware of which beef cuts are the leanest and the fattiest.
Protein, which is essential for muscle growth and recuperation, is abundant in red meat. Iron and vitamin B-12, which strengthen the immune system and maintain the health of red blood cells, are also abundant in it. However, cuts like top sirloin steak, top round roast, and rib eye steak differ from one another.
Here is a helpful list of the top steak cuts that you can enjoy guilt-free when the urge for a slab of meat strikes.
Here are the cuts of juicy goodness you may place on your plate, as well as the ones to skip at the butcher shop, whether you’re having dinner at your favorite restaurant or having a barbecue at home with the guys.
Beef Cuts Chart
The Leanest Cuts of Beef
1. Sirloin Tip Side Steak
Taken from the sirloin tip or the top of the round. Very lean, but still holds flavor.
- Calories: 206
- Fat: 5.4g
- Saturated Fat: 2.06g
- Protein: 39g
2. Top Round Steak
Cut from the hip (part of the round) and considered flavorful and more tender than other cuts from the round.
- Calories: 240
- Fat: 7.6g
- Saturated Fat: 3g
- Protein: 36.9g
3. Eye of Round Steak
Similar to the cuts taken from the tenderloin, but tougher and less juicy.
- Calories: 276
- Fat: 7g
- Saturated Fat: 2.4g
- Protein: 49.8g
4. Bottom Round Steak
Taken from the outer park of the round that is a well exercised area of the animal. The meat tends to be tough and typically needs marinating.
- Calories: 300
- Fat: 11g
- Saturated Fat: 3.8
- Protein: 47.2g
5. Top Sirloin
Has good flavor, but can be tough, so typically needs marinating.
- Calories: 316
- Fat: 10.6g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Protein: 51.6g