Beef has been a long-time favorite of Americans when it comes to non-vegan cuisine. But do you know how to prepare it best?
Today, people consume steak right from the raw to the well-done state, depending on their culinary likings and taste preferences. But the cut will always be crucial, and you can get easily overwhelmed with the hundreds of options you can actually try out.
Honestly, the most important thing to remember when making a steak is to match the recipe with the cut. Once that is in place, the outcome will be nothing short of incredible. Try and understand the meat well so that you can prepare it in a way that makes its flavor shine.
So, today in this guide, we will take you through some of the most popular and well-loved steak cuts you can try. Without any further delay, let’s dive right in!
Types Of Steak Cuts
If you love a good Mexican spread, then the skirt steak could be the showstopper of your table. These steaks are cut laterally, so they are long, thin, and cut directly from the diaphragm muscles of a cow.
The meat is pretty tough, hence we would suggest that you marinate it well for some time before cooking. And while cooking, it is best that you keep searing it on high heat to ensure that the middle prepared does not get overcooked. Once prepared, it is great for making mouthwatering fajitas!
This is a relatively new cut of meat and has only gained popularity in the last 10 years. And the biggest reason for its rising popularity is that meat lovers absolutely enjoy the taste of this tender cut.
If you are wondering how to get it, let us break it down for you. The meat is derived from a cow’s shoulder, which is basically a small portion that is soft and does not have a hard texture. When grilling Denver cuts, we recommend grilling the entire steak at once and cutting it into smaller pieces when serving.
This is lovingly called a ‘minute steak’ by meat lovers, as that’s how long it takes to get this cut prepared. Thin slices are made from the back end of the steer, and then it’s pounded to make sure that the meat gets super tender.
As a result, the beef is left with cube-shaped marks, and that’s where it gets its name from. And the final cut may somewhat resemble ground beef. But it’s one of the best forms of sirloin and is excellent for making Swiss steaks. You can even pan fry or saute it according to your liking.
For those of you who like tender steaks, this would be an excellent choice. When prepared properly, it is so soft that it will melt in your mouth. And that hardly leaves any doubt that it would be one of the most expensive beef cuts available on the market.
The name is French and literally means ‘thick, dainty slice.’ It is derived from the tenderloin and is cut in a long, cylindrical form along the spine of the steer. While cooking this cut, stay extra cautious to not over fry it as the meat may become scorched due to the low-fat content.
The best way to cook it is to sear it over a high flame for a short span before garnishing it with a sauce of your choice to add a mild flavor.
This form is a thicker version of the much-loved T-bone steak and pretty much cut in the form of the letter ‘T.’ Put simply, it is two steaks in one and is separated by a bone. You will find a tenderloin on one side of the bone, and on the other end, there’s a strip loin.
Porthouse steaks are the bigger variants of a T-bone steak and can weigh as heavy as 24 ounces. So, if you are planning to have guests over for dinner, this steak would be great!
This steak cut can come in bone-in or boneless variations. When there’s an absence of any bones in it, the cut is popularly known as the New York strip. This cut keeps the meat pretty fat and is not as tender as a sirloin.
However, don’t worry, it’s not that thick that you would have to necessarily marinate it. You can skip that step and just apply some herbs before grilling it.
The steak is derived from the portion present between the rib and the loin of a cow. This is the part that hangs quite low, and thus the name! And it is the favorite of most chefs because of the incredible flavor it has to offer.
Pro tip: when combined with citrus flavoring, the taste is enhanced even further. For this, you can use either wine or vinegar while searing or add a little of that to the sauce in which you are preparing the steak. Trust us; this will multiply the taste and the flavor.
If you are looking forward to impressing your guests over dinner, serve them with a tomahawk steak, and they will not forget it anytime soon!
This steak is more like a ribeye cut (which we will discuss next), the only difference being that the rib bone is not removed. The bone creates a 50-inch long handle that adds a special touch to the steak preparation.
And people love the meat on a tomahawk as it is super tender and marbled. In case you have trouble accommodating the entire steak on the pan, it is best to sear the steak on both sides before putting it in the oven to cook.
If this image does not make you drool already, we don’t know what will!
As the name suggests, this meat is drawn from the rib bone of cows, and you will find both bone-in and boneless versions of it. Depending on your preference and the kind of dish you are planning to prepare, choose which variety to go for.
The best part about ribeye steaks is that they are astonishingly juicy and tasty. And because of the high amount of fat content, it is pretty marbled, and when prepared well, the fat adds a delicious taste to the meat.
They are known for their natural taste and hardly require any marination or added flavoring. With just a bit of salt and pepper, you can enjoy this naturally tasty steak!
Flat Iron Cut
If you are on a budget but still want to enjoy the deliciousness of premium steak, the flat iron steak is a great option. It is derived from the shoulder of the cow and is incredibly tender when cooked well.
This meat is derived from the top blade muscle of a cow, and therefore it isn’t as hard as the other cuts. With a bit of practice, you can get it done easily. And for a tasty meal, all you need to do is grill it or sear it lightly on a pan.
To enjoy the delectable London broil, you might have to toil a little! This is more of a cooking method than a type of cut, and thus you might have to dig a little to get your hands on it. You won’t easily find this name on steak packages when you hit the supermarket.
In case you find it very difficult to get one, but are super eager to try it, you can always reach out to a butcher. They can help you with this cut of steak.
And to get the best results, you must soak and marinate the steak in an acidic marinade for a few hours before cooking it. When the marination period is over, all you need to do is broil the steak for around 10 minutes. Cut the steak diagonally, and it is ready to be served!
If you are a fan of having steaks, you must love the sirloin cut. This is one of the most common and easily available cuts when it comes to steaks. And if you are new to it, and wondering why they are so popular, let us break it down for you. This variety is affordable, but at the same time, it is quite tender and easy to make.
But when you are purchasing one, be careful as there are further classifications to this kind of cut. Depending on the area that they are derived from, there are quite a few variations, and you can choose one that you like. For example, if you go for top sirloin, the meat will be lean and great for grilling. On the other hand, bottom sirloins are relatively tough and better suited for stews and roasts.
While the name might not sound all that flattering, trust us when we say that it will be a great conversation starter when served to your guests. The steak is derived from the bottom of the sirloin and is quite affordable.
With proper marination and some grilling skills, this steak becomes mouthwatering. The texture is quite coarse, and that helps the seasoning to stick well. This is pretty similar to skirt steak and flank steak and can easily replace them in recipes. Honestly, this is more of an affordable alternative to them.
To make it most flavorful, all you need to do is sear it under medium to high heat and slice it thin before serving.
This incredibly delicious steak is derived from the abdominal area of the cows. The meat is fibrous but lean. So, you need to marinate it well to ensure that this tough meat becomes tender before you start preparing it. Once marinated, it needs to be cooked fast and at a high temperature to ensure that the meat does not become chewy.
You can also choose to braise the flank instead of searing it. Whatever you do, ensure that the steak is sliced against the grain. This will prevent you from serving chewy bits to your guests.
Fun fact: In certain parts of the world, flank is also sold as a London broil!
Yes, you guessed it right. This highly lean beef cut is derived from the cow’s hindquarters. Some people even call it the round steak. This is an extremely affordable option as it is relatively coarser than most of the other variants.
Like all flat steaks, you must marinate the rump steak well before grilling it. However, we would suggest that broiling, pan-frying, and braising are better options any day. Whichever method you select, make sure that you let the steak rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing it against the grain to ensure that the juices are retained well.
If you are looking for the right answer about the best steak cut, sorry to disappoint, but there’s no one answer to this.
Depending on your taste and requirements, choose a steak cut that suits your purpose the best. However, it is good to keep a few things in mind while choosing the cuts. For example, if you like your steaks grilled, it is best to go for a sirloin.
On the other hand, if you are making fajitas for your friends, choosing a skirt steak would be better. And if you are looking forward to impressing your guests with the sheer magnificence of a steak, the tomahawk is the best bet.
That’s all we have for you today. Let us know about your favorites in the comments section below.
And until next time, adios!