- Best Steak Cuts Ranked: What To Choose for Your Next Cookout - April 6, 2022
Having dinner at the steakhouse but don’t quite know what all those names on the menu mean? Or are you at the supermarket, planning a barbecue, and don’t know what to get? That’s why we put together this list of best steak cuts.
In this article, we will tell you how to find the best cuts of steak for your consumption. Knowing each cut is key in distinguishing a good barbecue from a mediocre one. But most importantly, knowing your favorite steak cut will make you enjoy the whole grilling and eating process even more. Let’s dig in!
Our 10 Best Steak Cuts
A good cut of steak pairs with anything and is good for any occasion. That’s why you need to know which cut you prefer. To make this process easier for you, we set together this list. Next up are our favorite steak cuts, which you can try to grill for your next barbecue.
#1: T – Bone
Our number one choice in the best steak cuts ranking is the T-Bone. It is also one of the most easily recognizable steak pieces. That is because it has a distinctive bone shaped like the letter “T”.
This piece of steak contains parts of the loin and tenderloin. The T-Bone is very popular due to this and that’s why you can see it often being ordered at steak houses. Essentially, this cut consists of two different steaks in one. That’s why you can never go wrong with T-Bone steak!
With this steak cut, you get to taste the best parts of meat: Strip steak for flavor and tenderloin (like its name says) for tenderness. It’s a perfect choice if you can’t decide what to get. T-Bone steak is cooked with a lot of seasoning, like paprika and rosemary, either grilled or pan-fried. This is a traditional American steak cut.
The T-Bone is on the pricier side of the steak cut rankings and is more difficult to cook. This is because it contains two different types of muscle. So if you’re new to grilling, try out some of our other options before going for the T-Bone.
Our number two is the Porterhouse steak cut, very similar to the T-Bone but different. The main difference between these two steak cuts lies in their thickness.
If you are a newbie and saw these two steaks next to each other, you would surely think they are the same deal. These two steak cuts are almost the same since you cut them from strip steak and tenderloin. On the contrary, the size of the cut is what sets them apart. This means a Porterhouse thickness can range between 1.25 inches, up to 3 inches.
Just like the T-Bone, the Porterhouse steak cut is difficult to prepare, but if you know how to grill a T-Bone, you most surely will have no problem preparing a Porterhouse, too. Unlike the T-Bone this steak is more British style and doesn’t need much seasoning.
It’s also a preferred cut because you don’t have to grill it or pan-fry it, you can also boil or saute the steak. Don’t forget to extend the cooking time, according to steak thickness.
It’s also a preferred cut because you don’t have to grill it or pan-fry it, you can also boil or saute the steak. Don’t forget to extend the cooking time, according to steak thickness. Believe it or not, you can actually purchase some high-quality Porterhouse steaks from Amazon. Check it out!
The tenderloin comes from the cow’s short loin muscle next to the backbone, and since they use this muscle a lot, it is very tender. Once cut, the tenderloin steak is a compact and fat-less piece of muscle.
This piece of steak is one of the most desirable cuts, which also makes it one of the most expensive cuts too. This steak, when prepared fittingly, melts in one’s mouth. Others, on the other hand, say it is not very flavorful and even mild. That’s why the preparation, as well as the seasoning, are key in providing aroma to the piece of meat.
The key to grilling this steak is not to overcook it, or it will end up too dry for you to eat. A good marinade or sauce will keep the meat damp, while still cooking it. Often, this is the most flavorful piece of your dish, that gives the steak it’s note too. One can prepare this steak on the grill, pan, or in the oven. Tenderloin is a highly common cut of steak and could be found almost anywhere. It’s best to purchase this from your local grocery store.
#4: Filet Mignon
Filet mignon is cut from the Tenderloin tip and is often confused with this steak, too. These two cuts are far from the same, and the difference lies in the filet’s size and shape. We always cut it boneless, from under the cow’s ribs.
Since we cut Filet Mignon from the Tenderloin, it holds the same characteristics. Minimal fat, no sinew, and tendons, but also a bland taste if not cooked correctly, are its attributes. One can use salt and pepper, bacon, or gravy to liven the taste.
Once prepared, the creme de la creme of filet cuts will literally melt in your mouth. You can do this by grilling, pan-frying, and broiling, with fast cooking time. The difference between Tenderloin and Filet Mignon steak cuts is the size of the filet, with just two to three inches in thickness and round in shape. Filet Mignon is one of the most sought after cuts of steak and while we enjoy eating it out, your best bet is purchasing it from a local butcher shop.
Another choice in our best steak cuts ranking is the Sirloin, also known as the New York steak. We cut them from the short loin, part of the cow between the ribs and back end. Since it comes from a very muscular and often used part of the animal, this piece of steak is lean, tender, and very juicy. It gives a beefy flavor, with some marbling.
It’s a very popular cut since it’s right in the middle, not too chewy, not too fat and just the right amount of flavor. Our favorite part is that it’s just the right pricing as well.
There are very few cons to the Sirloin or New York Strip. It’s a real crowd-pleaser. Most people prepare it on the grill. We would recommend light to medium seasoning as well as an olive oil brush, but most importantly, a medium-rare preparation. This way, you will not overcook the meat, and the flavor will not evaporate from it. Sirloin is a common cut of steak, and can be purchased at your local grocery store or butcher shop.
The Ribeye steak comes from the center part of the ribs, or the “rib eye”. It’s popular because of the rich marbling, or muscle fat. Due to the high fat content, this cut has a juicy flavor, with a lot of moisture inside. Even when cooking the ribeye over very high heat, the piece will keep its moisture and flavor.
We cut the steak with or without bone, and you can choose by personal preference since the flavor is identical. The ribeye with bone option is also called a Cowboy steak or Scotch Filet. This bone keeps more moisture inside of the meat and will not allow it to overcook.
You can prepare the ribeye steak on your grill, broiling, and pan-frying. If you love your meat prepared medium, medium-well, or well done, the Ribeye is the best option for you. The high fat content allows you to cook it as long as possible. The meat will still stay juicy and tender. Ribeye can be purchased from your local grocery store or butcher shop, and from Amazon as well to make it convenient for you.
We take the Flank steak from the lower rear quarter of the cow, sometimes also called the bib. It is positioned below the loin and sirloin. It is full of muscles, with almost no fat. That’s why the lean Flank is one of our best steak cuts, especially when marinated.
The flank is the best thin piece of meat you can use for rolling and stuffing the inside. It’s perfect for beginners since it’s easy to prepare and on the cheaper side. You can try it out on your grill, as well as the pan. A marinade and seasoning will add to the intense flavor of the cut.
Since it has almost zero fat, it is also not that tender. This is why we would recommend it to be cooked in the highest setting or hottest part of the grill. An important factor is the quick cooking times, which will not allow the Flank to lose its moisture and tenderness. Flank can be purchased from your local grocery store or nearest Walmart.
The Skirt steak is quite popular for its flavor. It is similar in type to the Flank but very different. The main difference is the place of origin we take the Skirt steak from the diaphragm muscle of the cow.
The Skirt also has a higher amount of fat in it. Most consumers love it because of its intense flavor. But since it doesn’t have that much fat, it is not that tender. This is a long and thin piece of muscle, making it perfect for rare to medium doneness.
Just like the Flank steak, the Skirt goes very well with different seasonings and marinades. If you’re new to grilling, this is a brilliant choice of cut for you. So if you want to experiment with flavor and grilling, the Skirt is the best steak cut for you.
Another pro for this meat is that it’s cost-effective, so you can use it for almost anything. Try skirt steak grill, stir-fry for fajitas, or even searing and sautéing. Skirt steaks can be purchased from your local grocery store or nearest Walmart or Sam’s Club.
#9: Prime Rib
The Prime Rib is one of those names you can easily confuse. For instance, newbies tend to mix up the Ribeye and Prime Rib steak. These two are completely different steak cuts and have almost nothing in common, except for origin.
We cut the Prime Rib from the same section as the Ribeye. This means the ribs. Only the Prime Rib contains more bones and fat. This does not mean the Prime Rib needs more work around it. On the contrary, the Prime is something you can cook slowly.
The Prime Rib is large, containing an enormous section of the rib bone of the cow. The larger the meat, bone, and fat, the harder it is to cook the steak. That’s why we would recommend getting this section medium to well done. It goes perfectly with seasonings like rosemary.
We recommend cooking it for extended periods of time, on a lower setting. You can also do this on your grill if you wish. The Prime Rib is beloved with a side of slow-cooking vegetables and rice. Prime Rib is best to be purchased at your local butcher shop to get the best cut of meat.
Just like its name says, the Rump steak cut comes from the upper part of the rear end of a cow. This cube steak is very popular in pubs as a main dish and a griller’s favorite. The rump comes from three different muscles, all used often and with small amounts of fat on them and relatively lean.
The difference in tenderness on some rump steaks can occur due to these three muscles meet. The large size makes it unpopular with chefs, but you will surely find it at your local steakhouse and pub. If you’re headed for the butcher’s shop, try to find some lean rump for your barbecue.
This steak cut is surely worth the money since you get a lot of meat for a fraction of the price. Isn’t that perfect for the novices? You can try your luck with rump on the grill, broiled and sautéed. Pair it with some sauce, marinade, or seasoning. You can purchase Rump steak at your nearest grocery store, Omaha Steaks or a butcher shop close to you.
Tips for Grilling The Best Steak Cuts
After we have gone through our best steak cuts, it’s time to give you a few newbie-friendly tips for your next grill out. Here they are:
- Bring to room temperature: Grilling frozen steak will burn it in a matter of seconds.
- Zone it: Have at least two zones of heat, the high and low heat parts of your grill.
- Rest before eating: Let the hot steak sit for 5 minutes before chowing down.
- Seasoning: Season more than you think you should!
- Origin: Know where your meat is from, and buy at a butcher or farmer you trust.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about different steak cuts.
Answer: Filet mignon takes the cake when it comes to tenderness. It is super lean but it comes from the tenderloin so it has a buttery soft consistency when cooked to perfection.
Answer: Fatty steaks like ribeye are a great choice to order at a restaurant. When cooked properly, the marbling helps keep the steak moist and tender.
Answer: Kobe steak is recognized as the most expensive because of its strict quality and limited supply.
Steak meat is easy to prepare, either on your favorite barbecue or in the kitchen. With it, you can make any gathering more fun, because who doesn’t love steak? The T-bone is easily the best cut for its wonderful flavor and juicy tenderness. Plus, it’s a versatile steak that you can cook in a variety of ways.
Steak is a popular part of every cookout and you can make it for a home party or a more elegant occasion. We hope our article helped you choose the best steak cuts you will use for your next barbecue.
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