Your Guide to Beef Cuts
When it comes to beef, there is a lot you can grill. There are a lot of options in the grocery store or butcher case and it can sometimes get overwhelming trying to choose a cut to grill. Because of that, we decided to make a guide to steak cuts as one of our first meat guides.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should help you choose a steak the next time you are ready to grill one.
Ribeye - Perfect for special occasions, the Ribeye is one of the most luxurious of steaks. With insane tenderness and the perfect amount of fat, the Ribeye is a great steak for the grill. You can get it bone in or bone out. We recommend bone in for the best flavor. All you need is some salt, pepper and garlic to make this steak shine. Add butter basting to make it extra delicious.
Fat Content: The most marbled of all steak cuts allowing it to stay tender through the cooking process.
Strip Steak - Also called New York Strip, Strip Loin or Top Loin, the Strip Steak is probably the steak you are the most familiar with. Strip Steak tends to have a slightly beefier flavor than Ribeye and might be a tad less tender but with the right chef to cook it, the Strip Steak can be just as impressive as a Ribeye.
Fat Content: A tougher cut of meat from the t-bone area. Have a medium-low to low fat content.
Tenderloin Steak - There are some parts of the cow that hold the most tender cuts of meat. Deep in the short loin there is a cut of beef called the Tenderloin. Because this muscle isn't used a lot, it is far and away the most tender cut of steak. The only downside is that it can tend to be a little flavorless. There is a lower fat content so they can dry out. It's best to enjoy this steak as part of the larger Porterhouse Steak.
Fat Content: Varies depending on where the meat is cut from.
Tenderloin Fast Fact: The filet mignon comes from this cut.
Porterhouse Steak - The Porterhouse is a fantastic cross section cut of beef. Featuring a part of the beef short loin, the ribeye, and part of the tenderloin, these steaks are far and away some of the most expensive cuts you can get at a steakhouse. Thankfully, they are readily available at your local butcher so you'll be able to grill them up without torpedoing your wallet.
Fat Content: Some veins of fat. Cut from the choice tenderloin. Fat content varies depending on how thick the steaks are.
T-Bone Steak - Similar to a Porterhouse, the T-Bone are cut slightly forward on the short loin. They come from a section of the beef slightly further away from the rump, so they are a lot more tender. Beware of overcooking. Steaks with bones tend to be prime candidates for coming out more done than desired.
Fat Content: Slightly lower fat content than the Ribeye, but still very marbled. Helps the meat stay tender while cooking.
Skirt Steak - Thick-grained and full of connective tissue, the Skirt Steak is sometimes looked at like a throwaway cut. This is tragic because it is one of the most flavorful cuts of beef in the animal. The key is to cook it hot and fast. It is a perfect candidate for steak and eggs or tacos.
Fat Content: Slightly marbled but still tougher cut of beef.
Top Sirloin Steak - Much less tender than the short loin, Top Sirloin Steak is taken from the beef sirloin primal cut. While it might be less tender, it is packed with flavor and relatively inexpensive. Make sure to not overcook this cut as it can quickly become tough and dry.
Fat Content: Moderate marbling but most of the fat is isolated to the sides. Render the side fat first and then sear the top and bottom.
Flank Steak - Another candidate for being grilled quickly and over high heat, the Flank Steak is another tough cut of steak that can be delicious with the proper care. One of our favorite methods for tenderizing steak like this is covering both sides with a heavy dose of salt and letting the steak sit in the fridge for a few hours. Just rinse the salt off and pat dry before cooking.
Fat Content: Very low which is why you need to cook this steak carefully and fast.
Chuck Eye Steak - Affectionally called the “poor man's ribeye,” the Chuck Eye Steak is essentially a ribeye. But because it is cut from the chuck and not the rib, it cannot be called a Ribeye. This means that they can't charge Ribeye costs for it. If you are looking for a Ribeye quality steak without the price tag, Chuck Eye Steak is the way to go.
Fat Content: Medium marbling. Not as much as a Ribeye but enough to keep the meat tender while cooking.
Flat Iron Steak - Cut lengthwise rather than crosswise, the Flat Iron Steak is the newest cut of steak to make it into the marketplace. Because it is cut to avoid the gristle that travels through it, you essentially get a top blade steak. Cook it quickly and until medium for the best results.
Fat Content: Little to no marbling. Some cuts can have more than others but a generally low fat cut of beef.
Have a favorite steak? Let us know in the comments!