Here’s a list of the best steak cuts for the testosterone-saturated beings of the Earth (a.k.a. men).
Top 10 Best Cuts of Steak
What Makes a Great Steak Anyway?
Full-on steak nerds have two items on their checklist to get the tenderest and best cut of steak there is: how much the muscles were used (which contributes to toughness), and the muscle-collagen-fat ratio in the steak. Less-used cattle muscles, such as those found along the backbone, happen to be tenderer. Steak Anatomy 101: cuts of meat are made of muscles, fat, and collagen. The steak meat is a primarily muscle, collagen gives it structure, and fat gives it flavor. The best (more expensive) cuts of steak have less connective tissues and finely marbled fat.
With seasonings out of the picture, steak flavor is heavily dependent on the amount of fat in it and how the cattle were fed and aged. Grass-fed meats tend to be leaner and healthier because these cattle do not receive added hormones. Grain-fed meats, on the other hand, are high in fat, tender, and contain more marbling. These cattle, though, are given growth hormones for sped-up mass production.
Aging allows enzymes and microbes to react to the meat, aiding the breakdown of the connective tissues, leading to increased flavor and tenderness. Dry-aged beef is often described as having a roasted, almost nutty flavor. This process is more delicate and resource-consuming, hence the heftier price tag for such meat. While wet-aged beef is usually cheaper, it is not necessarily inferior. It all boils down to your own taste and preferences. Now, onto the list of the best cuts of steak!
Some call this cut the king of steaks. Why? Because it is actually two steaks in one. One side is a New York strip, the other is a large filet mignon. This steak is cut from the rear of the short loin, including a larger area of the tenderloin. It’s also a thicker cut of meat.
It sounds like a cool thug name, doesn’t it? Anyway, it is obviously named for the T-shaped bone it comes with. It looks very similar to the porterhouse, with a smaller filet mignon portion. T-bone cuts are taken closer to the front end of the short loin and have a smaller portion of the tenderloin.
3. Top Sirloin
With the bone, tenderloin and bottom round muscles removed, top sirloin steaks are different from sirloin cuts. Top sirloin steaks are also relatively lean. Often marinated to be tenderized and cut into cubes, they’re a great choice for making kabobs.
This is one of the most popular cuts of beef. It comes with a lot of collagen, which make it flavorful but a little less tender. This meat is often served cut across the grain and in thin slices (think grilled fajitas).
5. New York Strip
Any decent steakhouse has this steak on their menu. What’s not to like — it has a great amount of marbling, it is tender, and it’s full-flavored! It’s preferably cooked blue or rare to showcase its delicate flavor and natural tenderness.
A.K.A. the Santa Maria steak, this cut is well-loved in the Central Coast and Valley regions of CA. The pros? It’s cheaper and it has lower fat content while still being very flavorful. Its excellent marbling brings out its flavor and it is tender (as long it doesn’t get overcooked).
7. Filet Mignon
All things equal, this is probably the tenderest steak cut. The French call it the filet de boeuf, meaning beef filet. Flavor-wise, it doesn’t pack much of a punch. But you can wrap it in bacon and add sauces and spices of your choice. A tip, though: Cook this steak quickly if you want to seal all the goodness in.
8. Rib Eye
Thank its luscious marbling for its flavor and tenderness. This is one of the most-loved cuts in the whole planet. Without a bone attached, it is called the rib-eye. If boned, it is called the rib steak.
9. Flat Iron
This cut is the top blade steak, taken from the top blade roast. Known for its significant amount of marbling, it is one of the finest cuts of beef. They call it the butler’s steak in the UK and the oyster blade steak in the Land Down Under.
What this cut lacks in tenderness, it makes up for in flavor. It’s best when marinated, high heat-cooked by broiling or grilling, and served medium-rare to rare.
Add a unique taste to your steak with these liquor marinades from Sous Vide Everything:
There are few things in life that bring men together, and one of them is a fine cut of meat. It’s probably the crown jewel of your cooking repertoire and your contribution for the coming Christmas get-together at your place. Don’t ruin it by picking bad meat.
Do you have any steak tricks you might want to share? Let us know in the comments section below!