How to Pick the Best Cuts of Steak

When it comes to buying beef, one may think the higher price tag means a better cut. That’s not always the case. Each person most likely has a preference, so knowing the distinctive factors to each cut are key to picking the right steak for you. Since January is National Meat Month, let’s dive into the most popular cuts, where they come from, what they taste like and how to cook them.

T-Bone and Porterhouse

Meat lovers get two steaks in one with these cuts. Containing a tenderloin and strip steak on either side of the bone, these cuts both come from the short loin and are very similar in composition. The main difference between the T-bone and porterhouse is that the porterhouse filet tends to be larger. To grill up these cuts, sear over high heat, then finish cooking with indirect heat. Since the tenderloin contains more fat, it will cook faster than the strip side, so keep the tenderloin the away from the direct heat. Porterhouses are thicker, requiring more time on the grill.

Top Sirloin

This cut produces the rich flavors that can’t be found in other sections of beef. It comes from under the tenderloin portion of the animal, and while the cut might not be as tender as others, the top sirloin offers the beef taste without a large amount of fat. Cooking it on the grill helps to release its best flavors. Due to little fat in the top sirloin, a rare to medium-rare finish yields the right balance of tenderness and taste.

Strip

Kansas City? New York? The strip steak is a popular cut and rightfully so, as it’s well known for tenderness, flavor and large size. Coming from the short loin behind the rib area, the strip can come bone-in or boneless. Cook this cut up in the oven, pan or on the grill. This is a simple cut to grill if you are looking to start working on your skills. After searing each side over high heat, allow the strip to cook indirectly to your preference.

Rib Eye

Rib eye cuts are equally flavorful and tender. Coming from the rib area, the balance of meat and fat creates a delicious combination. It can come bone-in or boneless and is relatively cheaper in price than other selections. Grilling the rib eye is ideal, since it can still remain juicy after the high heat and the smoky flavor complements it. Sear each side for one to two minutes, then cook over low to medium heat until you reach your ideal style.

Filet Mignon

It’s the classic cut most gravitate towards. The filet mignon is a portion of the tenderloin, and due to it coming from the area closest to the ribs, the cut is very tender. As a thicker cut of steak, it requires the most time out of other cuts to cook. It is commonly the most expensive cut of steak, but it’s hard to complain when it cooks so beautifully. For the best finish, sear both sides on the grill for three to four minutes, then cook in the oven at 425 degrees for about five minutes. –By Executive Chef Robert Nixon of Toscana’s Restaurant & Lounge at PebbleCreek, a Robson Resort Community

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