What You Should Know About the 5 Most Popular Steak Cuts
Every meat-eater loves a steak, but not all steaks are created equal. Cut from different muscles and using different methods, there can be a world of difference between one and another. In this article, we’ll run you through the most popular steak cuts and when to choose them, and we’ll look at a couple of new variants on familiar themes.
If you were wondering what the difference between sirloin and rump is, the answer is: “Very little.” Assuming that you are in the US, rump and sirloin are the same thing. If you’re in the UK, however,”sirloin” is used to describe what Americans call “porterhouse.” Confusing nomenclature aside, “top sirloin” refers to the upper portion of the cut where the meat is tenderest. Whichever variant you choose, sirloin is reasonably tender with enough marbling to offer a rich, strong flavour that’s more pronounced than that of the tenderest, leanest cuts.
2. Ribeye Steak
Taken from the rib area, and taking advantage of abundant fat marbling and the tenderness of a seldom-used muscle, ribeye is immensely popular in the US. Fat marbling ensures that the meat is moister and more flavorful than leaner variants, making this a good choice for anyone not seeking to minimise fat intake for health reasons. Bone-in and boneless variants are available, with the latter offering a better opportunity for even cooking.
3. Tenderloin Filet
Also known as “filet mignon” when taken from the portion closest to the spine, this is a lean and tender cut taken from the back of the animal and it’s a great choice for those who are watching their fat intake. Although not as flavorful as the fattier cuts, its tender texture makes it a winner. The portion of the tenderloin used for filet mignon is the tenderest of all, but to most of us, the difference between it and regular tenderloin would be nearly indistinguishable.
4. New York Strip
Those who love the flavour that fat imparts but who still want to eat a lean cut of meat will enjoy the New York Strip. Taken from the short loin, just behind the rib area, it usually comes with a strip of fat on the edge, but the meat itself is lean. A great compromise between tenderness and flavour accounts for New York Strip’s popularity.
5. T-Bone Steak
Despite changing trends, T-bone steak remains an economical and popular option. The cut goes across the areas used for tenderloin fillet and New York strip and the two distinct textures of meat are separated by the characteristic T-bone. Since the bone makes searing the meat in a pan difficult, this cut is perfect for the grill making it a barbecue favorite of which most of us will have fond memories.
Steak will always be a treat. If you’re low on confidence, try this simple recipe. Alternatively, a few simple tips will improve your results. Whether pan-frying or grilling, allow the steaks to reach room temperature, rub them with olive oil, salt, and pepper (or other seasonings) and ensure that the pan or grill is properly heated before searing the steak. It shouldn’t take more than five or six minutes to get great results!