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What is the best cut of steak is somewhat subjective and a lot depends on the person you ask ands their personal taste. Where I prefer something like a porterhouse, my husband on the other hand prefers a New York strip steak. So what is a good cut of steak, well there are many and the chart below will give you an idea of the different cuts of steak and their individual characteristics.
7 Bone Steak: Named because of the 7-shaped cross section bone running through it, this steak is from the shoulder primal and its toughness means it needs to be braised.
Arm Steak: Also called Swiss steak, this cut is from the bottom of the round. Arm steak is tough and is best braised. You can use easy steak marinades to tenderize arm steak but it is best-used cut up in a stew or similar.
Beef: The culinary name for meat from domestic cattle.
Boneless Chuck Shoulder Steak: An inch thick at most, this cut is from the larger end of the chuck shoulder roast and weighs around ten ounces. This cut of steak has hardly any fat. It is flavorful but tough. You can use a tenderizing steak marinade recipe and grill it to rare or medium. Alternatively, you can braise it.
Boneless Top Loin Steak: Also known as New York strip steak, boneless top loin steak is a popular cut from the short loin primal. This cut is flavorful, tender, and very versatile.
Chateaubriand: A thick cut from the tenderloin, normally served for two people to share. Chateaubriand is juicy and tender.
Chuck Eye Steak: A cut from the chuck eye roast, or chuck primal, lower down than the rib primal. Similar to rib eye steak but less flavorful and not so tender. Chuck eye steak is a reasonable alternative to rib eye if you are on a budget.
Club Steak: Also known as Delmonico, club steak is smaller than a T-bone, triangular and has a large eye section. It is tender, flavorful, and cut from the short loin. A good club steak has delicate marbling and a fine texture. A bad one has big fat chunks and a coarse texture.
Entrecote: The sirloin cut known as contre-filet, which is the portion of sirloin on the opposite side from the filet or tenderloin. Other names for entrecote include strip steak, striploin steak, porterhouse, New York steak, Delmonico steak without the bone or hotel steak if it still has the bone attached. In French, the word entrecote signifies any premium cut of beef.
Filet Strip: These strips are cut off the short loin before other steaks are removed. You can broil a whole filet strip and then cut it into portions, bake it and make Beef Wellington. The tenderloin is the most tender steak and filet strip is very tender, although some people find it too soft textured.
Filet Mignon: The most tender of all beef cuts, filet mignon is mild flavored and lightly marbled. Also known as tournedos.
Flank Steak: The flank is the belly muscle of a cow and therefore technically not a steak. The meat is cut into small pieces. It is almost fat free and flavorful but remains quite tough, no matter how long you soak it in a tenderizing steak marinade recipe for.
Flat Iron Steak: See Top Blade Steak.
Hanger Steak: The diaphragm section of a cow, hanger steak is flavorful if prepared correctly but tough and dry if prepared wrong.
Inside Skirt Steak: Steak from the bottom sirloin or flank which looks like outside skirt steak but is more tender.
Kansas City Steak: See Strip Steak.
London Broil: A thick cut top round steak, which is great when marinated for six to twenty four hours in your best steak marinade recipe, and then grilled or broiled.
Mock Tender Steak: A tough cut of steak (despite its name) from the point of the chuck primal near the top blade.
New York Strip Steak: Also known as boneless strip steak or boneless top loin steak, this cut is well-marbled and firm in texture.
Outside Skirt Steak: Made from the diaphragm, this cut is flavorful but quite tough.
Porterhouse Steak: A composite cut from where the top loin and tenderloin meat, porterhouse steak is like an oversized T-bone but is thicker and has more tenderloin than loin. Porterhouse steak is normally between an inch and a half and three inches thick with a fair portion of fat. If you remove the bone, you will have a tenderloin steak and a top loin steak.
Ranch Steak: The center cut of boneless chuck shoulder steak.
Rib Steak: A rib-eye steak with the bone still on. Rib steak is like club steak but is fattier and not so tender. Rib steak is very flavorful.
Rib-Eye Steak: A cut from the roast sitting on top of the rib primal, this is a flavorful, boneless cut.
Round Steak: Known in the UK as rump steak, round steak is a thin cut from the middle of the top round roast. There is usually a big circular bone on one end. You can broil or grill round steak but you need to use a steak marinade to tenderize it. You can also braise round steak.
Round Tip Steak: This steak is normally untrimmed and is cut from the tip of the round primal. If the fat is trimmed it is called a trimmed tip steak or ball tip steak. Round tip steak is tender because it is cut from near the tenderloin. It is much more tender than other kinds of round steak.
Sirloin Steak: A big steak, normally two and a half to three and a half inches thick, with some wedge bone. Sirloin steak is flavorful, tender and is great broiled or grilled. You can pan-broil thinner sirloin steaks.
Skirt Steak: A flat steak, which is flavorful but tough. Skirt steak in the US comes from the plate primal. Skirt steak in the UK comes from the flank. Either way, it has plenty of connective tissue and marbling, making it good for marinating with your best steak marinade recipe.
Spencer Steak: Another name for boneless rib-eye steak, this cut is flavorful and tender. The ribbon of marbling running through a Spencer steak melts while it cooks, making its flavor wonderfully rich.
Strip Steak: Also known as shell steak, strip steak is what you have left when the tenderloin strip has been removed from the short loin. These steaks are also known as Kansas City strip or New York strip. These steaks are usually an inch to two and a half inches thick and they are ideal for one person.
Swiss Steak: See Arm Steak.
T-Bone Steak: A crosscut from underneath the porterhouse. A T-bone steak has a section of tenderloin and top loin, separated by a T-shaped bone. T-bone should be one to three inches thick. You can pan-broil a thin T-bone or broil a thicker one.
Tenderloin Steak: Cut from the beef tenderloin, which is part of the short loin primal, this steak is very tender.
Top Blade Steak: Also known as flat iron steak, top blade steak is flavorful and tender.
Top Sirloin Steak: A firm textured, flavorful, and lean cut. Top sirloin steak is best prepared with one of your steak marinade recipes for six to twenty four hours and then grilled or broiled.
Tournedos: The French name for filet mignon.
Tri-Tip Steak: What cut of meat do steak tips come from is a good question here is a short answer. A wonderful steak for grilling, tri-tip steak is cut from the tri-tip roast, a triangular sirloin primal cut from where the round and flank primals meet the sirloin.
Under Blade Steak: This steak is cut from underneath the shoulder blade. It is similar to top blade steak and 7 bone steak but less tender. This cut is usually left as a roast but can be cut into steaks. Under blade steak is not good for broiling or grilling and is best braised.
If you're a steakhouse owner, consider safe storing your meats in a commercial refrigerator to keep the cuts fresh and free of harmful bacteria.