How to Choose the Best Cut of Steak Possible
With so many different cuts available, it can be overwhelming to know which is the right one for you. But fear not, because in this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know to choose the best cut of steak for your meal. From the most tender to the most flavorful, we’ll cover it all.
So whether you’re a ribeye fanatic or a filet mignon lover, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on your next trip to the butcher shop.
How to Choose the Best Cut of Steak
When choosing the perfect steak, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, thickness matters. Thinner steaks can be a bit tricky to cook, as they can easily become overcooked, dry, and just plain bland. For best results, opt for a steak that is at least 1 inch thick, preferably 1.5 inches, as it will give you more leeway to achieve that perfect sear and temperature.
Another important factor to consider is marbling. This refers to the white streaks of fat running through the steak. While some think fat is a bad thing, marbling is actually what gives steak its succulent flavor and tenderness. Look for thin lines of marbling rather than large chunks of fat, as they will render down during cooking and enhance the steak's overall taste.
Now, onto the tricky part - choosing the right cut of steak. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming. But don't worry, we've narrowed down our top picks for the best kinds of steaks to cook. Whether grilling, pan-frying, or baking, these cuts are sure to deliver an unforgettable steak experience!
The Best Steak Cuts: Ranked
If you've ever wondered what the best steak cuts are, look no further! We'll go over the pros and cons of the best cuts out there and why you should consider buying it.
#1. Wagyu Beef
While not actually a cut of steak, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that Wagyu beef is the absolute best kind of steak or beef money can buy. Wagyu beef is a type of beef that originates from Japan and is known for its high level of marbling, tenderness, and rich flavor.
It comes from several breeds of cattle that are bred and raised according to strict standards and is considered a luxury food item due to its rarity and high price. The intense marbling in Wagyu beef comes from the way the cattle are raised, including a special diet and exercise regimen. As a result, the meat is often described as being incredibly tender and flavorful, with a unique melt-in-your-mouth texture that is unmatched by other types of beef.
The T-bone steak is a classic cut that comes from the short loin area of the cow, and it includes both the tenderloin and the strip steak. It's a great choice for steak lovers who enjoy both tenderness and flavor. The T-shaped bone in the middle of the cut helps keep the meat moist and juicy while cooking, and it also adds some visual appeal to the plate. However, because of its thickness and the bone, it can be challenging to cook it evenly, and some parts may end up overcooked or undercooked if not prepared properly.
#2. Rib Eye
Rib Eye comes from the rib section of the cow, specifically from ribs six through twelve. It is well-marbled, which gives it a rich flavor and juicy texture. The high-fat content also makes it forgiving to cook, as it remains tender even when slightly overcooked. On the flip side, of course, the high-fat content also makes it a less healthy option.
The Porterhouse is a cut that comes from the rear end of the short loin. It's similar to the T-bone but has a larger portion of the tenderloin, making it a great choice for those who love a tender, juicy steak. However, due to its size, it can be challenging to cook correctly and evenly. It's best to cook it slowly on lower heat or sous vide before finishing on high heat to get a perfectly cooked steak.
#4. Top Sirloin
Top sirloin comes from the sirloin primal cut of the cow, which is located at the back, near the rear end. This cut is great for grilling because it has a good balance of marbling and tenderness. It is also a budget-friendly option compared to other high-end cuts. However, it can be tough if overcooked or under-seasoned.
#5. Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon comes from the tenderloin section of the cow, and it's the most tender cut of beef. It's a great choice for those who want a leaner option with a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture. However, since it's so lean, it can lack the flavor and juiciness of other cuts, so it's important to cook it properly to avoid dryness.
#6. Zabuton (Denver) Steak
Zabuton steak, also known as Denver steak, comes from the chuck section of the cow, specifically the shoulder blade. It's a relatively new cut that's become increasingly popular due to its exceptional marbling and flavor. The only downside is that it can be a bit tougher than other cuts, so it's best cooked to no more than medium rare for maximum tenderness.
#7. Strip Steak
Strip steak comes from the short loin of the cow and is known for its excellent flavor and tenderness. It has a good amount of marbling, making it a flavorful cut. One potential con is that it can be relatively expensive compared to other cuts, but its quality and taste make it worth it for steak lovers.
#8. Skirt Steak
The skirt steak is a long, flat cut of beef from the diaphragm muscles of the cow. It's known for its intense flavor and tenderness, making it a popular choice for grilling and fajitas. However, it can become tough if not cooked properly, so it's important to cook it quickly over high heat and slice it against the grain for maximum tenderness.
#9. Flat Iron
The Flat iron steak, also known as a top blade steak, comes from the shoulder of the cow. It's a lean cut of meat with good marbling and a tender texture. However, it can have a slightly tougher texture compared to other premium steak cuts, so it's important to cook it to no more than medium doneness for optimal tenderness.
#10. Flank Steak
The flank steak is a lean, flavorful cut of meat that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It's best when marinated and grilled or broiled quickly at high heat. However, it can be tough if overcooked, so it's important to slice it thinly against the grain to ensure tenderness.
Tri-tip is a triangular cut of beef from the bottom sirloin subprimal cut. It's a lean and flavorful cut that's great for grilling or roasting. The only downside is that it can be tough if not cooked properly, so it's important to cook it to the right temperature and let it rest before slicing.
#12. Beef Chuck Primal Cut
The beef chuck primal cut comes from the shoulder and neck area of the cow, and it includes several different cuts such as the chuck roast, chuck eye roast, and the blade steak. These cuts tend to have a lot of connective tissue and can be tough if not cooked properly, but they also have a rich beefy flavor that can be very satisfying when slow-cooked or braised. They are also typically less expensive than other cuts of steak.
#13. Round Steak
Round steak comes from the hindquarters of the cow and is a lean cut of meat. It can be a bit tough and requires proper cooking techniques to ensure tenderness. However, it's a great option for those looking for a leaner cut of meat with a more subtle flavor. It's commonly used in stews and slow-cooked dishes.
Choosing the Right Steak
Choosing the best cut of steak comes down to personal preferences, but there are certain factors to consider. Thickness, marbling, and the part of the cow are all important elements to take into account when selecting the perfect steak for your meal. At Wagyuman, we offer a selection of premium high-quality wagyu beef straight from Japan that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.