The perfect steak starts with the right cut. But trying to pick out a steak at your grocery store's butcher counter can be all sorts of intimidating. Let's change that. Here you'll learn about eight different types of steak cuts and how to cook them correctly.
The High-End Steakhouse Cuts
Let's start with some high-end steakhouse cuts. They're some of the best steaks for grilling. These tender steaks are pricey. For the most part, they need very little adornment. Some salt and a hot grill, and these steaks are melt-in-the-mouth scrumptious.
1. Ribeye (aka Delmonico, Spencer, Entrecote)
Either bone-in or boneless, a ribeye is essentially a thick slice of prime rib served as a steak. Lots of flavorful marbling with a very meaty flavor, the ribeye is a prime candidate for quick, high-heat cooking on the grill or skillet.
- Salt and Pepper Ribeye Steak: The key to this recipe is to salt the ribeyes generously and let them "brine" for two days in the fridge. Then bring them to room temperature before searing in a hot cast-iron skillet. "Salting the steaks for two days brines the steak, helps tenderize them, and adds rich flavor," states the recipe page.
- Italian Ribeye: This recipe calls for boneless ribeyes. The steaks marinate for an hour in a wet rub made with Italian herbs, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Then it's off to the hot grill.
- More Ribeye Steak Recipes
2. New York Strip (aka Top Loin, Strip Steak, Kansas City Strip)
Shaped vaguely like Manhattan, the strip is a boneless steak with some fat marbling and typically a strip of fat along one long edge. Tender with good meaty flavor, the New York Strip is one of the best steaks for the high heat of the grill or a high-heat sear-to-broiler method.
- Manhattan Filet with Pan Sauce Bordelaise: "This simple technique not only provides you with a NY strip steak that eats like a filet mignon, but the trimmings are used to make a world-class pan sauce," says Chef John. "The overnight 'dry-aging' step is optional, but does add a little something extra to the final product."
- Thyme-Rubbed Steaks with Sautéed Mushrooms: New York strip steaks are pan-fried and served with a rich mushroom, shallot, and wine sauce.
- More Strip Steak Recipes
3. Filet Mignon (aka Tenderloin, Chateaubriand)
Filet mignon is a lean, boneless steak from the smaller end of the tenderloin – the small, more adorable end, apparently, because "mignon" means "cute" in French. Chateaubriand is from the thicker end of the tapering tenderloin. In many cases, chateaubriand refers to the whole tenderloin cooked as a roast, whereas the filet mignon is the tenderloin cut into individual steaks. Any way you slice it, these steaks are very tender and, because they don't have much fat marbling, mild in flavor. A nice thick filet mignon is a great candidate for stovetop-to-oven cooking.
- Filet Mignon with Mushroom-Cabernet Gravy: "I love pan-searing because it gives the filet mignon steaks that beautiful color and crust on the outside and leaves them so tender inside!" says the recipe submitter. "And because of the influence of my husband's French grandmother, I love to cook anything with wine!"
- Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze: Quickly sear the steaks in a hot skillet, then sizzle the pan with equal parts of balsamic vinegar and red wine, cover, and braise briefly to create a wonderful glaze.
- More Filet Mignon Recipes
4. T-Bone or Porterhouse
The Big Fella. This bone-in steak includes both the strip and tenderloin parts of the steak. Technically, it's called a porterhouse if the tenderloin is at least 1 1/4-inches wide. If it's at least 1/2-inch wide (but less than 1 1/4-inches), it's a T-bone. Either way, T-bones and porterhouse steaks are essentially two steaks in one, so they require some care in cooking. If you can work it, cook the strip part directly over the flames with the tenderloin portion extending into a less hot part of the grill.
- Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Tuscan Porterhouse): This flagship, Tuscan steak is made from the region's Chianina breed of cattle which are prized for their tenderness and flavor. In typical Italian style, simplicity rules the day; little more than olive oil, rosemary, and salt are needed to highlight the rich flavor of the grilled meat.
- Rock's T-Bone Steaks: This T-bone gets a quick rubdown before spending some time on the hot grill. "This seasoning makes any steak awesome. It doesn't overpower the steak," says the recipe submitter.
- Chef John's Chimichurri Sauce: Here it is, the famous Argentinean sauce for grilled steaks. Herbs and garlic are whirled in a blender with olive oil and white wine vinegar to create a tangy, spicy, decidedly green-colored condiment.
The Cheaper Cuts
Now for the dirty little secret about steaks. The "tougher" cuts are often more flavorful. By comparison, think of it like the dark meat of chicken. The dark meat comes from muscles that worked for a living (thighs, drumsticks); as a result, the darker meat develops more flavor than the white breast meat of a flightless bird.
Likewise, these cuts of steak are from parts of the steer that saw some action. True, they're not as tender as the high-end steaks, which had a comparatively cushy existence, but the tougher cuts make up for it in flavor and economy.
5. Hanger Steak (aka Butcher's Steak)
This lean steak is very flavorful. A great steak for marinating or wet-rubbing and then grilling over high heat. Note: wipe off oily marinades before grilling – or else it's inferno time.
- Grilled Hanger Steak with a Roasted Shallot Port Demi Sauce: Grill the steaks until the meat starts to firm up, about 2 minutes per side. They should be reddish-pink and juicy in the center.
- Parisian-Style Steak Frites: A classic bistro-style steak. "Known as steak-frites," explains the recipe submitter "thin slices of hanger steak are covered in the most addictive herb butter sauce."
- Jang Jorim with Hard-Boiled Eggs (Korean Soy Beef Strips): In this Korean preparation, hanger steak is simmered, along with peeled hard-boiled eggs, in a broth of soy sauce, water, green chile peppers, onions, garlic, rice wine, and red chile pepper.
6. Tri-Tip Steak (aka Santa Maria Steak)
Another very lean cut with a flavor that's milder than the hanger steak. Rub 'em down with seasonings and toss on the grill.
- Easy Grilled Tri-Tip: "A great way to quickly grill large cuts of tri-tip beef," states this recipe. "You can even make it on a busy weeknight. I've also made this for BBQ parties. It's better than buying a bunch of steaks!"
- Carne Asada Sandwich: Thin slices of tri-tip steak are seasoned with chile peppers and spices and cooked in a Dutch oven with onions and bell peppers. Top these Mexican-inspired sandwiches with melted cheese, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro.
- Santa Maria Grilled Tri-Tip Beef: Tri-tip is a great cut for this kind of high-heat grilling. The meat gets a simple dry rubbing; as it cooks, it's basted with a garlic, mustard, vegetable oil, and red wine vinegar sauce.
VIDEO: How To Grill a Tri-Tip Steak
Watch Chef John prep and grill a California classic, the Santa Maria tri-tip. The trick to grilling the tri-tip is getting the signature caramelized crust. The outside is charred almost black, while the inside cooks to a beautiful pink.
Complete the meal with Santa Maria Beans.
7. Skirt Steak (aka Fajita Steak)
A long, thin, very flavorful cut that cooks very fast over a high flame. Skirt steak's loose-rope structure creates lots of nooks and crannies for marinades. It's the traditional cut for fajitas, of course, either grilled, broiled, or sauteed. You can also stir-fry with skirt steak; thin strips of skirt steak are done in seconds. If you can't find true skirt steak, flank steak is a popular substitution.
- Sizzlin' Fajitas: Cut the skirt steak across the grain into 1/4-inch strips. Then cook the marinated steak over high heat in a large skillet. "If you do not have the time to marinate the meat for 2 or more hours, just leave it out at room temperature, keeping the bag zipped tightly for about 20 to 30 minutes," says the recipe submitter.
- Grilled Coffee and Cola Skirt Steak: "Two great drinks equal one fantastic marinade for skirt steak, the juiciest and most flavorful piece of meat you can put on a grill," says Chef John here. "It's smoky and subtly sweet. The flavors are balanced perfectly with the bitterness of the coffee in the grill marks."
- More Skirt Steak Recipes
8. Flank Steak
Like skirt steak, flank steak comes in long, thin strips. Flank steaks are thicker than skirt steaks and tighter in structure – meaning the grains hold closer together. Treat flank steak as you would skirt steak. Give them a bath in a marinade and some time on the grill. Or slice them into strips and stir-fry over high heat.
- Bracciole (Flank Steak Rolls): An authentic Italian recipe for flank-steak rolls stuffed with garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese and braised on the stovetop in a tomato sauce.
- Maria's Pepper Steak: Here, thin strips of flank steak are treated to a quick blast in a hot skillet, bathing alongside a tangy, slightly sweet soy, vinegar, and honey sauce.
- More Flank Steak Recipes
- How to Cook Steak 4 Different Ways
- 10 Mistakes We're (Almost) All Making When Grilling Steak
- Browse Our Entire Collection of Beef Steak Recipes
What are the different types of steaks to be cooked? ›
- Ribeye Steak. We begin with one of the most famous types of steak out there, the ribeye steak. ...
- Tenderloin Steak aka Filet Mignon. ...
- Strip Steak. ...
- Hanger Steak. ...
- Porterhouse / T-Bone Steak. ...
- Flank Steak. ...
- Skirt Steak. ...
- Flat Iron Steak.
Many of these beef cuts are popular for cooking steak. We'll call them steak cuts, as they're customarily associated with steak and not other dishes such as roasts, burgers, or fillets. There are about 15 types of classified steak cuts.What are the 10 different beef cuts? ›
- 10 Ribeye.
- 9 Flank.
- 8 Tri-Tip.
- 7 Strip Loin.
- 6 T-Bone.
- 5 Chuck Roast.
- 4 Back Ribs.
- 3 Brisket.
What kind of steaks should I use? Filet mignons are the easiest to cook at home, because they're the most tender. Ribeye is great too, though. This recipe is great for all steak cuts!What are the 5 ways to cook a steak? ›
- Grilled. Most steak houses in Dallas will say that one of the tried and true methods of serving a steak is to prepare it over a flaming grill. ...
- Pan-Seared. ...
- Oven-Baked. ...
- Reverse Sear. ...
The timing. As a rule of thumb (for a steak 22mm thick) – cook 2 minutes each side for rare, 3-4 mins each side for medium-rare and 4-6 mins each side for medium. For well done, cook for 2-4 minutes each side, then turn the heat down and cook for another 4-6 minutes.What are the top 3 best steaks? ›
- T-Bone. Serious carnivores usually have a special fondness for t-bone steaks. ...
- Porterhouse. If you've ever seen a porterhouse steak next to a T-bone, you may have thought they were the same. ...
- Ribeye. For the ultimate juicy, beefy flavor, a ribeye is a great choice. ...
- Filet Mignon. ...
- New York Strip.
- Top Sirloin Steak. ...
- The Rib. ...
- Ribeye Steak. ...
- Strip Loin Steak. ...
- Porterhouse Steak and T-bone Steak. ...
- Hanger Steak. ...
- The Flank Steak. The flank steak is another tender steak but with long fibers. ...
- The Skirt Steak. Like the flank steak, the skirt steak is not in any way tender.
Results from the 2022 World Steak Challenge are hot off the grill, with a Japanese Wagyu judged to be a cut above the rest. The world's best steak award at this year's World Steak Challenge goes to a Japanese Wagyu from producer Starzen Co.What is the best steak cook type? ›
Cooking steak to medium-rare allows the steak's natural flavor to shine, so those extra-marbled, extra-flavorful cuts like ribeye and strip are particularly delicious at that medium rare, 130 degrees F to 135 degrees F internal temperature.
What are the 8 different cuts of meat? ›
There are 8 main primal cuts of beef: chuck, rib, loin (consisting of the short loin and the sirloin), round, flank, plate, brisket, and shank.What is the best and tastiest steak? ›
The ribeye steak is perhaps the finest of all steaks due to its combination of luxurious tenderness and big, beefy flavor. Whether you opt for the boneless or bone-in version, ribeye steaks are ideal candidates for the grill.Which steak is the most tender and juicy? ›
Considered the most tender cut of all, a filet mignon is taken from the center of the beef tenderloin. It is lean yet delivers a melt-in-your mouth, buttery succulence.What are the 3 ways to cook steak? ›
- Fry: Simply put, you're tossing a hunk of beef into a frying pan. ...
- Oven Roasting: Restaurants often use this method of cooking steak, but it requires two steps: ...
- Grill: This tends to be the method of choice for meat-lovers.
The Filet Mignon is known as the “Aristocrat of Tenderness.” The cut is known for its tenderness along with mild flavor, of all the steak cuts it's always been the most approachable. Yet, in terms of the cost of meat it also is the most expensive.What's the most expensive cut of steak? ›
The creme de la creme. Japanese Kobe steak is usually considered the most expensive steak globally, with its marbling recognized as the world's best. With strict grading processes and only 3,000 cattle making the cut annually to be called authentic Kobe beef, you can see why it is an expensive option.How do you cook a steak for beginners? ›
- Rub steak with olive oil and season generously with salt & pepper.
- Heat pan over high heat until smoke starts coming off the pan.
- Place steak on the pan and cook for roughly 6 minutes, flipping every 90 seconds.
- Transfer steak onto a place and let it rest for 3-5 minutes.
Place the steaks on the grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to grill 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare (an internal temperature of 135 degrees F), 5 to 7 minutes for medium (140 degrees F) or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well (150 degrees F).How long to cook different steaks? ›
|Thickness||Rare 110 to 120 F||Medium 130 to 140 F|
|1"||4 minutes EACH SIDE||6 minutes EACH SIDE|
|1.25"||4.5 minutes EACH SIDE||6.5 minutes EACH SIDE|
|1.5"||5 minutes EACH SIDE||7 minutes EACH SIDE|
|1.75"||5.5 minutes EACH SIDE||7.5 minutes EACH SIDE|
The most tender of all cuts of beef, tenderloin steaks are lean and known for their delicate, butter-like texture and thick cut. These mouthwatering steaks are so tender they can be “cut with a butter knife.” Tenderloin steaks are commonly known as filets or filet mignon.
What is the king of all steaks? ›
We have to admit though, there is something about the ribeye. Known as the “king of steaks”, and for good reason, we love to talk about this incredible piece of meat. Ribeyes are something that just sell themselves. People see the gorgeous fat marbling and can't help but want to bring it home and put it on the grill.What is the rarest steak called? ›
If you haven't heard of olive wagyu, you're not alone. This particular type of beef has eluded even the most informed aficionados. Considered to be the rarest steak in the world, only about 2,200 heads of this specific cattle exist in the world. On top of that, just a few are harvested each month for their meat.What is the perfect way to cook a steak? ›
Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat (about 500 degrees). Sear steaks for 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking with the lid closed until the steaks reach the desired level of doneness (130 degrees F for medium-rare).What is the secret to the perfect steak? ›
1 - Let the meat rest.
Let the steaks rest out on the counter at least 30 minutes before cooking. After cooking, it's just as important to let the steaks rest again for 5–10 minutes, so the juices redistribute and the fibers relax. Cutting into a steak the moment it comes off the heat will result in a tough dry steak.
Behind well-done and medium-rare steaks are medium well-done (16%), medium (13%), and rare meat (11%). While medium-rare and well-done steaks are America's most popular selections, men (26%) are more likely than women (20%) to choose a medium-rare steak.How do you cook yummiest steak? ›
- Rub the steak all over with a good lug of olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
- Add the steak to a hot pan, then cook for 6 minutes for medium-rare, or to your liking, turning every minute.
- For more flavour, try one or a combination of the following…
Similar to Puck's method, he uses both the oven and the stove, but instead of starting with the stove and finishing in the oven, he does it the other way around. Fieri sets the oven to a low temperature and slow roasts it until it's at his desired doneness. He then transfers it to a hot cast iron skillet and sears it.How do restaurants make their steaks so tender? ›
- Pounding. Using a meat mallet (or kitchen mallet) to pound steaks helps soften and tenderize the meat. ...
- Salting. Most cuts of steak benefit from being salted up to an hour in advance of cooking, but especially tougher cuts. ...
- Marinating. ...
- Velveting. ...
- Slow Cooking. ...
- Enzymatic Application. ...
Most big steakhouses broil their steaks. Yes, there are few "grills" out there, though some restaurants may still grill their steaks in a way that you and I would recognize. Many restaurants, though, use overhead, infrared broilers that produce incredible temperatures to cook steaks.Why do chefs put salt on steak? ›
Adding salt to the exterior of a piece of steak draws out the moisture in the steak. The salt then dissolves in this moisture, creating a brine that is then re-absorbed back into the steak. In this process, the lean muscle proteins in the meat are broken down, made juicier and more tender.
Should I cook steak in butter or oil? ›
Butter is ideal for continually basting a steak and lends itself perfectly to some cuts and for those who like to be there tenderly managing the cooking. Being there and continually basting means the butter is less likely to burn and mar the flavour.Why do chefs cook steak in butter? ›
Because it adds proteins to the mix, butter is a better medium for adding deep brown color to your steak as well, which means that even if your steak is looking a little pale after its initial sear, once you add that butter, it'll rapidly take on color.