Steak Cuts

Steak Cuts: A Guide to 10 Popular Cuts of Steak

When choosing the perfect steak, understanding the different cuts available is essential. Each steak cut offers a unique texture, flavor, and cooking method. In the blog below, we will exploring the world of steak cuts to help you make an informed decision.

Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon is a highly sought-after cut known for its exceptional tenderness and buttery texture. It is sourced from the tenderloin, a muscle located in the loin area of the steer. This cut is often lean and lacks the marbling found in other steaks. It is best cooked quickly with high heat, such as grilling or pan-searing, to preserve its tenderness.

Filet Mignon

The name "filet mignon" is derived from French, filet meaning "thick slice" and mignon meaning "dainty" or "delicate." So "filet mignon" name accurately describes the cut, as filet mignon is typically a small, round steak cut into thick slices.

  • Cut: Center-cut tenderloin
  • Flavor: Delicate beef flavor, slightly sweet, and juicy
  • Cooking Methods: Grilling, pan-searing, or sous vide
  • Sauce: Pair it with rich and flavorful espagnole sauce or toppings 
  • Accompaniments: Mushroom sauce, red wine reduction, or a compound butter. 
Filet Mignon Cut

Prime Rib

Prime Rib is a large, bone-in cut taken from the rib section of the cow, which extends from the 6th to the 12th rib. It is renowned for its rich marbling, resulting in a flavorful and juicy steak. Prime Rib is typically roasted slowly to achieve a medium-rare or medium doneness. This cut is often associated with special occasions and holiday feasts due to its impressive size and succulent taste.

  • Cut: Primal rib
  • Flavor: Rich beefy flavor
  • Cooking Methods: Roasting, smoking, or grilling
  • Accompaniments: Mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and a rich red wine sauce.
Prime Rib

Picanha

Picanha, also known as Sirloin Cap or Rump Cap, is a popular cut in Brazilian cuisine, and is popular throughout South America, particularly Argentina. It is sourced from the top sirloin area and features a thick cap of fat, which renders during cooking, imparting a robust flavor. Picanha is best prepared using high-heat cooking methods like grilling or searing. It is typically sliced against the grain before serving to maximize tenderness. 

  • Cut: Rump
  • Flavor: Buttery texture and lean beef flavor
  • Cooking Methods: Grilling
  • Accompaniments: farofa (toasted cassava flour), feijoada (black bean stew), or a simple chimichurri sauce. 
Picanha

Ribeye

Ribeye (also known as ribeye steak or rib steak) is a well-marbled steak cut from the rib section of the cow, specifically the ribeye muscle. It is known for its exceptional flavor, tenderness, and juiciness. The abundant marbling throughout the meat provides a buttery texture and contributes to its rich, beefy taste. Ribeye steaks are versatile and can be cooked using various methods, including grilling, pan-searing, or broiling.

  • Cut: Rib
  • Flavor: Buttery with rich beef flavor
  • Cooking Methods: Grilling, broiling, pan-searing
  • Accompaniments: Grilled vegetables, sauteed mushrooms, and crispy onions. 
Ribeye

Flat Iron

The Flat Iron steak is a relatively tender and flavorful cut derived from the shoulder region, specifically from the top blade muscle. It is characterized by a distinct marbling pattern and a strip of connective tissue running through the center. When properly cooked, the Flat Iron steak offers a balance of tenderness and beefy flavor. It is best cooked quickly over high heat and benefits from marinating or tenderizing techniques.

  • Cut: Top blade
  • Flavor: Deep, rich beef
  • Cooking Methods: Grilling, broiling, or pan-searing
Flat Iron

Tenderloin

Tenderloin is regarded as one of the most tender cuts of beef. It is located within the loin region and is prized for its tenderness and mild flavor. The absence of excessive fat marbling makes it a lean cut. Tenderloin steaks are often thick and can be cooked using dry-heat methods like grilling or pan-searing. They are commonly served with rich sauces or paired with bacon for added flavor.

Butchers usually divide the tenderloin into 3 main cuts: the butt (butter end or head of the tenderloin), the center cut (filet mignon), and the tail.   The butt is often used for roasts or beef Wellington. The tail is the narrowest and smallest portion of the tenderloin, is often used for smaller steak portions, or can be used in dishes that require thin slices of steak, like stir-fries or beef stroganoff.

  • Cut: Loin Primal
  • Flavor: Varies by the cut
  • Cooking Methods: Beef Wellington, roasts, stir-fries, beef stroganoff

Porterhouse

The Porterhouse steak is a substantial cut that combines two highly regarded cuts in one: the tenderloin and the strip. It is distinguished by a T-shaped bone that separates the two sections. The Porterhouse offers the best of both worlds, with the tenderloin side providing tenderness and the strip side offering excellent flavor. This steak is best cooked using dry-heat methods like grilling or broiling, allowing the bone to enhance the flavors during cooking.

  • Cut: Rear end of the short loin
  • Flavor: The strip side is rich and beefy and the tenderloin portion is lean
  • Cooking Methods: Sous vide, grilling, broiling

T-Bone

Similar to the Porterhouse, the T-Bone steak features a T-shaped bone dividing two cuts: the tenderloin and the strip steak. While the T-Bone may have a smaller portion of the tenderloin compared to the Porterhouse, it still offers a combination of tenderness and flavor. T-Bone steaks are often grilled or broiled to achieve optimal results.

  • Cut: Short Loin
  • Flavor: The strip steak portion offers a robust, beefy flavor, and the filet mignon portion supplies a delicate, beefy flavor
  • Cooking Methods: Grilling, broiling, or pan-searing

New York Strip

The New York Strip steak, also referred to as Striploin or Kansas City Strip, is a beloved and widely recognized cut of beef. It is obtained from the longissimus dorsi muscle located in the rear back area of the cow, specifically from the short loin section. This well-marbled steak offers a flavorful and tender eating experience, making it a favorite choice among steak enthusiasts.

  • Cut: Short loin
  • Flavor: Bold, intense beef flavor
  • Cooking Methods: Grilling, broiling, pan-searing

Bavette

Bavette (also called flank steak or sirloin flap), is a flavorful and versatile cut of beef that has gained popularity among steak enthusiasts. It is derived from the abdominal muscles of the cow, specifically the bottom sirloin or flank area. Bavette is highly regarded for its rich, beefy flavor and unique texture.

  • Cut: Bottom sirloin primal
  • Flavor: Deep, savory beef flavor
  • Cooking Methods: Pan-searing or grilling
Bavette

Conclusion

Exploring the world of steak cuts opens up a myriad of flavors and textures to savor. From the tender Filet Mignon to the richly marbled Ribeye, each cut has its own distinctive qualities and ideal cooking methods. Whether you prefer the tenderness of Tenderloin or the boldness of Prime Rib, understanding the characteristics of each steak cut empowers you to make informed choices when cooking or ordering steak. So, fire up the grill or heat up the skillet, and embark on a delicious journey through the diverse world of steak cuts.

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