The first step to understanding the best cuts of beef for steak is knowing how meat grading works. There are four grades of beef: Prime, Choice, Select, and Standard. The higher the grade, the more tender and flavorful it will be.
So if you’re looking to impress your guests with a delicious cut of steak, go with prime or choice. Select or standard will do just fine if you don’t want to spend as much money on your meat but still want something tasty.
The second step is learning about some popular types of steaks that come from different parts of the cow’s body so you can figure out what style suits your tastes best!
Here are some well-known examples:
T-bone steaks are highly regarded among meat connoisseurs. That’s because they’re incredibly distinctive, with a buttery delicate loin on one side of the bone and a rigid, beefy New York strip on the other. The T-bone steak comes from a cross-section of the cow’s short loin, nearer to the stomach than the rear.
T-bones are delicious, but they’re difficult to prepare since you’re using two distinct types of meat. Because the tenderloin side cooks up considerably quicker, consider using indirect heat or positioning the steak so that the strip side is closer to the heat source.
Porterhouses are larger steaks. The USDA specifies that the steaks must be sliced to a thickness of at least 1.25 inches and frequently cut to 3 inches or more to be considered porterhouses.
Unlike T-bones, ribeyes do not require much seasoning and have an excellent taste. They’re just as hard to cook as T-bones and might take up to an hour to prepare appropriately. For a crusty sear, many porterhouse enthusiasts recommend cooking the steak over direct heat, transferring it to a cast-iron pan, and finishing it in the oven.
Go for a ribeye if you want the most mouthwatering and beefy flavor. These tasty steaks are individual prime rib roasts from the cow’s upper rib area.
Ribeyes have a high proportion of fat, which helps to keep them juicy after cooking at high temperatures. When purchasing a ribeye with even marbling, look for one that has a thicker cut and more marbling.
Filet mignon is a boneless beefsteak from the underside of a cow’s ribs. Filet mignon is a tender, mild-flavored steak with a beautiful grain. It is typically the most expensive cut of beef. The steaks are thin and circular, measuring from two to three inches thick. Consider using various seasonings and bacon to enhance the flavor on the grill or in a cast-iron pan on the stove.
New York Strip
New York Strip steaks are fantastic, hearty cuts from the cow’s short loin. New York strip steaks are fatty with a robust flavor and strong grain.
The steak is typically not marbled. You can prepare it using dry-heat cooking methods, such as pan-frying or grilling. The steak is also one of the most forgiving cuts when being overcooked.
Wagyu beef is a type of cattle raised in Japan. Wagyu steaks are famous for their incredible marbling, which gives the meat a delicate, buttery texture and an intense flavor. While the price of Wagyu can be prohibitive for some, it’s becoming more and more popular in the United States as consumers realize how delicious and tender it can be.
Generally, you’ll see two different kinds of Wagyu beef: Kobe-style and American, both of which are raised as high-quality meat in the United States.
If you want American wagyu steak but don’t want to spend a lot, you can try the Denver cut, which is simply a New York strip with more marbling.
If you’re looking to get the best steak your money can buy, you want to choose one of the top cuts. Japanese wagyu steaks are an excellent choice for beef if you don’t mind spending a bit more on top-quality meat.
The formerly low-key hanger has exploded in popularity over time, having been the butcher’s secret gem. A top-rated cut, it’s not as cheap as it used to be because the blade is longer (and thus more expensive) and the cow has less marbling. However, considering its delicious flavor and relative softness, the slice from the cow’s belly taken from in front of it is still a bargain. Hangers are coated in a layer of tough sinew and silver skin when taken straight from the cow, but most butchers will sell it already trimmed.
When the flank steak is underdone, it’s difficult to bite through its hardworking muscle fibers. Cut the meat thinly against the grain after cooking to medium-rare.
Skirt steak is a fantastic value for money when compared to flank steak. Skirt steak is best prepared at home if you’re searching for the highest bang for your buck or want to throw a fajita party.
Because these steaks are naturally thin, they must be blistered to ensure that the outside is charred before the interior becomes overcooked.
There are many different types of beef you can use for steak, but some cuts are better than others. Ribeye, filet mignon, New York strip, and Wagyu steaks are high-quality, delicious options. Hanger and flank steaks are also excellent choices, but you should cook them differently than the other options.