WHAT IS STEAK?
Steak, specifically beef steak, is a cut of meat that comes from the muscles of a cow. Usually, steak is a thick cut of beef sliced across the muscle fibers. Depending on the steak cut, it is available in a bone-in or boneless version. There are as many as dozens of different types of steak, which differ in fat content, flavor, tenderness, juiciness, and size. And when it comes to cooking steak, you’ve got options: skillet, grill, oven, sous-vide, or even a smoker.
How to Decide what Steak to Order or to Grill
There’s a lot to consider when ordering a steak since there are so many cuts. So, we asked the chefs at our local Steakhouses a series of questions to hopefully ensure you get a steak you’ll enjoy.
You can choose a steak that perfectly matches your taste preferences by exploring a wide range of beef cuts. Some steaks are naturally more tender or flavorful than others. Therefore, understanding the unique characteristics of various steak cuts, especially the most popular ones, is crucial. Furthermore, being well-versed in all the available cuts can be cost-effective, and here you’ll discover lesser-known steaks that are as delicious as the premium ones but come at a more affordable price.
Below, our local restaurants have listed the 10 most preferred steaks in our local restaurants. They are based on customers choices, but rest assured, any of these choices are sure to satisfy:
Ribeye Steak・Chef Ranking・ 1
Ribeye steak, also known as rib eye, comes from the rib section of a cow. It’s got a really rich flavor, and its super tender. It’s also one of the fattiest cuts, which is why it tastes so good, but that also makes it one of the more expensive options. Regarding cooking, pan-searing is fantastic for bringing out its best. It gives you that awesome crust and keeps the inside juicy. Grilling is cool, too, but watch out for those flare-ups because of all the fat. Try reverse searing on the grill if your steak is about 1.75 to 2 inches thick. It’s a game-changer for cooking Ribeye on the grill.
Strip Steak・Chef Ranking・2 (also known as New York Strip)
Strip steak, also known as the New York strip or Kansas City Strip, comes from the short loin of a cow. It’s got a great beefy taste and is usually pretty tender, but a lot depends on the steak’s grade and how much marbling it’s got. What’s cool is that a strip steak can be either lean or have more fat, depending on the grade. Strip steak is great for grilling and pan-searing, plus it’s also super easy to cook, which makes it perfect for beginners.
Flat Iron Steak・Chef Ranking・3
Flat iron steak comes from the shoulder of the cow, specifically from the chuck primal. Flat iron steak is a part of the top blade roast, which sits right above the shoulder blade. This steak is very tender and has a great beefy flavor. Flat iron steak is one of the most tender cuts of steak you can find. What’s cool about it is that it stays tender and juicy even if you cook it to medium doneness or more. Plus, flat iron steak is awesome for pan-searing and grilling.
Tenderloin Steak・Chef Ranking・4 (also known as Filet Mignon).
Tenderloin steak, also known as Filet Mignon, comes from the middle of the psoas major muscle in the loin area of the cow. It’s extremely tender but has a mild taste. It’s not just the most tender cut of the cow but also the most expensive. About 1.5 to 2 inches thick Filet Mignon is perfect for grilling or pan-searing, like Ribeye or Strip Steak.
T-bone Steak・Chef Ranking・5
The T-Bone Steak is a two-in-one cut from the front part of the cow’s short loin primal. It’s pretty much like the Porterhouse Steak. The only difference between them is the width of the Filet Mignon portion. Since the T-bone comes from the front of the short loin, it ends up with a smaller Filet Mignon than the Porterhouse, which comes from the rear part of the short loin. According to the USDA, the Filet Mignon part must be less than 1.25 inches wide for a steak to be considered a T-bone. If it’s wider than 1.25 inches, then it’s a Porterhouse Steak.
Porterhouse Steak・Chef Ranking・6
The Porterhouse Steak is a two-in-one cut from the rear part of the cow’s short loin primal. Porterhouse Steak is like getting two steaks in one. Why two in one? Because you get a Filet Mignon and a Strip Steak in one steak. What’s great about the Porterhouse Steak is how it combines the super tender filet with the rich, beefy taste of the strip. Its impressive appearance on a plate makes it a favorite in Steakhouses. Due to its unique shape and bone, cooking it evenly in a pan is tricky. That’s why grilling is the way to go for a Porterhouse.
Cowboy Steak・ Chef Ranking・7
A Cowboy Steak is a Ribeye but with a twist. It’s got a bone that is up to 5 inches long. Believe it or not, it tastes just like a boneless Ribeye because the bone doesn’t change the flavor. What sets the Cowboy steak apart, though, is that it’s usually a bit thicker than your usual boneless Ribeye. Plus, it’s got this cool look, thanks to the slightly longer bone sticking out.
Tri-Tip Steak・Chef Ranking・8
Tri-Tip steak, also known as Newport Steak, comes from the bottom sirloin part of the cow. It’s a lean cut, but don’t let that fool you – it’s pretty tender if cooked correctly and has a good, strong, beefy flavor. The best way to cook Tri-Tip is to grill or pan-sear it, then slice it against the grain to keep it as tender as possible.
Tomahawk Steak・Chef Ranking・9
Tomahawk Steak is a Ribeye with a long bone, longer than you see on a cowboy steak. It’s one of the best-looking steaks, and that’s a big reason why it’s popular in Steakhouses, especially for special dinners. Tomahawk Steak tastes like any other Ribeye, but it’s usually a bigger cut, so you must cook it differently. Grilling it with the reverse searing method is the way to go. It cooks the steak evenly and brings out all those great flavors.
Coulotte Steak・Chef Ranking・10 (Picanha)
Coulotte Steak, also known as Picanha Steak, comes from the top sirloin butt subprimal in the sirloin primal area of the cow. This steak has a strong beefy taste and is tender if you cook and slice it right. Coulotte steak turns out awesome whether you grill it, pan-sear, roast it in the oven, do it sous-vide, or even smoke it.
Enjoy Your Perfect Steak
So, you’ve dived deep into the world of steaks. What’s next? The next thing is just to go ahead and order. Know what you like, and don’t be shy to order using what you’ve picked up from our tips. Steakhouses and other restaurants give you those choices for a good reason – they know how to make a steak taste great. So trust them to cook it just the way you like it.