Most people go to a butcher, supermarket, or an online store to scour seemingly endless steak options. To make sure that a good quality steak lands on your dinner plate, you need to beef up your knowledge of steak cuts. The grade of the steak speaks mainly to the quality of the meat based on both marbling and age. The second factor is the cut. The right cut of steak can make or break your barbecue.
Different cuts have different qualities. These 10 steak cuts will whet your appetite and leave your carnivorous bicuspids clamoring for more. The grade of the steak speaks mainly to the quality of the meat based on both the marbling and age. The second factor is cut. Porterhouse This particular steak is considered the "king" of steaks mainly because it's actually two steaks in one. On one side you have a New York strip, and on the other is a rather large filet mignon.
The porterhouse is a thicker cut and has much more of the tenderloin relative to the loin portion. It comes best when grilled, but can also be sautéed, broiled, or pan-fried. T-bone This steak is named after its T-shaped bone. It's similar in appearance to the porterhouse, yet with a smaller portion of the filet mignon side. T-bone steaks are cut closer to the front, and contain a smaller section of tenderloin.
They are best grilled or broiled to medium-rare temperature; the meat near the bone tends to cook more slowly than other parts of the steak. Top Sirloin This is a relatively lean cut of steak. Top sirloin differs from sirloin steaks in that the bone and the tenderloin and bottom round muscles have been removed. It is often marinated to tenderize it. It's a good choice for cutting into cubes, and skewering with vegetables for grilling.
Kabob! Tri-Tip Often labeled "Santa Maria steak," this cut is most popular on the Central Coast and Central Valley regions of California. It has begun to enjoy increasing favor elsewhere for its full flavor, lower fat content, and comparatively lower cost. The tri-tip is flavorful because of excellent marbling and is tender as long as you don't overcook it. It is best marinated and then grilled.
Flank This remains one of the most popular cuts of beef. It has a lot of connective tissue, which in turn gives it great flavor, but makes it less tender. This steak is usually marinated before being broiled or grilled. Flank steak is always served cut across the grain in thin slices. Condiment Calories Watch the steak sauce! A tablespoon of your favorite barbecue steak sauce can add 100 calores or more to you meal.
Try using lower-calorie options such as lemon juice, hot sauce, horseradish, wide vinegar, and yellow mustard. New York Strip This is a staple and classic at any good steakhouse. It has an excellent amount of marbling, is tender and full-flavored. Many people prefer this cut cooked rare, or blue, showcasing the delicate flavor and naturally tender texture. Internationally it is called a "club" steak.
In the United States and Canada it is known as New York strip, strip loin, shell steak, or Kansas City strip steak. The New York strip steak is ideal for grilling. Filet Mignon This is the most tender cut off the cow. It's not the most flavorful steak since it does not have a bone attached, but it can be wrapped in bacon or served with your favorite sauces and spices. In France this cut is called filet de boeuf, which translates to beef filet.
It can be broiled or grilled, but remember to cook this cut quickly to seal in all the goodness. Rib-Eye The rib-eye has long been a favorite of steak lovers worldwide due to its luscious marbling, which allows the meat to be very tender and juicy. The rib-eye is a boneless cut. When the bone is attached it is called a rib steak. These steaks should be cooked quickly by grilling or broiling. Hangar This is not the most tender steak on the menu, but what it lacks in tenderness, it more than makes up for in flavor.
This cut is best when marinated and cooked quickly over high heat by grilling or broiling, and served rare or medium-rare to avoid toughness. Flat Iron The flat iron is the top blade steak, which is derived from the tender top blade roast. Flat iron steaks (also known as butler's steak in the UK and oyster blade steak in Australia and New Zealand) usually have a significant amount of marbling. It's considered by many to be the finest cut of beef available.
It's served best grilled or broiled.See Also: Can My 11 Month Old Drink Cows Milk
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From lean grass-fed meat to ultrarich wagyu, beef has become a food obsession. Here, eight top chefs share their best recipes for their favorite cuts, and F&W gives a lesson on how to decipher the lingo. In this Article Butcher Shops Many supermarkets don’t have butchers; the beef they sell is cut at meatpacking plants. These new shops, however, are reviving the nearly lost craft of butchering.
Burgundy BoucherieAt their shop in Grandview, Texas, Jon and Wendy Taggart sell grass-fed beef from their ranch as well as other local foods (800 McDuff Ave.; burgundypasturebeef.com). Fleisher’sThis shop in Kingston, New York, sells meat from local ranches to both home cooks and restaurants like Brooklyn’s Sparky’s (307 Wall St.; grassfedmeat.net). Ted’s ButcherblockAt this quirky Charleston, South Carolina, shop and café, customers can choose expertly cut beef after enjoying a bacon-of-the-month BLT (334 East Bay St.
; tedsbutcherblock.com). How to Read a Steak House Menu Breeds AngusRed and Black Angus produce consistently well-marbled beef. The best Black Angus meat can be labeled "Certified Angus Beef." ChianinaOriginally from Tuscany, these lean, muscular steers are now raised at a small number of U.S. ranches. HerefordLike the Angus breed, Hereford cattle are hardy, but they produce leaner steaks. WagyuWagyu literally means "Japanese cattle.
" There are several breeds. Prized for its melt-in-the mouth marbling, it’s so rich it’s often sold by the ounce. True Japanese 100 percent wagyu beef is now coming to the United States after a ban was lifted last year. KobeTrue Kobe beef, famed for its incredible marbling, is from Japan’s Hyogo prefecture (Kobe is the capital). A very limited amount of Kobe is exported to the United States. The "American Kobe" that appears on some menus is usually a cross between wagyu and Angus.
PiedmonteseA boutique breed from Italy that is also raised by U.S. farmers (often grass-fed). Lean but still tender and flavorful. Marbling USDA PrimeThe USDA’s top level, awarded to beef with the most marbling. About 2 percent of beef is graded prime; most goes to restaurants. Choice is the next best level. Japanese Grade 12Japan grades its beef on a scale of 1 to 12; the most densely marbled meat receives a 12.
Most USDA prime cuts would rate between 4 and 6 in this system. Labeling NaturalAlso referred to as "all-natural," the beef must contain no artificial ingredients, like added colors, flavors or preservatives. Certified OrganicFeed must be vegetarian and grown without pesticides. Cattle have access to the outdoors and cannot be given hormones or antibiotics. Certified HumaneCattle have access to clean food and water, sufficient protection from harsh elements and enough space to move around naturally.
They receive antibiotics only when sick, and no hormones. Wet- vs. Dry-Aging Wet-aged beef is vacuum-sealed and aged for up to several weeks, which helps tenderize it. Dry-aged beef is hung in a cold, moderately humid space to tenderize it and concentrate its flavor; the beef loses weight through evaporation as it hangs, so it’s more expensive. At steak houses, 21 days of dry-aging is standard.
Taste Test: Grass-Fed Steak All beef cattle are raised on grass; most are fattened with grain or corn for several months before slaughter. But a growing number of ranchers are raising cattle exclusively on grass. They say it’s better for the environment, the animal and the person who eats the beef. Grass-fed steaks (sometimes called "grass-finished") are leaner; they’re also higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
In an F&W taste test of grass-fed rib eyes, we found the flavor can vary, from pleasantly herbal to unappealingly gamey. Our favorites: U.S. Wellness Meats$19 plus shipping for a thick 15 oz rib eye (877-383-0051 or grasslandbeef.com). American Grass Fed Beef$69 with shipping for four 8 oz rib eyes (866-255-5002 or americangrassfedbeef.com). Lasater Grasslands Beef$56 plus shipping for four 12 oz rib eyes (866-454-2333 or lgbeef.