Up Your Steak Knowledge: Pick the Best Cut of Meat

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Take the confusion and guesswork out of choosing five of the most popular steakhouse steaks with mouthwatering results.

Steak is the centerpiece of a simple and classic meal, but the various cut names and cooking methods can be confusing. You really only need to focus on two factors to select the perfect steak for your meal. A mix of old and new classics, this steak primer will serve you well during your next visit to the steakhouse, and even the meat counter.

 

Sirloin

Also Known As: Top Sirloin

Pick a sirloin if you like a lean steak with little fat, but full of hearty beef flavor. 

What It Is: Sirloin steaks are cut from the top loin muscle that runs along the steer's back, above the portion from which tenderloin is carved. It's a lean, flavorful cut known for its great value.  On the bone, sirloin steaks range in flavor and tenderness from the pin bone sirloin, nearest to the Porterhouse, to the rump-adjacent wedge bone sirloin. 

Chef Recommendation: Order this cut in the Seasoned & Seared preparation—seasoned with a special blend of herbs and spices and seared on a hot grill to lock in the juicy flavor. 

Ribeye

Also Known As: Delmonico Steak, Rib Steak (and, when cut thickly, Prime Rib)

Pick a ribeye for a well-marbled, juicy and savory steak.

What It Is: Well-marbled meat trimmed from a steer's rib, rib-eye steaks are considered one of the most flavorful steaks. On the bone, the meat is juicy and rich with a fine grain. Boneless rib-eye steaks have the same streaks of fat running throughout the muscle — so they have the same characteristic flavor and tender texture as the bone-in steaks — they just cook a bit more evenly and quickly. 

Chef Recommendation: Order this cut in the Wood-Fire Grill preparation—seasoned and flame grilled over oak wood for a delicious natural flavor. 

New York Strip

Also Known As: Club Steak, Top-Loin Steak, Kansas City Strip

Pick a strip for a tender steak full of bold, rich flavor.

What It Is: Strip steaks come from the primal portion of a steer, which runs down the length of the animal's back and behind the ribs. With a tender-yet-chewy texture, strip steaks contain an even marbling of fat that makes them a favorite among cooks and diners.  

Chef Recommendation: Order this cut in the Seasoned & Seared preparation—seasoned with a special blend of herbs and spices and seared on a hot grill to lock in the juicy flavor.

Filet

Also Known As: Tenderloin Steak, Filet Mignon

Pick a filet for the most tender and juicy thick cut. 

What It Is: A filet is a lean, tender cut sliced from a larger, supple cut of beef called the tenderloin. The tenderloin is a prized (and often pricey) cut because it comes from a small, very tender portion of the animal's back muscle. It may surprise you that only seven to 15 pounds of tenderloin can be trimmed from about 1,000 pounds of beef. 

Chef Recommendation: Order this cut in the Seasoned & Seared preparation—seasoned with a special blend of herbs and spices and seared on a hot grill to lock in the juicy flavor.

Flat Iron

Also Known As: Shoulder Top Blade Steak, Petite Steak, Butler Steak 

Pick flat iron for a well-marbled steak with superior tenderness. 

What It Is: A relatively recent innovation, the flat iron is from the Top Blade, which means it is cut from the shoulder. It is cut from two layers of the top blade, and has a heap of marbling and tenderness. The flat iron is a versatile piece of beef that takes to marinade, has superior tenderness, and cooks successfully in multiple methods. 

Chef Recommendation: Order this cut in the Wood-Fire Grill preparation—seasoned and flame grilled over oak wood for a delicious natural flavor.

Porterhouse and T-Bone

Also Known As: Tuscan (for Porterhouse)

Pick a porterhouse to combine the flavor of a strip and tenderness of a filet.  

What It Is: The Porterhouse and T-Bone steaks are very similar: both are a piece of tenderloin and a piece of strip steak on either side of a rib bone. Though they are taken from the same portion of meat, T-bone steaks are cut from the area just after the tenderloin begins, where the tenderloin is tapered and relatively smaller than the thicker hind portion where Porterhouse steaks are cut. Since Porterhouse and T-Bone steaks are a combination of a strip and tenderloin steak, they have both the characteristics of a tender and refined tenderloin steak and a robust strip steak. 

Chef Recommendation: Order this cut in the Seasoned & Seared preparation—seasoned with a special blend of herbs and spices and seared on a hot grill to lock in the juicy flavor.