With nearly half a dozen different cuts of steak, trying to order one can be a confusing and downright difficult process for some people. Unless you’ve tried the cut before, ordering one might be a guessing game, and choosing the wrong type could leave you with a meal you don’t want to eat. If this sounds like an all-too-familiar situation, keep reading and we’ll go over what the the different cuts are and how the affect the quality.
Before we start, it’s important to note that beef steaks are actually muscle tissue from a cow that may or may not have an occasional strip of fat running through them. Although all steaks are essentially muscle tissue, some of them are tougher than others. Typically, cuts that come from “active” areas of the cow are going to have more connective tissue running through them; therefore, they will naturally be tougher than cuts from “lazy” areas of the cow. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat them, but instead you should consider slow-cooking, roasting or using them for stews, as this will increase their tenderness.
The ribeye is a cut of steak that comes from the upper ribs of a cow. As a result of it’s location here, ribeyes typically contain a considerable amount of fat (AKA marbling), but they are also tender. Many people actually prefer the fat around the ribeye, as it helps to give the meat flavor when it’s being cooked.
Another popular cut of steak is the sirloin, which comes from rear back of the cow. Sirloins are high-quality cuts of beef that can be used for grilling, broiling, sauteing or roasting. Depending on the exact location of the sirloin cut, it may or may not have additional fat running through it.
The fillet is considered the most tender cut of beef, but it’s also the most expensive. These cuts are taken from the upper back of the cow in the tenderloin region. A typical steer may only produce 5-6 pounds of tenderloin meat, which is one of the reasons why it’s so expensive.
New York Strip / Porterhouse
Porterhouses cuts are taken from the middle back area of the cow directly before the sirloin. These steaks are known for their classic T-shaped bone running through them. On one side of the bone, the porterhouse features a fillet cut, while the other side has a new york strip. Porterhouses are generally large and may be more than a single person can handle in just one sitting.