A Guide to Steaks: 7 Mouthwatering Cuts

Are you a steak lover? If you’re a real foodie, just mentioning the word probably makes your mouth water.

Unfortunately, most food fanatics crave this luxurious protein but only get to enjoy it when they eat in restaurants. And, it’s easy to see why less experienced home cooks may find preparing the perfect steak intimidating.

Sound familiar? Awesome. This article is for you! 

Cooking mouthwatering steak at home can be easy, once you’ve mastered a few basic cuts and how to cook them. We promise. 

Keep reading to learn about our favorite cuts and preparations for different types of steak. And, get ready to fire up the grill!  

Our Favorite Types of Steak 

Regardless of which incredible cut you choose, keep these tips in mind:

No matter how you’re cooking a steak, you should start the process on a hot surface. This will help create a beautiful charred exterior. 

Unless you’re a highly experienced home cook, use a meat thermometer to determine your steak’s internal temperature. 

If you aren’t familiar with food safety, you might not know how to properly store, prepare, and cook beef. Be sure to read up on this before you get started cooking at home. 

1. T-Bone

This cut is easily identified by the t-shaped bone running through its center.

The t-bone is often confused with the porterhouse cut because the two look very similar. But, they come from a different section of the loin. In either case, this is a steak that is best prepared on the grill.

This cut combines a portion from both the strip and tenderloin sections, so it’s like two steaks in one. The strip side will have more firm texture and deep flavor, while the loin side will be more buttery and subtle.

Keep in mind that meat closest to the bone will cook more slowly, so you’ll need to rest this steak or finish it in the oven after searing. 

2. Ribeye

If you’re looking for a steak that’s lean, tender, and loaded with flavor, a ribeye might be your best bet. 

Plus, this is one of the most versatile cuts on our list. While the ribeye makes an excellent option for the grill, it’s a top candidate for home cooks with flat top grills and meat smokers, too.

Are you an experienced home cook hoping to make an impression with plating and presentation? The tomahawk steak, an oversized bone-in ribeye, is one of the most impressive cuts out there.

3. New York Strip 

The New York cut isn’t your only option when it comes to strip steaks. But it’s undoubtedly the most popular.

This steak is one of the most flavorful, thanks to a thick fat cap on one edge. The extra fat also helps keep this cut moist and tender, but only if it’s properly rendered. 

Methods like pan searing and broiling are best for cooking the perfect New York strip. But, beware of grilling this steak unless you’re experienced. It’s easy to dry out!

4. Hanger

Also known as “arrachera” in Latin America, the hanger steak is prized for its flavor and texture. This cut is similar to flank and skirt steaks but comes from a more tender region. 

The secret to cooking a perfect hanger steak is simple. You’ll want to marinate it beforehand and cook it over a very hot grill for just two to three minutes per side. That way, you’ll get an outside sear without overcooking.

You’ll want to slice this steak across the grain with a very sharp knife before serving it. Foxel steak knives are perfect tools for the job.  

5. Tri-Tip

If you haven’t heard of this cut, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

The tri-tip is a thick triangular cut of bottom sirloin that requires slicing before serving. And, it has a large fat cap covering one side, so it’s almost a hybrid between a steak and a roast.

When properly cooked, this is one of the most mouthwatering steaks on our list. Tri-tip does well in the oven or on the grill, but only if you render its fat completely.

This will require a hard sear, fat side down for starters. Then, sear the other side and finish by baking or grilling at a low temperature and resting.

6. Tenderloin 

Tenderloin is the most expensive and highly sought after steak on our list. And, for a good reason.

This cut is known to be incredibly tender, whether cooked whole or broken down into filets. But, just like the tri-tip, you’ll need to cook it twice. Gently searing the tenderloin’s exterior before finishing it over indirect heat will ensure a delicious crusty outside with a moist pink center. 

Because the tenderloin is a very lean cut, it can dry out quickly when overcooked. No matter what method of preparation you choose, be sure to serve this steak medium-rare. 

7. Picanha 

The Picanha steak was made famous in Brasil but is now one of the trendiest cuts on the market. But, you might have to visit a high-quality butcher’s shop to find it.  

Also known as the sirloin cap, this steak is often overlooked outside its country of origin. Instead, butchers divide it into other cuts, including the rump, round, and loin.

To properly cook picanha steak, start by slicing it into two-inch thick steaks. Then, fold each slice in half, fat side out, and place on a spit or pole. You’ll want to cook this cut for at least twenty minutes while rotating constantly. 

Then, slice and serve churrascaria style. 

Ready, Set, Cook!

Now that you’ve got a bit of basic knowledge of these cuts and cooking methods, you should feel comfortable preparing a few different types of steak at home.

Don’t be surprised if it takes you a few tries to prepare a perfectly cooked steak. Practice makes perfect! And, when in doubt, stick to a highly reviewed recipe.

Cooking times and temperatures aren’t usually very flexible, so stick to a plan to avoid over or undercooking. And, unless you’ve been making steak for years, use a thermometer to check your steak’s internal temperature before slicing or serving.

Check out our other blog posts and articles for tips on cooking, health, lifestyle, and more.   

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