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Types Of Steak
Where They're Located on the Cow
The location where the steak comes from has a real effect

 on its tenderness and flavor.


The hindquarter provides cuts which are more tender. The Rib, Loin

and Sirloin have the most tender of all the steaks. They are generally the

more popular cuts and the most expensive. They are usually cooked by

grilling, broiling, pan frying, etc.

Cuts that come from the forequarter are generally less tender than those

 from the hind quarter. Although they are less expensive, many people

consider them to be some of the more flavorful cuts. Other than a few of

the steaks, most of the cuts are usually cooked using slow-cooking and moist-cooking methods.
 

Rib Cuts
Cuts from the rib portion of the cow are a great combination of both flavor and tenderness. They are a great choice for grilling and broiling, and are very satisfying.
The steaks that come from the rib are: Rib Steak and Rib Eye


The other cuts from the rib include: Baby Back Ribs, Short Ribs and Rib Roasts

Rib Steak
The rib steak is cut from the rib section of the cow, and it contains a section of the rib bone. It has a generous amount of fat, and frequently more marbling than a top loin. This accounts for its excellent flavor. The rib steak is a rich, juicy and flavorful steak.

Rib Eye
The rib eye is the boneless version of the rib steak. It contains the same generous portion of fat and has a similarly excellent flavor. This steak is also known as a Spencer steak, and, confusingly, a Delmonico. As with the rib steak, it is also only a little less tender than a top loin, and a lot more flavorful because of the rich marbling.

 

Loin Cuts
Cuts of beef from the loin are among the most tender, and most expensive cuts from the cow.
The cuts from the loin include: Tenderloin, Chateaubriand, T-bone Steak, Porterhouse Steak, Top Loin or Strip Steak, Club Steak

Tenderloin
The most tender of all steaks, it is all meat and no bone. It comes from the long muscle that runs along both sides of the backbone. It's underneath the strip loin (strip steak). It can be purchased as a whole or partial tenderloin, but is usually cut into small medallions or fillet steaks.
Since they contain very little fat or marbling, they are usually wrapped in bacon or cooked with some form of fat to add flavor.

Chateaubriand
Actually a large section cut from the thickest part of the tenderloin. It is meant to serve two people, but in actuality it can really serve three.

T-Bone
The T-bone consists of a steak which contains a T shaped bone with an oval tenderloin on one side, and a longer top loin, or strip, on the other. Some people say it is two steaks in one. It is considered to have the best of both of the cuts in one steak, the tenderness of the tenderloin and the flavor of the strip steak.

Porterhouse
The porterhouse is similar to the T-bone, but contains more of the tenderloin and the sirloin strip. The French call the sirloin strip the "contra fillet".

Strip or Top Loin
Also known as the New York Strip, Kansas City Strip, strip loin, shell steak, Delmonico, boneless loin, boneless club steak, or confusingly, sirloin strip (although it's not really part of the sirloin). It is a porterhouse minus the tenderloin and the bone. It is the second most popular steak due to its convenient size and shape. A strip steak is a very juicy and tasty steak.

Club Steak
Although really a strip steak, the term club steak refers specifically to the last steak from the rib end of the loin. It has the flavor and texture of a strip steak.
 

Sirloin Cuts
The sirloin steak is a multi-muscled steak cut from the sirloin section of the cow. It contains many different configurations of cut ... with all of them being called "sirloin steak". This can be somewhat confusing. These cuts are a little less tender than those from the loin and rib, but they are very flavorful and popular. The other steaks from the sirloin section are less well known, but at least they have different names.
The cuts from the sirloin include: Sirloin, Top Sirloin Cap Steak, Sirloin Tri Tip, Ball Tip Steak, Flap Steak

Sirloin
Sirloin steaks can vary considerably in their cut. The best cuts come from the top portion of the sirloin and are known as top sirloin steak. They are sometimes called top butt steak, hip sirloin, or center cut sirloin. They can be recognized by the mid-sized pin bone (the long, flat part of the hip bone). Generally, the other sirloin configurations with a flat bone are less tender than the top sirloin, but more tender than the ones with a round bone. Always purchase sirloin steaks with a flat bone if you have a choice.

Boneless Top Sirloin
Boneless top sirloin (also known as butt steak) is more chewy than the other sirloin steaks, but they may be the best flavored of the loin steaks.

Top Sirloin Cap Steak
The top sirloin cap steak also comes from the top sirloin. It is a smaller steak, and is also known as the culotte steak. It is great for grilling or pan frying.

Sirloin Tri Tip
Also known as sirloin triangle tip, triangle steak or triangle roast. It comes from the bottom portion of the sirloin section (the bottom sirloin butt or bottom butt). It has less marbling than a top sirloin, but has a good flavor. It can make a great steak if it's at least 3/4 inch thick and you don't overcook it or dry it out.
 

Round Cuts
Cuts of beef from the round or hind leg section are less tender than the loin, sirloin or rib. They can, however, offer the best combination of texture and flavor for many steak lovers.
The cuts from the round include: Top Round, Bottom Round, Round Tip, Rump Steak, Eye of the Round

Top Round
The top round comes from the inside thigh portion of the round. Because these muscles are used less than the outer ones, they are more tender than other cuts from the round. It is called top round because it is the "top" of the round when the round is laid on a table for cutting. It has a good combination of tenderness and flavor. Top round steaks are not as tender as those from the loin or sirloin, but they are very flavorful. They take nicely to marinating or dry spice rubs for adding flavor.

Bottom Round
These steaks come from the outside thigh portion of the round. As with the top round, it is named bottom round because it is the "bottom" of the round when the round is laid on a table for cutting. These steaks are more chewy than those from the top round, and are somewhat better if marinated.

Round Tip
Also known as knuckle steaks and promoted as sirloin tip, even though it is not part of the sirloin. Don't be fooled by the sirloin part of the name...they have flavor and chewiness similar to bottom round. Sirloin tip is frequently sold sliced for stir frying.

Rump Steak & Cube Steak
These steaks also come from the more chewy portion of the round. Cube steak tends to be so chewy that it is run through a machine that partially dices the steak to cut some of the fibrous materials and make it a little more tender.

Eye of the Round
Eye of the round makes disappointingly tough steaks...period! Don't buy this cut thinking it's like a rib eye. This cut should be braised (cooked in liquid like a pot roast) until tender.

 

Flank Cuts
The flank section is found on the underside of the cow right below the loin and sirloin sections. It contains one of the two steaks that come from the underside of the cow.

The only steak from the flank section is: Flank Steak

Flank Steak
Flank steak is also called London broil. It is a lean, flat, boneless cut from the flank section, just below the loin and sirloin. It has a great flavor, but it also has tough meat fibers. It should be cooked quickly...and definitely NOT past medium. In fact, it should be taken off the heat when rare or medium-rare, since it will continue to cook after removal. It should be sliced thin across the grain if you hope to chew it without difficulty. It responds well to marinating and pan-frying/broiling.

London broil is an often misused term. It originally referred to a method for quickly pan-broiling a flank steak. It is now widely used to describe any thin, less tender cut from the flank, round or shoulder that is best broiled quickly and cut thin across the grain.

 

Plate Cuts
The plate or short plate section is found on the underside of the cow, right below the rib section. Only two steaks come from the underside of a cow, and it contains one of them.

The only steak from the plate section is: Skirt Steak

Skirt Steak
The skirt steak is a long, narrow, juicy steak shaped like a belt. It is also known as the fajita steak. It is actually the muscle that attaches to the cow's diaphragm and is used for breathing. Consequently, it is a very tender steak with more fat than a flank steak. It can be rolled up and stuffed, or cooked flat. It is best when quickly broiled, and it marinates well.

Chuck or Shoulder Cuts
There are many different steaks that come from the shoulder. In fact, there are more than a half dozen. All of them have excellent flavor, but they are usually more tough than cuts from the loin, sirloin or rib sections. They are multi-muscled steaks and most are best cooked by braising. Chuck is probably best known as ground chuck.

Steaks cut from the chuck or shoulder include: Blade Steak, Chuck Steak, Shoulder Steak, Arm Steak, Seven Bone Steak, Under Blade Steak, Mock Tender Steak and Chuck Eye or Beauty Steak

Blade Steak
Surprisingly, the blade steak is one of the five most tender of all steaks. It has a great flavor, and is inexpensive compared to steaks from the loin, sirloin and rib. It has a line of tough connective tissue down the middle that can be removed to produce a very nice steak. It grills or broils well.

The Rest of the Chuck Steaks
The rest of the steaks from the chuck (including the chuck steak) all have good flavor and texture, but they can be quite fibrous. They can be bone in or boneless, cut thick or thin, and can be broiled or roasted successfully, especially if marinated or tenderized. However, the best way to cook chuck steaks is to braise them. To braise them, sear them on both sides in a heavy pan, add a small amount of liquid such as seasoned broth or wine, cover tightly and simmer them until tender.

 

Fore Shank and Brisket Cuts
The fore shank section is basically the front leg of the cow. The brisket is found directly in back of the fore shank. There are no steaks produced from the fore shank or brisket.

 


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