Types Of Steak
Where They're Located on the Cow
The location where the steak comes from has a real effect
tenderness and flavor.
The hindquarter provides cuts which are more tender. The Rib,
and Sirloin have
the most tender of all the steaks. They are generally the
cuts and the most expensive. They are usually cooked by
broiling, pan frying, etc.
Cuts that come from the forequarter are generally less tender
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Since they contain very little fat or marbling, they are usually wrapped
in bacon or cooked with some form of fat to add flavor.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
The cuts from the sirloin include: Sirloin, Top Sirloin Cap Steak,
Sirloin Tri Tip, Ball Tip Steak, Flap Steak
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.