When it comes to comfort food, nothing really beats a hearty and juicy steak with all the fixings. Even though steak dinners are an American favorite, we each think of something different when asked to picture the perfect meat feast. Some may describe a plate of tender brisket piled high and topped with a generous helping of homemade barbecue sauce, while others might picture an oven-roasted t-bone steak with a side of rustic potatoes and seasonal veggies. If you are having trouble deciding what you want for your next steak meal, here are some of the most popular cuts of beef that you will find in your local grocery store.
The rib-eye is one of the most popular cuts of steak because it is extremely tender and flavorful. This is mostly due to the extensive fat marbling throughout the muscle fibers. When it is cooked, the fat begins to melt and moistens the rest of the steak. The high fat content gives the rib-eye more flavor than most other cuts, and it is widely served in restaurants across the country.
2) Top Sirloin
This cut of steak comes from the upper back portion of the cow that sits toward the end of the spine. The top sirloin is a leaner cut of meat than the rib-eye, and it is also far less expensive. It provides plenty of taste without being too fatty, making for an excellent steak choice for health-conscious individuals who don’t want to sacrifice flavor for the sake of health. The whole top sirloin is such a large cut that an entire family could feast on one and be completely satisfied. Since top sirloin is the most tender and flavorful, sirloin cuts that descend from the top will be more chewy.
3) Filet Mignon
The filet mignon is the jewel of meat that is cut from the tenderloin of beef. The tenderloin rests in the center of the short loin and in between the top sirloin and bottom sirloin. Filet is commonly known as the most moist and tender cut of meat in the entire cow. The melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon has a more delicate flavor than the rib-eye and some other cuts, but it has a very consistent and creamy texture that is mild and pleasant. This cut of steak is served at many high-end steakhouses and demands a pretty penny or two.
4) New York Strip
Picture a t-bone steak with the bone and filet portion removed. What you have left is called the New York Strip. This meat is a rectangular cut that is packed with tons of flavor. While it doesn’t contain as much fat as the rib-eye, it is one of the more marbled cuts available and remains quite tender when cooked medium to medium-rare. The New York Strip is definitely not the cheapest cut out there, but you get what you pay for in this case.
The porterhouse is the ultimate meat-lover’s dream on a plate. This delicious t-bone steak is the combination of both a New York Strip and a large filet mignon divided by a rib bone. The porterhouse offers plenty of mouth-watering beef to satisfy any hungry carnivore. The combination of the buttery filet and the juicy New York Strip makes this the perfect steak dinner for the true steak enthusiast. The porterhouse differs from the t-bone because it is cut from the bigger end of the short loin and includes a larger cut of filet and strip steak.
6) Prime Rib
This extremely tender cut is usually a thick slab of meat taken from the rib section with a prime rib bone still attached. It is among the most flavorful cuts of beef, along with other cuts in the rib and short loin regions. The prime rib is extremely fatty, probably moreso than the rib-eye, and is also one of the juiciest cuts because the bone helps keep the moisture and flavor in the meat.
7) Top Round
The round steak is obtained from the butt of the cow, and it is one of the cheapest cuts you can buy. While not the tastiest or most tender, the round steak is a very affordable piece of meat that can be enjoyed on a regular basis. It is quite lean and relatively low in fat, but it is also less moist than even the sirloin.