The 4 Minute Introduction – What Types Of Steaks Are The Best On The Cow

Last Updated on by Rohit the Great

Here I am on the steak buying quest again!

And choosing a steak in the grocery store is challenging every single time (it doesn’t get any easier) – there is just too much choice.

As you already guessed the trick is to get the best steak and this is exactly what I am going to assist you with this time.

Let’s steakeat, shall we?

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What Are The Best Cuts To Buy?

To be honest, this is like asking what’s the best car to drive! The answer really depends on:

  • personal preferences
  • your requirements

This ‘requirements’ bit is exactly what I invite you to consider.

What is it you need the steak for? What are you going to cook?

By the way, don’t worry if you can’t answer these questions now – you will find some hints below, so read on.

So what are the best steak cuts to buy?

Yes, it pretty much depends on what you are going to cook. And this is where a bit of skill and knowledge come in – this is when you pair different cuts with the cooking methods best suited for them.

Related: I Want A Juicy Steak : How Do I Cook One

 

What Cut Is The Juiciest One To Eat?

If only this question was easy to answer! There are so many factors that come into play. To name a few:

  • Cattle breed type
  • Feed used (grain vs. grass)
  • Slaughtering age and conditions
  • Storage temperature and packaging

Related: How To Eat Steak & Stay Healthy – Go Grass-Fed (See Why)

As you can imagine the list goes on and notice that we can’t control any of them. So how do we get the juiciest cut then – by pure accident?

No, not really – there are two important factors in the steak-plate continuum, which we can and should play with to get what we are looking for.

One of them is part of the cow the steak comes from (i.e. location on the carcass). The more work a certain area performs during the animal’s lifetime, the tougher and drier the part is likely to be.

So when we are looking for a juicy and, I am pretty sure, tender steak, we should look into:

  • Rib
  • Short loin
  • Tenderloin
  • Sirloin

All steaks from these areas are juicy and tender. However this list is not complete – please read on.

A lot will also depend on the cooking method you are going to choose and, what’s often ignored, how good you are at this cooking method.

A couple of examples. When you decide to pan-fry a juicy steak, rib eye is a perfect hustle-free choice. But what if you were to braise it or put it into a crock-pot? It will end up being dry, flavorless and tough.

And that brings me to the following question…

 

What’s The Best Steak For..?

Now it’s time to answer this question in the right context. That means with the cooking method included! Let’s check out the guidelines.

Below you will see a list of beef cuts best suited for:

  • Grilling / Broiling
  • Stir-frying
  • Fajitas & Kebabs
  • Barbecue
  • Pan-searing / frying
  • Beef Jerky

Check them out!

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Steaks For Grilling And Broiling

  • Chuck eye
  • Shoulder top blade / flat iron
  • Shoulder center / ranch steak
  • Shoulder petite tender
  • Rib
  • Rib eye
  • Back ribs
  • Porterhouse
  • T-bone
  • Top loin / strip loin (bone-in or boneless)
  • Tenderloin / filet mignon / fillet
  • Tri-tip
  • Top Sirloin
  • Sirloin tip center
  • Ground beef burgers

See Also: A Beginner’s Guide To Broiling Steak In The Oven

 

If you are up for marinating, then you can also include the following steaks:

  • Chuck
  • Shoulder
  • Top round
  • Bottom round
  • Eye round
  • Sirloin tip side
  • Skirt
  • Flank

Related: 10 Practical Tips For Marinating – Get Better Results With Little Mess

 

The Best Cuts For Stir-Fry?

  • Stir-fry beef (may come from different cuts)
  • Flank steak (cut across the grain into thin strips)
  • Round tip / London broil
  • Tenderloin / fillet trimmings
  • Flat iron
  • Ground beef

 

Ideal Steaks For Fajitas & Kebabs (a.k.a. kabobs)?

Fajitas:

  • Skirt (this is the cut which originated the name for fajitas)
  • Flank

Kebabs:

  • Flat iron
  • Tender parts of chuck blade roast (which actually contains the flat iron steak from sbove)
  • Top round
  • Sirloin
  • Tri-tip
  • Chuck (from closer to the rib – it’s more tender there)
  • Top loin / Strip loin (if you have a greater budget)

A little tip. Don’t buy pre-cut kebab cubes – cut them yourself at home (it’s safer and can work out cheaper).

 

Remember to keep them medium-rare, as rare meat is too chewy, whereas well-done is too tough.

 

Good Options For Making Jerky

  • Lean ground beef (the leaner the better it preserves)
  • Bottom / top round
  • Lean trimmings

 

Ideal Type Of Steaks For Pan-Searing

  • Chuck eye
  • Shoulder top blade / flat iron
  • Shoulder petite tender
  • Rib eye
  • Porterhouse
  • t-bone
  • Top loin / strip loin
  • Tenderloin / filet mignon / fillet
  • Sirloin
  • Ground beef (e.g. stir-fry)

Related: 8 Steps To Cooking A Tender Steak On Stove Top

 

I hope I could answer most (if not all) questions regarding getting the best types of steaks!

Tell me – what’s your favorite type of steak? How do you cook it? Please leave a comment/question below.