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7 Steak Cuts Every Foodie Should Know

If you wish to call yourself a foodie, then learning the basic types of steak is your first lesson. You can’t go into a restaurant and order beef with no explanation.

Knowing different steak cuts is crucial to understanding when and how to consume each one. So, don’t be another guest that doesn’t know their way around a piece of red meat, and learn your facts.

Luckily, we’ve created a list of all the beef steaks that you should know. Make sure to go through it before your next visit to the butcher shop or the restaurant. 

You’ll know how to amaze your company with food knowledge by listening to our advice.

How to Recognize Quality Types of Steak

Marbling

The fat gives your beef steaks their recognizable flavor, and marbling is the lines of fat that you can see on the cut. More marbling usually equals better quality, denser flavor, and a higher price.

It would be best to find long lines of fat that go throughout the cut, which will melt in the heat.

However, knowing how to prepare highly marbled cuts isn’t a job for beginners. Without a proper preparation method, these types of steak can turn out tough. So you’ll end up wasting a lot of money on a not-so-tasty piece of meat.

On the other hand, different steaks are equally attractive but with barely any marbling. For example, the filet mignon isn’t known for its fat content but is very tender, which most meat-eaters enjoy.

Your safest bet is to pick steaks with some marbling, but not too much. This way, you’ll get some flavor but nothing you will be overwhelmed with when cooking.

Grade

You’ve most likely seen food items USDA graded-something but never knew what those grades meant. When it comes to beef steaks, marbling is usually the determining factor, and there are four possible options.

Going from highest to lowest in quality, those options are:

  • Prime
  • Choice
  • Select
  • Standard

Thickness

This rule is relatively straightforward. Don’t buy steaks that are less than 1-inch thick. 

Thin cuts are difficult to cook and easier to ruin. If you leave them on the heat for even a minute too long, the entire dinner might go to waste.

By shopping for thicker steak cuts, you’ll have a bit more freedom when cooking. You’ll have more time to figure everything out and not ruin the meat. 

Price

Usually, more marbling means the steak will be more expensive. However, you shouldn’t shop just based on the price. Every piece of meat is a meal for itself, and that’s how you should look at the offer.

Different steak cuts will have an unusual flavor that you weren’t expecting because you didn’t notice the thick connective tissue or some other flaw on the piece.

Even ribeyes and t-bones can have imperfections that will make them less tasty. Price isn’t a quality guarantee, so judge every piece individually and pick the best possible option. 

Distinguishable Steak Cuts Bring Unique Taste

People often underestimate how different steaks can taste opposite from another piece of meat from the same category. Well, not only do they don’t taste alike, the texture, shape, and preparation process can be completely different.

If you’re shopping for a steak, your safest bet is to go with something soft to the touch. Some marbling should be present as well, depending on your preferences.

What you wish to avoid are pieces with connective tissue. These cuts are suited for slow cooking, but the result may not be as appealing if you intend to cook them as a steak. 

The meat will most likely turn out too tough to eat.

Filet Mignon

The beef tenderloin is a long muscle that goes along the spine of the cows. This is the part of the cow from which the filet mignon comes.

This cut is known for its softness that most foodies can’t resist. Unfortunately, it’s also known for its price. However, if you can cut your steak with a knife, it’s most likely worth it.

A cut of this tenderness doesn’t require a marinade, and pairing it with a flavorful sauce is enough for a perfect dinner.

Ribeye

If you prefer marbled steak cuts and flavorful pieces of meat, ribeye is the best option for you. Out of all the different steaks, this one is the juiciest.

It has significantly more flavor than a filet mignon, but the texture is different, so a ribeye requires more chewing.

And, it’s perfect for beginner cooks. 

Since the entire cut is covered in marbling, overcooking this steak isn’t easy. Even if you leave it in the heat for a bit too long, it won’t be too much of a catastrophe.

New York Strip

New York strip steak is a piece of beef that comes from the short loin part of the cow. 

It’s something in between a ribeye and a tenderloin. Though it does have less fat than a ribeye, it compensates by having more flavor than a filet mignon.

It’s not that difficult to prepare either. So, if you aren’t sure which type of steak to go for, this is the middle ground.

T-bone

Many people order this steak for its visual appeal. However, it also has a lot to offer in the taste department.

The unique part of this cut is that it’s always sold with the (T-shaped) bone. And, it is actually two steaks served as one. So when you order a T-bone, you get a NY strip and a tenderloin.

This is quite a large steak, so make sure you have an appetite if you’re ordering a T-bone. It requires some time to prepare, so you’ll get hungry in the meantime. 

Tomahawk

This is what you’ve seen in a lot of cartoons. Tomahawk steaks look attractive, so their popularity has grown in the past years. However, this cut is simply a ribeye served with the bone.

Because of the rib bone that it comes with, a Tomahawk is usually a thicker cut. They look pretty intimidating and can generally feed the entire family.

Cooking it only on the stovetop won’t do justice to this enormous piece of meat. Because of its thickness, searing it will be your safest bet.

Skirt

This may not be most people’s first choice, but, if cooked correctly, a skirt steak can be quite a tasty dinner. 

This cut comes from the plate section of the belly and has a lot of connective tissue. So, to get the best result, our advice is to marinade this piece of beef for at least 30 minutes. 

Flank

Flank steaks are relatively similar to a skirt, with a few different characteristics. It’s located a bit further towards the rear of the cow and comes out a bit wider and usually thicker.

Same as with the skirt, marinating a flank steak will give you the best result. 

Grab a Steak With Us

If you’re feeling hungry in Miami, visit us at Public Square restaurant. We’ll serve you the best steaks Florida has to offer.

Your Guide To Types Of Steak Cut

Going to a restaurant and not knowing the difference between a filet mignon cut and a NY strip steak can be embarrassing at times. There are certain steak types that you should identify by look and taste if you want to call yourself a meat-eater.

However, recognizing different cuts of steak isn’t something most people can do. Luckily, we’re here to help and change that. 

We’ll explain where each cut comes from, how they are sold, and what they taste like prepared. 

So keep reading and learn all about the most popular types of steak cuts!

What Is a Steak?

Steak’s definition states that it is a fleshy part of a beef carcass. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about. Yes, nowadays, many different meals are prepared or advertised as steak, but we will stick with beef.

These beef pieces have been cut from prime areas of the cow and can but don’t have to include the bone.

From What Part of the Cow Do Steaks Come?

Most types of steak cuts come from the same area of the cow. A few muscles near the top of the steer produce most of the steaks on the market.

Those are the short loin, tenderloin, and ribs. These cow parts are so popular because they aren’t exercised as much, so their steak cuts are softer, juicier, and cook faster.

In fact, high-quality steak types only need a couple of minutes on the grill, and they are safe to eat. As long as there is brown on the outside, the inside can be rare.

Why Are These Steak Types So Expensive?

Multiple factors are in play when deciding on the price of different cuts of steak: the availability, the size, the difficulty to reach a particular area, and more.

When it comes to the most popular types of steak cuts, the size of the steer comes to play. Since the steer is so large and only some pieces are considered high-quality steaks, the price is usually high.

However, the price isn’t the way to determine which cut you’ll like the most. An expensive filet mignon cut won’t satisfy a guest that prefers fatty meats.

Instead, you should familiarize yourself with the characteristics of each type of steak, give them all a few tries, and realize what’s your favorite.

Filet Mignon

This piece comes from under the ribs, as a steak cut called tenderloin. The filet mignon comes from the narrow part of the tenderloin and is one of the softest steak cuts you can find.

If you’re on a diet and don’ want all the calories of a ribeye but still feel like eating steak, then the filet mignon cut is perfect for you.

It’s soft and tender but with way less fat than other types of steak. So, if you prefer tenderness over flavor, this is your choice. But, keep in mind that the Filet Mignon is one of the most expensive steak cuts.

If you plan to prepare it yourself, sear the steak until it’s brown on the outside. If necessary, finish the cooking in the oven. 

Just make sure it’s gentle since the meat doesn’t hold almost any fat. 

Overcooking a filet mignon is the worst thing you can do to it.

New York Strip

If you want to get someone into steaks, a NY strip is what you should serve them. It’s not as tender as a filet mignon but not fatty like a ribeye. 

New York strip comes from the short loin, with some marbling and a bit of fat around the edges.

It’s not the cheapest meal you can have, but it won’t set you back as much as a filet mignon might. So, with decent flavor and marbling, it’s the perfect midweek dinner.

When it comes to home preparations, you can pan-sear, broil or grill the NY strip. It will be tasty either way.

When it’s all combined, this steak cut is a lot of people’s favorite.

Ribeye

Ribeye comes from the upper rib cage, specifically ribs #6-12, and can be served with or without the bone. With the bone in, people often refer to it as the cowboy steak. 

It’s not uncommon that someone thinks those are two different cuts of steak, when in fact, the bone is the only difference.

Ribeye is one of the most prized steak types, and if you’ve ever had one, you probably understand why.

First of all, it’s got fat all over. So, if you order a ribeye, expect a bunch of marbling and some fat around the edges.

Many meat-eaters order it specifically for the fat and its taste.

Of course, ribeyes can’t be as soft as a filet mignon. But, with their unique mix of intense flavor and fatty juiciness, they are one of the leaders in the steak cuts world.

And you won’t have any issue cooking a ribeye at home. In fact, because of all the fat, you can even get away with overcooking.

Porterhouse/T bone

A porterhouse steak is just a NY strip and a filet mignon in one big piece, separated by a bone, shaped like the letter T. If you can’t decide between the filet and the strip, maybe getting a T-bone is your safest bet.

The taste is what you would expect. One side is a juicy New York strip, while the other is a soft tenderloin.

Preparing this type of steak may be a bit more complex than some other cuts. This time, we recommend grilling or broiling. So, leave the cast iron for some other time.

This is because the filet mignon side is less fatty and doesn’t take any overcooking. So, it would be challenging to prepare the entire steak correctly in a cast iron.

Essential Tips for Cooking Steak

  • Buy the correct steak for what you’re doing.

We can talk about steak cuts and what they taste like all day, but if you buy the wrong piece for what you’re doing, it’s still not going to be a good meal. 

Usually, a filet mignon is more expensive and a higher quality cut than a NY Strip. However, the strip will give you better results if you’re making Philly Cheesesteaks.

  • Don’t Forget to Season.

Salt and pepper are the least you can do. If you want to get into preparing beef the right way, learn how to make steak seasoning and apply it to a sirloin. Then cook it after a few days.

  • Use a Thermometer

We’ve mentioned overcooking as one of the worst things you can do to a high-quality piece of beef. Using a probe thermometer will help you avoid that.

  • Don’t Let It Rest

We’ve all heard about how “a steak has to rest” before cutting and serving it. However, there is no proof that this grants any extra juiciness or flavor.

So, feel free to enjoy your steak warm.

Grab a Meal With Us

Visit Public Square restaurant if you ever find yourself in Coral Gables. We’ll serve you the best steaks Florida has to offer!

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