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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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