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There are so many cuts of steak out there that it can be overwhelming especially if you haven’t cooked much steak before. In this article, we will be telling you what our top 12 choices of steak are.
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Grilling is one of the best ways to cook steak whether you use a gas grill or a charcoal grill. To cook on a charcoal grill sear the steaks for 1 – 2 minutes on the hottest part of the grill and then move the steaks above the ash-covered coals and cook for the recommended time for the way you like the steaks cooked. On a gas grill, you put it onto high and sear it for 1 – 2 minutes. Then turn it down to medium to cook the steaks. Always remember to rest your meat for 5 minutes after it has cooked so that the juices can disperse throughout the meat, making it tender, moist, and flavorful.
Filet Mignon Steak
Filet Mignon is expensive, but that’s because the steaks are tender and have an almost buttery taste. In addition, you only get a small amount of this meat from the cow which also adds to their expense. They are cut from the smaller end of the tenderloin. The muscles here are not weight-bearing which means that they have less connective tissue. This helps them to be tender and not tough. However, they are not quite as flavorsome as some other cuts of steak so in a restaurant, you can often find them wrapped in bacon or served with a sauce.
If you are cooking a 1-inch medium-rare filet mignon steak you need to cook it for 7 – 8 minutes, turning once halfway through the grilling.
New York Strip Steak
New York Strip Steak is taken from the short loin of the cow. It’s a muscle that isn’t used much so it is tender and has a magnificent fat marbling which contributes to it being a slice of flavorsome meat. It isn’t quite as tender as the tenderloin, but because it is large you can get a good many pieces from it. Although it has a considerable amount of fat, it is still considered to be a lean cut. It comes without a bone and you will find that it is one of the most popular steaks in steakhouses.
If you want to cook a 1-inch thick medium-rare New York strip steak, you need to cook it for 9 – 12 minutes, turning once.
Top sirloin comes from the rear back portion of the cow continuing off from the short loin. The muscle is used considerably so the cut is only moderately tender. It is flavorful and in addition supplies important proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It contains plenty of vitamins B12 and B6, zinc, niacin, and iron. Top sirloin steaks are good value as they don’t have bones and they have little fat.
Top sirloin is also good if it is cut up to make kebabs and it also works well in stir-fries.
For a 1-inch medium-rare steak grill for 9 – 12 minutes and then rest for 5 minutes.
Boneless Ribeye Steak
A boneless rib-eye steak comes from the rib area of the cow. It is well-marbled making it a tender cut of meat. It is rich and flavorful and is especially nice with the addition of garlic, rosemary, and thyme. You can get ribeye steaks with the bone in, but it’s more value to get them without the bone. Some people think that the bone adds extra flavor, but that’s debatable, plus it will cost a little more with the bone.
This is a thick steak, so you’ll be looking at cooking a 1 and a quarter inch slice for 9 – 12 minutes.
The flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. These are well-exercised so to make it more tender, you will need to cut it across the grain when preparing it for grilling. It is often used in Asian stir-fry dishes. It is also delicious with a marinade. A good marinade is olive oil, soy sauce, lime or lemon juice, and brown sugar. Marinate for between half an hour to 2 hours. The salty soy sauce and the acidic lime or lemon juice tenderize the steak and give it a great flavor. The olive oil helps the meat to stay moist and juicy. In addition, you get a caramelized crust from the sugar.
For a 1-inch medium-rare steak, grill for 9 – 12 minutes.
This is one of the favorites with steak lovers. There is a bone in the middle and on one side you have strip steak and on the other filet mignon. The meat is cut from the short loin and is tender and flavorful.
When you cook a steak with a bone, the meat nearer to the bone cooks slower than the rest of the meat. The best thing to do is cook it over indirect heat and then give it a quick sear at the end.
For a 1-inch medium-rare T-bone steak, grill for 10 – 13 minutes.
The Porterhouse steak is carved from the larger portion of the tenderloin. It is, in fact, a larger version of the T-Bone steak. Like the T-Bone, it has a full strip on one side of the bone and Filet Mignon on the other. Because it is so large it can easily feed 2 people.
For a 1-and-a-half-inch Porterhouse Steak cooked medium-rare, you will need 14 – 17 minutes.
Skirt steak is lean and contains a lot of tough fibers, so it isn’t as tender as some steaks. It comes from the diaphragm muscles and is a thin and long cut of beef. It carries an intense beef flavor and to have it as tender as possible, only cook it rare or medium-rare (and what is the difference between a skirt and flank steak?).
Skirt steaks can become more tender if they are marinated. A good marinade for this steak is a mixture of olive oil, lime juice, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, and apple cider. Put the marinade on the steaks and leave them in the fridge for 6 – 7 hours.
To cook a 1-inch medium-rare skirt steak, it will take between 5 – 7 minutes.
Flat Iron Steak
Flat iron steaks come from the shoulder of a cow and are big. They can feed 2 – 4 people, depending on appetite. They have a rich, beefy flavor, and are almost as tender as Filet Mignon. They are well-marbled so you get juicy steaks. You can slice them against the grain and then sear them. By cutting against the grain you cut through the fibers so making the steak easier to chew.
Flat iron steak slices are good served in a stir-fry or on top of a salad.
For a 1-inch medium-rare steak, grill for 12 – 14 minutes.
The strip filet is different from the New York strip steak because it has a bone and cooks better with indirect heating. It is often called the baseball cut strip. It is thicker than the New York strip steak and comes from the center of the strip loin which is an extremely flavorsome piece of meat. The strip filet is lean and tender but has enough marbling to give a rich and full flavor.
To grill a 1-and-a-half-inch strip steak medium-rare, you will need 9 – 11 minutes.
If you are looking for a steak with a bold flavor, but with less fat around the meat, then the ribeye filet will suit you right down to the ground. It has the flavor of a ribeye steak but is the size of the filet mignon. Ribeye filets are cut from the heart of the rib cage. This removes the cap and all the fat you would usually find on a ribeye steak (find out who won the battle strip vs rib eye). They are easy to prepare and can be reverse-seared by cooking in the oven first and then searing on a hot grill.
To cook a 1 and a half inch ribeye filet medium-rare, will take 12 – 15 minutes.
The Picanha steak is a Brazilian delicacy. It has wonderful marbling making it tender and juicy, and a fat cap that gives a rich beefy flavor. Outside South America, it is known as the sirloin cap. One 3 – 4-pound picanha steak will feed 6 – 8 people.
To prepare this steak, don’t remove the flat cap. Cut it with the grain and slice into individual steaks 1 – 1 ½ inches thick. When cooked, you will need to slice against the grain, cutting the long muscle fibers into small segments. It tastes best if it is seasoned before grilling with ground pepper, coarse salt, olive oil, and fresh lime.
To grill, a 1 ½ inch steak medium rare takes 12 – 14 minutes.
We hope that you have found this article informative. Perhaps you already have a favorite cut of steak, but maybe we will have persuaded you to try something different.
And if you want to try something really different, see our articles: