Most people go to a supermarket, butcher, or restaurant in search for the best steak cut. If you are one of these individuals, then you need to equip yourself with a lot of knowledge in regards to the different cuts of steak. Doing this will help ensure that you have the very best steak on your dinner plate. A cut of steak can either break or make your meal. Therefore, making the right selection is of utmost importance. This article looks at the top three cuts of steak you should consider buying for your next meal.
What Makes a Good Cut of Steak?
There are many grades of steak. However, only three grades are sold to consumers. These levels are Choice, Prime, and Select. The best steakhouses serve USDA Choice and USDA Prime steaks. Out of these two grades, Prime is the most flavorful, tender, and juicy.
The main factor often looked at when evaluating the quality of a steak is the marbling. It is said that the greater the marbling, the higher the quality of your steak. The other important aspect is the cut, as a good or bad steak has a significant effect on your overall steak experience.
The ribeye is also sold as market steak, beauty stake, scotch filet, Delmonico steak, and Spencer Steak. This steak is cut from the front part of the longissimus dorsi, around the rib primal of the steer. If the steak is cut close to the steer, it will come with more of the spinalis muscle.
If you love marbled meat, ribeye steak is one of the most marbled steak you can purchase. It comes with a large swath of fat, which separates the spinalis from the longissimus. Due to this fat, ribeye steak has a very distinctive flavor, making it one of the richest beef cuts. The central part of the ribeye is smooth-textured, while the spinalis area will have more fat and a smoother grain. According to many people, the spinalis is the most delicious cut of beef.
Some of the best ways to prepare ribeye include grilling, pan-frying, and broiling. However, since ribeye steak has a lot of fat, grilling it can be a bit complicated. If you decide to stick to grilling, consider having a lid and tongs ready, just in case you are needed to retrieve your meat from the depths of a fireball.
Also referred to as New York Strip, strip loin, Kansas City strip, or top loin, the strip steak is a classic, and often a staple at many good steakhouses. Just like the ribeye, strip steak has a good amount of marbling, is full-flavored, and quite tender.
The strip steak has fat mainly on one of its edges. Although there is some fat content throughout the marbling, this fat is not in very large amounts. Moreover, strip steak comes with a fine-grained texture. With this medium level of fat, the Strip is quite tender, but not like ribeye and tenderloin. Nevertheless, it does have a good and beefy flavor.
The best ways to prepare this steak is through broiling, grilling, and pan searing.
If you are in search of a tender cut of steak, then tenderloin is the best way to go. Also referred to as filet mignon, tenderloin is slightly marbled, and has the mildest flavor of all the aforementioned steaks.
Tenderloin is cut from under the ribs, around the sirloin and short loin. The area from which it is cut from does not perform a lot of work, making the meat quite tender. When it is trimmed of extra fat and gristle, tenderloin is usually small and compact. This cut is lean and quite fine-grained in texture. Due to its small shape, tenderloin steaks are usually cut thicker than other steaks on this list. Because of this, the best way to cook this cut is to first sear the outer part, and then finish off the cooking in an oven.
Due to its tenderness, tenderloin is mostly regarded as a special occasion steak, making it a very expensive cut. Nevertheless, it is a very tasty cut.
Whether your take your steaks at the restaurants, or purchase them to prepare at home, you should at least have some knowledge of what you are purchasing and consuming. This will help ensure that you have the best, tastiest, and juiciest meal. Generally, the best steaks are those cut from the loin and rib sections. You can never go wrong with these cuts.