Is there any meat better than barbecue beef steak? From ribeye to New York strip, the variety of steak cuts gives you endless options when grilling. Find out everything you need to know about the different cuts of steak and how to cook them.
Steak is king when it comes to grilling, and it’s not difficult to see why. Whether it’s medium-rare sirloin or a tomahawk centerpiece, a high-quality steak will always steal the show.
So where do you start choosing your next cut of beef? In this meat guide, we’ll show you the best steak types for you to throw on the grill this year. Let’s get into it.
Is there any meat more iconic than Tomahawk steak? This centerpiece meat is a beauty and offers far more than just a big piece of bone and presents an excellent challenge to anyone wanting to hone their grilling skills.
The tomahawk steak is a beautiful cut of bone-in ribeye that gets its name from the large bone that protrudes from the large part of meat taken from the cow’s ribs.
Most tomahawk steak cuts are at least two-inches thick, and the bone is about seven inches long. It looks incredible, especially when cooked to perfection on the inside with a charred crust outside.
Tomahawk steaks are frenched – a stage of meat prep used for lamb, pork, and beef ribs, whereby the meat and fat are separated from the end of each bone. It’s a time-consuming process, but one that yields an elegant presentation.
How to cook it
One of the best ways to cook tomahawk steaks is to employ hybrid grilling. This involves slowly smoking the beef to just below your desired doneness before searing it over high heat to finish it off. This is best done using a charcoal or pellet smoker before transferring it to a grill for searing. However, you can also do it by roasting it in the oven before grilling or pan-searing it.
Prepare the tomahawk with a simple herb and spice rub and a touch of butter. Smoke at 225°F (107°C) until the internal temperature reaches 125°F (50°C) for medium-rare. This usually takes 45-60 minutes but may take longer.
Transfer the steak to a preheated grill at high heat, flipping every 2-3 minutes until the outside has developed your preferred amount of crust. Remove from heat and allow to rest. See our full reverse-seared tomahawk steak recipe for more details.
Flank steak is a beautiful lean and tough steak cut that boasts a rich beefy flavor. Many people might go for sirloin or strip as their go-to grilled steak choice, but flank steak is much more versatile and flavorful.
Flank comes from the cow’s bottom abdominal area, making it lean and rich in tough muscle fibers. This composition is what loads it with a uniquely intense flavor.
Flank is one of the most trusted cuts of beef for making jerky. However, just like sirloin, it’s also a little dearer than round or shank, so the price can be a little eye-watering to newcomers.
How to cook it
Cooking hot and quick is the best way to get the most out of flank. It goes well grilled or seared and even prepared as reverse-seared flank steak.
For simple grilling, it only needs to be grilled at high heat for 5 minutes per side until you have reached desired doneness.
For reverse searing, smoke it at 225°F (107°C) until the internal temperature is 120°F (50°C) for medium-rare. This should only take about 40 minutes but may take a little longer. Transfer to a preheated grill at high heat, turning every 2-3 minutes until it has developed a nice crisp on the outside.
Skirt steak is a notoriously tough cut of meat that carries tough muscle fibers, making it difficult to cut and often tough to chew.
While some other steak cuts can be smoked or reverse seared, the skirt is so tough that it can only be enjoyed rare or medium-rare. Because of this, it needs to be pan-seared or grilled at high heat.
It may be less tender than other steak cuts, but this robust and tough construction is what makes skirt so unique. It is bursting with flavor and, while it can be served alone, it is an ideal filling for BBQ sandwiches, fajitas, and tacos.
Skirt steak comes from the beef plate primal and has two forms: ‘Inside’ skirt and ‘outside’ skirt. ‘Inside’ skirt comes from the lower end of the ribs and is cut from inside the beef. It has a more consistent shape and texture but can start to shrink as you cook it.
‘Outside’ skirt runs across the beef’s diaphragm muscle and chest wall, from the 6th to 12th ribs. It tends to carry better flavor, thickness, and consistency than inside skirt.
Whichever you choose, skirt steak tends to be thinner than most other steaks, so it will cook a lot quicker. It only needs to be grilled for two to three minutes on each side.
How to cook it
Marinate the steak for at least an hour to help tenderize it and break down its tough muscle fibers. Fire up your grill to high and with the racks placed directly over the heat. While it preheats, pat the steak dry (this will help with the Maillard Reaction, giving us great flavor).
Grill for two to three minutes per side, until char lines develop and you have reached medium-rare doneness. Remove from heat and leave to rest for five minutes before serving.
T-Bone and Porterhouse
T-bones are cut from the front of the short loin, whereas porterhouse comes from the back. T-bones have a tenderloin section at least 1.25 inches in width. New York strip and filet mignon are the two steaks that make up porterhouse and T-bone. The lumbar vertebra is the bone that runs through both T- bones, and porterhouses.
It’s the ‘t’-shaped bone that makes the two meat cuts so unique. The filet tends to be larger in porterhouse, and the New York Strip is smaller in T- bone. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a T-Bone as a steak with a tender Loin section between ½ inch and 1. 25 inches.
Slow smoked over low heat before seared over high temperatures, this reverse-seared T-bone recipe is the perfect way to enjoy this premium beef cut.
The New York strip steak is taken from the top part of the loin, just behind the ribs. It is meat that comes from the loins of the cow. The muscle in the steak is what keeps it tender. It has low-fat content, and this makes it better when it is cooked medium-rare. It’s a great option if you are looking to have a leaner steak with just a bit of fat and also still tender.
The steak has a thick band down the side, and it usually has cartilage in it. This is one of the significant differences between the two steaks. The texture is a bit chewy as compared to ribeye, as it has a firmer texture. It can be grilled, or you can rub the steak down with herbs and seasoning such as salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary, then sear it in a pan for about 3 minutes. When it is done, add a dollop of butter for extra flavor.
Pros of New York Strip Steak: It is leaner than rib eye and full of flavor. It is best cooked medium rare and preserves flavor that way. See our grilled New York strip steak to see how it’s best enjoyed. With just a little bit of seasoning and butter, this recipe lets this beautiful cut of beef do all the talking.
Ribeye steak comes from the rib area of the cow. The fat content in this steak is high, and it manifests in marble patterns. It is best eaten when it is rare, but this is not a hard and fast rule. It costs about £15.60 a kilo in an average UK grocer. A choice cut in the US will set you back between $10-$16 per kilo. The average cost of ribeye is the same as New York strip steak. It will cost you around $50 for a large piece of steak in the U.S. if you go with a Prime + package.
It has a high fat content, making it tender and juicy and full of flavor. The best way to cook it is to sew it on the grill and then baste it with butter to get medium-rare. It can be served raw or cooked medium rare to get it well done. The cooking time remains the same depending on how done you want your steak to be. The recommended cooking time is 4 minutes on each side for about 2 minutes.
Ribeye is a juicy part of the cow, succulent with lots of flavors. It’s easier to cook than prime rib and is more affordable. The extra marbling in ribeye gives it a smooth texture and taste. The flavor is milder than prime ribs, but the texture is tougher than the prime rib cuts. The marbling makes for a great steak that only needs searing and doesn’t need much time to be cooked. Learn the differences between New York Strip and Ribeye. The difference between a New York strip and a ribeye is as simple as adding a little salt and pepper. The only difference is that the New York steak has more meat and less bone on it.
Sirloin just had to put it on this list. It’s tender, lean, and it’s perfect for grilling.
Sirloin lies in front of the cow’s hind legs, near where most of the animal’s muscles are. As with round, this means that it is mainly composed of muscle and thus low in fat and high in protein.
One thing to keep in mind is that sirloin is a little more precious than either round or shank, but for good reason: it’s ridiculously delicious.
Denver steak, also known as a cowboy steak, is a type of beef steak, originating in Denver, Colorado. It is a cut of beef from the back of the sirloin that is typically cut 1-2 inches thick. The Denver cut steak has a thinner, more delicate texture and a milder taste than the top Sirloin steak. The most popular Denver steak is served with a fried egg, onion, and fries on top.
Beef flap steak is a type of steak that is usually tougher than others. It is cut from underneath the cow’s belly and is best cooked in a slow cooker or on low heat in a skillet. Beef sirloin tip is a small, triangular-shaped cut of beef with long grain and an immense, intense flavor. It’s an excellent cut for stir-frying and a great steak to pan sear or grill.
Beef rump steak is a cut of beef from the highest part of the animal’s rump. It is often overlooked because it is leaner than other beef cuts, but it is quite tender and flavorful. It’s a hardy cut of meat that stands up well to being served in various dishes. If you’re a fan of beef but are looking for a more affordable cut, you should consider beef rump beef. The cut is tender and juicy and makes for a delicious dish.
The beef hanger steak is a tender cut of beef cut from the cow’s diaphragm. It is typically used in French cuisine and is often braised or grilled. This meat has a strong beef flavor which is why it is often paired with a sauce. The beef hangers steak is an underutilized cut that is a versatile and affordable cut of meat. The meat is better for pan-searing than for barbecuing and comes with a beef hanging steak bone. The steak is typically prepared with a chimichurri sauce.
Beef flat iron steak is cut from the shoulder blade primal cut. It is a cut that is often used to make cube steak or thinly sliced fried steak. These meat cuts are known for their tenderness and are a popular choice for cooking for a large number of people. Beef chuck steak is best known for being relatively affordable and tender, and it’s common in dishes like beef Stroganoff. The chuck primal cut is also known as the shoulder.
Beef cube steak is a cut of beef that is typically cube-shaped to make it easy to cook. It has a smaller surface area than a steak cut from the same meat piece, making it easier to sear and cook. Beef cube steaks are usually graded as Select, Choice, or Prime, with Prime being the most expensive. Cube steak is often seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic and then fried with butter in a pan. The beef is usually tender and juicy and has a nice beefy flavor. The steak is one of the most popular types of steak on the market today and is often served at steakhouses and restaurants.
Beef filet mignon is a cut of beef taken from the tenderloin. The filet is a lean, tender cut and is often served with sauces such as demi-glace, béarnaise, and hollandaise. Beef is a protein that is beneficial to the human body because it is a complete protein. Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps build muscle and tissue. It is the only type of beef that is not served with fat.
London Broil is a catch-all term for various beef cuts based on the rump, which is tougher and has more connective tissue. A London broil is traditionally made with beef cut from the chuck, a cut of meat from the shoulder. It is usually served sliced and unseasoned and served in a bowl. This dish is most popular in the United States but can be found in many other countries.