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Best Tender Steak For Grilling

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Most Tender Steak Cuts Ranked

I Made The Best Teriyaki Sauce And Grilled The Most Tender Steaks!
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Steak is one of the most popular ways to enjoy beef. Its a classic dish thats famous all over the world, and with different cuts and methods of cooking, steak lovers can enjoy a variety of flavors every time they dine at their favorite steakhouse.

Personally, I love steak. Even chewy, tough steak. My wife, however, can’t stand anything but the most tender, flavorful steaks. So I wanted to so some research to find the most tender cuts of steak out there!

If theres one thing any steak fan knows, its that there are many different cuts in a cow that can be used to make a steak. And because they come from different parts of the cows body, they end up having different flavors and textures from one another. Some cuts have soft and tender muscles that melt in your mouth, while other cuts are known for their toughness and leanness.

If youre new to the whole steak-eating hobby, or you just want to try out some tender steak for yourself, then youve come to the right place. Weve listed some of the most popular cuts found in beef and ranked them in order of tenderness , so you can get an idea of whats good and whats not in that regard.

And if you love steak, I recommend trying one of these steak of the month clubs. Why? A lot of times the meat you get from places like SaveMart or other big grocery stories is factory farmed, and not the highest quality.

How To Choose The Best Cut Of Steak

For just about any steak, its especially important to look at thickness. Although thinner cuts of steak can cook just fine on the grill or in the oven, theyre a little more difficult to master. An extra 30 seconds or minute too long, and your delicious steak can turn into a not-so-tempting hockey puck. Thicker cuts allow you a little more time to play with, so you can get the perfect grill marks and cook without overcooking it. Of course, the right thickness can vary with your preferences, but its a good idea to choose a cut thats at least 1-inch thick for any cooking method.

Then, look at the marbling. See those white lines running through each cut? Thats marbling, which is another name for the fat that runs through the steak, almost like thin veins. You think you dont want fat in your steak, right? Thats a common thought, but naturally occurring marbling through the muscle is what gives your steak tenderness and flavor. As it cooks, the fat renders itself down, creating the excellent texture and rich steak flavor you expect. So, the right amount of fat is a good thing! Of course, you dont want a fatty steak, so look for nice, thin lines of marbling rather than chunks of fat.

How To Grill A Steak:

Ok, you bought a great steak and you prepared it well! Now, lets cook it!

  • Preheat a gas grill well, at least 15 minutes.
  • Clean the grates and lightly oil the grates. Heres how I do it: I pour a little vegetable oil on a piece of paper towel. And rub the oiled paper towel on grates, using a pair of kitchen tongs.
  • Place the prepared steak on the grill. Cook it for about a minute, then turn it quarter turn for a nice diamond grill marks, if desired. Flip and cook for another minute. Then continue to grill the steak until desired doneness, flipping every minute or two. I like my steaks medium rare, which means I cook mine till 130°F.
  • Transfer onto a clean plate, cover and rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. If desired, place a slice of butter on top of the steak before covering.
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    The Six Inexpensive Steaks You Should Know

    These are the steaks that butchers and chefs love to use because not only are they more inexpensive, but they’ve got character. Many of them are whole muscles that must be trimmed by the butcher just-so if you want them to be tender and large enough to cook as steaks. There are also not many of them on a steer. For every 20 pounds of ribeyes and T-bones you can get off a steer, you get two hanger steaks. That ain’t much.

    These butcher’s cuts tend to be more packed with flavor because of the work they do, yet because they’re not as marketable to the general public and require a bit more skill to cook and serve correctly, they remain much cheaper than their mainstream counterparts. This is good news for you if you want to maximize your flavor and your dollar.

    The Hanger

    Also Sold As: Butcher’s steak, hangar , arrachera , fajitas arracheras , bistro steak, onglet .

    Where It’s Cut From: From the plate section of the cow , it “hangs” off of the cow’s diaphragm, hence the name. U.S. meat-cutting classification of NAMP 140.

    The Skirt

    Also Sold As: Fajita meat, Roumanian Strip .

    Where It’s Cut From: The outside skirt is the diaphragm muscle of the cow, cut from the plate. It is the traditional cut for fajitas, and is generally sold to restaurants. Inside skirt is part of the flank, and is the more widely available form of skirt.

    The Short Rib

    Also Sold As:Kalbi , Jacob’s Ladder , asado de tira

    The Flap

    The Flank Steak

    The Tri-Tip

    Secret Recommendation Ribeye Cap

    Worlds Best Grilled Steak Recipe

    If you love tender steak, then there’s a secret cut of steak that you don’t hear about much, but you just have to try. It’s called the ribeye cap .

    You may have noticed that the ribeye didn’t make it to this list of tender steaks, despite being one of the most popular cuts . The truth is, ribeye is loved for its flavor and marbling, not tenderness.

    However, the ribeye cap is basically where they carve the outside of the ribeye steak off, so you get the most tender and flavorful part of that particular steak. It’s hard to find, and very expensive, but worth it if you can find it .

    When I buy it, it’s always wrapped with twine so it forms a ball-shape, similar to a filet mignon.

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    The Best Cuts Of Steak For Any Budget

    Enjoying a hearty slab of steak for dinner is either a special occasion luxury or a weeknight staple. Red meat has a lot going for it and, naturally, many fans who can’t get enough of its energy-boosting qualities and rich flavors. Chock full of protein and downright mouthwatering, steak can be pan-seared, oven-roasted, grilled al fresco, and much more.

    However you choose to prepare it, it’s important to know your meat and understand why it costs what it does. The price of beef can vary widely depending on the cut of meat you choose. Luckily for protein lovers, there are steaks out there at every price point for every seasoning and cooking technique, so there’s no reason you can’t enjoy this mealtime favorite as often as you’d like. We’ll give you the lowdown on all of these.

    From budget-friendly cuts to affordable basics to fancy splurges, here’s a streamlined guide to help you navigate the butcher’s counter without breaking a sweat.

    You Cant Put Moisture Back Inside A Steak

    As steaks grill over high heat, they lose moisture. Fat and juices are literally pushed out of the meat. Thats the price we pay for making the steaks easier to digest.

    Perhaps the most important part of grilling a steak is taking it off the heat before it has lost too much moisture. There is a short window of time, usually just a minute or two, when steaks go from medium rare to medium, or from medium to medium well.

    Catching that window requires vigilance. Dont walk away from a steak on the grill. And remember, its always better to take it off when its underdone and then return it to the grill than it is to let a steak overcook.

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    How To Cook Steak

  • Season the steak with salt up to 2 hrs before, then with pepper just before cooking.
  • Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot but not smoking.
  • Drizzle some oil into the pan and leave for a moment.
  • Add the steak, a knob of butter, some garlic and robust herbs, if you want.
  • Sear evenly on each side for our recommended time, turning every minute for the best caramelised crust.
  • Leave to rest on a board or warm plate for about 5 mins.
  • Serve the steak whole or carved into slices with the resting juices poured over.
  • For A Thick Steak Use The Reverse Sear Method

    The Best Steak Marinade Grilled Steak Recipe

    For steak that’s 1 1/2 inches thick or more, the best strategy to ensure meat that’s perfectly charred on the outside and cooked to desired doneness in the middle is the reverse sear. You’ll cook the steak until it’s almost at the desired doneness over indirect heat, then move it over the hotter direct-heat section of the grill for a final quick sear.

    First, make sure the indirect-heat section of the grill is around 225°F , add the steak to that cooler part of the grill, and then cover the grill. When the lid is down, hot air circulates around it, and you can gently warm the meat so that from top to bottom, its the same temperature and color, Goldwyn said. You’re basically creating an oven for your meat.

    Start checking the temperature of the steak after about 15 minutes , and continue checking every 5 minutes, until the internal temperature of the steak is 10-15 degrees below your target temperature . Once the food hits that temperature, its ready to move to the direct-heat side for a quick sear.

    Next, you want to crank up the heat. Remove the steak to a plate and set aside. For a gas grill, close the lid and turn all the burners to high heat for a few minutes. For a charcoal grill, gather the lit coals into a pile or add half a chimney’s worth of fresh lit coals to concentrate the heat.

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    Other Factors To Consider When Buying Nice Steak

    One thing youll want to think about is the USDA grading system, in which beef is graded as prime, choice or select. Prime cuts are superior, coming from young, well fed cows, with abundant marbling. Choice beef is still high-quality, but it has less marbling than prime cuts. Select beef has the lowest amount of marbling, so it is much leaner than prime and choice beef. It may still be tender, but it will be less juicy and flavorful than the others as well.

    Another factor to consider is the dry aging process. During this process, beef spends a certain amount of time in a temperature-controlled environment, exposing it to air, which improves its depth of flavor and tenderness. It is a very scientific process that usually takes place over thirty to forty-five days. Dry-aged meat is more expensive, but it is certainly a treat for an extra-special occasion.

    It may seem simple, but the thickness of your cut of beef is also a very important consideration. Cooking steak to perfection is all about the balance of a crisp sear on the outside, and a juicy, pink center. Whether youre cooking on the grill, in a cast-iron skillet on the stove, or even a reverse sear starting in the oven, a slightly thicker cut will help you achieve the right sear-to-pink ratio.

    How Do I Cook It

    The merlot is very similar to the flank steak with the added benefit of that tender texture. Where the flank benefits from marinating to break down its toughness, the merlot can be seared hot and fast without it turning into boot leather.

    The gastrocnemius muscle has a pronounced grain to it, so, to keep it as tender as possible, make sure to slice your freshly cooked merlot steak across the grain.

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    How To Grill A Thin Steak

    When grilling steak that is 1 ½ inches in thickness or less, the best way to get the perfect char on the outside and desired doneness in the center is to sear over direct heat. You simply grill. the steak over the direct heat until it reaches the desired temperature, flipping it about every minute. This will ensure that the surface gets nice and golden brown and that the middle wont cook too quickly. Take the steak off of the grill once it reaches the desired temperature and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.

    What Does A Marinade Do

    The absolute BEST tender, juicy Steak Fajitas

    Marinades are made from acidic or enzyme components like wine, vinegar, lemon juice, or any combination of them. The acids change the consistency of the meat, making it tender.

    Marinades usually contain salt herbs & bold flavors which in turn flavor the meat.

    Marinades help with caramelization to give that nice brown crust we love so much.

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    What Makes A Good Cut Of Steak

    • Marbling is the presence of intramuscular fat, and it creates a yin to the yang of muscle. This fat adds immense flavor, tenderness, and moisture. The more marbled the steak, the higher the fat content.
    • Bone-in vs. boneless: Bone-in meat takes longer to cook, but the bone helps seal in moisture and adds a lot of flavor. The saying, “the closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat” didn’t come from nowhere.
    • USDA grading: The national meat grading scale in the United States, developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, is based on the meat’s level of maturity and marbling. There are eight grades, and from highest grade to lowest, they are Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner. Read more about USDA grading on the agency’s website.
    • Dry aging: Dry-aging is the process of aging beef in a controlled, open-air environment. This removes moisture from the surface of the meat, which causes the enzymes in the beef to slowly break down and form a crust to which bacteria and mold attach . The inside stays bright red and moist, and the resulting flavor is as rich, full-bodied, and nutty-tasting as beef gets.
    • Tenderness: The presence of soft muscle tissue and fat are what create tenderness. While tenderness is coveted, it is by no means necessary, and a tougher cut of meat can be compensated for with a proper cooking method .

    What Temperature Should You Cook Flat Iron Steak

    Medium-rare flat iron is the most tender and flavorful for me. Cook the flat iron steak over medium-high heat until it is done to your liking.

    For your convenience, here is a list of beef degrees of doneness:

    • Cool Red Center = 125 degrees, which is unusual.
    • Warm Red Center = 135 degrees
    • Medium Rare: Warm Red Center = 135 degrees
    • Medium: Warm Pink Center = 145°F
    • 150 degrees for a medium well with a slightly pink center.
    • Well Done: 160 degrees with little or no pink.

    Remember to remove your steak when its just a few degrees below your desired temperature because it will continue to cook as it rests.

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    Tenderloin Or Filet Mignon

    Section: loin, directly beneath the ribs

    Usually cut small and thick by the butcher, tenderloins are beloved for their fine texture and buttery taste. Trimmed of its fatty edges, this steak is often considered the most luxurious one and yields extremely tender meat. Tenderloin is best seared over high heat until browned on the outside, then finished in the oven to desired doneness.

    Best Steak Marinade In Existence

    The best GRILLED RIBEYE STEAKS!
    • cup fresh lemon juice
    • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
    • 3 tablespoons dried basil
    • 1½ tablespoons dried parsley flakes
    • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
    • 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
    • Step 1

      Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender. Add hot pepper sauce and garlic, if desired. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.

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    • Step 2

      Pour marinade over desired type of meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.

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    Best Steak Cuts For Grilling

    Since grills have super intense heat, the key to grilling steaks is ensuring that they can cook quickly on high heat without drying out. Ribeye and strip are slightly thicker cuts that will be able to achieve a dark char from the heat while maintaining a pink, medium-rare center. The grill will impart a delightful flavor on any cut of steak, but ribeye and strip steak might be the best starting point for beginners.

    Season Your Steak And Refrigerate

    You’ll want to season the steak with salt a few hours before grilling. Follow this simple rule of thumb from grilling expert Meathead Goldwyn: Season the steak with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. “You do not need to rinse off excess salt. It will all be sucked into the meat.” The salt acts as a dry brine, helping the meat stay juicy throughout the cooking process.

    For thinner, tougher cuts like skirt, hanger, or flank steak that come from muscular parts of the cow, you can also use a instead. Consider adding sugar into the mixit’s a secret trick for tenderizing tougher cuts.

    Make sure to remove steaks from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to grilling so they don’t have a chill on them before you throw them on the grill.

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