Selecting A Steak For The Grill
If youre looking for that one steak that meets the criteria for being the best beef cut for grilling, you have a couple to choose from. Whether you prefer bone-in or boneless, thin or thick cuts, or marbled or lean meats, selecting a steak comes down to preference.
The best cuts for easy grilling include ribeyes, ranch steak, top sirloin and sirloin cap, tenderloins, porterhouse, and t bones. Simplicity is key with these cuts that only require light seasoning and high heat. Any of these steaks are a great selection. Just keep in mind they tend to be more costly than other cuts.
Wanting something cheaper? Flank, flat iron, skirt, and hanger steaks are excellent choices for their budget value and compatibility with the grill. However, these steaks can be less flavorful and tender than ribeye and sirloin, so adding a tasty marinade to boost the flavor can go a long way.
What is the best steak to grill at home?
Selecting the best cut of steak to grill at home depends on the size of your grill and the time you have on your hands. Easy home grilling is totally possible with steaks such as ribeyes, tenderloin cuts, or even ranch steaks. All of these can be quickly grilled, easily seasoned, and will have your mouth watering. Plus, these dont tend to take up too much space on the grill and work for smaller cooking spaces.
What is the most tender steak to grill?
How do I enhance the flavor of grilled steak without compromising texture?
What Is The Best Cut Of Steak
Nothing has my mouth watering as a thick juicy steak cut grilled with lemon butter and a rich salad on the side. As a steak lover, I must admit it can be a little daunting to choose the best and most flavorful animal cut with all the options available.
After weeks of researching and consulting a butcher friend, I’ve finally compiled a list of the best steak cuts for grilling.
In this article, I share the top 11 best steak cuts reviewed based on quality, grade, and flavor-holding abilities.
Let’s get into it.
What Goes With Good Steak
You just spent some extra money and effort on steak, so let it be the star of the show. Simple starters and sides will bring out the best in your steak. For a classic steakhouse dinner, go with a Wedge Salad to start and Baked Potatoes on the side. Maybe youre thinking of an outdoor summer dinner with grilled steak, in which case all you need is corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes with salt, and a glass of rosé. Steak pairs well with simple starches like potatoes and green vegetables like spinach and Steamed Asparagus, so let that be your guide as you plan your menu.
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Selecting The Right Cut
First, a definition. Steaks are basically any piece of meat that falls under the category of fast-cooking cutscuts that are low enough in connective tissue that they dont require the long cooking times that slow-cooking cuts require. The difference between a steak and roast essentially comes down to size. Any good roast can be cut into individual steaks .
Choose The Right Piece Of Steak The Quality Of Your Final Product Depends On Your Starting Ingredients
“Finding the best product you can get your hands on is always the hardest part of cooking a great steak,” says Ryan Prentiss, former executive chef at Detroit’s Prime + Proper steakhouse. “Fat is flavor, so look for beef that is plump, bright red, and has the most marbling. Marbling is the intramuscular fat present in high-quality beef that gives it a ‘marbled’ appearance. Grain-fed or grain-finished beef will have more marbling than a grass-fed beef.”
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Selecting A Good Ribeye Steak Cut = Deliciously Grilled Ribeye Steak
Even if you are fairly new to grilling, you can still cook a perfectly grilled steak thatll impress. It just comes down to knowing what to look for. This includes the quality of the meat, the amount of marbling, the thickness, and that its one of the best steak cuts for grilling.
If you take all of these things into account, you have a much higher chance of cooking a tender, juicy steak every time and mastering how to cook competition steak. Step out of your comfort zone and try a different steak cut than you are used to. You never know, you may discover a new favorite.
Make sure to also check out our article here on tips for grilling steak like the pro Grillmasters.
The insider tips on grilling steak dont stop here. With online steak grilling classes straight from champion Grillmasters like Allen Newton and John Lindsey, BBQ Champs Academy can help you take your grilling game to the next level. Dont miss out on all of the step-by-step instructions, tips, and secrets and master how to cook competition steak. Learn how to grill steak straight from the pros!
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 .
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Steaks To Avoid For The Grill
The endless choices of prime meat cuts can be overwhelming. We want to help you get to grilling fast, so heres a breakdown of steaks that you want to avoid putting on the grill at all costs.
Roasts such as rump, London broil, or chuck roasts are tougher in texture and could require several hours of cooking to achieve perfect flavor and tenderness. Brisket and short ribs are two other cuts that you should pass up in the grocery store if youre set on grilling. Although, any of these cuts can be smoked without losing too much moisture.
Most of these cuts are best cooked low and slow in indirect heat, so placing these steaks on an open fire grill might not be the best choice. These steaks will quickly become tough in high heat, so we recommend a slow cooker or dutch oven for cooking.
Tips For Grilling The Perfect Steak
- Season, then chill: I apply the same technique I use for getting crispy chicken and turkey skin to grilling this steak: season, then let it chill in the fridge uncovered for up to 48 hours. This essentially dry brines the steak while also letting it air-dry. This approach allows the surface moisture to evaporate while the seasoning has time to penetrate the meat resulting in deeply flavored steak that sears beautifully and develops a nice crust on the grill.
- Start with clean grates: Just like you use a clean skillet with a little oil to cook dinner on the stovetop, you want to start with clean and oiled grill grates.
- To flip or not to flip? Flip your steak to your hearts content. Harold McGee, food science writer and author of On Food and Cooking, discovered that frequent flipping creates a steak that cooks more evenly and quickly than those flipped only once.
- Grilling directly on coals: Raichlen seemingly knows an infinite number of ways to grill meat, and theres one in his new book, Project Fire , that I particularly like: he cooks steak directly on hot coalsno grill grates necessary. I love the idea, and its on my list of things to try in the near future.
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Tips For Grilling The Best Steak Cuts
After we have gone through our best steak cuts, its time to give you a few newbie-friendly tips for your next grill out. Here they are:
- Bring to room temperature: Grilling frozen steak will burn it in a matter of seconds.
- Zone it: Have at least two zones of heat, the high and low heat parts of your grill.
- Rest before eating: Let the hot steak sit for 5 minutes before chowing down.
- Seasoning: Season more than you think you should!
- Origin: Know where your meat is from, and buy at a butcher or farmer you trust.
Beef Chuck Primal Cut
This cut of meat is a large section of beef cut from the shoulder, arm, and chest sections. With it, you can get other prime cuts, like Denver steak, blade steak, and flavorful roasts. This section of beef is known for its robust flavor and its ability to produce a number of popular steaks.
Beef that comes from this cut of steak are best used for roasts, where theyll cook slowly over low heat. The cooking process naturally tenderizes the beef with its own fat, leaving behind the rich, beefy flavor you want without the tough and chewy texture.
Some steaks that you get from the beef chuck primal cut, like the blade steak, have a long piece of fat running through them that youll need to cut around before you eat the meat. Some of these cuts can also be tougher than other steaks youre used to, so it may not be the best option for searing, cooking on the grill, or using another method that could dry out the beef.
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Our Most Essential Tips For Grilling Steak
Grilling steak can be stressful. People can be really picky, or worse, judgy when it comes to steak. Do they prefer it juicy medium-rare or without a trace of pink? Fatty or lean? Dunked in A-1 sauce or topped with melty butter? I forced myself to throw that concern out the window and relax while grilling up these steaks. Grilling is supposed to be fun, right? Determined to find the ultimate recipe that will impress everyone at your next cookout, I ate a lot of steak11 steaks in 3 days to be exact. And good news: I found its not all that complicated to perfect after you get the basics down. So, take a deep breath, double click your tongs, and fire up those flames.
Buy A Good Piece Of Meat
The best steaks will be labelled Prime, AAA or Certified Angus Beef. Choice is next best. There are several good quality cuts of steak that will work for a quick grilling.
My absolute fave cut of steak for maximum tenderness and flavor is a well-marbled ribeye steak . New York Strip Steak , Porterhouse steaks, T-Bone or Filet Mignon, also called Beef Tenderloin are also great.
Steaks like sirloin steak, flank steak and skirt steak will have excellent flavor, but tend to be bit chewier and not as quite as tender.
Tip: Experts will say it’s best to buy thicker steaks of 1 ½- 2 inches thick. I think thinner steaks of 1 – 1 ¼ inch steaks are just fine too, although you won’t get as dark a crust on the outside as it won’t be on the grill for as long.
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Thickness Of The Ribeye Steak
Another important factor of cooking competition-worthy steak is making sure youve got a good thickness in your steak cut. A thinner steak will quickly dry and out and become tough on a hot grill. The optimal thickness for grilled steak is 1 to 2.
Again, it may be hard to find steaks of this thickness in the grocery store so this is another reason your local butcher shop is a good bet.
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Best Cut Of Steak For Medium
Most chefs will passionately insist that the best cut of steak for medium-rare is all cuts of steak, but of course, the way you like your steak cooked is all up to you. Cooking steak to medium-rare allows the steaks natural flavor to shine, so those extra-marbled, extra-flavorful cuts like ribeye and strip are particularly delicious at that medium rare, 130 degrees F to 135 degrees F internal temperature.
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What Is The Best Cut Of Steak The Ultimate Top 10 List
Have you ever been intimidated by the long list of meat cuts on a steakhouse menu? How are you supposed to know what to order? The options seem endless, and most people default to medium-rare, so you just go with what sounds best. If youre left dumbfoundedly staring at the menu in a restaurant, you will likely find yourself lost in your kitchen at home. Part of cooking the perfect steak is knowing how to distinguish the different kinds of cuts. Its possible that youll prefer a different cut once you learn about the other options.You shouldnt have to go into this adventure blindly. Here, we will cover the top 10 best cuts of steak.
Steaks Over 15 Inches Thick Reverse Sear Method Of Start It Low Finish With A Sear
For any steak over 1.5 inches thick, the reverse sear method is fantastic. It is arguably and believe me, people do argue it a lot! Lol the best way to cook thicker steaks.
The reverse sear method is so named because it flips the traditional way back to front:
Reverse searing is where you cook the steak low and slow until its 10 or so degrees Fahrenheit below the perfect temperature throughout, and then sear it to finish.
This method is good because the more gently you cook a piece of meat, the more evenly it cooks. So reverse searing, bringing it up to temp slowly, then searing hot at the end, results in a perfectly done steak throughout, with a very thin Maillard crust.
With thick steaks that you sear first, then finish slow, you tend to end up with a few mm of crust on the outside, then a few mm of well-done steak, a few mm of medium-well steakand so on, until a bullseye medium-rare center. A good portion of the outside layer is overcooked.
Reverse seared steaks are perfect doneness edge to edge, with a good crust. Brilliant!
So, in conclusion:
Steaks 1.5-inches and under you should sear first, finish low. Steaks over 1.5-inches thick, use the reverse sear method.
OK, so with that out of the way, lets now look at the best 11 steaks for grilling.
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Steak Guide: How To Choose The Best Steak Cut
Irene Fong and The Canadian Living Test KitchenGrilling steaksGrilling steaksTenderloin Price: The 411: Rib Eye Price:The 411:signature juiciness and flavour Top Sirloin Price: The 411:budget gourmet Strip Loin Price:The 411:outstanding flavour T-Bone Price: The 411:T-shaped bone FlatIron Price:The 411:Flank Price: The 411:delicious beefy flavour Round Price:The 411:strong marinades Sirloin Tip Price: The 411: Simmering steaksPrice: The 411: braising or slow cooking
Best Cuts For Grilling:
Before we dive into the recipe, lets talk about choosing the right steak.
Any of the following cuts of steak is great for grilling:
- Ribeye the best cut and worth every penny!
- NY strip super popular option thanks to its beefy flavor. Since this cuts isnt the most tender cut, I highly recommend cooking it to medium rare for the maximum tenderness.
- Porterhouse/T-bone steaks meat-lovers favorite, these two cuts actually have 2 cuts in one: NY strip on one side and filet mignon on another!
- Top sirloin lean yet, tender this cut is affordable, yet flavorful!
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How To Prepare A Steak For Grilling:
Now that youve bought a nice steak, heres how to prepare them before cooking.
Why Salting Time Is Important
If you salt the steaks, say 30 minutes prior, itll do more harm than good. Because when you salt meat, salt draws out the moisture onto the surface of the meat and that moisture wont get reabsorbed within 30 minutes. That moisture will prevent a beautiful sear were looking for in a perfect steak.
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