Steaks are great. But, how do you know which cut of beef is best?
You want to celebrate your father, uncle, date, boyfriend, etc. on Father’s Day with a special meal. You assume a grilled steak dinner would be perfect for this occasion, or broiled or seared steaks. So, off you go to the meat market or grocery store to buy the meat. And that’s where the trouble begins.
What do you buy? There are many grades, labels and cuts of meat on the market today. There are eight grades of beef, graded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The top three include select, choice and prime, which is heavily marbled and is expensive but only about 2% to 3% of beef in the U.S. has this grade. Choice is the middle grade and is less marbled, but is very available. Select, also very available, is tougher and lower in fat than the other grades.
Cuts of Beef Explained
- Filet Mignon: This is the most expensive cut of beef. It is boneless and is part of the tenderloin. 2’ to 3’ in size, this beef is very tender and should be cooked quickly by grilling, searing, broiling or sautéing.
- Rib-eye: This tender, boneless cut is full of flavor as it is near a bone. It should be cooked quickly by grilling, frying or broiling. It is marbled with fat (eye fat), which makes it smooth and quite tasty.
- New York Strip: Also know as New York steak, Delmonico steak, Kansas City (strip) steak, and shell steak, this tender and flavorful cut is to be grilled, seared, broiled or sautéed.
- Porterhouse: This quality steak contains meat from the soft tenderloin and the New York strip. The porterhouse contains a larger portion of the tenderloin than the T-bone. Grilling and searing works well for this cut, which is featured on many steakhouse menus.
- T-bone: The T-shaped bone gives this cut of the small tenderloin section and the larger top loin. Although this is a favorite of grills, it can also be seared.
Now that you know the differences between cuts of beef, hopefully this helps you choose which one to cook. People love food and celebrations, a perfect steak will be the icing on the cake!
For more recipes and food tips from Sally, check out Sally Bernstein.