Steak is a dinner staple in most households but beyond the name, there are many types to be aware of.
Before you grab just any piece of meat from the grocery store, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the cuts and what they’re best used for.
How Many Types of Steak are There?
A cow is a large animal and as a result, there are many types of steak. There are 15 popular types of steaks, which we’ve outlined here.
The names of these steaks come from the different areas of a cow. However, if you travel to different countries, you will often find different cuts of beef and different names.
Each type of steak has its own unique characteristics. Some have thicker connective tissues, some have a high-fat content, and some are pure muscle. Each cut should be cooked in the proper way to get the most flavor out of it.
Types of Steaks
If you’re ready for a Mexican-themed dinner, then skirt steak should be the star of your table. This is a long, thin cut that comes from a cow’s diaphragm muscles.
It is a tougher cut, and should be marinated first. When cooking, it’s best to sear on high heat and not let the middle become too well-done. Once cooked, it’s perfect for delicious fajitas.
Denver steak is a relatively new cut of meat and has actually only been in use for about 10 years. However, it is becoming more popular because it is such a tender cut.
This cut of steak is found in the eye of chuck, which comes from the front shoulder of a cow. While the other cuts of meat in this area are a lot tougher, Denver steak is a smaller part that isn’t exercised very much, and thus doesn’t have a tough texture to it.
You can use Denver cuts of steak when you grill. It’s best to grill the entire cut and then serve it in smaller pieces.
Flank steak is a nicer, versatile cut of beef. It is a muscle that gets a lot of use, so can be tough tasting on its own.
To get the best benefits from flank steak, you should marinate it, and even tenderize it beforehand.
You can use flank steak in salads and it is also tasty in stir-fries.
T-bone or Porterhouse
A Porterhouse is a thicker version of a T-bone steak, which is why we’ve included both names in this section. As you may have guessed it, a T-bone steak looks like a T.
It is actually two steaks in one, separated by a bone. One side of the bone is a strip loin and the other side is a tenderloin.
While T-bone steaks are large on their own, porterhouse steaks are even larger. You’ll want to really bring your appetite, or better yet, a friend, as they can weigh up to 24 ounces.
Strip steak can be both boneless and bone-in. When boneless, it’s known as a New York strip. This is a fattier cut of meat and not quite as tender as a sirloin.
However, you don’t need to marinate strip steak first. Instead, simply grill it and enjoy.
Flap steak isn’t the best sounding name, but this is a nice, versatile cut of beef. It can be found at the bottom of a sirloin cut and is great if you’re on a budget.
You will want to marinate a flap steak. Once you do, it can be used in all manner of stews, stir-fries, and soups.
As its name suggests, ribeye steak comes from the rib bone area of cows. It is sold both bone-in and boneless, so you can find either, depending on your preference.
Ribeye steaks are incredibly flavorful and juicy. They have rich marbling from a high fat content and when cooked properly, this fat renders down into a delicious meal.
Because of its natural taste, you don’t have to season ribeye steaks with very much. A bit of salt and pepper is all that is needed to enjoy this cut of steak.
Cube steak may look like ground beef at first, but it has a few characteristics that differentiate it.
First, cube steak is cut into tiny cubes. To achieve this, it is cut into long strips which are then cut into small cubes.
Because of its small individual size, cube steak takes a very short time to cook. In fact, its alternate name is minute steak.
Cube steak is traditionally cut up sirloin steak, so it is a good, quality cut. You can use cube steak in slow cooker meals, stir fries, and soups.
Filet Mignon is a highly sought-after cut of steak because it is so tender. It literally melts in your mouth, which while delicious, also makes it expensive.
The filet mignon cut of steak is the end part of the tenderloin in a cow.
It does not have a lot of fat in it, so does not have a lot of flavor on its own. To get the best results, cook your filet mignon to no more than medium-rare, and pair it with a sauce to bring out its full flavor.
If we can eat almost all parts of a cow, it stands to reason that at some point we’ll get to its rump. Rump steak is also known as round steak and even butt steak.
This is a cheaper cut of meat because it isn’t very tender. To really enjoy it, you should marinate a rump steak and either broil, or pan-fry it for best results.
If you’re looking for this type of steak, you might have to do a little digging. It is actually more of a cooking method, so it might not have the name London broil on its package.
You can also ask a butcher for this cut of steak, or if you can’t find it, you can use a top round due to its leanness.
To properly cook a London broil, first marinate it in an acidic marinade for at least a few hours. Once done, broil the steak, but only for around 10 minutes. Finally, cut the steak diagonally.
Sirloin steaks are one of the most common cuts of steaks. Not only are they fairly affordable, but they are also pretty tender and easy to grill.
It’s important to realize that sirloin steaks are further categorized, depending on which area they come from. Top sirloin is a leaner cut of meat that is great for grilling while bottom sirloin is tougher and better for roasts and stews.
If you’re looking for a more premium yet inexpensive cut of steak, then flat iron is the way to go. This is a tender cut of meat that comes from the shoulder of a cow.
Because flat iron steak comes from the top blade muscle, it isn’t worked a lot, and so isn’t as tough as other cuts.
You can grill a flat iron steak or sear it in a pan for a delicious meal.
Want to impress your friends? Serve them a tomahawk steak and they’ll never forget it.
A tomahawk steak is a ribeye that still has the rib bone attached to it. The five inches of extra bone creates a handle that is a real conversation starter.
The meat on a tomahawk is incredibly marbled and tender. To accommodate its size, it is best to sear both sides and then place it in the oven to cook.
Hanger steak is a favorite of chefs because of its flavor. You find this type of steak between the rib and the loin of a cow, and it gets its name because it hangs low.
Hanger steak is best paired with citrus to enhance its flavor even more. Wine and vinegar are usually used either while cooking or in a paired sauce.
What is the best type of steak?
There really is no best type of steak. It all depends on what you want to use the steak for. For grilling, choose a sirloin. For fajitas, choose a skirt steak. To impress your friends, choose a tomahawk or a porterhouse.
The key with steak is to match the type with the recipe. That way your results will always be delicious.
What is the best steak to grill?
When it comes to grilling, you can’t really beat a top sirloin. It has the right amount of marbling to create a juicy effect and doesn’t take a lot of expertise to make a delicious meal.
What is the most expensive cut of steak?
Filet mignons are some of the most expensive cuts of steak. They are the most tender, and therefore the most sought-after.
However, tomahawk and porterhouse steaks are also expensive, because of their massive sizes.
Steak is delicious. When you understand the different types of steak available, you can better prepare it, allowing its flavor to really shine.