Where Does Steak Come From?

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Nothing compares with the juicy, tender, and beefy flavor of a medium-rare steak. Steak is one of the most popular meat dishes, consumed by people worldwide. 

If you like a good cut of meat you might be interested to learn more about steak’s rich history, starting with its origin. 

So, where does steak come from? A steak is a thick cut of meat taken from meaty parts of an animal. Steak can come from many animals including bison, goat, horse, pig, turkey, and even fish, but is usually taken from a cow.  T-bone, ribeye, tenderloin, sirloin, and hanger steak are some of the most popular types of steak. 

This article tells you everything you need to know about steak, including the history and origin of steak. Keep reading to learn about different types of steak and from which part of the cow they come. 

History and Origin of Steak

The term steak has roots in the Norse word steik and can be traced back to mid-15th century Scandinavia. Although the term has Norse origins, the steak as we know it today is believed to have originated in Florence, Italy. 

Italians might be the first ones to prepare steak, but Americans have perfected the way this meat is cooked. Steak is so popular in the States that many people consider it an American dish. 

Where does Steak come from?

A lot of people believe that steak only comes from a cow, but that’s not the case. A steak is a chunky cut of meat sliced across the muscle fibers and sometimes includes a bone.

In addition to beef, steak can come from other animals, including:

  • Bison
  • Buffalo
  • Horse
  • Goat
  • Sheep
  • Kamel
  • Kangaroo
  • Deer
  • Pig
  • Turkey
  • Ostrich
  • Salmon
  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Marlin

A steak isn’t taken from one specific section of a cow. It can be cut from many different sections of beef and comes in various shapes and sizes. 

Different Types of Steak

Steak cuts come from different parts of a cow. Understanding the differences between each cut will help you learn which type of steak you’ll enjoy the most.

Here are the most popular types of steak:

Ribeye Steak

Also known as Scotch fillet, ribeye steak is one of the most popular types of steak. Ribeye steak is cut from the animal’s rib section and has a distinctive shape similar to a Scotch whiskey bottle. 

Ribeye steak has plenty of marbling which gives the steak a juicy and tender texture and increases its flavor.

T-Bone Steak

Considered one of the highest quality steaks, T-bone steak contains meat from short loin and tenderloin, the two favorite cuts of beef. This type of steak comes with a T-shaped bone and is more challenging to prepare than other steak cuts.

T-bone steak tends to be more expensive than other steak cuts but is one of the most popular types of steak. These steaks are usually served medium-rare to rare and have a bold and juicy flavor. 

Strip Steak

Also called New York steak, the strip steak is cut from the short loin. The strip steak isn’t as tender as tenderloin but it is full of flavor and provides a nice balance between fat and lean meat.

Cooking strip steak is easy and you can prepare it on the grill, in the skillet, or in the broiler. 

Sirloin Steak

Sirloin steak doesn’t have any bones and comes from the animal’s backside. Because it doesn’t have much marbling, sirloin isn’t a tender cut and is best-prepared medium-rare to rare. 

Sirloin steak is one of the cheapest types of steak you can find at the butcher’s store.

Hanger Steak 

Also known as butcher’s steak, hanger steak is taken from a cut of meat located between the animal’s ribs and loin, where it supports the diaphragm. The hanger steak is a very tender and flavorful cut of steak best-served medium-rare or rare.

Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is a long and flat cut of steak taken from the animal’s belly. This type of steak is more prized for its flavor than tenderness.

Skirt steaks are generally marinated before grilling. They can be pan-seared or grilled quickly, or braised.

Rump Steak

Rump steak is a popular cut of meat taken from the animal’s rear area. These steaks cut through different types of muscles, meaning that the tenderness levels will differ in the same cut.

Rump stakes aren’t as tender as other types of steaks, but they are also much cheaper. Rump steaks are usually grilled or pan-fried and served medium-rare. 

What Animal is Steak?

A steak is a cut of meat taken from different parts of a cow. However, a steak doesn’t have to come from a cow, it can also come from other animals. 

Which Part of the Cow is Steak?

Steak cuts are taken from the different parts of a cow

An increasingly popular flat iron steak is cut from the beef chuck, which is taken from the front section of a cow. The beef rib is taken from the forequarter section of a cow and is the source of ribeye steak. 

The beef plate also belongs to the forequarter section and is the source of skirt steak. The short loin is located in the cow’s hindquarters and is the source of some of the most desirable cuts of meat, including T-bone, porterhouse steaks, and strip steaks. 

Beef sirloin is another large section of a cow’s body that is the source of sirloin steak. 

Last but not least, the beef round produces delicious pieces of meat, including rump steak and top round steak.


Contrary to popular belief, steak doesn’t have to come from beef. This thick and juicy cut of meat can come from many different animals. 

There are several types of steak. Understanding how different steaks vary in appearance, flavor, texture, and the way they are prepared will help you choose the one you’ll enjoy the most.

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