Types of steak vary depending on the part of the animal the meat is cut from. It also depends on the tenderness of the meat, whether the meat is attached to a bone or not, fat content, among other factors.
Different cuts of steak require different methods of cooking; from pan-frying to grilling, or a combination of both. The type of steak also determines its value and cost. The cheaper cuts are usually the toughest. Below are nine different types of steak available in the market today.
1. Tenderloin Steak
Tenderloin is the tenderest cut of beef steak. It is cut from the short loin and sirloin, under the ribs of a cow. Whole tenderloin steak is wide on one end and narrow towards the other. The narrower end is where Filet mignon is cut from. Cuts from the thicker end are called Châteaubriand. Tenderloin is available as a boneless steak.
These are among the most expensive types of steak, yet they are also highly in demand at the best fine dining restaurants. The reason for its popularity is largely attributed to the taste. Whereas this steak is tender and has been described as cutting into butter, it lacks flavour for lack of fat and marbling. For extra taste, it can be wrapped in bacon before cooking it.
These types of steak come in thick cuts. They are best cooked by first searing it on a hot cast iron pan and then transferring it to the oven for the final cook.
2. New York Strip Steak
This steak is culled from the short loin, behind the ribs. It’s usually sold boneless and served the same way. It’s almost rectangular and has a tapered edge. It has a lovely, beefy taste since it’s well-marbled and has some large pieces of fat around it.
Although not as tender as the tenderloin, its texture is fine-grained with some fat. This steak is best cooked over high heat and allowed to sear beautifully. It can also be broiled or grilled. You can make sandwiches with it too.
3. Ribeye Steak
These types of steak are extracted from the upper ribcage. It is commonly known as the king of steak. It’s usually sold and served boneless and sometimes boned. The ribeye steak is a favourite for meat lovers due to its fat marbling, which makes it tender, juicy and flavourful.
It has an attractive appearance, with large pockets of fats distributed throughout. The centre is fine-grained while the outer areas are loose with more fat. It’s best cooked over high heat and can be pas seared, grilled or broiled.
4. Porterhouse Steak
This is a two-in-one steak. It has a t-shaped bone, with the longer side of the bone having meat on both sides. One side of this steak is a tenderloin steak while the other is a filet mignon. Because of this, it’s best to keep the tenderloin side away from direct heat when grilling the porterhouse steak.
5. T-Bone steak
This is similar to the porterhouse steak. The difference between the two is that the T-bone steak has a smaller tenderloin side and a larger filet mignon. It’s best cooked by grilling or broiling.
6. Flank Steak
From its name, Flank steak is cut from the flank area of the cow. This is the area below the sirloin, along the abdomen. It is one of the famous beef cuts with plenty of connective tissues that give it lots of flavours, but which makes it less tender. It’s best marinated and cooked quickly over high heat. When serving, it should be thinly-cut across the grain for maximum tenderness.
7. Flat Iron Steak
Also known as shoulder top blade steak or boneless top chuck steak, the flat iron is usually cut from the shoulder area, also known as the chuck. The meat is juicy and rich in flavour. It is not an expensive cut, but if well-marinated and cooked, it’s tender and tastier.
8. Skirt Steak
The skirt steak is often confused with flank steak. It comes from the diaphragm of the cow, an area known as the plate. It has a leathery texture and is juicy and beefy. It’s flavourful and suitable for grilling. Skirt steaks take marinades very well and can be stir-fried. The steak is used to make fajitas.
9. Brisket Steak
These types of steak are from the breast area located at the top of the front leg of the animal, which is known as the foreshank. It’s a lean and juicy cut that’s wonderfully delicious when braised. Slow-cooking it breaks down the connective tissues, resulting in very juicy, tender beef.
If you know the different types of steak available in the market, you can choose the ideal one for your occasion. A skirt or flank steak is perfect when feeding a group, while the filet mignon is perfect for a date night.