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What is the Best Beef for Steak?
Every now then, there’s that overwhelming craving to have an excellent steak. But, the question is: what is the best meat for that perfect steak? You’ve probably experienced that mediocre steak, even though it looked like it would be a good one. What’s the trick to finding the right meat for steak?
In the search for the perfect steak, you need to look at the cut and the meat itself. Just because it says steak on the package doesn’t mean it’s going to make a perfect steak. Look for the steaks that come from the best areas of the rib, tenderloin or short loin areas, such as:
- Ribeye steaks
- T-bone steaks
- Porterhouse steaks
- Strip (AKA New York strip or Kansas City strip) steaks
- Filet Mignon
Filet mignon is usually the most expensive cut and most tender, but it doesn’t have as much fat in it as other cuts. This means that it’s not as flavorful as other primal cuts, which is why it’s often wrapped in bacon for extra flavor. If you’re looking for tenderness and flavor in a grilled steak, filet mignon is definitely not the best choice.
While the proper cut is important to look for, it’s also essential to look at how marbled a steak is. The white, marbled lines in a steak are the fat of the meat, which is what shows how tender the cut is and also makes the steak flavorful. If you get a lean steak without much marbling, it’ll be tough to chew and lacking the delicious flavor of a good steak. Usually, the right cut also has the right marbling, but there might be that lean cow that isn’t even tender in its most primal cuts.
Some stores will have grades, like prime, choice and select. Prime is the best out of the three, then choice, then select. But, if the steaks don’t have any sort of grade to identify which is best, merely look at the marbling. Most often, the grades are decided by how much marbling a steak has anyway, so it’s not that difficult to decide for yourself which is the best steak to choose from.
But beware of the price of steaks. While the most marbling is the best option, it’s also the most expensive. If you’ve got a tight budget, a lot of marbling may not be your best option. That doesn’t mean you need to go for a lean, fatless steak, you just need to look for a less expensive primal cut with an adequate amount of marbling.
Thickness of the steak may also play a part in how great of a steak you have. It’s up to you how thick you want it, but the general rule is to stay under two inches and above one inch. Having it too thick may undercook the meat and too thin will overcook the steak. While you’re certain you wouldn’t enjoy a raw core, overdone beef is miserable to chew. So, keep from getting something too thin or too thick to ensure that you have something tender and cooked to perfection.
There you have it. The best beef for a perfect steak is a primal cut from the ribs, short loin or tenderloin with a lot of marbling and a proper thickness. Grill it, broil it, or cook it however you’d like and enjoy. It’s not just how you cook a steak; it’s also how you choose one.