Choosing the best cut of steak can make all the difference when it comes to getting a nice piece of tender meat and a disgusting chewy piece of rubber.
Every year, 26 billion pounds of beef arrive on the US market, so you’ve got a wide variety to choose from when dinnertime rolls around.
Yet, not every piece of beef’s created equal. So if you want to get the best results from your cooking efforts, you need to know what you’re doing when it comes to choosing the best cuts of meat.
The best cut of steak for your meal depends on what you’re making, so read on to maximize your culinary experience.
The Best Steak Cuts 101
Knowing your cuts of meat is key to deciding on the best steak cut. These are the most common types of steak available and what they’re good for:
- T-Bone: best for grilling
- Porterhouse: sear it on a cast-iron skillet
- Ribeye: best for grilling at high heat
- Filet mignon: tasty and tender when pan-fried
- Top sirloin: a cheap cut suitable for large cookouts
- Strip steak: best for grilled steak
- Flank steak: slice it up for sandwiches, stir-fry, and fajitas
- Beef chuck primal cut: slow-roasting excellence
As you see, some of these steaks work for more than one type of meal, so chat with your butcher about your specific recipe when making your choice.
The Best Cut of Steak for Burgers
Of the above, the best steak cuts for burgers are beef, chuck, sirloin, and strip steaks. You can also use less common cuts like hanger steak, boneless short rib, round, and brisket.
Whichever type of meat you choose, making your own ground beef is the best way to ensure optimum quality.
So if you like to make burgers and on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to buy your own top quality meat grinder. Browsing some online meat grinder reviews will help you choose the best one.
Other top tips include ensuring all your equipment’s really cold when working with the meat, and using a gentle hand when forming the patties.
Choosing a Tender Steak
If you’re after the most tender steak in town, there are a few things to look out for. Here’s how to check the tenderness of beef cuts:
A fine meat grain has small, fine fibers giving it a smooth appearance and feels soft to the touch.
Fewer muscle groups mean less white connective tissue, which makes meat tough. If you’re braising meat over a long time, connective tissue breaks down into tasty gelatin.
The more visible fat you can see in the meat means the more flavor it has, but this comes at the expense of tenderness.
Filet mignon is the most tender cut of beef, but it can lack flavor. On the other hand, sirloin strikes a happy medium between tenderness and taste.
Price is never a good indicator of quality when it comes to steak. Always inspect each individual piece of meat to ensure it meets your needs.
Eat Well, Live Well
Finding the best cut of steak is only the starting point for preparing the best meals and snacks. Ultimately, any steak cooked properly is a delicious and nutritious form of protein.
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