Steak Cuts Explained: How They Affect Your Plate

Although Britons may be eating less meals in favour of more and more vegetarian options, steaks are still an incredibly popular choice for men and women all over the country.

Unfortunately for meat-eaters, steaks remain the most expensive items on most menus which makes them something of a luxury for most diners. In order for you to get the very most out of your next steak dinner, we’ve put together a handy cheat-sheet which should help you pick the best cut for your palette.

Not all steak cuts are created equal, if you’ve ever been a little baffled by how or why one steak is more expensive than the other then look no further than our run-down here. Some of these cuts might not be found on a typical steak menu, so if you’re looking to sate your curiosity then you may have to take a trip to your local butcher to find them.

Sirloin

Considered to be the ‘Snob’s steak’, the sirloin is by no means cheap, but it makes up for this by packing a huge amount of flavour. This cut is taken from the middle of the animal’s back and, as such, is usually a handsome size (for those who prioritise mass) and tends to be well marbled, which provides it with its signature depth of flavour.

Rib-Eye

Coming from the fore rib, rib-eye steaks come with a handy piece of fat placed in the centre which aids the flavour of this cut. Rib-eye steaks are becoming more and more popular with younger eaters who are seeking the purest steak flavour in combination with the ideal tenderness. Of course, the quality of your final meal will depend on how your steak is prepared, but it’s certainly harder to get wrong with a rib-eye!

Fillet

Those looking for a leaner meal can’t do much worse than the fillet steak. There is absolutely no fat in this cut which also means that it’s lacking somewhat in good flavour. As a result of this bland flavour this steak is usually paired with a potent peppercorn sauce that serves to lift the flavour of the meal.

Rump

The rump’s steak has the honour of being ‘the steak eater’s steak’, found on the backside of the animal, it must be well-hung in order to develop very best flavour. You can get some huge cuts of this steak which makes it a perfect choice for two sharing or even a whole party, if accompanied with suitable sides. Rump steaks have a tendency to be a little more expensive than your standard cut, worth taking into account if you’re considering cooking for a few people…

T-Bone

Taken from the lower part of the cow, T-bone steaks tend to combine the qualities of both sirloin and fillet, which can make them difficult to cook, therefore it’s not recommended that you order this from a restaurant that doesn’t look up to snuff. If you’re choosing to cook this at home then you’ll have to deal with the compromise inherent in the cut, the whole steak won’t be tender but some of it will be sublime.

Minute Steak

Finally, this is the cheapest cut by far, but it shouldn’t be avoided just for this reason. A ‘minute steak’ is essentially a thin slice from any part of the animal that is intended to be flash-fried in just a few minutes, hence name. This is the ideal choice for a steak sandwich, or even for throwing into a stir-fry. If you’re planning on eating this conventionally then pay extra care not to over cook it as you’re sure to be awarded with a leathery consistency.