Before you choose and begin cooking steak, it helps to understand which part of the animal it came from. The cow is divided into eight primal cuts (see Illustration).
The tenderness or toughness of steak cuts really depends on how much the animal has had to use the muscle. Cuts near the front (chuck/shoulder) and the back end (round/hip) are used for movement, are going to be tougher. Cuts from the rib and short loin will be tender.
We have rated each steak for flavor and tenderness based on experience, research and feedback from others. The rating is out of 5, the best being 5 out of 5 and the lowest 1 out of 5. But before you race out and buy the best rated steaks, if you know how to cook steak with the proper cooking method any beef steak recipe can be tender.
Let me explain, you have just purchased two steaks, a t-bone steak and a bottom round steak, your grill is fired up and your ready to start cooking steak. Now if you do nothing but take both steaks directly from the package to the grill, cook to medium rare, the t-bone steak is going to be tender and the bottom round is going to be tough and chewy. We have rated all steaks based on this cooking method, so to acquire flavor and tenderness, different cooking methods must be used for different parts of the animal. By following the directions for each of the different cuts, you can make any tough steak tender and a flavorful grilled steak recipe.
The chuck starts from the neck and includes ribs 1 to 5. Steak cuts from this area are very tasteful and fatty. The chuck happens to be a heavily exercised muscle and contains a great deal of connective tissue including collagen. Collagen melts during cooking, making the meat intensely flavorful. Cooking steak from this area benefit from slow, wet cooking methods.
|Blade Steak||Top Blade Steak|
|Chuck Tender Steak||Cross Rib Steak (Beef Shoulder Steak)||Burgers||Short Ribs(Grilling)||Korean Short Ribs(Grilling)|
The next primal cut is the rib, it reaches from the 6th rib, adjoining the chuck, through the 12th rib adjoining the loin. Rib cuts have excellent beefy flavor and are quite tender.
|Rib Steak||Beef Back Ribs|
The short loin extends from the last rib back through to the sirloin. Cooking steak from this section will receive rave reviews for their superb flavor and extreme tenderness.
|T-Bone Steak||Porterhouse Steak|
|Beef Tenderloin Steak (Filet Mignon)||Strip Loin Steak (Top Loin)|
The sirloin lies between the short loin and the round/hip. Though not as tender as the adjoining short loin, cuts from the sirloin are appreciated for their full-bodied flavor and firm satisfying texture
|Top Sirloin Steak||Top Sirloin Medallion|
|Sirloin Cap Steak||Tri Tip Steak|
The back of the cow called the round or hip, is the entire upper leg. Steak cuts from this area are lean and less tender. Round cuts are great for low fat diets, however a beef steak recipe from the hip should be marinaded to avoid being dry and chewy.
|Sirloin Tip Steak||Sirloin Tip Center Steak|
|Sirloin Tip Side Steak||Top Round Steak (Inside Round)|
|Bottom Round Steak (Outside Round)||Eye Of Round Steak|
The underside of the animal is divided into the brisket/shank, the plate and the flank. The brisket is the front portion of the beef breast that lies between the front legs and takes well to smoking, braising, or poaching. The plate is rarely sold at store level and the flank is usually sold as steak
|Grilling Beef Summary|
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