What are the different grades of beef?
Beef is graded by the USDA for quality and price. There are six grades of beef: prime, choice, select, standard, commercial, and utility. Prime beef is the best quality beef, and it is more expensive. Choice beef is a slightly less-expensive quality grade, but it is still good. Select beef is the next quality grade, followed by standard, commercial, and finally utility.
What temperature should steak be cooked to?
Steak should be cooked to a temperature that is between 125° F and 130° F. This is the best temperature for a medium-rare steak. This temperature is the best because the steak will still feel slightly firm in the center. If the steak is cooked to a higher temperature, it will be more well done. If the steak is cooked to a lower temperature, it will be more rare.
Types of steaks and when to use them
There are five main types of steak cuts: rib eye, top sirloin, strip, flank, and tenderloin. The cuts vary in texture and tenderness. The rib eye is the most tender, but also the most expensive. The top sirloin is the most economical, but also the toughest. The strip is the most tender, but also the chewiest.
Porterhouse and T-Bone Steak
What is it? Porterhouse and T-Bone steaks are similar cuts of beef that come from the short loin. These cuts both have a T-shaped bone in the middle and contain two different pieces of meat: tenderloin and strip steak. Porterhouse steaks are cut from the rear end of the short loin and contain a larger portion of the tenderloin, while T-Bone steaks are cut from the front end and contain a smaller portion of the tenderloin.
Why use it? This steak gives you two different steaks in one! One side is super meaty, the other tender. The bone in the middle keeps things cooking evenly.
What is it? The ribeye is a cut of beef that is marbled with fat and is delicious when cooked. As with other steaks, you can buy boneless and bone-in ribeye. This cut of meat is also found in a bigger piece that is further down the cow’s ribcage. The best way to cook ribeye is by pan-frying it in a hot pan. You can also grill or sear it in a hot pan. You can also cook it in a crock pot.
When use it? The marbling of fat in this steak allows it to be a lot softer. The fat melts out when the steak is heated up in the pan. If you like to eat red meat, choose a bone-in cut with good fat content.
New York Strip Steak
What is it? A New York strip steak is a lean cut of beef from the short loin area. It is one side of the porterhouse or T-bone steak and is always served boneless. New York strip steaks are typically marbled with fat and are best when cooked quickly over high heat.
Why use it? The New York strip is a lean cut of beef steak with little fat. It is an excellent choice for mass appeal.
Top Sirloin Steak
What is it? The top sirloin comes from the back area of the cow, just behind the short loin. The bones and bottom round muscles have been removed, leaving a lean and flavorful steak.
Why use it? The sirloin is a less expensive cut of steak that can still yield a tender and flavorful result. This cut of steak is best suited for marinating and is a more budget-conscious steak option.
What is it? Filet mignon is a type of steak that comes from the small tip portion of the tenderloin. It is a lean cut of meat that is very tender and juicy. Filet mignon is a popular choice for steak lovers because it is a relatively lean cut of meat that is full of flavor.
Why use it? The filet is the most tender piece of beef steak and is still quite lean. It is a pricey option, but the resulting melt-in-your-mouth tenderness is unparalleled.
Bone-in vs Boneless Steak
Steak lovers everywhere are divided on whether bone-in or boneless steaks are better. In my opinion, I think that bone-in steaks are better because the bone adds more flavor to the steak and also acts as a natural grill. Bone-in steaks are also easier to cook and allow more space for the meat to cook evenly. Boneless steaks, on the other hand, don’t have any bones in them so there is no way for the steak to be grilled. Additionally, boneless steaks cook much faster than their bone-in counterparts.
Many people don’t realize that cooking with the bone still in DOES impact the overall cooking time of your steak. The bone actually changes the way heat is distributed while cooking, and can often help your steak cook more evenly overall. Additionally, it gives you a little more leeway when it comes to overcooking as well. Bone-in steaks will require a longer cooking time because the bone itself acts as an insulator for the meat surrounding it. It takes a little more time for the heat to penetrate through to the interior of the steak, but once it does it will spread out evenly.