We've talked elsewhere about how to grill a steak (as well as the best ways to cook a steak indoors). We've also identified the best steak and the right way to cook it. But if you like to keep your options open, here is a list of the 10 best steaks to grill.
01 of 10
The ribeye steak is perhaps the finest of all steaks, offering a combination of luxurious tenderness plus big, beefy flavor. Whether you opt for the boneless or bone-in version, ribeye steaks are ideal candidates for the grill. Sometimes you'll hear it called a ribeye, other times a rib steak, but for all practical purposes, the two terms are synonymous.
02 of 10
Alternately called a New York strip, Kansas City strip, strip loin or top loin steak, the strip steak is every bit as magnificent as the ribeye. So much so that it's impossible to say one is better than the other. Think of them as #1 and #1A. Strip steaks might pack more intense beef flavor than a ribeye, possibly at the expense of tenderness, but there are so many variables, including grading, aging, and marbling, that it's impossible to say. The bone-in version, while less common, is sometimes called a club steak.
03 of 10
Beef tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef. This long, pencil-shaped muscle resides deep within the beef short loin, where it avoids most of the heavy lifting that can make a steak tough. The downside? It's not particularly flavorful. Cuts from the pointy part of the pencil are where we get filet mignon (beware of butchers who call any tenderloin steaks filet mignon). Lower fat content can make them dry. Your best bet is to enjoy the tenderloin as part of a Porterhouse steak...
04 of 10
Here's where the fun begins. The Porterhouse steak is a cross-section of the beef short loin, taken from the rump end, where it will feature a cross-section of the backbone, with a portion of the ribeye muscle on one side and a slice of the tenderloin on the other side. These will cost you an arm and a leg at a steakhouse, but you can grill Porterhouse steaks at home for a fraction of the cost.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
T-bone steaks are a lot like Porterhouse steaks, only they are cut slightly forward on the short loin and thus have less, or possibly none, of the tenderloin muscle attached. Conversely, because they come further away from the rump, the ribeye muscle in the T-bone is slightly more tender than in a Porterhouse.
06 of 10
Our first selection to come from somewhere other than the short loin, skirt steak comes to us from the beef plate primal cut, specifically from the inside of the chest and abdominal cavity, where it helps the animal breathe. Thick-grained and bound with chewy connective tissue, the skirt steak is nevertheless extremely flavorful, and provided you cook it very fast on a very hot grill (even directly on the coals), will make a splendid dinner. Be sure to slice it against the grain.
07 of 10
Top sirloin steaks for most people represent a compromise between cost on one side, flavor and tenderness on the other. Taken from the beef sirloin primal cut, which runs from the lower back to the hip bone, a top sirloin steak is much less tender than its counterpart in the short loin, but still tender enough to grill. It will be drier and tougher, so take special care to avoid overcooking.
08 of 10
Flank steak comes from the beef flank primal cut or the belly, and like the skirt steak, it is both flavorful and tough, with fat bundles of muscle fibers that make up its thickly grained texture. As with the skirt steak, flank steak needs to be grilled quickly over very high heat and sliced against the grain. A good marinade will add flavor (but marinating does not tenderize the meat).Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Sometimes referred to as a "poor man's ribeye," chuck eye steaks are the very first or maybe first two steaks cut from the beef chuck primal cut, right where it joins the rib primal. Since the precise location of the division is arbitrary, the first chuck eye steak is basically a ribeye. But because it came from the chuck rather than the rib, they can't call it a ribeye, which means they can't charge as much for it. Maybe they should call it the "smart person's ribeye" instead.
10 of 10
Flat-iron steaks are one of the newest steaks to emerge from the beef industry's efforts to deconstruct the beef carcass in new and creative ways, and one of the most successful ones at that. Taken from the beef chuck primal, flat-iron steaks are basically a top blade steak that's cut lengthwise rather than crosswise, thus avoiding the thick seam of gristle that traverses it. Cook it quickly until medium rare and enjoy.