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What Are Steak Tips?

I can't believe I never found out when I lived back there. What are steak tips, or is that like asking what's in a hot dog?

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  1. They were "sirloin tips" at one time, and still are in many places. My understanding is that they're cut from the upper part of the sirloin, near where it joins the short loin, so they're something like a cut-up sirloin steak. If they're just marketed as "steak tips" I guess they could come from anywhere.

    1. I've only heard of steak tips in New England. Is it national or mostly regional?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Willy3000

        Okay - after reading what you posted about what you think of Boston restaurants - I know you're not shy. I think you said you lived in Boston for 11 years. It's a regional cut of meat, and sirloin steak tips were sold in every store in the butcher department (not a mystery meat). It's like somebody asking about the delicious Chicago tri-tip - regional - but just curious why you would compare a cut of beef to a hot dog?

        1. re: Rubee

          "Steak tips" sounds like mystery meat to me. The comparison to hot dogs was sardonic, as in who the hell knows what's in a hot dog anyway?

          1. re: Rubee

            I'm just guessing, but to me it implied that when a cut of meat is labeled "tips" it implies a mystery meat mashup. After all, why doesn't the name tell us where its really coming from?! Its ambiguous, and thus open to the most negative interpretation. Is it jumbled scraps? Also... it could be from different cuts. Others have mentioned sirloin tips and I was thinking of filet tips.

        2. got them in canada.. or at least where i live. not the nicest cut of steak, i usually only use them cut up in stews or in strips for stir fry

          1. So these are not tips of beef filet? I use them (and have generally refered to them as "beef tips") for classic stroganoff, or a quick version of the Cantonese dish "Chinese Sizzling Beef" Usually you can get them *relatively* cheap, or reserve the tip area from the purchase of bulk filet of beef.

            So... is this particular item refering only to sirloin tips, or also to filet tips?

            1. so comparing a steak tip to a hot dog? ok, steak tips are just another cut of meat, like ribeye, or new york, or sirloin, they're just a cut of steak

              1. They're a regional thing. Locally, they're sirloin steak tips, or 'tips' or kabobs cut from sirloin 'flap'. From your other Boston posts, I assume that is what you mean by 'back there' in your question. Sorry, I guess I was confused as to how living in Massachusetts for years, this was a mystery as to what it's made of. Anyways, here's some info: Every grocery store has them in the meat case or butcher counter labeled "sirloin tips" whole in strips, or cut. I'm trying to find a picture. They're always grilled. In restaurants, it's usually served as marinated chunks of steak, old-school is over rice pilaf.

                Here's one article on flap:


                I guess the closest pic I can find is from that article - steak tips would be this, cut into kabobs instead of sliced:


                Found a pic of what they look like whole in strips:


                Oh, and if anyone is interested, the best tips are found at a Chowhound spot called New Bridge in Chelsea. :



                1. My steak tips are:

                  - Buy a good quality cut for two
                  - Season well with salt and pepper
                  - Get a grill good and hot
                  - Cook it perfectly MR for me and Med for DW
                  - Grab some onion rings, a good ballgame, a really comfy sofa
                  - Relax with DW

                  AND ENJOY

                  1. I grew up in Boston living there for 50 years. My favorite meal was steak tips and salad where I could get at a lot of different places (new bridge café, Floramos, etc.). I moved to florida 5 years ago and cant find anything close. I went to meat store and butcher looked at me weird. I did have him cut me some of what he called tips and I marinated them like I always did in boston. They were a lot tougher and didn't taste half as good. Living in Boston I never paid attention to what cut of meat it was as they sold big bags of them at hill top butcher shop for 3-4 dollars a pound. I saw another post where they suggested sirloin flap meat. I will try that and see if it marinates well. I have a great marinate recipe I will share. 8 ounces of Italian dressing, 8 ounces of cranberry juice, 6 ounces of coke, 10 ounces of ketchup, 5 lbs of tips. Best to let the marinated over night. Cook them on real hot grill mostly on one side then flip for maybe 1 minute. I will post back when I try meat type. FYI I got this tip from old time butcher in Bostons north end. He would make his own Italian dressing with olive oil to use in recipe. Said it tenderized meat better. He was right as I tried couple of times but most I was lazy and used kens or wishbone.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Paulc0075

                      Yep, sirloin butt flap. The Costco near me (in MA) labels them that way. Here's a good article on them http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/05/th...

                      One of the comments there says the poster gets them in Florida from Winn-Dixie but they have to be special ordered and it's not commonly in their pricing system.

                    2. When you are butchering or trimming whole primal like a loin or tenderloin one end generally tappers off. If you are making cut's based on a consistent weight, such as 12 oz. sirloins or 8 oz. filet mignon's when you get to the tapered end of the primal you will lose the desired shape for the size cut you want. Thus you are generally left with some decent meat, that just doesn't match the rest of your cuts. So this "left" over is cut into cubes and used as "steak tips".

                      The above mentioned are from more quality and tender cuts so they can be used in many dishes. Cut's from lower quality primal's will be used for stew meats or braising where the low and slow method of cooking will tenderize the meat more.

                      Steak tips should never be like a hot dog, a combination of unspecified meats they can be very quality cuts, just useless for the specific purpose of the rest of the primal.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        Interesting.....you cannot edit to ad a picture to your post?

                        Anywho.....Here is a picture of a whole trimmed tenderloin. As you can see it starts to taper off towards the right side. I placed that blue line to show you where you would start losing a consistency in size/shape of the individual Filet Mignon's if you are trying to keep them of the same weight. So anything to the right of that blue line could be cubed and served as "Filet Tips".

                        (you could also get one or two "petite" Filet's if you were serving a smaller cut)

                      2. 1185A sirloin flap is likely what is being referred to. It is not mystery meat and its no longer cheap. Over cooked its tough as hell. Under cooked its gummy. Med to med rare is where you want to be. Very strong beefy flavor.