HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


What is the best steak?

Having been brought up on first cut ribs steaks from aged prime beef, I was wondering what the rest of you steak eater consider the best cut of beef? The rib on any animal, beef, lamb,and veal have the best flavor. That's just my opinion. However, a great cut of meat has to be handled in just the right way. What do you like as your favorite?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Skirt Steak is the most tasty cut in my opinion.

    If it's on the menu, I order it. Always tender and never dissappoints.

    1. It's a tie between Skirt and Rib Eye.

      8 Replies
      1. re: bigmackdaddy

        Bingo, I agree...skirt and rib eye. Good marbleing and tender on the ribeye, and great flavor on the skirt, though it must be sliced properly.

        1. re: DBrooks

          I'll add a third vote for skirt steak. Amazing flavor. I also like a NY strip but skirt steak is my first choice.

          1. re: pellegrino31

            The Skirt steaks I can find locally all are "Outer" cuts. Is this the same cut everyone here is talking about? Or is the better Skirt steak the "Inner" cut?

            1. re: egbluesuede

              I've seen both. The inside is smaller and somewhat leaner, as the fat is in a clump and is trimmed off. It also narrows almost to a point. The outside is bigger and stays pretty much the same width all the way. I haven't really thought about the difference that much in terms of texture and taste - I think they're pretty close.

              The inside skirt is the Transverse Abdominis, IMPS/NAMP 121D.

              The outside skirt is the actual diaphragm muscle, IMPS/NAMP 121C.

              Here's a couple of good sites:



              1. re: applehome

                Thanks applehome. Those are great links and helps explain a lot. I guess once I trim the membrane off, it probably doesn't matter.

              2. re: pellegrino31

                New York steak at a steak house
                Skirt steak at a Roumanian steak house
                Rib steak at home
                I love steak!

              3. re: DBrooks

                Yep, Ribeyes and skirt steaks, I like a well-grilled flank steak as well.

              1. I'm largely a non-steak eater. Recently I tasted a beef steak cut in Brazil that comes from right above where tail meets body (according to the chart/diagram on the menu). The cut was the main draw of the restaraurant, and was very good. Anyone have an idea of what that cut would be in the US?

                7 Replies
                  1. re: coll

                    Thanks, coll. Great chart. As you know, cuts of meat differ in different places. The cut I ate must have been a small, upper sub-section of the rump. The menu chart showed a very small section from which the steaks were taken.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Yeah, cuts of meat differ. It's like a slice and dice problem, there are a zillion ways to dissect the same 3-D object. The chart above is South African. In the US, it's very different. Especially the prime area we call short loin. They call it sirloin, and they cut the leg up into cuts I've never heard of. I've also seen cuts in Colombian steakhouses in NYC that I just can't translate.

                      US chart:

                      1. re: Brian S

                        The cut is called churrasco... skirt steak

                        1. re: marie15

                          No, betwin the tail and the runp, it's the coulote, also called the Sirloin flap. Triangle shaped, much like a flank, but sweeter. Best cut for bavet. Skirt is good, but coulote is better.

                  2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    the cut you ate could be churrasco, which is translated to skirt steak. This cut is the main steak cut in latin america...

                  3. The T bone, or Porterhouse, I like getting a little filet, and strip steak all in one. Plus the bone gives the meat incredible flavor

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: swsidejim

                      I second the T-bone. However, if you know your butcher, and trust him to pick a good sirloin for you to grill , I think sirloin is the best value for the $$. I have a husband and kid who want steak at least twice a week, and I 'd go broke buying enough t-bone or NY strip to keep up with them. Plus with sirloin, you don't feel bad about using it 100 different ways in leftovers.

                      1. re: Lazy Susan

                        I hear what you are saying T-Bones, and Porterhouses are not cheap especially "Prime" grade.

                        Luckily I go to a great small town butcher who invites me behind the counter as he cuts steaks for me. He doesnt like to sell steak by weight, but by thickness. Also when I visit he always has a recommendation as to what is good on that particular visit.

                        Having an excellent butcher locally is an invaluabel asset.

                        1. re: swsidejim

                          Absolutely agree, swsidejim. One of our local food shows talked about the trend of folks not buying bone-in steak/beef anymore. They'll buy a strip or a filet. Don't know if they were exagerrating or not. My local grocer (not butcher, sadly, no time last weekend) had about a dozen varieties of boneless, skinless chicken/turkey breast, but I couldn't get the cornish hens I wanted to cook, and I think they had just a few roasting chickens. Too bad.

                          1. re: thegolferbitch

                            The bones carry so much flavor, and the litte bite of marrow you can get is makes it even better.

                            I enjoy bone in pork chops as well as bone steaks. Perhaps the reason they are less popular is because they take a little longer, and take a little more expertise to cook evenly.

                            Either way more for me ; )

                            1. re: swsidejim

                              Also, you pay by weight for the bone, and those bones are heavy.

                              1. re: Brian S

                                but those bones are sooooooo yummy!

                        2. re: Lazy Susan

                          +1 Lazy Susan with T-Bone and Sirloin. +1 swsidejim, and those above the bone in a T-Bone especially a thick Porterhouse is an ultimate steak treat. But for under $3 a pound more often eat over half porterhouse price top sirloin. From a good butcher is key. Recently got sirloin steak for the price of burger on sale at around $2 a pound. I like one inch thick pound each sirloin with very little waste. Often cook over natural mesquite wood charcoal bought at Cash-n-Carry in a 40 pound bag for $12 that lasts half a year. Or use some other kind of wood if around like cherry or alder. Searing steaks inside on hot cast iron pan was always setting my smoke alarm off so now do it outside year round. Often only eat part of a big steak as tastes so great left over. Re-heat left over in an oven later. If bulk will eat some fresh then and freeze extra steaks two at a time (vacuum pack or for short term use non-BPA Ziploc freezer bags). The most affordable best meals can be had at home. Some restaurants have better grade beef and getting out can be part of a special treat on neutral ground.

                          A favorite local place, Sayler's Country Kitchen http://saylers.com/dinner.htm has top sirloins and other steaks for better than some prices with a not so stuffy atmosphere. Example: 16 oz sirloin is $24.95 with relish tray, chives in sour cream dip / topping, steak sauce, salad, butter, bread, and ice cream. Sirloins there come smaller and much bigger. If a person can eat the always on hand in glass case 72 oz sirloin steak with trimmings in an hour it is free. Many men and even several women have done it through the years! Ringside is another old favorite. Well aged and especially dry aged like at El Gaucho meat tastes great and is maybe the best while is way more expensive not sure worth it. Steak at home is best to me because can know more what it is and is the most affordable to eat steak somewhat often instead of only as a treat.

                          The best meat is grown with people you know in a mostly grass fed natural way. If have access to it. For a reasonable price when least expect comes usually cut and wrapped and you pick it up at the meat shop and have to buy half a beef at a time minimum (takes cash when available and immediate long term freezer space). Limousine and Texas Long Horn are naturally leaner breads in general so I personally like when some want more marbling (that is increased number of fat specks all over in the meat some feel adds flavor). Roosevelt elk in general is a bit leaner than beef while can taste similar. When eat Roosevelt elk that has been eating mostly corn, grass, and clover find them very yummy. Often it is not possible to get home grown beef or natural fed elk so often make do with the best top sirloin steak deal can find at the local store.

                      2. First choice: Bone-in rib steak

                        Second choice: Skirt or hanger steak

                        2 Replies
                        1. -----

                          My first choice, Rib Eye.
                          My second is, T-Bone or PH.
                          What I end up getting... Chuck Steak, of which in my area has a rather, good price per pound, and still has a good flavor.

                          Edit: 7-Bone is normally the good cut for Chuck Steak.


                          Edit. What is the obsession with Skirt Steak? I have always found them very tough, if not impossible, to get a tender cut.


                          3 Replies
                          1. re: RShea78

                            People weren't talking tender - just taste. And ounce for ounce, skirt has great taste. You just have to make sure that your piece is cut with the grain very short - chewing is easier when you don't have to chew long grains of muscle.

                            The opposite is Tenderloin - super tender, but no flavor. Good for gray-hairs with false teeth, but hardly worth even the simple chewing effort.

                            As far as cheap steak goes, try blade steak, also from the shoulder. Small, well-marbled pieces with a long piece of cartiledge down the middle - the cartiledge is easy to cut out when eating or not - some people like to chew on that as well. They typically cut these thin, so it's a pan-fried steak - perfect for steak diane, au poivre - any kind of quick pan steak where you make pan drippings into sauce/gravy.

                            1. re: applehome

                              I think a filet is fine, but does need substantially more seasoning, Skirt is very flavorful and tender is cooked right and cut right. Filet is very good and tender looks pretty. Too many people think food looks better is it is a pretty nice round steak. Not me, but there are many who do and also think because it costs the most on a menu it is the best. Not true. I love skirt steak and cook it a lot. A great cut.

                            2. re: RShea78

                              You need to know how to cook it and marinate it and it also depends on where you are buying it...

                            3. Off the grill I like a bone in Rib or T-Bone.
                              I love skirt steak and thinly sliced flank steak for arracheras and carne asada.
                              The most mouth watering piece of beef is that moon-shaped outer portion on a slice from a standing rib roast, preferably from rib 8, 9 or 10.

                              1. Prime rib eye, pan fried in a little butter and worchester sauce.

                                1. Bone-in ribeye. For fat, tenderness, and flavor...there is none better. Plus, unless you cook it well-done, it's about impossible to mess-up.

                                  Other than that, hanger. Easier to mess-up but when it is done right it has terrific flavor.

                                  1. Rib eye or rib steak.

                                    1. Dry aged rib eye or strip steak if I am splurging and skirt steak for an everyday cut.

                                      Although I prefer the on the bone rib eye since my wife likes her meat medium rare and I like it rare we usually get the strip steak since its easier to cook it for each of us than getting a giant rib steak on the bone to share.

                                      As for the poster asking about skirt steak, I usually marinate it over night (probably overkill but am at work so can't marinate it for just a few hours) in soy sauce, a little fresh lemon juice, garlic, ginger and maybe some red wine if I have a little left over in a bottle. Then just throw it in my grill skillet that I have heated under the broiler and broil for 2 minutes per side for rare. Awesome and super easy. 5 minutes of prep the night before and 5 minutes to cook.

                                      1. I think it varies from place to place. Most steakhouses specialize in one particular cut. In NYC, the best cuts usually come from the short loin, the part of the back just below the ribs. But I've learned that the most flavorful cut to order in a NYC Argentinian steakhouse is the skirt steak. And in Oklahoma, the ribeye rules.

                                        Here is a chart (US version, it differs from country to country)
                                        http://www.cooksillustrated.com/image... If I'm buying a steak, I go for one with lavish marbling.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Brian S

                                          In Montreal, where I grew up, bone-in rib steaks were prized, and I believe they're probably still the most frequently ordered cut. It's rare (no pun intended) to see T-bone or porterhouse on a steakhouse menu in Montreal.

                                          Growing up in a kosher household, porterhouse, sirloin, and other loin cuts were not even an option as these cuts are not kosher. Lucky for me, what I grew up with turned out to be the best.

                                          1. re: FlavoursGal

                                            When someone mentions rib steaks in Montreal, I can only think of Moishes... what a fond childhood memory that place is!

                                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                                              Hi. Just curious that any cut through the animal's bone (such as rib steak) could still be considered 'kosher'? I've often wondered how the culture managed these hurdles with steaks! Anyway interesting stuff, and enjoy whatever beef you're having, vive le Montreal, best city in Canada.

                                              General discussion -- I'm hooked on cast iron-seared 'bavette' and recently tried skirt a few times - once it was great, another time the taste was just awful. Please anybody recommend the best way to ensure good bavette style steak (there are some boring cuts that look similar.)

                                            1. For all of us skirt steak lovers out there, there's a lovely recipe on the current page of Leite's Culinaria, from Thomas Keller.

                                              I learned something from reading this. How many of you were unaware, as I was, that the classic, delicious French bavette is skirt steak.


                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                Bavette is not skirt steak. I see it occasionally available in Montreal restaurants. It's a flap steak(or extention of the flank steak).

                                                1. re: BLM

                                                  Mon dieu! I shall send an email to Thomas Keller c/o The French Laundry and Bouchon tout de suite. Quelle horreur!

                                              2. Ribeye

                                                Filet. Just kidding.

                                                1. I personally prefer hanger steak to skirt steak. I think it's more naturally tender and has such a pronounced beef flavor. If it's on a menu, it's what I'm ordering.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: hasday1

                                                    and I'm sure you know this, but some don't- hangar steak is often refered to as "Onglet"

                                                    1. re: jpschust

                                                      A rib steak can also be referred to as "Entrecote" but we don't want to start sounding unnecessarily pretentious.

                                                      It is "hanger" by the way. Otherwise we are talking about sheds...

                                                      1. re: CDouglas

                                                        It's not pretentious if you're French. The same cut of meat can be called something different if you're from a different place or speak a different language. Not a big deal.

                                                  2. Dry aged (30 days min.) N.Y. or Ribeye....nothing else even in the same ballpark

                                                    Not sure what the fascination with skirt steak is....it must be marinated, seared quickly and cut in strips to be able to enjoy it properly..not even sure why it is called steak

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: nyfoodjoe

                                                      What would you call it - cereal?

                                                      Steak is steak is steak... a chunka meat cooked by itself ( as opposed to a roast which is cooked whole then cut for serving). I mean - if we can accept steak&cheese, pepper steak, steak tips... Skirt is easy. Skirt isn't always cut up and put into fajita's - if you've never had a great skirt steak served whole (and falling off the sides of your large oval plate), go to Sammy's Roumanian in NYC.

                                                      In fact, it's getting so that "steak" steak is hardly worth going out for these days. You're in NYC, so Luger's is available for you. But if you limit yourself to that (aged prime) think of all the deep beef flavors you're missing - like Chodorow's new place for Kobe and US Wagyu (although the nearby strip-joint got a higher rating), or consider BLT Prime and BLT Steak for both the aged prime and bistro cuts.

                                                      Here in Boston and other places that don't have a Luger's, you have a choice of the steak chains (Smith&Wesson, Crapital Grille, Ruth Hiss) or maybe a bistro to get a nice chunk of Onglet... ounce for ounce, the Onglet tastes better, the frites are better, the salad is better, the service is better, and the price is lower. I'll do my "steak" steaks at home, thank you.

                                                      1. re: applehome

                                                        "What would you call it - cereal?"

                                                        Thanks, applehome. That was good for a great laugh - and an out-loud one at that!

                                                      2. re: nyfoodjoe

                                                        nyfoodjoe Wrote: "Dry aged (30 days min.) N.Y. or Ribeye....nothing else even in the same ballpark"

                                                        Oh! I get it...

                                                        You like taking Beef Jerky to the ball games. How clever... ;-)


                                                        1. re: nyfoodjoe

                                                          Again if you know how to cook it you don't need to cut it in strips and not even need to marinate it more than 30 minutes.

                                                        2. If i had my choice (decision not grade) i would choice a plate of P'house, hangar and skirt. Call me the Hugh Hefner of steaks but how can I choose among three of my favorite food items in the world.

                                                          Since this is Chowhound I will take all three please.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            We should rename Chowhounders like us "chazzerim." ;-})

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              to be clear after reading my spelling mistakes, "I would choose a plate of Porterhouse...". with the HH reference I do not want it to be construed as "choice Penthouse"

                                                              1. re: jfood


                                                                I was almost ready to bet, the better half would have you in the doghouse, otherwise. ;-)


                                                            2. No question....

                                                              1. Rib-eye
                                                              2. Hanger steak

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: Meg

                                                                1 Rib-eye

                                                                2 What in the heck is Hanger steak?
                                                                Being Canadian I have to say I've never heard of this cut before?? Do tell

                                                                1. re: flipkeat

                                                                  Here you go, flipkeat - from Hormel's website. Yes, that Hormel. Believe it or not, this site is an excellent source for food info.


                                                                  By the way, you'll never find hanger steak at the supermarket. If you've got an old-fashioned butcher, ask him/her.

                                                                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                    Thanks Flavours ....That sure explains the different cuts alright..thanks again..

                                                                    1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                      sorry for the screwed up posting - I was trying edit my response to flipkeat since I didn't get the "re" line

                                                                    2. re: flipkeat

                                                                      Flipkeat: I'm Canadian and I know Hanger steak well; my butcher carries it. It comes from the diaphragm . . . medium tenderness. Has a very beefy flavour - some even detect a slight liver and/or iron flavour. It's similar to the Onglet.

                                                                      Bavette and skirt aren't the same: bavette comes from the loin ... had good marbling, is juicy and quite beefy. Skirt comes from the rib and overlaps w the loin (which may be why some people confuse the two). It has even more marbling w a good beefy flavour.

                                                                      And the skirt doesn't really need to be marinated (as the Keller recipe Flavourgal gave the link for indicates); my info about it says to sear on high heat 1 1/2 - 2 mins a side, to med-rare and rest.

                                                                      1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                        Skirt steak IS the diaphragm muscle, and not part of the rib. The hangar steak also seems to come from the diaphragm.

                                                                        You are thinking of the very marbled, very delicious strip of meat that runs above the rib eye. I think it's called something like "spinalis dorsi". Very few butchers are willing to sell you this as a standalone steak. This is a shame, since most people I know (who don't know any better) seek out rib eyes from the loin end that have little to none of this splendid muscle.

                                                                  2. This is getting boring, but more of the same:

                                                                    (1) Rib on the bone, USDA prime or Canada AAA, cut from the "inferior" end of the rib section AWAY from the loin steaks (I can't remember the rib number), dry aged 30-40 days, cut about 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick, seasoned with char crust and Lester's steak spice, cooked to 130 F on a Woodflame grill over mesquite and hickory chunks.

                                                                    (2) Skirt steak, prime or Canada AAA, marinated in olive oil with lots of fresh garlic and black pepper (NO acid), seared in a blazing hot cast iron pan about 2 minutes/side and cut thinly across the grain.

                                                                    I've never understood the attention paid to the loin cuts of beef. NY/shell/strip is tougher and dryer and has less flavour and more gristle, even in the highest grades. Tenderloin has a place in many preps, but it's really boring as a plain steak.

                                                                    19 Replies
                                                                    1. re: embee

                                                                      I believe that the infatuation that many people have for the loin cuts has to do with their [mistaken] notion that the less fat, the better.

                                                                      I remember walking through St. Lawrence Market with a friend who stopped to take a look at the steaks at one of the butchershops. When I heard her say, "Oh! Look at that beautiful sirloin - it's so lean," I just about took her head off. I do tend to proselytize when it comes to food.

                                                                      1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                        Not if it's prime. If it's not full of fat (well-marbled), it doesn't qualify for the highest grade. http://www.lobels.com/graphics/meatpi...

                                                                        1. re: Brian S

                                                                          Brian, I'm well aware of how beef is graded.

                                                                          Perhaps it's not clear in my post, but I'm responding to embee's question about why so much attention is paid to the loin cuts of beef.

                                                                          It is in relation to prime/AAA rib steaks and skirt steaks that I refer to the "notion of the less fat, the better." Correct me if I'm wrong, but do the loin cuts of the highest grades of beef not have less marbling/fat than do the highest grades of rib and skirt steaks?

                                                                        2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                          Cumbrae's has a striploin that is full of flavour and has beautiful marbling. Alas, it costs 21 dollars a pound...

                                                                          But ribeye is wonderful too, but has an unevendistribution of fat (but of course is so good) :).

                                                                          1. re: Blueicus

                                                                            If it's prime, the distribution should be even. http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/110... And yes, it is so good!

                                                                            1. re: Brian S

                                                                              I think we've mixed up several different things. Yellow fat on outside = bad; white fat inside = good. Prime rib should have evenly distributed marbling. All rib cuts also contain patches of internal fat in addition to any marbling. Poorly marbled rib cuts will still contain these patches of fat. Marbling dissolves during cooking and bathes meat deliciously; fat chunks enjoyed by two cats.

                                                                              1. re: embee

                                                                                Do not confuse Prime Rib with USDA Prime - 2 totally different things. Prime rib is a marketing term, and usually means that it comes from the best section of the rib sub-primal section - typically ribs 9-11. The grade of the beef doesn't matter - it can be USDA prime, choice, or even select.

                                                                                USDA Prime grade meat has fine marbling, prime rib isn't defined at all by the fat - just the ribs that it was cut from.

                                                                                1. re: applehome

                                                                                  I am not confusing these. To be more specific, I was referring to to rib cuts graded USDA prime; not to the marketing term "prime rib". I also do not want the "best" section since I find the ribs closer to the chuck end (roughly 9-11, I think) taste much better.

                                                                                  Most rib cuts have patches of internal fat, quite separate from any marbling and present in pretty well all grades of beef sold at retail.

                                                                                  I'll add, unpatriotically, that I find USDA prime generally tastes better than Canada AAA (the finishing diet, I presume), but it's almost impossible to get USDA prime rib here since the mad cow bull.....

                                                                                  1. re: embee

                                                                                    Ribs 9 (or 10) through 12, also known as the "first cut" or "small end", are closer to the short loin than the chuck. The chuck extends from the shoulder through rib 5. Most folks consider ribs from the first cut to be superior to ribs 6 through 8 (or 9) - the "second cut" or "large end".

                                                                                    Personally, I like ribs 8, 9 and 10 because they tend to have the largest portion of the "cap" or spinalis dorsi muscle which may very well be the beefiest tasting portion of the entire cow.

                                                                                    1. re: CDouglas

                                                                                      I'm now completely confused about rib numbers, but I agree with you 100%, whatever the numbers may be. My favourite steak is from the rib section with the largest portion of that muscle, toward the chuck end. If I could get that muscle alone, I'd willingly dispense with the rib eye.

                                                                                      Where I live, that spinalis dorsi muscle isn't called the "cap", though. The cap usually refers to a piece of meat above that muscle. When supermarkets put ribs on sale, they often leave this extremely tough "cap" attached. If you don't remove it, it is usually too tough to eat when cooked as part of a roast or steak.

                                                                                      1. re: embee

                                                                                        One of our fellow 'hounds did manage to buy the spinalis dorsi alone and had great results cooking it up. Here is a link to the thread. Check out the picture!

                                                                                      2. re: CDouglas

                                                                                        To make it easier to understand, cows have 13 pairs of ribs. They are numbered starting from the head and increasing towards the tail. The lower numbered ribs are in the chuck primal section, while the higher numbers are in rib primal section. A whole rib roast consists of ribs numbered 6 through 12. In a whole rib roast, the highest numbered ribs are refered to as the "small end", and the lowest numbered ribs as the "large end" of the rib roast. The small end is closer to the loin section and considered to be the better roast as it has less fat and more tender. You can typically order from the butcher the size (length) of rib roast you need by the number of rib bones. So for example you could order a 3 bone rib roast, and have it cut either from the small end (10,11,12) or large end (6,7,8), or perhaps somewhere in between as CDouglas does (8,9,10). Hope that helps!

                                                                                      3. re: embee

                                                                                        Canada AAA is actually just equivalent to US Choice in marbling. The Canadian equivalent to US Prime is Canada Prime, but it's very hard to find in Canada. No steakhouse here in Montreal is serving Canada Prime(the highest grade of Canadian beef in Montreal steakhouses is Canada AAA or Canadian Angus).

                                                                                        1. re: BLM

                                                                                          I've HEARD of "Canada Prime", but I've never seen it offered for sale in Toronto. Although I've been in restaurants claiming to have it, all backed down when pressed.

                                                                                          The "official" grades don't mean what they once did, and some of the unofficial "grades" (like US Certified Angus) may be more reliable to a retail buyer. The USDA Prime meat I could once buy from my neighbourhood butcher in Brooklyn, at a high but still rational price, must now be ordered from Lobel's (and costs the earth).

                                                                                          The Canada AAA rib and loin cuts I see in Toronto have more and better marbling than the USDA Choice I see at Wegman's in Buffalo (a very high quality store).

                                                                                          I recently bought a beautifully marbled AAA rib roast, "dry aged for 60 days", from a very high end place in West Toronto. It was good, but the US Certified Angus roast I later bought at Loblaws (and held for two weeks in the fridge) was more tender and tasted better.

                                                                                          Looking at steaks over the years, one thing I can say for sure is that the best have all been graded USDA Prime.

                                                                                          1. re: embee


                                                                                            embee wrote: "The Canada AAA rib and loin cuts I see in Toronto have more and better marbling than the USDA Choice I see at Wegman's in Buffalo (a very high quality store)."

                                                                                            Shall I say do'h?

                                                                                            USDA Choice does have less than the ideal marbling, than that of Canada AAA or USDA Prime.


                                                                                            1. re: RShea78

                                                                                              We agree; others don't. This is starting to get silly....

                                                                                          2. re: BLM

                                                                                            You can get prime at Costco south in Calgary

                                                                                2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                  In USDA Choice and Prime cows, the short loin shell (or strip) muscle is often more marbled than the rib. The rib has more fat overall, as it has large chunks of fat. The sirloin is behind the short loin, and is less tender and less marbled - certainly less than the rib or the short loin strip. Sirloin steaks can be flavorful, but are typically not as tender or juicy as a short loin (NY or KC) strip) - some people like that, but most folks who like "meat from the loin" are not talking about the Sirloin.

                                                                                  1. re: applehome

                                                                                    High quality rib cuts sold in Toronto almost invariably have more marbling than cuts from the short loin. But even extremely well marbled loin cuts seem to be dryer and tougher -- I've tasted them cut from the same cow and aged identically.

                                                                                    More to the point, to my palate, rib meat just tastes better.

                                                                              2. Ribeye...absolutely the best!

                                                                                1. Strip steak medium rare!

                                                                                  1. Most of the time I'll just go for a bone-in rib steak (the stores here seem to call them Ribeyes whether they're boneless or not) done simply (just salt and pepper) and grilled just a little bit past medium (the pitchforks and torches are in the closet down the hall, for those so inclined.) Of course, I don't do steak all that often, although once better weather moves in I'll probably fire up the grill more often.

                                                                                    1. Kobe beef skirt steak. It is expensive and worth it. We make carne asada tacos out of it and it is NOT a crime!

                                                                                      1. Bone in ribeye. It's what's for dinner!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: QueenB

                                                                                          I just wanted to note that If it has the bone in it is a rib steak. (Rib + Steak = Rib Steak) If the bone is out it's a rib eye. (Rib Steak - Bone = eye of a rib steak / Rib Eye)

                                                                                        2. Ribeye grilled with salt/pepper/olive oil is pretty tasty.

                                                                                          1. Has anyone else mentioned Flatiron Steaks? I guess they are also called Top Blade. While I agree the Rib Eye is King.....I've been able to grill Flatiron steaks at a very low cost and think they are delicious.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: egbluesuede

                                                                                              YES! FLAT IRON is absolutely tender and as flavorful as bone in rib eye. We have been getting them in our local market for about 6 or 8 weeks now and they are amazing.

                                                                                              A little montreal steak seasoning and toss it on the barbeque. Tasty and tender. Try it.

                                                                                              1. re: DebitNM

                                                                                                Forget the montreal steak seasoning, go for the montreal steak spice. But flank is not flat iron. Flat iron is from the shoulder, hard REALY HARD cut to butcher. Flank is used maily for "Bavette Du Flanche" if you wana call a spade a spade

                                                                                            2. Rib on the bone at home (so I can nibble & gnaw on the bone using my hands). It's so easy to make an excellent steak at home, I rarely order steak out.

                                                                                              Rib eye (no fuss, no muss) on the rare occasion I order steak @ restaurants.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: OCAnn

                                                                                                Being in a restaurant has never stopped me from gnawing at the rib bone of a rib steak... ;-)

                                                                                                1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                  Same here. I also gnaw on the bones from a rack of lamb.

                                                                                                  1. re: QueenB

                                                                                                    I'd consider it a baaaaaaaaaaaaaad thing not to. Sorry. ;-)

                                                                                              2. i forgot to add a few pointers. If you don't have a good broiler, you can forget about your steak coming out like restaurant quality. I don't put anything on my steak to season it. Good beef has its' own great taste. I have a Garland vintage 1961 with white ceramic bricks that turn red hot. Is anyone out there familiar with this stove?

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: son of a butcher

                                                                                                  As a chef with 17 years experiance, I want you're oven. I want you're oven now. It sounds soooooo beautiful, I want it now.

                                                                                                2. you can argue all you want, but this is NOT subjective. it is, of course, a rib eye - preferably bone in and at least 1 1/4 inches thick, charred rare. i have served this to many deployed marines, and they (even the one from the midwest) all agree.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                                                    I totally agree about the rib eye. The FIRST CUT is the last rib before that cut becomes a shell steak. When my father had a butcher shop, he rarely sold that steak. He hung it up on a hook in the walk in box, and let age for awhile. We were very spoiled. He then trimmed it, removed the bone because we were just interested in the meat, although we an agree that the bone is what enhances the flavor. We then broiled it very rare, and this was done on our garland broiler along with hand cut french fries. I can tell you that the beef twenty years ago coming out of IBP from Iowa put a Peter Luger steak to shame. It was tangy and had a distinct flavor that only a rib steak can have.

                                                                                                  2. A dry-aged rib-eye w/ the bone in. seasoned simply with salt and pepper and grilled for 2 minutes per side over a nuclear hot grill.

                                                                                                    Lately I have been buying a flat-iron steak and marinating it for 3-4 hours in a red wine vinegar based marinade. Grill it to a medium over a hardwood fire and you have VERY good eats!

                                                                                                    Sorry Alton, but it was too easy.

                                                                                                    1. The best tender steak is a tenderloin heart griller, basicly a fillet minion with more fat, and the rope, left on. juicy, fatty, and tenderenough to eat with a spoon, especialy when poached. best steak for a dude who likes to chew {like me} it's either brisket, cold smoked and grilled, or coulotte, {the flap on a sirloin top butt} sliced paper thin, against the grain. That's all there is to it. Cheers

                                                                                                      1. Other than liver, I'm pretty much a fan of MOST of what comes from a cow, especially tongue. But with all the great answers so far, I am surprised that no one (unless I've overlooked it) has mentioned flank steak. If marinated properly and then broiled or grilled to rare perfection, it cant be beat, as far as I am concerned.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                          Thank you! I was reading this thread, agreeing about skirt and bone in ribeye, but lamenting the absence of flank steak. Very tasty staple around here, marinated and served with garlic paste made with salt, olive oil and lemon.

                                                                                                          One other thing; I don't buy feedlot beef. The best tasting and healthiest steaks are grass fed, IMO.

                                                                                                        2. Bone in ribeye or bone in NY strip, Prime, dry aged

                                                                                                          1. A lot will depend on what one likes. Good buddy loves plenty of fat and gristle. I am more of a tenderloin fan. Different cuts, for differnt folk.

                                                                                                            For me, the ultimate has been a Kobe #6, that was like almost room temp butter. Still, good buddy would not have like it that well.


                                                                                                            1. skimmed through the entire thread and not one person mentioned the Spencer steak!? first cut from the rib primal. T-bone on steroids!

                                                                                                              1. For me nothing beats a hanging tender/outside skirt. It's so damn tasty it must be really bad for you.

                                                                                                                1. Doesn't anybody else crave a good generously-sized properly charred medium rare burger steak once in a while? I usually plate it sitting next to a pile of buckwheat soba noodles and ladle over all a sauce loaded down with mushrooms. An asparagus salad rounds things out nicely.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                                                    I do. We always have a prime sirloin double-ground for our burgers. I have never found any ground meat (even what has been billed as American-Kobe), that does so well. Now, the fat content is down, but I always cook my applewood smoked bacon on the top rack, and it drips down to the patties, causing flare-ups. I then use the bacon on the burgers.

                                                                                                                    Not sure about the asparagus, as I find these very hard to pair with the wines. Along those lines, I usually add a bit of either Zinfandel, or Merlot to the burgers, before I create the patties. The choice depends on what I think I'll be serving with those burgers.


                                                                                                                  2. For the money, the Top Sirloin Cap Steak, also called the Culotte, is a steal. Some people confuse this with the Tri-Tip Steak as it has a similar shape, but it comes from the top sirloin not the bottom sirloin as does tri-tip. I use one of those multi-blade tenderizers before grilling and can get the steak nearly as tender as a real tenderloin, with the flavor top sirloins are known for and at top sirloin prices. If you like flat-iron or hanger steaks, these are much better.

                                                                                                                      1. re: MHammond79

                                                                                                                        Caribou rib eye aged to twenty eight days then salted for 24 hours. If I could have any steak on the planet it would be this steak. Two inch cut of course.

                                                                                                                      2. IN THIS ORDER:
                                                                                                                        RIB EYE
                                                                                                                        RIB ROAST
                                                                                                                        SHORT RIBS

                                                                                                                        1. Interesting that I found ONLY ONE reference (117 posts here) to fillet and that seems to have been more in reference to it being 'tender' rather than any taste treat.

                                                                                                                          That is in accord with the usual opinion among people liking steak. Interestingly enough, fillets are sold at the highest price - I guess that's the penalty for not appreciating good beef taste :-)

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                                                            There's less tenderloin on on the carcass than rib and strip. Even less when you consider much of it ends up in porterhouse and t-bone steaks. That probably impacts the price.

                                                                                                                            Related, I suspect if it was cheap and unpopular, foodies would praise it for its minerally flavors and tenderness.

                                                                                                                            1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                              I'm doing something similar this weekend. I dry-aged a bone-in NY strip roast for 30 days, will put a rub on it the day before and slow smoke it (250 degrees) indirect over charcoal and hardwood. Good with horseradish cream sauce (although it really doesn't need a sauce). The strip roast was on sale at the time, the rib roast wasn't. ;-)

                                                                                                                              I'm actually a big fan of beef tenderloin. I buy a whole tenderloin and roast the center cut (chateaubriand). Steak out the rest of it and freeze those for later. Pretty reasonable price when you buy it whole. Most grocery stores don't even sell the center cut, they just sell the butt tenders and steak those to sell at very high prices... And they stuff they sell as "chateaubriand" is actually a big top sirloin. Look for a whole tenderloin at COSTCO or your local meat wholesaler. Instructions on how to cut it up can be found on youtube if you aren't sure how.

                                                                                                                              1. re: pdxgriller

                                                                                                                                You have me salivating, pdxgriller. If you need someone to finish the other half of that strip roast this weekend, let me know, and I'll be there (with the requisite bottles of cabernet). Strip is probably my second favorite cut of beef.

                                                                                                                                I, too, am a fan of beef tenderloin and generally buy the whole tenderloin. Sometimes I'll portion it out for Chateaubriand, filets and roasts. I generally only cook a whole tenderloin when I have a number of guests over, though, in which case I just roast the whole thing.

                                                                                                                                1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                  You had me at "cabernet"... A good steak and a glass of California's (or Washington's) finest is hard to beat! I think our friends will probably bring a local pinot however as they live close to where the wineries start. Never been a fan of those, although they are pretty popular here in Oregon.

                                                                                                                                  Cocktail hour starts at 5:00 MonMauler, don't be late!!

                                                                                                                            2. I am in Canada so a CAB Alberta Sirloin tip Steak Top Sirloin is good and Tenderloin is good as well Costco also has a blade roast and if you get the right part it is just like a rib and super tasty

                                                                                                                              1. We like to hang our elk/moose/deer for about 30 days when the weather permits. Then dry cured skirt has the best flavor IMO. I made 'jerky' from all the skirt/rib eye cuts off a Roosevelt elk a few years ago just to see what it was like. All the rest we made into sausage with pork fat added and steel rolled oats and some 'secret herbs and spices'.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                  I just ordered this Strube Ranch Wagyu prime grade sirloin 15lbs for only $120 + 20 for shipping which is very reasonable which came out to about $8/lb an incredible steal IMO from Big poppa smokers. Btw yes it was the most delicious deep robust piece of steak that I just ate last night. It comes in 2 big slabs in a pouch like a turkey with ice packs in a cooler and I cut the rest up and put them in the freezer in individual cuts so take out defrost anytime. It comes with ample amount of blood to use for freezing to keep them moist.

                                                                                                                                  No more disappointing steaks from Kansas city steak co and that horrible Pat Boone is the worst.


                                                                                                                                  1. re: zoey67

                                                                                                                                    I looked at that and it should be okay here we get CAB Top Sirloin which is amazing and half the price Alberta Beef had some amazing just finishing or trying to finish a whole tenderloin and it;s OMG when you have it

                                                                                                                                2. Well for the Chucks you get some at Costco and have had them had superstore but they are rarities and called blade roasts

                                                                                                                                  1. To me I think the sirloin and the rib eye have the best taste and are the most tender.

                                                                                                                                    1. Tenderloin at Costco

                                                                                                                                      1. A pic I took today at Calgary south Costco this is not dry

                                                                                                                                        1. This is the Tenderloin at Calgary south Costco I have been talking about

                                                                                                                                            1. I have never bought dry-aged steak before. I have, in contrast, DRY BRINED a rib eye then seared to rare and enjoyed the results enough to never want to try any other method or pay more since.

                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: globalgourmand

                                                                                                                                                How long did you dry brine? I've been wanting to do this but didn't want to ruin a good piece of meat. I assume you use salt and don't just let the steak sit uncovered in the fridge?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                  I do a dry rub including salt, brown sugar and spices for 2-3 days on a rack over a pan in my fridge. Only I use a single 2" thick ribeye so I can get a nice crust and med/rare interior. Found it here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                    Great, thanks. Yea, I usually buy a 2" or so bone in ribeye so this would be perfect.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                      I follow the griling instructions on my gas grill from the Weber grilling guide. 2-4 minutes per side on high, direct heat, then finish on indirect medium til m/rare.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                        Best way to cook steak is on low brings out the juices and flavour a minute each side just to sear on high but that's it

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: burge

                                                                                                                                                          On low would be like steaming it wouldn't it?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: burge

                                                                                                                                                            Hey Burge. Hope winter wasn't to cold up there. I hear Canadians complaining about Costco needling high value cuts of beef. Is this true in your area? Tom

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: burge

                                                                                                                                                              Not to my liking, but if it is to yours, c'est la vie. I cook my steaks over medium indirect after searing because they're grass fed, but for grain fed steaks, I would not like a single minute sear before taking it off the high heat, especially if it's less than 2" thick.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                Burge is actually on to something. I have been using the America's Test Kitchen (PBS TV show) method for a while and it works better than any other. Basically you cook a thick steak or roast over indirect heat on low (250 F) either on a grill or on a rack in the oven. Just before it's done, remove from heat and let it rest for about 10 minutes and then sear it off over high heat in a frying pan or a on the grill. The low heat drives off the outside moisture so you get a really great crust, and the long slow cook allows the enzymes to speed up the process of breaking down the muscle fibers (enzymes are deactivated after the meat hits around 110 F). The meat is very evenly cooked.

                                                                                                                                                  2. A lot has to do with how it is being cooked and the whole deal.

                                                                                                                                                    Under represented above, I think, is the hanger steak. A damn tasty little cut of meat which takes a grillin' really well.

                                                                                                                                                    Not to say I don't prefer some of the more pricey cuts, just adding a little more than, "Me too."

                                                                                                                                                    48 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hambone

                                                                                                                                                      I tried hanger after this post and am in love. We have it quite often though for the holiday were planning either a strip/Porterhouse or a ribeye but love the hanger so much that aren't sure it will be the same :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                        Not that hanger needs anything but I've gotten rave reviews for this:

                                                                                                                                                        Marinated Hanger
                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup soy (not low sodium if you can)
                                                                                                                                                        1 tablespoon Worcestershire
                                                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons angostino bitters
                                                                                                                                                        1/4 tablespoons olive oil
                                                                                                                                                        1 heaping tablespoon Dijon
                                                                                                                                                        1/2 large head garlic, minced/pressed
                                                                                                                                                        4 large sprigs fresh rosemary
                                                                                                                                                        fresh ground black pepper (your preference I go about 2 teaspoons)

                                                                                                                                                        1 cup Porter beer (I use Anchor Porter because I'm going to drink 5 1/3 of them so I get a six pack of what I like.)

                                                                                                                                                        3 1/2 pounds trimmed hanger steaks (about 6 pieces)

                                                                                                                                                        Whisk everything except the beer and the steak till well mixed, then gently mix in the beer.

                                                                                                                                                        Marinate for 4+ hours, turning a few times if possible. Then remove from marinade, let stand at room temp and pat dry. The pat dry is really important for getting a good crust on the grill..

                                                                                                                                                        Get the grill really hot. Two stage cook em -- char them over the flames then on the indirect side side till done.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hambone

                                                                                                                                                          I'm all for eating decent meat which has been flavored as above. But may I ask how the real taste of good beef would ever make it through to the palate?

                                                                                                                                                          Wouldn't pork or chicken be a more suitable (and FAR cheaper 'vehicle?')

                                                                                                                                                          The OP was stressing the flavor of the best steak.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                                                                                            This is why I rarely marinate steak, I want to taste beef.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                              Certain steaks are enhanced by marinade, I think. I much prefer skirt, flank and hanger marinated.

                                                                                                                                                              I don't marinate ribeye, T bone or sirloin, though I do use a salted dry rub prior to cooking, just s and p or other seasonings.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                I know your a grass finished guy but a friend got me a "high" prime grade whole drop loin from NY City which dry aged on the bone for about 30 days before my buddy butchered it up. So far I have tried the strips and they were some of the best steaks I have ever eaten.

                                                                                                                                                                As many have suggested, I started using the 2 day uncovered coarse salt prep over a wire rack with great results.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                  You're right, except the part about me being a "guy." ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                  I agree about flanks steaks. I was turned on by a relative to Bernstein's "Italian Dressing & Marinade" and frequently use it as it's so easy to do. Tried other bottled Italian dressings but this one is still the best. I also use Yoshida;s Original Gourmet (teriyaki) sauce and it's excellent. Sure I could make my own but why bother, it's flank steak! Don't see hanger or skirt where I shop, and flank steak seems to be on sale quite often.

                                                                                                                                                                  For better cuts, I do a 30 day dry-age.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pdxgriller

                                                                                                                                                                    It takes about 30 seconds for me to toss together a marinade, and I have a few I like a lot. However you get there, flank is a great steak to marinate.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                                                                                                Does the taste of beef come through? Yes. It is the only taste? No. Is it as strong/primary as if it were not marinaded? Of course not.

                                                                                                                                                                If I only ate decent meat once a month I might eat only prime cuts with nothing more than butter or maybe a little salt added.

                                                                                                                                                                There is room on my menu for really tasty beef like above and for unadulterated beef as well. And, as I said in the lead to the recipe, "Not that hanger needs anything but..."

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hambone

                                                                                                                                                                  I think I understand - but the original poster was talking about 'beef' flavor and not what might make a steak otherwise flavorful /with OTHER flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                  My own input would be that I have always gotten better BEEF flavor from a Sirloin rather than any Fillet.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                                                                                                    The OP asked about *cuts* of meat, and opined that the rib on any animal has the best flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                      Right - all of it was about the flavor of beef - and not the flavor of garlic, cumin, mustard et al.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                                                                                                        Well, only handling correctly was mentioned, not avoiding other flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                        I am in complete agreement about filet... gimme flavor and fat over lean and tender any time.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                          I read the question as this:

                                                                                                                                                                          "what the rest of you steak eater consider the best cut of beef? The rib on any animal, beef, lamb,and veal have the best flavor."

                                                                                                                                                                          'Other' flavors would be irrelevant and IMO garlic, chili, mustard, whatever would cover up or sideline good beef flavor - so frankly I don't know how all the marinades etc. got into the conversation.

                                                                                                                                                                          I should think that there is first the choice of cut and then 'handling' in terms of degree of cooking, searing techniques, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                          Additives would seemingly be limited to salt and black pepper - and maybe butter. Then we know what the BEEF FLAVOR is from the chosen best-flavored cut.

                                                                                                                                                                          There are plenty of other conversations about all kinds of spices, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                                                                                                            It's possible to over analyze this kind of question, yannow?

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                            I felt the same way about filet as most of my experience with it was select grade held with steam at catered events or sauced.

                                                                                                                                                                            Several years back though my friend got me some extremely high grade prime porterhouses that were originally part of a shipment destined for Japan. The fillets had lightning bolt streaks of fat running all through them and they were out of this world both in terms of tenderness and fatty rich flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                            The problem with super high grade prime fillets at this time is cost, about $30.00 lb for whole PSMO.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                              I used to buy and cook it, in my misguided low fat days, and I made a roast with it (with a sauce that had a lot of flavor) not too long ago. Very high quality filet just holds little interest for me, though I certainly find it tolerable on a good, grass fed porterhouse. My husband likes it more than I do, so I usually let him have most of it in that case. It's just not a steak I'd blow good money on, given other choices.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                "Given other choices"...............Couldn't agree more on the cost factor. The $30.00 LB for PSMO high prime would go a whole lot further with other cuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                I always keep a few filet steaks in the freezer though as my wife likes the low fat qualities of them & they remain relatively tender for the well done guest.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                  "well done guest"

                                                                                                                                                                                  Whar are your thoughts on marinade?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                                                                                                                    I have used them on cuts from the round like London Broil after first hitting the meat with a Jaccard tool but never on high value cuts. Many of the marinades like Adolph's which contain tenderizers do work well but most steak lover guests will know you used it.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                I know usually the grade doesn't matter in filet mignon (not sure, are we talking PSMO here, or porterhouse?) but I would still love to try "Japanese grade porterhouse" the way you described it (maybe the USDA should make a new category?) However around $5 is my price point, so I'll just have to dream.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                  I always thought grade really didn't matter with filet either and there have been many articles written that suggest that it doesn't. I think some of the thought behind that stems from the fact that even lower select grade filet is usually tender.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Most of my early experience with filet was with select grade from supermarkets or served at catered affairs.....always very tender when cooked M/R but very bland flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Prime has 3 marbling scores....(Low) Slightly abundant, (Middle) moderately abundant & (High) abundant.

                                                                                                                                                                                  A friend with over 40 yrs in the business told me that just like the highest quality tuna, most of the highest quality prime beef gets exported to Japan and some to the Middle East. The little that stays here usually ends up in NY City or San Fran.

                                                                                                                                                                                  He went on to explain that sometimes orders get canceled and a wholesaler / exporter he deals with in NY City ends up with a warehouse full at the wrong time of the year, the price drops significantly and he picks up several pallets of high value cuts. Didn't happen this year :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                  The last time I got it I saw the pallet in his shop and it was labeled for shipment to Japan. I bought a whole shortloin which he band sawed into nice thick porterhouses. I had never seen a filet with that much marbling. The filet was one on the most tender richest pieces of meat I ever ate and the strip side was also out of this world.

                                                                                                                                                                                  During a recent conversation, I was told a whole filet of that quality would be about $30 lb & the whole boneless strip about $20 lb. These prices do not include his markup.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                    The business has changed a lot since 40 years ago, mostly in recent years. More restaurants, including in NY and San Fran, are buying from local and/or regional suppliers. Expect the trend to continue.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                      Tom34 said the person was in the business for 40 years - and was not referring to any situation 40 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank for that oh so critical information.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                          I learned most of what I know about meat from a person who was in the NYC meat business, a family venture going way back to when it came in "on the hoof". We're talking way back beyond 40 years ago. Those were the days, my friend. Now everything comes in from one or two slaughter houses in the midwest, meat already cut into subprimals and shipped cryovaced. So if you are basing your judgement on what you have eaten at catered affairs or supermarkets, you are not getting the big picture; you want to start with the whole subprimal in the raw, not cut up steaks or even primals, to judge the grade.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Haven't bought or sold wholesale in awhile, but your prices are triple what I knew a couple of years ago. Maybe someone with more recent info can correct me if I'm wrong? But doesn't sound like anyone is doing you any favors.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I also worked with another old timer upstate for awhile, not a show off but he had abundant intuitive knowledge of the business. They both told me the same thing...select can be as good as prime (skipping over choice), you just have to know what you are doing. And both told me numerous times that when it comes to PSMO, grade never counts. I respect what they taught me and have never seen reason to think otherwise. The grade is just a government thing, not god's word.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Then again, I'm in NY, so maybe I'm spoiled. If you're elsewhere, maybe I can see the excitement.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                            My buddy is in his mid 60's and got started in the business in his early teens. He is one the few guys left who still deals in hanging beef and dry ages it on the bone. His primary customers are very high end restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I am old enough to remember hanging beef in the supermarkets. IMHO, the dry aging process of that time period produced a better product than the current cryovaced boxed beef program today that was started by IBP.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Having said that, I think the biggest quality issue was when the beef industry and the American Heart Association lobbied the Gov to change (lean) the grading system. Prior to that the lower grades still had adequate marbling which combined with the dry aging of that period produced a very good product which is probably the product time period your older butcher friends were referring to.

                                                                                                                                                                                            In most cases, the lower grades today barely have any visible marbling at all and often as little as 10 days age in the bag. Quite often the low choice is barely any better which is why most fine dining restaurants that don't use tenderizers bring in branded products like CAB or Excel Sterling silver. These branded products are much more consistent and often border low prime in terms of marbling and usually command a 20% premium over non branded products.

                                                                                                                                                                                            For the most part, select and above filet is usually more than adequate in terms of being tender. Flavor is another issue. As for select PSMO vs high prime, with today's beef there is a night and day difference in marbling and flavor. The select has little or no marbling and little flavor which is why so many restaurants sauce it. High prime has lightening bolts of marbling running all through it giving it a very rich flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                            As for the cost, its a supply and demand thing. Is giant Blue Fin Tuna worth the outrageous prices it commands, probably not to most Americans but obviously it is to the Japanese and their markets set the price for it, not ours. Its pretty much the same story for our highest quality (top 1%) beef. So little of it is sold in the US that our market forces have very little influence over the cost of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            IMHO, the branded products I listed are so close to low prime that the significant cost difference between them and low prime is not worth it, especially with boxed beef. Most restaurants these days are of the same opinion. Sysco's Buckhead Beef probably sells 100 lbs of CAB high choice for every 1 lb of prime. The very best of the prime grade, thats a whole different story and a whole different market.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the update, things are definitely changing.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Can't afford the higher end stuff anymore now that I'm retired; can't afford to take a chance on disappointment. I'm just eating a lot less beef. We are lucky there are still a few real old time butchers around that know what's what. Hope they keep passing the knowledge on.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                Your lucky to have those small independents. I think the really "big" money is no longer there in the small private butcher business like back in the day, but with the right knowledge, product & location I think it can still make for a very good living. The biggest problems are the days are many, hours are long, environment is cold and most of all its very hard work. The latter is not something a high % of today's younger generation is all that fond of :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, although sometimes the sons go into it. At least for awhile. We have lots of independents here on Long Island because the money is here, but I think everyone knows it's a dying breed. Meanwhile I'll keep picking their brains!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                    One of my favorite cuts growing up was sirloin "flap meat" (sirloin tips from the shortloin). (1185 A). Got away from it for a long time but in the past few years tried it again. Post above how I prepare it. Reasonable, distinct flavor thats hard to describe. Kids and I love it, wife still prefers the milder upper loin. Your local butchers should be able to get it for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll keep it in mind. I've been doing a lot of hanger steak lately myself. Always around $5 at the supermarket, I do Mexican with it mostly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hanger steak is my all time favorite but flap is good too. I find the flap a little more chewy and the hanger to have more flavor but both are great and my go-tos these days with flat iron included as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh yeah Flatiron too. My store alternates sales on that with sales on hanger, so I use them interchangeably.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love the strong flavor of flap but I have a hard time describing the flavor to people. One key is to tell the butcher to leave a nice layer of fat on it. I do know that cooked beyond med is tough & rare is chewy and kind of mushy. M/R seems just right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yea, I cooked the last one not quite long enough and it was pretty chewy and not enjoyable. I actually haven't had it since then so perhaps I should just chalk the texture up to undercooking it since I seemed to love it every other time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                A Thermapen would prob help if cooking it like a London Broil. I do it over over screaming hot lump charcoal, sear both sides till the outside has a nice crust but about 80% raw on the inside, slice against the grain into about 3/4 thick slices, little more salt, then sear both sides of the slices. End result is lots of surface char with a M/R center.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                After the 1st quick sear, when I slice it, the texture of the raw meat inside is very different from most cuts, kind of like loose / Jello blubbery fat texture. If too rare its not good...... tough & mushy at the same time which doesn't seem possible but with flap it is. Done just right and its delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well I usually like my steak at the lower edge of medium rare but just have to remember to go a little higher with flap. I always use my Thermapen but just took it off at the usual temperature without remembering to give it a few more minutes. I agree it was just to my liking for most steaks, but Jello blubber.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                Coll, was this response intended for me??

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grade well happens to where it comes from in my opinion Alberta beef is the best in the world . Thank God I am a Csotco member. They get the best cuts. I am really spoiled I guess The only place in Calgary to get meat is Coop whre grade tends to be on marbling however with that being said i prie strip melts in your mouth and you can cut it witha utter knife. So eat the best buy the best you get what you pay for Top sirloin in the maritimes is tough I bought one My dad said what did you buy that for they are tough not with Alberta beef

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: burge

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can't speak to Alberta Beef....your pictures look pretty darn good though & my guess is the price is a pretty reasonable. Wish Costco was as good in the states.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Best in the world though is a pretty high mark. Coll's back yard (NYC) is one of the wealthiest cities in the world and they have the best beef the world has to offer but its not at Costco prices by any stretch of the imagination and you won't find the best NYC has to offer in a Costco anywhere in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                      We are lucky to have access to the best. Wish I could afford to go to the butcher for everything! But not complaining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tom it is that good its CAB Angus Pride Sterling Silver. At Stampede Costco is all sold out of beef becuase they are the supplier to Cys steak house

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: hambone

                                                                                                                                                                          Now you get my pic of the tenderloin from Costco Imagine the flavour top sirloin is tender same with the sirloin tip.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. I am partial to dry aged nicely marbled 180 strip loin but a good 109 rib is delicious. 1185A sirloin flap is not the most tender but screams with beef flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Bone-in ribeye, but skirt is also a fave.

                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                              When you say 'bone-in ribeye', i think that is almost impossible. a bone-in, as a French Cotes du Boeuf is the bone, the rib eye and my favorite part the rib cap.
                                                                                                                                                                              If you do indeed like what you said, please send me the rib cap that you will have to butcher off as it is the part between the bone and the rib eye.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                  The lower left and left center of the photo is the ribcap, the eye is the 'eye' or center of the rib steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                  Right, anyone using the term bone-in rib eye doesn't really understand what a rib steak is. The rib eye is the central, oval shaped part of the rib steak after it has been removed from the bone and the cap/deckle. Although a rib eye steak may, and usually does, have the cap on as well, but the bone removed. If the steak has the bone in, it's a rib steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                    Somebody better tell all those chefs! If it has the eye in the steak, it's ribeye to moi, bone in. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Prime Dry Aged if possible. I prefer 21-28 days, I know some places claim to age longer but that's my personal preference. Either a Sirloin or Porterhouse depending on my mood.

                                                                                                                                                                                Love lamb and veal as well. However my feelings regarding veal are this, there is good veal and there is bad veal, there is nothing in between. If a restaurant doesn't know how to serve veal (cutlet not chop) it will be tough and chewy and not enjoyable. I will only order veal in establishments I have confidence in from past experiences, never a first time dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Rib steaks...well marbled.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Another vote for rib eye.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Well in reading on marinating I don't however do use Montreal Steak Spice If you are freezing steaks cover them before you freeze them, fork the steak and halfway from the thaw flip them over if you are having fresh fork the steak leave out for 2 hrs flipping them after a hour

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                          Not when skirt is one of the choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                            I like tri tip however it has to come from certified angus beef its not good if it is a regular grocery store brand

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                              It's flavorsome and delicious. I wish tri-tip were more common back east. It would make some excellent pit beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                                I like different steaks for different reasons but if I was on a desert island and could only have one steak it would be a dry aged T-Bone. You get two steaks in one.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Lately I've been following Hestons advice on cooking the perfect steak and man! the results are great! He turns the steak every fifteen seconds. Shows what's happening to the surface temp using infra red camera. Quite a revelation. He's on Youtube.