Best Cut of Steak To Grill: A Guide for Your Next Cookout

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Cookouts are fun, but they can be more complicated than you think. For starters, you have to ask what’s the best cut of steak to grill?

On top of that, you must have a reliable grill that is up to the task. A few more things need to go right so you can have a juicy, smoky, delicious piece of meat on demand.

We are here to make your life easier by helping you answer the first question. We will discuss the classics and several other cuts that can make your next barbeque party a hit.

Best Cut of Steak To Grill: The Top Options

Best Cut of Steak To Grill

Rib-Eye Steak

The rib-eye steak is one of the most popular cuts, and it is easy to see why. It has visible flecks of white fat throughout the cut, otherwise known as marbling. It is a characteristic common to “prime” beef, which adds flavor to the meat.

The rib-eye steak is from the front section of the backbone. It comes in two versions: the boneless and the bone-in. Whichever you choose, the best way to cook it is over medium to high heat.

Chuck Eye Steak

If you think that the rib-eye steak is too expensive, the chuck eye steak offers a more cost-effective alternative. It comes from the shoulder part of the cow, a section known to yield cuts with rich flavors.

This cut has many of the rib eye characteristics since it is situated right next to the rib primal. Still, technically, it comes from the chuck, which is why it costs less.

The best way to cook it is by roasting it slowly. Most grills today are capable of multiple cooking methods, including this one.

Ranch Steak

Another affordable option is the ranch steak. Similar to the chuck eye, it comes from the shoulder area, so you can expect it to be flavorful as well. However, it can be a bit tough.

So it is best to get it at a thickness of no more than one inch. Also, you can achieve the best results by not cooking it beyond medium using dry heat methods.

Braising, grilling, and broiling are excellent options, as long as you marinate it first and not overcook it.

Strip Steak

The strip steak comes from the part below the backbone. It is a section of muscles that is not heavily used, so it offers some of the most tender cuts.

However, many other factors can affect this characteristic, including aging, grading, and marbling.

The strip steak is another classic and a favorite in steakhouses across the globe. You can sear it over direct heat then finish the cooking process on the cooler side of the grill.

Flat Iron Steak

The flat iron steak comes from the beef chuck primal or the shoulder section of the steer. It is basically a top blade steak, except that the cut is lengthwise instead of crosswise.

By doing this, butchers can avoid the thick seam of the gristle. This makes it more tender than some other steak cuts.

For best results, cook it quickly over high heat and ensure that you do this until it is medium-rare.

learn the best cut of steak to grill

Tenderloin Steak

If you want your meat juicy and tender, your best option is to get the tenderloin steak. It comes from right below the backbone in the same area as the strip steak.

It is an oblong muscle that extends along the rear portion of the spine right behind the kidney. 

Aside from having very little activity, this part has a thick layer of crumbly fat known as suet. That is why it is widely considered the most tender cut. It is also among the most expensive.

Porterhouse Steak

The porterhouse steak is also known as king steak, and for a good reason.

Aside from offering bold and big flavors, it also comes in generous cuts. In many cases, one porterhouse steak can feed two people.

This cut is from the loin section on the rump side of the cow. On one end, it features parts of the backbone and rib-eye muscle, while a slice of tenderloin is on the other.

If you order it from a steakhouse, this cut is very expensive, but you will save a lot if you grill it at home.

T-Bone Steak

The T-bone also comes from the loin part of the cow, similar to the porterhouse steak. However, it is cut from the front end instead of the rump end.

Nevertheless, it is similarly tender and offers the same satisfying flavors with little fat, making it ideal for grilling.

It is smaller than the porterhouse, but its rib-eye part is more tender because it is further away from the rump end. Its thinner filet and smaller size make it a better choice for single servings.

Skirt Steak

The skirt steak comes from the beef plate or simply the plate. It consists of two muscles found inside the chest and abdomen area.

Both are long and flat, with very thick grain, making the skirt steak a bit tough and chewy. Still, it is one of the most flavorful cuts there is.

For best results, cook it over a very hot grill but quickly.

Flank Steak

The flank steak comes from the belly muscles of the cow. It is very lean and almost has no fat, so it is a bit tough.

Still, with proper technique, you can prepare a tender and tasty flank steak dish. The best way to cook it is to grill it over high heat or stir-fry thin slices. Make sure that you slice against the grain to maximize its tenderness.

Hanger Steak

The hanger steak comes from the diaphragm and runs along the plate or lower belly. The muscles on this part do very little work, so this cut is very tender. It is also packed full of flavor.

People who have tried it say that it is probably the best cut of steak to grill. However, it is tough to find in supermarkets because, for every cow, there is only one hanger steak cut. You can get it from craft butchers or a specialty beef delivery service.

Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

Choosing one out of many beef cuts can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, you can make the best decision if you know where and how to look.

It would ultimately depend on your unique taste. Do you prefer the tenderness of a tenderloin steak, or is the rich flavor of a rib-eye more important? Are you looking for a balance between the two?

Once you answer these questions, you are one step closer to the best cut of steak for you to grill.

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