Cooking School

Steak guide: How to choose the best grilling steak

By: Irene Fong and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Photography by Jeff Coulson Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Jeff Coulson

Cooking School

Steak guide: How to choose the best grilling steak

By: Irene Fong and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Tenderloin a.k.a. filet mignon, fillet steak, beef fillet, châteaubriand  
Price: Special-occasion splurge ($21 to $40 per pound)
The 411: Tenderloin has a soft buttery texture and subtle flavour yet is leaner than most other tender cuts. Be wary of overcooking this steak; it’s best cooked to medium or under. This is the cut of choice for raw dishes, such as steak tartare and beef carpaccio.

tenderloin steak


Photography by Jeff Coulson

Rib Eye
a.k.a. entrecôte, rib steak, cowboy steak (if bone is attached) 
Price: 
Special-occasion splurge ($21 to $40 per pound)
The 411: This cut is easily identified by the small pocket of fat (called the plug) that separates the two muscles. Extensive marbling (the white lines of fat) gives this cut its signature juiciness and flavour.

rib eye steak


Photography by Jeff Coulson

Top Sirloin
a.k.a. baseball steak (when thickly cut), culotte, centre-cut sirloin, cap steak
Price: Weeknight-friendly ($11 to $15 per pound)
The 411: Less expensive than strip loin, tenderloin or rib eye, this cut delivers on tenderness and is more flavourful than many of its pricier alternatives. It’s ideal for the budget gourmet.

top sirloin steak


Photography by Jeff Coulson

Strip Loin
a.k.a. New York strip, strip steak  
Price: Weekend splurge ($16 to $20 per pound)
The 411: This steak is known for its outstanding flavour and good marbling. While not as tender as rib eye, it’s leaner and offers a beefier flavour.

strip loin


Photography by Jeff Coulson

T-Bone
a.k.a. club steak, porterhouse (when cut to include a large tenderloin
section)  
Price: Weekend splurge ($16 to $20 per pound)
The 411: This cut gets its name from the T-shaped bone that separates the larger strip loin on one side of the steak from the smaller tenderloin on the other. Consider it a two-for-one that’s good for sharing or for those who can’t choose between the flavour of strip loin and the texture of tenderloin.

t-bone steak


Photography by Jeff Coulson

FlatIron
a.k.a. top blade flatiron
Price: Weekend splurge ($16 to $20 per pound)
The 411: Considered a great substitute for tenderloin, this extremely tender steak is gaining popularity. Always check the label to ensure it’s a top blade flatiron cut, as there is also a top blade simmering steak.

flatiron steak
Photography by Jeff Couson

Now that you've chosen your steak, try one of our delicious recipes below:

Steak Florentine

A thick-cut T-bone or porterhouse works best for this Italian-style steak. Standing it up on the base of the T-bone heats up the bone, which helps cook this extra-thick cut through to the centre. The tenderloin piece cooks faster than the strip loin, so serve it to the people who prefer their steak a bit more done.

steak florentine


Photography by Jeff Coulson

Caribbean Steak With Grilled Plantains and Coleslaw
The larger, firmer and starchier cousin to bananas, plantains are best when the skin is mostly black with some yellow. Grilling brings out their inherent sweetness, and the mildly spiced steak and refreshing coleslaw will have you dreaming of the Caribbean. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

caribbean steak plantains


Photography by Jeff Coulson

Steakhouse Rib Eye with Bearnaise
In The Test Kitchen, we cook rib eyes to medium-rare—just enough to render some of the fat but not enough to toughen the meat. This béarnaise recipe yields a full cup; leftovers don't keep well in the fridge, so if you're serving a smaller crowd that won't need all of the sauce, consider substituting with our Shallotand-Herb Compound Butter.

steakhouse rib eye


Photography by Jeff Coulson

Grilled Steak and Asparagus Salad
Grill the ultimate steak by preheating the grill and not overhandling the meat (don't turn and poke it constantly). Letting it rest before slicing gives the juices a chance to redistribute in the meat so the steak will still be juicy when cut.

steak asaparagus salad


Photography by Jeff Coulson

Check out how to choose the best marinating steak.
 
This story was originally part of "Raising The Steaks" in the June 2015 issue.
           
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Cooking School

Steak guide: How to choose the best grilling steak

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