It's all in the cut.

By Kelley King Heyworth
Updated October 21, 2005
Gemma Comas

To really know steak, you have to know cuts. "The classics for grilling," says Evan Lobel, co-owner of Lobel's, a well-known New York City butcher shop, "are rib eye, a juicy, fatty cut that can be slightly tough; strip, a steak-house cut that often has the most flavor; porterhouse, which has a buttery, tender fillet on one side and a strip on the other; and T-bone, which combines a bit of fillet and a larger piece of strip." For a melt-in-your-mouth quality from any cut, ask for beef that has been aged (three weeks is ideal) and is stamped "USDA Prime." Free-range beef―from cattle raised outdoors and fed grass, not corn―has a strong, distinctive taste. For a less expensive but still flavorful beef, Chance Brooks, assistant professor of meat science at Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, recommends top blade or tri-tip, two cuts that "give a great bang for your buck." Adds Brooks, "Let the cut marinate, slice against the grain, and you'll have yourself a great steak."