What Is the Best Cut of Steak for Grilling, the Stove, and More?

A butcher weighs in.


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Steak is never just steak. It’s a celebratory dinner, indulgent feast, over-the-top brunch, or a feel better home cooked meal. Steak is special, and each cut deserves to be served at its best. And with dozens of cuts to choose from, it can be confusing and often overwhelming picking which type of steak to grill, which to sear on a stovetop, and which will yield the best results in your cast-iron skillet

Skirt steak
, strip steak and filet mignon are all popular at-home cuts because of their meatiness and ease of cooking, but to really dig into which cuts to prepare using which methods, we looped in a professional. Keep reading for tips on the best cuts of steak for different cooking methods.

The Best Cut of Steak to Grill

If you’re eager to fire up the grill, a rump cap steak, or pichana (as it's called in South America, where it’s quite commonly found over open flames), is your best bet. “It’s one of the most prime cuts for grilling,” says Justin Hall, chef at sustainable beef company Herd & Grace. “It has a cap of fat that helps flavor the steak, which already has a good, solid flavor to it. It holds up well to the flame and smoke, meaning you have balance at the end. You're not just eating flames.” Serve your grilled picanha sprinkled with high quality sea salt and chimichurri.

The Best Cut of Steak to Cook on a Stovetop

Stovetop searing is a great solution for weeknight steaks. “A straightforward stovetop steak is quick, easy, and best for thin steaks—something that needs high heat and fast cooking,” says Hall. “This can be done with a skirt steak. At Herd & Grace, we use a unique tender stretching technique, which ensures superior, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and juiciness you normally only find in the thickest of steaks.” 

The Best Cut of Steak For a Cast-Iron Skillet

Break out the cast-iron skillet for a premium cut. “This is where a ribeye shines,” says Hall. Hard sear your steak on both sides over medium-high heat, and then lower the heat. “The long ride in a cast iron means incredible caramelization of the meat,” says Hall. “Being in the cast iron allows all that glorious fat to melt, and being trapped in the pan builds on the crust. I would recommend Tasmanian Ribeye, which is renowned for its uniquely delicious flavor, due in part to the clean air and pristine free range grass-fed farming practices.”

The Best Cut of Steak to Sous Vide

Sous vide is a technique to tenderize ingredients, and should typically only be used for cuts that commonly cook slowly to tenderize, such as shanks and short ribs. However, you can sous vide boneless steaks as well. “Flat irons are a great choice,” Hall says. “This shoulder cut has good pieces of fat, which means in the sous vide bath it’s going to melt and fully flavor this tender steak. Done this way, I think it becomes more prized than a filet at a much lower cost.” 

The Best Cut of Steak to Pan Fry

“If I’m going for a classic steakhouse kind of meal at home, the New York strip steak is my favorite to pan fry,” Hall says. “There’s high marbling that’s very well dispersed and gives room to a good amount of rich beef. Pan frying allows you to baste with the right amount of fat, herbs, and garlic to control even cooking and a strong crust.”

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