The Battle of Cuts: Exploring Top Sirloin and Sirloin Tip

Do you ever find yourself in a state of perplexity when faced with the various cuts of meat at your local butcher shop? If so, fear not! We’re here to help demystify the world of steaks and make your next meat-purchasing experience a breeze.

When it comes to bison meat, understanding the different cuts and their unique characteristics is essential. While there are eight main sections, or primal cuts, of a carcass, only seven yield steaks that are tender enough to be sold individually. The rib, short-loin, and sirloin sections are known for producing premium steak house cuts. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find tender and flavorful steaks in other sections like the chuck, plate, flank, and round (hind quarter).

In this series of newsletters, we will take a closer look at cuts from each section of the carcass and provide you with tips on how to prepare them for the ultimate eating experience.

Top Sirloin vs Sirloin Tip: The Showdown

Let’s dive into the meaty battle between Top Sirloin and Sirloin Tip. While both cuts share the “sirloin” name, it’s important not to confuse one with the other. These popular cuts come from different areas of the carcass and have distinct characteristics.

Top Sirloin is sourced from the largest muscle of the sirloin, which is a continuation of the short loin. Located at the top of the sirloin section, this cut is relatively lean and moderately tender. It’s a great choice for grilling, broiling, sautéing, or throwing on the BBQ. Not only does it offer a delicious eating experience, but it also won’t break the bank.

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On the other hand, Sirloin Tip, also known as the Peeled Knuckle, comes from the tougher round section that is found at the back end, or hindquarter, of the bison. This area is used for movement, resulting in leaner and less tender meat. While less tender than Top Sirloin, Sirloin Tip remains the most tender of the round cuts. To maximize its potential, it’s suggested to marinate this cut for 2-4 hours before cooking. When preparing Sirloin Tip, be cautious not to cook it beyond medium to avoid toughness. Additionally, refrain from piercing the surface while cooking to retain those precious natural juices.

Both Top Sirloin and Sirloin Tip are available as steaks or roasts, providing a versatile range of options for your culinary endeavors.

Know Before You Go

Before you head to the butcher, here’s a helpful tip: Butchers often label both these cuts with “Sirloin” in their name. To ensure you get the cut you desire, don’t hesitate to ask if it’s Top Sirloin or Sirloin Tip. Both options are excellent, but Top Sirloin tends to be slightly more expensive due to its premium status.

Now that you’re armed with knowledge about these two cuts, it’s time to put your culinary skills to the test!

Cooking the Perfect Steak

To achieve steak perfection, follow these simple steps:

  1. About 20 minutes before grilling, take the steaks out of the refrigerator and let them sit, covered, at room temperature.
  2. Heat your grill to high.
  3. Brush both sides of the steaks with oil and generously season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until they reach a golden brown color with a slight char, usually around 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Flip the steaks and continue grilling for 3 to 5 minutes for a medium-rare doneness (internal temperature of 135°F), 5 to 7 minutes for medium (140°F), or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well (150°F).
  6. Instead of poking the steaks with a fork, use your finger to test for doneness. Puncturing the steaks with a fork could cause them to lose their juicy goodness.
  7. Once cooked, transfer the steaks to a cutting board or platter, tent them loosely with foil, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
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Culinary Delights: Recipes to Satisfy Your Steak Cravings

Here are two mouthwatering recipes that will elevate your steak game:

Top Sirloin Steak with Mustard Shallot Sauce


  • 1½ lbs Noble Premium Bison Top Sirloin (1” thick)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 pound green beans


  1. Season the steak with ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Cook the steak in olive oil over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until it reaches a medium-rare doneness. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then slice against the grain.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and shallot.
  3. Meanwhile, steam the green beans until tender, which usually takes 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Top the sliced steak with the mustard sauce and serve it alongside the steamed green beans.

Marinated Sirloin Tip Roast with Herbs and Wine


  • 1 Noble Premium Bison Sirloin Tip Roast, about 3 pounds
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried leaf thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil


  1. Approximately 2 hours before roasting, place the roast and red wine in a food storage bag and refrigerate.
  2. Around 10 minutes before roasting time, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Remove the roast from the wine marinade and place it on a rack in a baking pan. Rub the herb and seasoning mixture all over the roast.
  4. Roast the sirloin tip at 350°F (175°C) for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches around 135°F for medium-rare.
  5. For optional gravy, melt 2 tablespoons of pan drippings (or use butter) in a saucepan over medium heat. In a separate cup or small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. Add it to the drippings and whisk to blend. Pour in 2 cups of low-sodium beef broth or unsalted stock and stir until thickened. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. Serve the gravy alongside the roasted bison.
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Now that you are equipped with knowledge about Top Sirloin and Sirloin Tip, as well as two tantalizing recipes, it’s time to impress your taste buds with these succulent steak sensations. For more mouthwatering options and to explore the world of bison meat, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.

Bon appétit!