The Art of Choosing the Perfect Cut: Unlock the Secrets of Steak Selection

best steak cuts

The steak aisle, a sanctuary for meat lovers seeking the perfect cut. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming. How do you distinguish the best cuts from the rest? Are the more expensive ones truly worth it? We all crave that juicy, flavorful grilled steak, but finding the right cut is the key to a remarkable dining experience. Fear not, as Steak University is here to guide you on this mouthwatering journey.

Mastering the Art of Selecting the Perfect Cut

When it comes to steaks, thickness matters. Thinner cuts may be easier to cook, but they require precise timing to avoid overcooking. Opt for cuts that are at least 1-inch thick to allow for more control and achieve those perfect grill marks.

Next, pay attention to marbling. Those delicate white lines running through the meat, known as marbling, contribute to both tenderness and flavor. Contrary to popular belief, the right amount of fat is a good thing. Look for thin lines of marbling, which render down as the steak cooks, imparting incredible texture and that rich taste we all savor.

Now comes the fun part – choosing the type of cut. With countless options available, it can be overwhelming. However, we’ve curated a list of our top picks to help you make an informed decision.

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Our Top Recommendations

T-Bone: A Journey of Two Steaks in One

Cut from the short loin, the T-bone steak offers the best of both worlds. It combines a tenderloin on one side and a strip steak on the other, resulting in a delightful collision of flavors and textures that will leave your taste buds in awe.


The T-bone steak indulges your desire for variety, offering two distinct cuts in a single piece. It boasts an abundance of flavors and stays juicy when cooked to perfection. With a thickness of 1 to 2 inches, it is ideal for grilling.


The T-bone tends to be higher in price compared to other cuts. Its complexity can make it challenging to cook due to the differing needs of the two meats. However, with proper technique, you can achieve a mouthwatering masterpiece. Sear it over high heat on the grill, and then let it finish cooking with indirect heat for an unforgettable culinary experience.

Porterhouse: Big and Bold

Similar in appearance to the T-bone, the porterhouse boasts a larger size and a slightly less tender profile. It contains a strip and tenderloin, but its thickness, with a minimum tenderloin point of 1.25 inches, sets it apart.


With its large size and savory flavors, the porterhouse guarantees a luscious and satisfying dining experience. It often provides a more substantial tenderloin portion compared to T-bones, making it a favorite among steak enthusiasts. For the perfect sear and heat control, many prefer cooking porterhouse steaks on a cast iron skillet.


Porterhouse steaks tend to be pricier than other cuts, although their superior taste justifies the cost. Similar to T-bones, they require precision in cooking. Master the art of grilling a T-bone, and you’ll be well-equipped to conquer this cut. Just remember to adjust the cooking time slightly to accommodate its larger size. Sear it over high heat, then move it away from direct flames to complete cooking.

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Rib Eye: A Flavorful Delight

Hailed as a favorite by steak connoisseurs, ribeye steaks originate from the prime rib area. They possess an abundance of marbling and an exceptional combination of flavor and texture. For the grill, seek out cuts closer to 1.5 inches thick.


Ribeyes offer unparalleled flavor. Their high fat content keeps them tender and juicy even when cooked over intense flames on the grill. For the ultimate ribeye experience, sear each side for a minute or two over high heat, then adjust the temperature until it reaches your desired doneness.


Due to their generous marbling, extra care is necessary when grilling ribeyes to prevent flare-ups. Using a drip pan to catch the fat drippings or keeping the steak away from direct flames will ensure a fantastic result. While not the most affordable cut, ribeyes are still a more economical option compared to some others on this list.

Filet Mignon: Fit for Royalty

Filet mignon, also known as the tenderloin, is a highly sought-after cut and a staple in the steak world. It is sourced from the most tender section of the tenderloin, ensuring an exquisite, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Look for cuts that are approximately 2 to 3 inches thick for grilling.


Filet mignon excels when cooked in a pan, especially when wrapped in bacon. The bacon adds robust flavors that perfectly complement the steak. Being thicker than most cuts, it requires a bit more cooking time. Sear each side in butter for around four minutes, then transfer it to the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for an additional five minutes to achieve optimal tenderness.

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Filet mignon is known for its luxurious price tag, making it the most expensive cut on our list. Some may find its flavor milder compared to other steaks. To enhance its taste, consider using steak seasoning, bacon strips, gravy, or au jus. Don’t forget a generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper.

These are just a few of our top picks, but the world of steaks offers even more tantalizing options. Explore and experiment to find your perfect match!

Making the Right Choice for Every Occasion

With so many steaks to choose from, the journey can be overwhelming. But fear not, Steak University is here to be your guiding light.

Remember, most cooking methods work well for any steak cut with a few adjustments based on thickness, desired doneness, and the characteristics of the cut. Whether grilling, pan-frying, or broiling, practice is key to achieving gastronomic perfection.

For more cooking tips and information on different types of steaks, head over to Steak University for an abundance of valuable articles that will transform you into a grilling and searing champion.

Still unsure which cut to choose? Why not try them all! Check out Chicago Steak Company’s steak gift assortments, offering a variety of premium cuts delivered straight to your doorstep.

So go ahead, embark on a carnivorous adventure, and savor the finest cuts of steak! Your taste buds will thank you.

Hook’d Up Bar and Grill