What’s at “Steak”?
HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT STEAK FOR GRILLING
Selecting the right steak at the store or butcher shop can be overwhelming. To help, I’ve listed some grilling greats that are either budget-friendly, lesser-known or classic cuts that grill up great no matter what you do to them (within reason!).
Hot tip: Canadian beef has a genius labelling system—the cooking method is in the name:
- Rib-Eye Grilling Steak—toss it on the barbecue
- Sirloin tip Marinating Steak—marinate first
You get the idea. And if you don’t see “grilling” or “marinating” on the label, keep an eye out for these barbecue-friendly beef cuts:
Flank: I use a flank cut in my Grilled Steak & Puttanesca Salad, and it’s a personal fave for its full, beefy flavour. There’s no waste on a flank steak, plus it’s best served thinly sliced, so you don’t need a lot for a good meal.
Short ribs: Not steak per se but worth a mention! They do grill up just like steak, plus it’s hard to overcook delicious, fatty short ribs. The key for the grill is to get them cut nice and thin, as opposed to thicker cuts for winter braising. Koreans do BBQ short ribs best, which is why you might see “Korean-style” on the label.
Sirloin tip: Also called Bavette or Flap Steak, the sirloin tip is found just at the “tip” of pricier sirloin cuts. These deliver great flavour and texture after an overnight marinade.
Tri-tip: The tri-tip roast has a telltale triangular shape, while tri-tip steaks are simply cuts from the roast. This economical, grill-friendly cut has rich flavour that tastes well beyond its price range.
Outside or Inside skirt: Cut from the same area as flank steak, outside skirt is long and thin, like a sash, and well marbled. Inside skirt is less marbled but larger in size with bigger, beefier flavour. Both cuts are ideal for marinating.
Top sirloin: These hefty steaks are juicy and tender; similar in taste and texture to tenderloin, but without the price tag. Top sirloin is also a great choice for meaty kebabs.
Strip loin: A steakhouse favourite, this cut is also known as New York Strip, Manhattan Strip, Delmonico, Kansas City Strip or just plain Strip. With very fine fat marbling these cuts are considered lean and cook up quickly.
T-bone: With the most recognizable name, a T-bone steak is actually tenderloin on one side and strip loin on the other, giving you two cuts in one. The bone helps keep the meat tender and flavourful, which is why it’s such a popular choice for home cooks.
REMEMBER TO ALWAYS
- Season your steak generously with salt.
- Get the BBQ hot and sear to develop a flavourful crust.
- Cook steak to your preferred doneness (use a thermometer to be sure).
- Let your steak rest 15min before diving in.