Beef Cuts to Try: From Classic Favorites to Hidden Gems

cow butchering chart showing various locations of cuts on a cow

Welcome, grill masters and BBQ buffs! Today, we’re slicing into the juicy world of steaks, a place where the carnivorous joy meets the art of grilling. Choosing the right beef cuts to try is like picking a character in a video game – each one has its unique strengths and challenges, especially when it faces the final boss: your grill. Whether you’re a backyard BBQ hero or a steakhouse enthusiast, understanding these beef cuts to try is crucial. It’s like knowing your tools before building a masterpiece, except your tools are deliciously edible. So grab your tongs, fire up the grill, and let’s embark on a flavorful journey through the diverse landscape of beef cuts to try!

The Classics

Sirloin: The People’s Champion

The sirloin, a.k.a. the backbone of many a BBQ, is the Robin Hood of steaks – excellent quality at a not-so-royal price. Found near the rump, this cut strikes a balance between tenderness and flavor. It’s like the middle child that surprisingly outshines its siblings at times. Best grilled over medium heat, the sirloin asks for nothing more than a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper, and a little respect on the grill. Remember, it’s all about achieving that perfect sear without overcooking this crowd-pleaser. Among the beef cuts to try, sirloin is a must for its affordability and flavor balance.


  • Affordable yet offers good quality.
  • Balances flavor and tenderness well.


  • Requires careful cooking to avoid toughness.
  • Less marbling compared to more premium cuts.

Ribeye: A Marbled Marvel

raw ribeye steak placed on a wooden butcher block or cutting board

Ah, the ribeye, the life of the steak party! Known for its rich marbling, which is just a fancy term for fat (the good kind, promise!), it’s all about flavor here. This cut comes from the rib section and is like the extrovert of steaks, always making its presence known on the grill with a sizzle that whispers sweet nothings to your taste buds. Grill it hot and fast, but watch out – this one can cause flare-ups, like a diva demanding attention. Ribeye is perfect for those who believe that in the world of steak, fat equals fun. As one of the beef cuts to try, ribeye offers a marbled, flavorful experience.


  • High marbling results in rich flavor.
  • Forgiving on the grill, with a juicy outcome.


  • Higher fat content might not suit all palates.
  • Can cause flare-ups due to fat content.

Filet Mignon: The Tender Temptation

uncooked filet mignon on a butcher block or cutting board

Filet Mignon, the aristocrat of the steak family, hails from the tenderloin. It’s like that high-maintenance friend who requires extra care but is totally worth it. Renowned for its tenderness, this steak is often smaller and leaner, making it a favorite for those who prefer a more delicate, less fatty cut. It’s like the ballerina of the grill – graceful, elegant, and a bit pricey. Grill it quickly over high heat to keep it blushing pink inside. Remember, treat it right, and Filet Mignon will dance its way into your heart. Among the beef cuts to try, filet mignon is unparalleled in tenderness.


  • Extremely tender and lean.
  • Considered a luxurious, high-end cut.


  • Less flavorful compared to fattier cuts.
  • More expensive and smaller in size.

Budget-Friendly but Flavor-Packed

Chuck Steak: The Unsung Hero

Chuck steak, the hidden treasure of the beef world, comes from the shoulder area. It’s like the rugged, underappreciated hero of a blockbuster movie, tough on the outside but with a heart of gold (or in this case, flavor). Since it’s a bit tougher, it loves a slow and low grilling approach. Think of it as a “slow dance” on the BBQ – it takes its time but the results are worth the wait. A good marinade can be its best friend, turning this budget-friendly cut into a tender, flavor-packed delight. Chuck steak is proof that you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy a good BBQ. As one of the beef cuts to try, chuck steak offers great value and rich flavor.


  • Budget-friendly, offering great value.
  • Rich in beefy flavor, ideal for slow cooking.


  • Can be tough if not cooked properly.
  • Requires longer cooking time.

Round Steak: Lean and Mean

Round steak, from the rear leg of the cow, is the lean, mean fighting machine of the steak world. It’s like that athlete who trains hard and keeps it healthy. Since it’s low in fat, it can be a bit tough, but with a little love (and a great marinade), it can reach its full potential. Think of marinating as its training regime – essential for bringing out the best. Ideal for slow cooking or careful grilling, this steak is perfect for health-conscious grillers who still crave that meaty satisfaction. Round steak is a testament that lean can also be mean on flavor. As part of the beef cuts to try, round steak is a healthy option that doesn’t skimp on taste.


  • Lean and healthy option.
  • Absorbs marinades well, enhancing flavor.


  • Tends to be tough and less juicy.
  • Needs marination for optimal taste and texture.

Skirt Steak: Quick and Quirky

Skirt steak, a long and flat cut from the cow’s diaphragm, is the life of the quick-grill party. It’s like that friend who’s always up for a spontaneous adventure – low maintenance and loads of fun. This steak cooks quickly, making it a great choice for a last-minute BBQ. It’s got a bold beefy flavor and loves a good rub or marinade. The key is to cook it fast and slice it right – against the grain for maximum tenderness. Skirt steak is for those who believe in “seize the grill” moments, delivering big flavor without the wait. As one of the beef cuts to try, skirt steak is perfect for those seeking quick and flavorful meals.


  • Cooks quickly, perfect for a fast meal.
  • Bold flavor, especially with a good rub or marinade.


  • Can be chewy if not sliced properly.
  • Not as widely available as other cuts.

The Unsung Heroes

Hanger Steak: The Flavorful Secret

Often overlooked, the hanger steak, sourced from the lower belly, is like the secret agent of the steak world – elusive but exceptional. Praised for its flavor, it’s a favorite among chefs. This cut thrives on high heat and quick cooking, perfect for those impromptu grill sessions. A simple seasoning is all it needs to shine. Remember, it’s about unveiling the undercover deliciousness of this lesser-known cut. In the realm of beef cuts to try, the hanger steak stands out for its unique taste and affordability.


  • Offers a rich, meaty flavor unique to its kind.
  • Generally more affordable than high-end cuts.


  • Can be hard to find due to limited availability.
  • Requires precise cooking to avoid toughness.

Flank Steak: The Versatile Performer

The flank steak, hailing from the cow’s lower abdomen, is like the multitasking wizard of the steak universe. Lean and flavorful, it’s a hit for various dishes from fajitas to salads. Its wide, flat shape makes it ideal for marinating, absorbing flavors like a culinary sponge. Quick cooking and thin slicing against the grain are the secrets to its success. It’s the go-to cut for those who love a little DIY in their cooking. Among beef cuts to try, flank steak is celebrated for its versatility and lean yet flavorful profile.


  • Versatile for a range of dishes.
  • Lean yet flavorful, with a distinctive beefy taste.


  • Can be tough if overcooked or sliced incorrectly.
  • Requires marination for best results.

Flat Iron Steak: The Easy Favorite

Flat iron steak, from the shoulder, is the easy-going buddy in the steak group. Known for its tenderness and rich flavor, it’s like the dark horse rising in popularity. A relative newcomer in the steak lineup, it’s great for grilling and pan-searing. This cut is a testament to the joy of discovering new favorites in the world of steaks. As one of the beef cuts to try, the flat iron steak is gaining fans for its combination of tenderness and taste.


  • Tender and well-marbled for a delicious experience.
  • Gaining popularity for its versatility and flavor.


  • Not as well-known, which might deter some.
  • Slightly less traditional in terms of steak cuts.

Adventurous Choices

T-Bone: The Showstopper

The T-Bone steak, a fusion of tenderloin and strip, is the star of the BBQ show. It’s like getting two steaks in one, making it a double delight for steak enthusiasts. Its iconic T-shaped bone not only adds to its visual appeal but also imparts a depth of flavor. This cut demands attention on the grill – cook it with care, and it’ll reward you with a variety of textures and tastes. The T-Bone is a celebration of steak, perfect for those special grilling occasions. When considering beef cuts to try, the T-Bone stands out for its impressive presentation and dual textures.


  • Two different steak textures in one cut.
  • Bone-in cooking enhances the flavor.


  • Requires skillful grilling to cook evenly.
  • Generally more expensive due to its premium nature.

Porterhouse: The Generous Giant

The Porterhouse, similar to the T-Bone but larger, is the generous giant of the steak world. It’s like the T-Bone’s big brother, offering more of everything – more tenderloin, more strip, and more flavor. This cut is for those who believe that when it comes to steak, bigger is indeed better. It’s a feast in itself, making it ideal for sharing (or not, we don’t judge). Grill it to perfection, and bask in the glory of its generous offerings. Among beef cuts to try, the Porterhouse is unmatched in its size and variety, making it a lavish choice for steak lovers.


  • Larger size perfect for sharing.
  • Offers variety with both tenderloin and strip.


  • Challenging to cook evenly due to size.
  • Higher price point due to its large size and quality.

Tri-Tip: The West Coast Wonder

Tri-Tip, a staple in Californian BBQs, is like the cool surfer of the steak world. It has a rich, robust flavor and a tender texture when cooked properly. Often overlooked elsewhere, this cut is gaining popularity for its versatility – it’s fantastic both when grilled or smoked. A little bit of patience and a lot of love on the grill can turn this cut into a mouth-watering centerpiece. Tri-Tip is for the adventurous griller looking to ride the waves of flavor. As part of the beef cuts to try, tri-tip offers a unique taste that differs from more traditional selections.


  • Unique flavor, different from traditional cuts.
  • Versatile for grilling or smoking.


  • Less known, might require a hunt to find.
  • Needs careful cooking to achieve tenderness.


There you have it, a tour of the steak universe, from the familiar favorites to the hidden gems and adventurous picks. Each cut of steak brings its own personality to the grill – some are easy-going, some demand a bit more finesse, but all are capable of creating a BBQ masterpiece. Remember, the best steak for you is the one that suits your taste, occasion, and grilling style. So, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different beef cuts to try, explore new flavors, and above all, have fun with it. After all, every great grill master was once a beginner. Happy grilling, and may your steaks always be cooked to perfection!

1 Comment

  • […] When it comes to grilling, not all steaks are created equal. The key to grilling success starts with selecting the right cut. Ribeye, with its marbling of fat, promises a juicy and flavorful feast. Sirloin offers a leaner option but doesn’t skimp on taste. And then there’s the tenderloin, known for its buttery texture. Choosing the right cut depends on your taste preferences and budget, but remember, a great grill-out starts with great ingredients. For more in-depth information (and also see some recommendations on other cuts) check out our article about various steak cuts. […]

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