Types of Beef Steak

Updated April 17, 2017

Americans continue to love their red meat, regardless of concerns about health issues, including heart disease, increasing costs and concerns such as mad cow disease. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the average American eats about 30.4 Kilogram of beef a year. Steak, which consists of a slice of meat from the fleshy part of the cow, contains iron, B vitamins, zinc, selenium and phosphorous. When eaten in moderation and with its fat cut away, steak can be a very nutritious part of a diet.


As expected by its name, the "tenderloin" is one of the most tender pieces of meat. It is located in the middle of the cow's back. It is so tender because these muscles are hardly ever used. When the long tenderloin muscle is cut away from the bone, it is called a roast. When it is cut into pieces, the tip of the meat is called fillet mignon steak.


Sirloin steak is a serving of beef cut from the loin section of a cow near the tenderloin. However, it is closer to the rump and not as tender. Many times the meat is marinated to become more tender. There are several types of sirloin steaks, named after the shape of the hip bone that they include: pin, flat and round bone. Although these are the least tender of the steaks, they do have a lot of flavour.


Another tender steak is the porterhouse because it includes a large section of the tenderloin. It is believed that the name is derived from the porter drinking houses, or coach stops, where steak and ale were served in the 1800s. A servant in one of the New York City porter houses started serving this type of steak, and it grew in popularity. In fact, one of Mark Twain's favourite meals consisted of pan-fried porterhouse steak, peas and mushrooms. Although not as tender as the porterhouse, the T-bone steak, with a bone with this letter's shape, is from the short loin.

Rib Eye

People enjoy the rib eye steak from the cow's rib section because it is tender and marbled with fat. This steak can be cut with or without the bone in. Some chefs believe that it is important to keep the bone in because it makes the meat more moist and flavourful. This section of the cow includes ribs 6 through 12.

Skirt and Flank

Both the skirt and flank steaks come from the area that is between the rib and the hip. The former, which comes from the long and flat diaphragm muscle, can be more tough than other pieces of meat. The latter is used for the popular London Broil. It is long and thin and less fatty than some of the other steaks. When tenderised, it makes a tasty low-fat steak.

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Sharon L. Cohen has 30-years' experience as a writer and editor. Her Atlantic Publishing book about starting a Yahoo! business is being followed by one on and another about starting 199 online businesses ( See Clients love her excellent high-quality work. She has a B.A. from University of Wisconsin, Madison and an M.A. from Fairfield University Graduate School of Corporate and Political Communiation.