The easy answer to the question “which steak is best?” is – it depends!
Basically, it comes down to personal preference as to the type of steak you enjoy most, whether it be a cut with a more robust flavour or a cut that is more tender. The four main cuts for beef steak are:
- porterhouse (also known as sirloin)
- scotch fillet
- eye fillet.
There are other cuts such as a t-bone steak. Aside from knowing eye fillet is a premium cut and rump a cheaper cut, many people find the differences confusing. At the end of the day it comes down to the flavour you most enjoy, but here’s a rundown on the differences. All these cuts can be cooked or barbecued as whole pieces as well as individual steaks.
Rump steaks come from the hind quarter and are cut across a section of several muscles, so it’s from a working area of the animal. A lean cut with little fat, a rump steak is not as tender as some of the other cuts. Hence, it is a cheaper cut. However, it is full of flavour and for this reason it is the steak of choice for many people. Rump steaks are large steaks and often cooked whole then sliced thinly, so are ideal for feeding a large group. Alternatively, they can be used for slow cooking, where the added moisture assists in the cooking process.
Porterhouse steak (sirloin)
Porterhouse steak is recognised by its fine grain and exterior of fat down one side, and may have some marbling. It is a cut from the lower portion of the ribs. It is a tender cut and excellent for grilling. Leave the edge of fat on while cooking, then remove it after resting to enhance the flavour and succulence of this steak.
A scotch fillet steak is recognisable by the strip of fat that runs through its length. This cut is from the whole boneless eye of the rib. Scotch fillet has a higher marbling of fat that gives you a steak full of flavour. Because there is sufficient fat, you don’t need to add any to the pan before cooking. The strip of fat running through the steak helps ensure a tender steak that is succulent and full of flavour. This makes it one of the most popular beef steaks to eat.
Often considered the premium steak and the steak of choice for many, eye fillet steaks are cut from the whole eye fillet, that spans between the short loin and the sirloin. Sitting beneath the ribs, this muscle does little work, resulting in a very tender and succulent cut.
Whichever is your favourite steak, the key to maximising the flavour and tenderness is to rest the meat for 5-10 minutes once it is cooked. This ensures that the meat relaxes after cooking and the juices are absorbed back into the meat, providing a juicy, flavoursome and tender steak.
Find out more about beef cuts.