Back

Which steak is the best?

Choosing the perfect steak can be difficult so we compared the top premium steaks. Which steak is the best?


truLOCAL has so many different types of steaks to choose from so we understand if you might need some direction when considering which steak is truLOCAL’s best. Although it largely comes down to personal preference, three cuts of steak seem to take top prize for being the best steaks: filet mignon, ribeye, and striploin. Let’s examine these three steaks, discuss their pros and cons, and help you decide which truLOCAL steak is the best.

Filet mignon 

The filet mignon is also known as tenderloin filet, tenderloin steak, filet de boeuf, tender steak, beef tenderloin, among others. It’s taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin that runs along either side of the cow’s backbone. Because this muscle makes up only 2-3% of the animal, it can be an expensive cut of steak and is very highly prized.

Why you might love a filet mignon:

Widely considered to be the most tender part of a cow, the tenderloin muscle does not do as much work as tougher muscles from the shoulder and leg muscles. The result is a steak that is so tender that it seems to melt in your mouth when properly prepared. Another potential benefit to this steak is that it is one of the leanest steaks with little to no marbling (fat between the muscle fibres) so if you are limiting your fat intake but love steak, the filet is a winner.

Why you might not love a filet mignon:

A lack of fat in the filet mignon might sound like good news at first but fat is what gives steak its flavour and keeps it from drying out while cooking. When it comes to lean steaks, there is a fine line between perfectly cooked and overcooked so we recommend that you use a meat thermometer. Despite the filet mignon having a fair amount of flavour, most would agree that other steaks are more flavourful than this steak. To overcome these issues, filet mignons are often wrapped with bacon to provide both flavour and protection against drying out. This adds cost, more work, and an additional mess to a premium steak.

Ribeye

Ribeye steaks go by many names: cowboy steak, Spencer steak, tomahawk steak, market steak, or Delmonico steak. As the name ribeye name suggests, it comes from the beef rib primal cut and is comprised of three muscles: longissimus dorsi, complexus, and spinalis. These run from the cow's hip bone to the shoulder blade. If you are familiar with prime rib, ribeyes are a steak cut from a prime rib roast so they are the same in terms of marbling, flavour, and tenderness. 

Why you might love a ribeye:

If you love juicy, flavourful steaks, few steaks can beat a ribeye. This steak has lots of marbling throughout and large areas of fat which makes for a very juicy steak with a robust “beefy” flavour. Because of the fat, this steak is more forgiving and can be cooked to higher temperatures than the filet mignon and still remain juicy and delicious. This muscle group does not get much exercise so the ribeye is a fairly tender steak.

Why you might not love a ribeye:

Despite being tender, the ribeye is not as melt-in-your-mouth-tender as the others on this list. It also has more fat so depending on how you feel about fatty steaks, ribeyes might have more than what you want. There is a fair amount of fat located in the middle of the steak separating the longissimus from the spinalis dorsi so if you avoid all fat on your steaks, you might not like this cut of steak. 

Striploin

The striploin steak has been called many names: New York, strip steak, ambassador steak, boneless club steak, and Kansas City strip. It’s cut from the cow’s loin primal which is located along the spine in the hindquarter of the cow, running from the ribs to the rump. The loin primal is cut into two sections, the short loin (where this steak is from) and the tenderloin (where the filet mignon is from). This area does not get much exercise and produces some very tender steaks.

Why you might love a striploin:

If the filet mignon is considered the most tender cut of steak and the ribeye the most flavourful, the striploin takes the second prize in each category. This steak is incredibly tender and has a decent amount of marbling and a large fat cap along one side so it is juicy and flavourful. A striploin does not have large amounts of fat running between muscles in the middle of the steak but it does have a large fat cap on one side and a bit of marbling in the meat. This fat keeps it juicy and flavourful.

Why you might not love a striploin:

Although there is not much to complain about when it comes to the striploin, there is the fat cap to consider. The fat cap offers flavour and juiciness but needs some direct heat before the rest of the steak so it can start rendering. Another turn-off for some is the line of nearly inedible fat between the fat cap and the meat, which does not render as it cooks. Although this strip of hard fat is not through the meat of the steak, this might be too much for some people if they take a bite by accident.

Final considerations

Before we pick a winner, it is important to note that the type of steak matters less to us than how the steak is cooked. You could buy the most expensive wagyu steak with perfect marbling but if it’s undercooked or overcooked for your tastes, it will never taste great. Have a restaurant cook it for you or use a meat thermometer when cooking steak at home - and don’t forget to let it rest for a bit before cutting into it so that the juices don’t rush out.

Another consideration when searching for the best steaks is the quality level of the steak. It’s nearly impossible to know the quality of meat when purchased from a big-box grocery store where they care more about the price margins than the quality. If you don’t know how to spot a high-quality steak, go to a butcher and start a conversation. -or even better, buy meat online and get high-quality steaks delivered right to your door with truLOCAL. We have a lot of different steaks, all antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and many cuts have both grass-fed and grain-fed options for you to try before picking your favourite (oh, and if you don’t know the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed, don’t worry - we can teach you that).

Final verdict: filet mignon, ribeye, striploin - which steak is the best?

All of the three premium steaks mentioned above are incredible. This list offers a great mix of flavour, tenderness, juiciness, and marbling. This debate really depends on what you like about steak so no one can pick a perfect steak for you. There isn’t one steak that would be perfect for everyone. We can make some suggestions though based on what you like:

The best way to figure out what kind of steak you love is to try them. Order a different one each time you visit your local steakhouse, or even better, try grilling up a few different kinds of steak and compare them. Once you build up a basic understanding of steak cuts and what each offers, you will know exactly which steak is best for you.


Posted on August 5th, 2021