The Weight of the World

Weight is a simple way to determine the quality of a steak. Grocery stores advertise the price per pound and restaurant menus shout out the size of a cut. Obviously, weight is meaningful, but of equal importance is a steak's thickness.

A steak cut at least 1.5” thick has many benefits. It provides sufficient size to sear each side over high heat and allow the interior to remain pink and juicy. Thin steaks are easily overcooked in the middle after searing both sides. This means anyone who enjoys a steak cooked rare to medium rare must look to larger cuts to acheive their preferred finish.

Aesthetics also play a significant role in the appeal of a thick cut steak. A substantial steak looks appetizing on the plate and makes a statement when you showcase it on your dinner table.

Through Thick and Thin

If a thick steak is desirable, why are steaks often cut thin? One reason is simple economics. A thin cut allows online sellers and grocery stores to produce more steaks at a price that’s lower and more attractive to the average shopper.

It's important to note that a larger weight does not automatically translate to a thick cut steak. Many butchers focus on a weight range. Following this approach produces steaks of varying thickness.

Steaks are cut from sections of beef, called subprimals, that are not consistently sized. Subprimals may appear uniform, but they frequently taper from end to end. Cutting steaks of equal weight creates thinner ones on the wide end and thicker ones on the narrow end.

SRF Steak Cutting - The Plot Thickens

In order to supply steaks that are a consistent thickness, Snake River Farms cuts steaks to a precise measurement. Some of our steaks, like ribeyes and New York strips, show the cut size in their name. For example, when you purchase an American Wagyu Gold Grade Ribeye 1.5" you know exactly how thick the steak is before it arrives at your home. 

Here's how it works - the ribeye roll is the subprimal where ribeye steaks are sourced. It naturally tapers from the top end to the bottom end in this photo. Generally, the end closest to the chuck primal is the larger side and the part closest to the loin is the smaller side.


If the goal is for all the steaks cut from the subprimal to have the same weight, the ribeyes cut from the thick side are naturally thinner than those cut from the narrow side. In order to provide thick cut steaks every time, Snake River Farms has a specification for our master butchers to follow.

Our traditional ribeye are cut to exactly 1.5” thick. This guarantees every steak we ship is of generous proportions. Our New York strips are also cut to the 1.5" spec. 

Cutting to thickness creates variation in the weight of each steak. We publish an average weight so customers know the full picture of each steak. An average weight means some steaks fall above and some below this number. We use a number that is lower than the actual average in order to minimize this effect. 


We cut our filets mignons and ribeye filets to a thickness of 2”. These steaks are sold by weight – 6, 8 and 10 oz. Once the 2" steaks are cut, they're sorted by weight to ensure our customers receive the proper size. If a steak falls between the published weights, we round down. Following this method means it's not unusual for any of our filets to be a bit larger than the published weight.


Large cuts like the cowboy steak and tomahawk are cut the full width of the rib bone. This provides a gorgeous steak approximately 3” thick. Since every bone is not exactly the same size, this will vary slightly.


Pulling Our Weight

We take pride in furnishing exceptional steaks to our customers. Many factors make Snake River Farms steaks superior from other sources. These include our carefully managed rearing of American Wagyu cattle and supervision of every detail from ranch to table.

While there are many reasons our steaks taste so good, we recommend trying any of our thick cuts to experience first-hand the enjoyment that only comes from a full sized ribeye, New York or filet mignon.