Which steak is best for my next special occasion?
The pros at Snake River Farms are here to help! Steak is our bread and butter, so we know a thing or two about which steaks are best for different cooking methods, as well as how to choose a cut that will deliver rich, mind-blowing flavor and buttery tenderness.
Whether it’s for Father’s Day grilling, a romantic meal for two or a notable gathering for the whole family, you’ll feel confident choosing the best steaks with our professional advice, recipes and tips.
Choose by Cut
The tenderness and overall quality of a steak largely depend on the part of the animal it was cut from. Here’s a quick rundown of popular steak cuts:
- The Loin – This area below the backbone yields some of the tenderest, juiciest cuts because it gets less exercise than other muscle groups. Cuts: Filet mignon, New York Strip, Manhattan Filet.
- The Sirloin – Tucked between the loin and the round, this area delivers flavorful steaks that may not be as tender as cuts from the loin but that still deliver an amazing meal and tend to be a bit less expensive. Cuts: Top Sirloin, Picanha (aka Sirloin Cap).
- The Rib – This section of the animal is located just under the front portion of the backbone. It’s the proverbial sweet spot where tenderness, great marbling and rich flavor all come together. Cuts: Ribeye Filet, Rolled Cap of Ribeye, Tomahawk.
- The Shoulder – Also known as the chuck, the shoulder yields steaks with bold, rich flavor that might not be as tender as other options. Cuts: Flat Iron.
- The Flank – The plate and the flank make up the animal’s lower midsection. Steaks from this area tend to be leaner than others. Cuts: Flank Steak, Skirt Steak.
Choose by Cooking Method
The best steak for your special occasion will vary, depending on what you plan to do with it. Here are our recommendations for the best cuts to choose based on your preferred cooking method.
- On the Grill: Because this is a hot and fast method of cooking, choose steaks with superior marbling so they’ll stay tender through the smokey process. Our picks: New York Strip, Picanha.
- The Steakhouse Method: This foolproof way of cooking a steak consistently delivers a tender, juicy, mouthwatering meal. Watch Hugh Acheson demonstrate with great tips for both beginners and seasoned pros. Our picks: Ribeye Filet, Manhattan Filet, Filet Mignon.
- The Reverse Sear Method: Where the Steakhouse method starts with searing, then pops the steak into the oven to achieve optimal internal temp, this way reverses that order. A slow, low roast followed by a quick sear works great for any steak but is particularly dependable for thicker cuts. Our picks: Tomahawk, Cowboy, Conventional Ribeye.
Five Kick-Ass Steaks for Your Next Special Occasion
Whether it’s your 50th wedding anniversary, your last weekend as a single man or your family’s traditional holiday get-together, different special occasions require their own kind of celebration. Cook the perfect steak for your next special occasion with seven kick-ass steak picks from the SRF pros:
- Filet Mignon – This cut is synonymous with posh restaurants and fancy meals. The diminutive size is quickly overtaken by the fact that it’s the most tender of all beef cuts with mild flavor.
- Top Sirloin – Though leaner and generally not as marbled as other cuts, this is still a surprisingly flavorful steak that exceeds expectations.
- Cap of Ribeye – Impress the meat-lovers in your family with a rolled cap of ribeye that delivers our most prized cut in an elegant size. Its high level of marbling makes it a juicy and very tender steak to the nth degree.
- Tomahawk – This large, thick bone-in cut with both the center eye and the cap makes for seriously impressive plating.
- Skirt Steak – Choose our outside skirt steak for carne asada or fajitas with exceptional juiciness and beefy flavor.