A Guide to Choosing the Best Beef Cuts for Grilling

September 28, 2021 4 min read

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If you’ve been grilling for a while, you understand there is a significant difference between beef cuts. If you’re new to grilling, selecting and identifying various steaks might be overwhelming. Each beef cut steak is likely to give different results in flavor, texture, shape, etc.
Which is the best beef cut for grilling? T-bone, ribeye steak, and top loin are among the best cuts for grilling.This article is a comprehensive guide to choosing the best beef cuts. It also describes the characteristics of the various cuts.

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What are the Factors to Consider When Choosing Beef Cuts for Grilling?

There are some essential yet critical things you must consider anytime you’re shopping for beef cuts. It helps you select the quality meat for grilling. Below is an outline of the factors to consider:

Color of a beef cut

Beef cuts should be red. A fresh cut tends to be dark red or cherry. Avoid any beef cut that has a brownish color.

The smell

Smelling meat is the best way to know whether it has been overstayed on the shelves or its freshness. Stay away from meat with a pungent smell.


A quality and high-grade cut tend to have more marbling. When selecting beef cuts, go for “Select,” “Choice,” and “Prime” grades.

Meat surface

Beef cuts with more marbling are flavorful and tender after cooking. On the other hand, beef cuts with visible muscle fibers are tough yet flavorful and are suitable for low and slow cooking.
Above are the key factors you must not ignore.  Proper packaging and the sell-by date are among other factors you might need to look into.

10 Best Beef Cuts for Grilling

1.    Ribeye Steak

Our list has to start with the most popular beef cut for grilling, the ribeye steak. It is also called the Rib-Eye, rib steak, or cowboy steak. This particular cut is tender and flavorful because of its marbling. Generally, ribeye steak is the finest of all steaks for grilling.  
It comes in two styles, i.e., bone-in and boneless cuts. It’s a cut from the center portion of the rib.

2.    Porterhouse steak

The Porterhouse steak is referred to as the “King of Steaks.” It has a big flavor. It’s also served in big portions.
The porterhouse steak is a bone-in cut that is taken from the loin on the rump. Concisely, this cut is from the junction of the top loin and tenderloin.  This cut is tender, juicy, and thick.

3.    Strip steak

The strip steak is another great cut for grilling. It’s also called the Kansas City Strip Steak, Strip Loin, or the New York Strip Steak.
It’s a leaner cut with an exceptional beef flavor and fairly tender. However, its tenderness depends on several factors, such as marbling, age, and grade of the beef meat.
You might also get in a bone-version (but it’s rare), also known as the club steak.

4.    Flat Iron steak

The flat iron steak is also called the top blade flatiron, butler’s steak, or oyster steak. It’s one of the best beef cuts for grilling, and a significant number of people love it. It’s super flavorful, tender, and well-marbled.
As the name suggests, it’s cut from the top blade or chuck/shoulder of a cow.

5.    Flank steak

The flank steak is one of the flavorful and lean cuts you can grill. However, it can be a little tough. It’s also known as the London’s Broil. This cut is gotten from a cow’s abdominal muscle or the lower chest.
Usually, the flank steak is about an inch thick and a foot long; therefore, while grilling, it should be cut into smaller pieces if you want to achieve better tenderness.

6.    Picanha

The Picanha is one of the tender cuts that stand out in the grilling game. It’s a Brazilian-style cut, and it’s also known as the Sirloin Cap or Rump Cap. This flavorful cut is from the sirloin section’s top.
It’s juicer and has an intense aroma.

7.    Top Sirloin steak

The top sirloin steak is a lean, flavorful, and meaty cut ideal for grilling. It’s also commonly sliced for kabobs on the grill.
The top sirloin is also called the cap steak or the baseball steak if it’s thick. It’s cut from the beef sirloin primal cut.

8.    T-Bone Steak

The T-bone steak is lean and is relatively smaller than the porterhouse steak. Additionally, it’s tender and has excellent flavor. One side of the cut is meaty, and the other has a section of filet mignon.
This particular cut is characterized by the T-shaped bone that separates the larger strip loin and smaller tenderloin.

9.    Tenderloin steak

The Tenderloin is also another popular beef cut for grilling. It’s also called the fillet magnon. It’s a lean and tender cut yet succulent. The soft and buttery texture characterizes the tenderloin steak. Additionally, this cut tends to dry out quickly if overcooked; therefore, it’s best cooked over low to medium heat.

10.    Skirt steak

The skirt steaks come in two versions, i.e., the outside and inside skirt steak. Generally, this cut is full of flavor, and it’s from the inner chest and abdominal parts of a cow. The inside skirt steak comes from the transverse abdominal muscle, while the outside skirt steak comes from the diaphragm section.
The skirt steak is commonly used for fajitas, and thus it gained the name Fajita steak.

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