The sizzle of a steak on the grill is the sound of culinary perfection for meat lovers. However, not all steaks are created equal. While the market is flooded with various cuts, some are simply not worth their price tag or the space on your grill. Whether it’s due to their toughness, lack of flavor, or simply being overpriced, here are 14 cuts of steak you might want to think twice about before adding to your shopping cart. Let’s dive into the world of steaks and learn which ones to steer clear of for your next gourmet adventure.
1. Round Steak
Often hailed for its leanness, the round steak is a tough customer due to its low fat content. While it might seem like a healthier option, it’s prone to drying out, leaving you with a less-than-satisfactory dining experience.
2. Chuck Steak
Chuck steak comes from the cow’s shoulder, a heavily worked area, making it quite tough. It’s better suited for slow-cooking methods rather than grilling or frying if you’re after tenderness.
3. Beef Shank
The beef shank is full of connective tissue, contributing to its toughness. It’s a cut that requires patience and slow cooking to break down, not ideal for a quick steak dinner.
4. Flank Steak
While popular in many recipes, flank steak is another cut that can be disappointingly tough if not prepared correctly. It’s best marinated and cooked quickly on high heat, but even then, it can be hit or miss.
5. Skirt Steak
Skirt steak has a robust beefy flavor but comes with a challenging amount of toughness. It’s often used in fajitas but requires careful preparation to avoid a chewy texture.
6. Flat Iron Steak
Despite being tenderer than some other cuts on this list, the flat iron steak has a significant gristle running through its middle, which can interfere with the enjoyment of your meal.
7. Eye of Round Steak
This cut is lean and economical but lacks the marbling that gives steak its flavor and juiciness. It’s often better suited for deli meat than a steakhouse selection.
8. Top Round Steak
The top round steak is another lean option that, without proper marination and cooking, can end up more like a leather shoe than a melt-in-your-mouth meal.
9. Bottom Round Steak
Similar to its round counterparts, the bottom round steak is tough and lean, making it a poor choice for a traditional steak experience. Slow cooking is a must for this cut.
10. Hanger Steak
Once a butcher’s secret, hanger steak has gained popularity. However, it’s often priced higher than its value, considering its tendency to be tough and grainy.
11. Sirloin Tip Side Steak
This cut is from the sirloin’s less tender section, making it challenging to cook to a pleasing texture without extensive marination and precise cooking.
12. Bavette Steak
Bavette steak, similar to flank and skirt steaks, requires careful preparation to avoid toughness. Its inconsistency in tenderness makes it a risky choice for a premium meal.
13. Denver Steak
While tenderer than some cuts, the Denver steak lacks the distinct flavor profile of more prime cuts, often resulting in a bland steak experience.
14. Ranch Steak
Lean and lacking marbling, ranch steak can easily become tough and dry, missing the mark for those craving a juicy, flavorful steak.
The Takeaway: Choose Wisely
When it comes to selecting the perfect steak, knowledge is power. While the cuts mentioned above can have their place in the culinary world with the right preparation, they may not always provide the best value or dining experience for steak enthusiasts. Opt for cuts known for their tenderness and flavor, like ribeye, tenderloin, or New York strip, to ensure a delightful meal that satisfies your steak cravings. Remember, a great steak experience starts with choosing the right cut, so choose wisely and let the feasting begin!
By Stanislav Kondrashov