Here's a handy guide to help you pick and cook your favourite steak

Have you ever wondered why a steak from your favourite restaurant often is better than anything you are cooking at home? Well, don’t fear – with this guide you can figure out not only what steak you should be buying according to your preference, but also how to prepare it!

First of all, let’s run  down the main different cuts of steak available

T-bone- This cut is giving you the best of both worlds. Coming from the short loin of a cow they are including a strip steak on one side and a tenderloin on the other. Overall you can expect a tender piece of meat with two different textures. There’s less fat overall but still packing and good flavour. 

The ribeye, sourced from the prime rib section, is a popular choice for many. It typically contains a higher fat content and significant marbling, which contributes to its exceptional flavor and tenderness.

Fillet Mignon/ Tenderloin – Are they the same thing? Yes and no. If it’s labelled fillet mignon it will be cut from the best section of the entire tenderloin. This is your most expensive steak because it will be the most tender piece of the entire cow. You scarifice fat content and flavour with this cut, so if that is your priority then go with something else.

Sirloin – A quality cut that can be cooked many ways. The sirloin will have the best falvour of the entire cow. Affordable when comapred to others, it provides the most value for your dollar. You sacrifice tenderness nere – especially if you like it cooked right through.

Once you’ve decided which cut matchges your preferences, there are spome key factors to consider when you are buying your meat.

Thickness is definitely important here; it’s better to opt for a one-inch minimum thickness when grilling or pan searing in order to control the “doneness” with ease.

Thin fillets will just overcook and not hold enough juice to give you good flavour.

Marbling is the second most important thing, which actually ties into the third, quality of the cut. Steak is graded on a few different systems: A- AA- AAA in canada or prime/choice/select in the United States.

The higher the grade will often mean more marbling within the meat. Look for steaks that have white lines running through it, mor marbling is more flavour and tenderness, however, avoid ones with large white sections that will becomine tough when cooking.

Opt for a top-quality cut of prime or AAA to ensure you’re getting the best product.

Finally, aging is crucial to building flavour and texture within meat. People often don’t think their beef is coming fresh, not more than a few days old, however, the older the steak the more developed the flavour.

As a rule of thumb, buy one that’s a minimum of 30-days aged, or a 60-day dry aged if your eally want something exceptional. This is a secret that all restaurants are using that the average customer may not be aware of.

Finally, how to cook the steak!

Before you begin cooking any cut there’s a crucial prepping process. First remove any packaging, allow the meat to re-oxygenate and liberally salt it. Let the meat come up to room temperature and absorb that salt for about 30 minutes before you cook it. This will not only build flavour but also will give you better control of your “doneness”.

A ribeye is best cooked in a cast iron pan. This will build a nice crust and avoid buring from high fat content when grilling. T-bone and sirloin are grill kings. They do amazing on a barbecue; just remember you only need to flip them once! Finally, a fillet mignon is also best prepared in a pan. This will reduce any fat loss, allowing it to remain as juicy as possible. 

Hopefully this guide will give you confidence next time you are at the butcher counter. Remember price reflects ther product, and now with so many non-traditional cuts being sold as steaks, it’s easy to get left with a less than perfect product.