With so many different steaks to choose from, it’s not always easy to narrow down exactly which cut is best for your next special dinner. Some steaks are great for everyday enjoyment, while others are more suited to special occasions due to size or cost. Top sirloin and New York strip steaks are two of the most popular options at the butcher’s counter, but they’re also often confused for each other by people unfamiliar with their shape and amount of marbling. Learn to tell the differences between these two flavorful steaks so you can always pick the right one for your big meal.
What Is Sirloin, Anyway?
The beef sirloin comes from the primal cut known as the loin, which begins at the end of the 13th rib and runs all the way to the hip bone. This entire sirloin roast is further divided into the bottom butt and top butt, or top sirloin. While the bottom sirloin is primarily used for ground beef or stew meat, the top section can make great steaks. Steaks sourced from this section of beef are flavorful and fairly tender, yet tend to cost a lot less than other popular cuts. The entire top sirloin is also a good choice for roasting whole due to the marbled fat content and relatively quick cooking time. But if you want something quick that doesn’t take a few hours to roast, grab the Top Sirloin steak instead.
New York Strip Steak Overview
In the comparison of Top Sirloin vs New York strip steak, the latter is the slightly more upscale option of the two. For a special dinner to celebrate a birthday or new job, you’ll want to choose the New York Strip steak in most cases. This piece comes from the short loin, which happens to make up the other half of the beef loin primal cut. It’s specifically cut from a muscle known as the longissimus that is rarely exercised, keeping it tender and well-marbled. In other countries it is known as a sirloin or striploin steak, making it easy to confuse for the American variation of the Top Sirloin steak.
The Differences Between A New York Strip & Sirloin Steak
While the conversation about Top Sirloin vs New York strip steak has to acknowledge they’re from similar parts of the cow, these two cuts are still quite different from each other. Learn how to choose between them based on your personal preferences and goals for your next steak dinner.
Both steaks have a similar size and shape, although the New York strip steak may be thicker. The main difference is the amount of visible fat. The Top Sirloin only has a limited amount of marbling through two main sections of the cut, while the New York strip steak will feature both marbling throughout the tissue and a little edge fat in most cases.
With the right handling and care when cooking, Top Sirloin can be nearly as tender as the New York strip. Yet neither will come close to the fork tenderness of a Filet Mignon in most cases. That’s not a problem, it just makes both of these cuts of steak better for people who prefer a bold grain and flavorful meat.
If you’re a fan of well-marbled steaks, you’ll want to stick with the New York strip. It has far more fat interspersed with the meat, resulting in both a rich flavor and a tender texture. It’s well-suited to smoking and other methods that help melt the fat slowly into the meat. For a leaner and less marbled cut, the Top Sirloin is the way to go.
There is plenty of depth of flavor in both of these cuts of beef. For a slight edge thanks to the marbled meat, consider the New York strip steak. Yet with marinades and the right cooking method, Top Sirloin can offer just as much classic beef flavor and satisfaction.
The Top Sirloin steak has an edge here with a slightly lower price per pound. New York strip steak commands a more premium price due to its marbling and tender texture, but it’s still within the general price range of the other cut. Both options are far more affordable than premium steaks like the Porterhouse, making them easy to add to your everyday meal routine.
For diet-conscious steak lovers that are looking to control their fat intake in particular, the Top Sirloin is a better choice. It’s considered a relatively lean cut, yet is still more flavorful and tender than many other lean cuts of beef. New York strip steak is well-marbled and has a higher amount of both total and saturated fat per serving.
Neither the Top Sirloin steak nor the New York strip contains a bone. This means they’re generally a little easier to cook evenly, but must be watched with care to avoid overcooking as well. You can easily slice, roll, or otherwise experiment with these boneless beef cuts.
The New York strip steak responds best to pan cooking, followed by grilling or smoking. Top Sirloin also cooks well in a pan, but it may need extra marinade or the addition of a bacon wrap to stay moist on a grill. Oven cooking can work well for both of these cuts, especially if a small amount of cooking liquid is added.
Finalize your Top Sirloin vs New York strip steak decision with these pros and cons.
Top Sirloin Pros and Con
- Lean and healthy for everyday meals
- Easily sliced up for fajitas, stews, and other meals
- Adaptable to many seasoning combinations and marinades
- Easily cooked due to thinner cut
- Highly affordable compared to more premium steaks
- Toughens easily if allowed to overcook
- May require marinating to soften the texture
- Slightly less marbled meat.
New York Strip Pros and Cons
- A tender texture that rivals more expensive cuts
- Still affordable compared to Filet Mignon
- Edge fat and marbling add a richness of flavor
- Easily cooked with a variety of methods without drying out or getting tough
- Related to the Porterhouse and T-bone steaks at a much lower cost
- Higher fat content makes this a better fit for occasional enjoyment
- Edge fat is not appealing to all steak fans
- Less marbled than some premium steaks.
These steaks both deserve a rotation in your kitchen. Find the finest New York strip steaks and other cuts of beef here at Chicago Steak Company for a satisfying meal any day of the week. Discover new delights and old favorites alike within our selection of premium steaks and other meats.