The Ultimate Guide to Ordering Steak

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steak ordering guide

Photo by Bru-No licensed under CC0

Ordering a steak from a restaurant seems like a simple task…until the waitstaff asks you what type of cut you’d like, how large you want it, and how you’d like it cooked. The best steakhouses ask you these questions not to confuse you, but to make sure your steak is everything you intended it to be. Anyone who’s anyone in the steak business knows that steaks are serious business.

Before you head out to grab a steak at your favorite restaurant, consult this guide we’ve put together to help you order it, based on common factors most steakhouses go by when creating memorable steak dinners.

Ordering by Cut

The first thing to consider is the cut. Steakhouses usually offer at least three or four different cuts of steak on their menus, but don’t typically go into their features and how they vary. You might see bone-in and boneless offerings, plus cuts like ribeye, filet mignon, or strip.

In the case of boneless vs. bone-in steaks, you’ll want to consider flavor. Usually, bone-in steaks have more flavor than boneless because they get a lot of flavor from the bone’s marrow, which can also tenderize the meat and give it a juicier texture. Boneless, however, may be best for someone who doesn’t want to fuss with cutting around a bone.

Now, consider the type of cut itself. For the best steak experience, you’ll want meat that’s full of flavor and has a beautiful texture. To meet both of these requirements, we recommend looking for ribeye, porterhouse, or a strip steak. Filet mignon is great if you’re willing to pay top dollar for something a little more sophisticated, but if you’re looking for that really meaty, manly flavor, the other cuts are your best bet.

Does Size Matter?

You’ll probably also have some size options to consider when ordering. Most restaurants offer steak sizes between 3 ounces to 14 ounces or more. If you want to stick to a healthy diet, it’s a good idea to opt for a small 3 to 4-ounce portion, which still gives you plenty of meat while also staying within the guidelines of a serving size.

If you’re going to go for a larger cut, remember to keep the price in consideration. The larger the steak, the more you’ll pay!

Age Over Beauty

On the menu, do you see the steak’s description mention that it’s been dry aged or wet aged? What does that mean?

Aging refers to the process of hanging meat to dry before it’s cooked to tenderize it and trap in flavor. With wet aging, the meat gets vacuum-sealed, locking in moisture and keeping its weight intact. With dry-aging, the beef gets hung in an open-air facility, which partially dehydrates it but traps in its natural moisture, making it tender and full of flavor. However, some of the dry meat usually needs to be cut off from the outside so that it can lose a bit of its weight.

You’ll typically see dry-aged beef on the menu because it tends to have the best, most natural flavoring, while wet-aged beef can sometimes pick up the flavor of its wrapping. Either way, though, aged beef is superior among non-aged beef.

The Perfect Cook

Any good waitperson should always ask you how you’d like your steak cooked. But what’s the right answer?

Unfortunately, every chef at every restaurant may cook a medium steak slightly different than another chef, so it’s tough always to get the exact cook you’re looking for unless you give a specific temperature range to shoot for.

Generally, a medium rare cook is the safest way to order. That’s because it can keep the chef from overcooking your steak, but if it comes back too rare, you can always ask for it to go back in the pan for another minute or so. Asking for medium at a restaurant usually results in a cook that’s a bit overdone.

Skip the Guessing Altogether

Let Chicago Steak Company pick out the perfect steaks for you, every single time you order! Ordering steak online from Chicago Steak Company is a foolproof way to make sure you get qualify beef sent to your home with each order. Sure, it’s great having a freshly cooked steak delivered to your table, but not much beats some of the best quality steaks in the world getting delivered to your doorstep for you to make at your convenience.

Check out our selection of tomahawk ribeye, American Wagyu boneless strip steaks, and other cuts that you can’t find in most restaurants. We age our steaks to perfection, flash-freeze them to maintain their freshness, and then send them on their way to your home for you to enjoy. Ready to try our steaks for yourself? Start here.