A raw T-bone steak.

Steak is a cut of meat, usually around an inch of thickness, intended for preparation on the skillet or grill. While a steak can be cut from the meat of any one of a number of animals (sheep, lamb, etc.), the term is usually associated with a cut of beef. The steak can be cut from just about any muscle tissue from the animal, and can be prepared in a number of ways that are often dictated by cultural cuisine or personal preference.

Steaks are often seasoned, and typically served with food items either on the side, or sharing a plate. Popular accompanying foods include mashed potatoes, corn, peas, and rolls.

Cuts of steak (beef)Edit

Retail beef cuts

A chart listing cuts of beef with illustrations.

The following is a list of cuts of beef, where they come from, and the cuts of steak that come from them. There is a similarity in the anatomy of livestock such as lamb, and cuts from such animals have similar names.
  • Chuck is from the front shoulder of beef and has a large amount of marbled fat tissue. From it comes chuck steaks, flat iron steaks, blade steaks, mock tender steaks, among others.
  • Round is from the back leg and shoulder. From it comes London broils, top round steaks, bottom round steaks, eye round steaks, sirloin steaks, and others. In American cuisine, rump meat (from the back shoulder) also falls under the distinction of round.
  • Rib is from the midsection of the cow, joined to the chuck. From it comes rib steak, rib eye steaks (delmonico), and back ribs.
  • Loin is from the midsection, placed between chuck and rib, and from it comes some of the more expensive cuts of beef. Among these are sirloin steaks (which are also obtained from round cuts), strip steaks (sometimes with bone), T-bone steaks, porterhouse steaks, filet mignon tenderloin steaks, and others.
  • Shank is leg beef, from which one can obtain shank steaks.
  • Flank is from the back underside, located below the loin, and it is here one obtains flank steaks and flap.
  • Plate is from the underside, located below the rib. From it comes skirt steaks and short ribs.
  • Brisket is the front underside, below the chuck. From it comes beef brisket and brisket flats.


A chef may ask how you like your steak prepared. The three general categories of preparation are rare, medium, and well done. There are other categories that fall around these general categories, such as extra rare, medium rare, and extra well done. A steak is considered to be prepared to one of these preferences once it reaches a certain internal temperature. The following chart lists the doneness of steaks with their target internal temperature:

Doneness Cook-to temperature
Rare 130 degrees F
Medium rare 140 degrees F
Medium 155 degrees F
Well done 165 degrees F

A steak that is rare is typically juicy and red in the middle, and is prepared in less time, and sometimes at a lower temperature. A steak that is well done is usually dry and firm, is cooked to a darker color, and takes longer to prepare. Medium falls between these two preferences.

While a number of men prefer their steaks prepared rare, it is recommended that rare steaks are avoided, especially when travelling abroad, as rare steaks are often underprepared and thus conductive to the possible transmission of diseases.

Preparing a steak at homeEdit

What you'll need:

  • Your steak
  • Skillet
  • Spatula
  • Meat thermometer
  • Cooking oil (recommended: granola oil)
  • Butter (optional)

Apply cooking oil to your skillet and heat to medium high. Apply steak only once the skillet is hot. Allow steak to cook for an amount of time depending on the doneness you prefer: Rare steaks are from 4 to 6 minutes per side for a 1 inch steak, while well done steaks can take more than 10 minutes per side for a well done steak. Flip your steak, and allow to cook the same amount of time on the other side. Your steak will be done once it's reached the internal temperature corresponding to the doneness you prefer: 130 F for rare, 140 F for medium rare, 155 F for medium, and 165 F for well done.

You may wish to use butter for coloring and to slightly flavor. Place a thin slice of butter on the skillet when your steak is finished, and allow it to melt down (it should do so quickly). Flip the steak onto the butter, and after a few seconds, flip the other side onto the butter. A few seconds later, remove the steak from heat, it will be finished. You may top it with a little of the butter that is left over on the skillet.

Leave your steak to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. During this time, the steak will continue to cook internally. Slicing the steak at this time can cause it to lose juice, leaving the steak dry.

Serve and enjoy.

See alsoEdit