Loin Cuts

Loin Cuts

The loin, which falls between the rib and round primal cuts, supports the animal, but the muscles are not responsible for movement. This is why some of the most tender cuts come from this primal.  The loin, which accounts for 16% of the beef carcass, is cut into two halves, the forward portion is called the short loin or strip loin and weighs approximately 12 to 14 pounds with the bones in. It envelopes the tapered end of the tenderloin, and some of the short loin cuts include a portion of the filet. Short loin is sometimes called the strip or top loin. Steaks and roasts from this area have excellent flavor and are categorized as lean by the USDA.

The rear half of the loin is called the sirloin. The stub end of the tenderloin is removed and the sirloin is divided into two pieces, the top and the bottom sirloin butt. The top sirloin butt is very large, and can be portioned into cuts of numerous shapes and sizes. It generally consists of two large muscles. The first is called the “cap”, and the second is called the “center”.  Since these two muscles have opposing grains, they are commonly separated.  All top sirloin roasts and steaks are moderately tender, but those cut from the short loin end will be slightly more tender and juicier.

Although still considered moderately tender, the bottom sirloin is tougher than the top sirloin, but has good beef flavor. Because they are so lean, bottom sirloin roasts and steaks cook quickly and can dry out easily. Marinating helps to retain water and is broadly recommended with bottom sirloin cuts.


Short Loin Cuts

Porterhouse Steak

Cooking Method: Broil/Grill

Other Names: King Steak, Porter House

This is the cut of steakhouse legend. The only steak fit to be called King. The porterhouse is actually two steaks in one. The longer, larger piece is a New York Strip Steak while the smaller, more tender piece is filet mignon. Very similar to the T-bone steak, the porterhouse is cut closer to the sirloin and has a larger piece of the filet. It gets its name from the old coach stops known as porterhouses, which were famous for serving this cut. Tender, well-marbled and very flavorful. It’s no wonder they fetch a high price tag. They generally weigh between 10-12 ounces (280-340 g). Grilling is the first choice for cooking method, but pan searing and finishing under a broiler is a good second option.



Strip Steak

Cooking Method: Broil/Grill

Other Names: Ambassador Steak, Club Steak, Delmonico Steak, Hotel Steak, Kansas City Steak, Kansas City Strip Steak, New York Strip Steak, Strip Steak, Top Loin Strip Steak, Veiny Steak

The least expensive of the steakhouse cuts. The strip steak is dense and flavorful. Steaks cut from the rib end of the loin have more marbling and flavor.  Steaks further back will include a portion of the tough gluteus muscle and more connective tissue. Front cuts are more desirable. U.S. Grade Prime loin is usually reserved for aging. Strip streaks are perfectly suited for grilling or can be pan-seared and finished under the broiler.


Strip Loin Filet
Strip Petite Roast

Strip Filet and Petite Roast

Cooking Method: Roast–Roast; Filet–Broil/Grill

Other Names: Top Loin Petite Roast, Top Loin Filet, Filet of Strip

For this cut, the short loin is separated from the tenderloin and deboned to form the boneless top loin which can be cut across into boneless strip steaks (see below) or split down the middle to form two petite roasts weighing any where from 1½ to 4 pounds (½-2 kg). Juicy, flavorful and lean. Roast cook in about an hour. Alternatively, roasts can be cut across into 2-inch thick (5 cm) steaks that resemble filet mignon. Perfect for grilling.

Blade Raose

T-bone steak

Cooking Method: Broil/Grill

Other Names: T-Bone, Tbone, T bone

Another of the steak house legends, the T-bone steak is similar to the porterhouse in that it includes a portion of the strip steak and the tenderloin, but it is cut closer to the rib section where the tenderloin tapers and is smaller. The strip steak portion, however, has better marbling than that of the porterhouse. They generally weigh from 8-24 ounces (226-680 g)  and cook up flavorful and juicy. Grill or broil to perfection.