All About Steaks


Steaks vary according to tenderness, cut, marbling and size or thickness. Tenderness is determined by what part of the cow or location that the steak is taken from. Cut refers to the type of steak. Marbling refers to the thin lines of fat that run through the length of the steak. Finally, the size or thickness of the steak can make a difference and will determine how long it will be cooked. How long you cook a steak determines the desired doneness - rare, medium or well done. Choose the cut of steak according to how you are using it in your recipe.  


Cook to Perfection 

Steaks can be fried, broiled or grilled.  Regardless of the method, steak is cooked to desired doneness, determined by the final internal temperature. Use the following as a general guideline for all the different cuts of steaks. 


Heat Setting and Cooking Instructions:  

  • Steaks can be cooked using one of these 3 methods and on medium to high heat.  
  • Cooking time will depend on desired degree of doneness. 
  • To avoid losing juices, use tongs to turn meat and do not pierce the meat with a fork. 


Frying: Sear on medium to high heat in a cast iron frying pan for 2 minutes per side and finish in a 400 °F oven.  

Broiling: Set broiler on high and broil steak on rack in a broiling pan, flipping once, until desired doneness. The distance from the element to the top of your meat is typically 5 to 8 inches. 

Grilling: Using direct grilling method, grill steaks on medium or high heat, flipping once. When using a sauce, brush it on in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.  

Final Temperature: Cook steak to how you like to eat it - rare, medium or well done. Regardless of how thick the steak is, doneness is determined by internal temperature and cooking time. Cooking times are a guideline and will be different depending on the thickness of the steak, cooking method and temperature of the heat source. Note that the internal temperature of the steak will continue to rise after taken off the heat, so remove from heat 5 degrees lower than your desired temperature.


Internal Temperature:  

  • Rare: 140°F 
  • Medium: 160°F  
  • Well Done: 170°F 


Cooking Time - (based on 1 ½ inch thick steak on medium heat) 

  • Rare: 4-6 min/side 
  • Medium: 6-7 min/side 
  • Well Done: 7-9 min/side 
  • Tenderloin

    The most tender cut of all steaks and the most expensive as it is in high demand by the restaurant industry. The tenderloin comes from the loin and is a narrow long, lean muscle. The popular cut, filet mignon, comes from the tenderloin. Tenderloin can be purchased as steaks or as a roast; many people purchase whole tenderloin and cut it into steaks. Most tenderloin steaks are cut 1 - 2 inches in thickness.  

    • Medium
      Steak Au Poivre with Brandy Cream Sauce
    • Medium
      Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Sauce
  • Rib

    Also known as Rib Eye. Rib steaks are taken from the rib section. They are very marbled and so are tender and flavourful.  

    • Easy
      Mustard Rubbed Rib Eye
    • Medium
      Spicy Blue Cheese Topped Rib Eyes
    • Medium
      Mustard Horseradish Steaks
  • Strip

    Also known as New York Strip or Striploin. Strip steaks are taken from the area close to the tenderloin, called the short loin. These steaks are not as tender as the tenderloin but are well marbled and flavourful.  

    • Easy
      Strip Loin Steaks with Asparagus, Artichokes and Red Pepper
    • Easy
      Steak and Eggs Breakfast Skillet
    • Easy
      Cajun Cobb Salad
  • Sirloin

    This can be a top sirloin or bottom sirloin, which is usually referred to as just sirloin. Top sirloin is more popular because it is slightly more tender and flavourful and is taken from the area close to the short loin. 

    • Medium
      Italian-Seasoned Sirloin Steak
    • Easy
    • Medium
      Cuban Steak with Mojo
  • Flank

    A lean and large flavourful cut of meat taken from the lower chest or abdomen. This cut benefits from marinating before cooking. Marinating tenderizes and infuses flavour into the meat. 

    • Medium
      Savoury Grilled Flank Steak
    • Medium
      Southern Spiced Flank Steak
    • Easy
  • T-Bone

    If large, these steaks are also known as Porterhouse.  T-bone steaks are a combination of 2 different steaks. They are prized for containing a piece of tenderloin and a piece of sirloin that are separated by a T-shaped bone. These steaks are tender, well marbled and full of flavour. 

Related Pages