These two cuts of beef are incredibly delicious and often mistaken for one another. There’s no point in starting a New York Strip vs. Sirloin debate without looking at what sets them apart, so let’s do it!
For many meat lovers, nothing beats a classic grilled steak packed with natural flavors. Some of the most popular steak choices in the market include the New York Strip (also called striploin) and Sirloin cuts.
Choosing between them can be confusing and they are often mistaken for being the same thing.
That’s why in this comparison we’ll discuss differences to help you decide on the perfect meat cut for you. So, keep on reading for all the details!
🥩 Differences Between New York Strip and Sirloin
Differentiating between both meat cuts can be tricky. But it is important to know the differences because they aren’t interchangeable.
These two cuts come from different parts of the cow. Additionally, the fat content in each steak varies. Other differences include calories, fat content, cooking time, and texture.
In general, the New York strip steak is for those who enjoy a fancy, well-marbled, tender cut with a balanced flavor. On the other hand, sirloin steak suits people who like a flavorful, leaner cut with a bit of chewiness.
Let’s go into further detail about the differences between each one.
Parts of the Cow
Both steaks are middle meat cuts. They come from the loin primal, which starts from the center of the cow and ends right before the back legs. In addition, both cuts are from the upper part of the torso near the backbones, away from the belly.
However, the New York Strip comes from the short loin, which is the front portion of the primal loin cut near the rear ribs.
Sirloins from the rear portion of the loin cut. Butchers usually separate the front and back loin cuts by cutting through the last vertebrae in the lower back.
You might have heard other New York strip steak names like striploin, Kansas City strip steak, and shell steak.
The truth is all those cuts come from the short loin. Still, each one differs slightly from one the others.
Shell and New York strip are just alternative names for the striploin steak, so they all mean the same thing.
Kansas City steaks, or club steaks, are also from the short loin but with the bone left in the meat. This meat comes from the front portion of the short loin sub-primal, which typically gives two club steaks depending on the thickness.
The New York Strip steak has natural marbling, but not quite as much as compared to ribeyes. In contrast, the sirloin cut is extra lean, containing less than five grams of total fat for each steak.
To understand why sirloin steaks have less fat content, you need to know the different types of muscles.
Generally, muscles are either locomotive or supportive. The former muscle groups are responsible for animal movement.
They contain more connective tissue and little fat, making them less tender. Examples of locomotive meat cuts include brisket, shank, chuck, and round.
On the other hand, support muscles are there to hold the body upright. They aren’t involved in the movement as much as the locomotive muscles.
That’s why support muscle meat cuts tend to have more fat and fewer connective tissues.
Thanks to the fat marbling in strip steaks, those meat cuts are juicy and tender.
When you heat up fat, it melts around the muscle fibers and leaves the meat moist and tender.
Since the NY Strip consists mainly of longissimus dorsi muscle, which ranks high in muscle tenderness.
Sirloins won’t give you that melting-in-your-mouth texture, but they’re relatively tender, especially when cooked correctly.
I can guarantee if you try this grilled sirloin steak with chimichurri sauce you’ll gain new respect for this beef cut!
You can cook both meat cuts in a variety of ways. Although grilling is my favorite way to cook NY Strips. But it is a pretty versatile cut of meat.
You can pan-sear it, roast the whole cut in the oven, or even cook it in an air fryer.
You can also use various methods to cook sirloin. Aside from grilling, this cut works well with roasting, rotisserie, and sautéing cooking styles.
Interestingly, the cooking time difference between New York strip and sirloin isn’t that significant and varies depending on the thickness.
Searing a striploin generally takes around three minutes on each side for a rare steak, 7–10 minutes for medium-well, and 12 minutes for a well-done steak.
For a rare sirloin steak, you should cook each side for three minutes. Medium well takes a total of five minutes. Then, for a sirloin to be well-done, it needs about four minutes on each side. Of course, this is just a guide, and you should use a wireless meat thermometer to cook it to the desired temperature.
Keep in mind that if you cook sirloin above medium well, you can expect the steak to become tough and chewy.
For many steak lovers, juicy, tender, and flavorful meat is their go-to option. For this reason, it isn’t surprising that New York Strips are more popular.
With higher demand, you can expect the it to be pricey, especially if it’s a prime-quality cut.
Sirloin is still a great steak option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly meal. Cooked correctly, your family won’t know the difference!
Contrary to many beliefs, meat fat isn’t unhealthy.
High-quality, grass-fed beef is richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and antioxidants—all of which have many health benefits.
Whether you eat a marbled New York steak or a leaner sirloin, you get many essential nutrients from both cuts.
Still, fat is fat, and it’s the highest source of calories. So, you might want to watch the extra calories from the tender steak.
If you have any doubts or questions, please ask your primary care physician about any special dietary needs.
💲 Tips When Purchasing
When shopping for meat, it’s easy to assume that the pricier the meat, the better the quality. But, not all steaks are equal. Regardless of the meat cut, you should look for certain features, like meat grade, marbling, and freshness to ensure you get the best steak.
Comparing steak quality according to the price alone won’t cut it.
Here are a few tips to help you buy the best steaks:
Beef grades are like the title of a book. It’s the first indicator that helps you assess the quality of meat. The USDA grades meat into USDA prime, choice, and select beef.
Prime beef is of the highest quality and has plenty of marbling content. Choice beef is of high quality but with less marbling.
In comparison, select beef is leaner and contains a minimal amount of fat.
When shopping for a tender steak, opt for prime or choice-grade beef.
Beef needs to age for at least two weeks to tenderize and develop the flavor you want. Assume that the steaks are appropriately processed and should be ready to cook if used before the “sell by” dates.
Dry aging evaporates the moisture in the meat, resulting in a concentrated beefy flavor. Expect to pay significantly more for dry aged beef.
Comparing Striploin vs. Sirloin steaks will help you choose the one that best suits your preferences.
NY Strip comes from a primal cut closer to the rear ribs and is well-marbled. As a result, they’re juicy, tender, and rich in flavor.
Conversely, sirloin is located at the back of the short loin near the round meat cut. They contain less marbling and, as a result, are a bit tougher, especially when cooked above medium well. The upside is that sirloins are more affordable.
Whichever meat type you choose, both are full of nutrients and delicious when cooked properly.
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