Staking a Claim: New York Strip vs Sirloin

With New York strip vs. sirloin, the differences include consistency, taste, cooking methods, and more!

As these are the two more "accessible" steaks on the market, I am often asked about what the differences are. And, now I have compiled a proper post just for you!

In this post, I will outline what each type of steak is and then highlight the differences. Let's get started!

What is New York Strip Steak?

The New York strip steak cut is from the short loin - a subprimal cut that can be found behind the ribs and in front of the thigh section. There is a lot of muscle in this section. The steaks that come from the short loin section are known as strip loin steaks.

steak dinner with wine

The traditional New York strip steaks are also known as the club steak, Omaha steak, and shell steaks.

If a New York strip steak has the bone in, then it is known as a Kansas City Steak. If the bone is attached and there is a portion of the tenderloin, then it is referred to as t-bone steak or porterhouse steaks.

What is Sirloin Steak?

As you may have already guessed, sirloin comes from the beef sirloin section. This runs from the 13th rib bone to the end of hip bone.

The sirloin cut is divided into two sections - the top sirloin and the bottom sirloin. As steaks come from the top sirloin section, this is what I will be focusing on in this post.

The bottom sirloin is typically used for roasts and similar dishes. It would be quite unusual to use it as a steak. Even if you did, the taste and consistency of this cut wouldn't be that great.

As this cut of beef is closer to the legs, the meat can be a bit tougher. However, a first-cut steak - sometimes known as the pin-bone steak because it contains a portion of the hip bone - can have a texture that is quite similar to a porterhouse. In short, it has the potential to be a great steak.

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How Does the New York Strip and Sirloin Differ?

Now, let's break down the particulars of New York Strip vs. sirloin:

Texture

When it comes to texture, it is all about where a particular muscle is located. If the muscle gets a lot of exercise, then it automatically becomes tougher. On the other hand, the muscles that lie higher up on the cow.

Due to their position in the short loin, New York strips have a fine grained, tender texture. They do have a bit of chew, however. As they have a moderate amount of fat and marbling, they become soft and juicy as they are cooked.

The sirloin - even the top sirloin - can get a bit of a bad rep when it comes to texture. Now, it can be a bit tough so the New York strip wins this round. Cook this steak just right, though, and you could have a pretty impressive steak on your hands.

Flavor

Technically, the New York steak has more flavor. At the very least, it has a more pronounced beef flavor. This is all thanks to the fact that it has more marbling than the sirloin.

As the top sirloin is a lean cut, it isn't as flavorful on its own. Once again, though, this doesn't mean that you should count this cutout - it takes to seasonings and other additions really well.

Cooking Method

The New York strip steak is quite close to the ribeye steak. As a result, you can cook it in a similar way, too. Here, you want to keep the dish as simple as possible so that the natural flavors of the red meat can shine through.

Due to this, you should use very basic seasoning - kosher salt. If you do want to use a dry rub, keep it simple. As there is a moderate amount of fat, it doesn't have to be marinated for too long.

As for cooking the New York strip steak, it is best to cook it over dry heat, such as in a cast iron skillet. Make sure that it is cooked to medium rare or medium.

With the sirloin, you have to be careful not to overcook the cut. As there isn't much fat here, this cut of meat isn't very forgiving. Due to this, you should not cook it past medium doneness. While it doesn't have to be rare, the less you cook it the better.

Now, this is a steak that will benefit a great deal from seasoning, herbs, and other ingredients. It is a good idea to work a dry rub into the steak beforehand. This will take the taste up several notches. Once the steak is partially cooked, you can also cook it in garlic and butter.

Always remember to allow these steaks to rest for at least five minutes. This allows time for any juices that may have leaked out to be reabsorbed by the meat. As a result, you get a juicier steak.

How Can the Steaks Be Used?

For the most part, the New York strip works best on its own. It has tons of flavor and as such is the primary point of any meal. It can be accompanied by side dishes such as potatoes or steamed or grilled vegetables. It can serve as a breakfast item along with eggs. It can also be included in rolled meat dishes.

Sirloin is a lot more versatile than this, however. In fact, the sky is the limit to how it can be used. For instance, it can be used as a salad topping, added to stir fries, used in tacos and sandwiches, or even used as kabobs.

Tasty steak with vegetables on a wooden plate

Price

As the New York strip is considered a high quality cut or, at least a higher quality one, it is also the more expensive cut. While the price can vary based on demand, your location, etc. it can cost you between $13 and $15 a pound.

Sirloin, on the other hand, is far more affordable. It can cost around $6 to $8 and can be bought more frequently. It is this lower price that also allows you to use in a wider variety of dishes.

Health Factor

Why you would like to pretend that it doesn't matter, how healthy various cuts are is an important factor. This becomes even more essential if you are someone who enjoys sirloin or strip loin steak on a regular basis.

Well, in this instance, sirloin is the healthiest steak. This is due to the fact that it is leaner - it has just 4 grams of fat, 2 of which is saturated fat. To top it off, a single steak is just 150 calories. All in all, not too bad!

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Is New York Strip Steak Better Than Sirloin?

Here's the big question - are New York strip steaks better than Sirloin?

Well, critically speaking, you can argue that the New York strip has a better texture, flavor, and is easier to cook. The strip steak would seem like the better cut of meat.

Thus, if you are looking for a good steak, prepared in a traditional manner, then the New York strip would win the title.

It would be remiss of you to completely ignore the sirloin, though. When prepared properly, it can taste pretty great. Also, you can make it up into some many different variations. The fact that it is healthier and cheaper is a big plus too.

I would suggest learning how to cook the sirloin properly so that you can get the most out of it.

Well, there you have it - the complete breakdown of New York Strip vs. sirloin - what do you think? Is this information enough to help you decide which steak is for you? Or, at the very least, it has hopefully educated you on the finer points of each steak cut.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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