Five Leanest Cuts of Steak

leanest cuts of steak

Learning about the leanest cuts of steak can be a very helpful thing, especially during the summer.

BBQ season is all about the grill in the backyard, while the steaks cook away giving off a beautiful aroma.

Family, friends, lean steaks and a BBQ; a winning summer combination!

What are the Leanest Cuts of Steak?

A lean cut of beef  is defined as having less than 10 grams of fat, less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams, and less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat. 

These steaks might not have all the fatty flavor of a rib eye steak with more total fat, but when cooked the right way will still provide a delicious flavor to be savored.

The best way to cook steak is always in a cast-iron skillet for the deepest flavor!

In fact if you’re in the market for one, check out this fantastic list of cast-iron skillets.

1. Sirloin Tip Side Steak

This cut of meat comes from the front part of the rear leg, often used for roasts, or ground beef, it’s also a good cut for a very lean piece of meat.

How to Cook

Preheat the oven to 375F (190ºC). 

Grease a cast iron pan with a little oil and put over high heat. 

Once hot put the steak in the pan to brown, this will take one to three minutes at the very most. 

Once brown, turn the steak using tongs and place into the oven, ten minutes for a medium rare steak, and three to four minutes more for medium.

2. Top Round Steak

This steak is cut from the top of the rear leg from around the bone. 

It can be a bit tough given it is from a part of the cow that is worked hard. 

Air dried, salted beef is made with this cut, producing things like jerky. 

London broil and Italian beef are made utilizing this lean meat.

How to Cook

A slow cooked method to help tenderize the meat through the cooking process is recommended. 

Simply brown both sides of the steak in oil on high heat, add salt and pepper.

Add a small amount of broth or water to the pan, and cover tightly with a lid.

Turn heat down to low and cook slowly until done and tender.

3. Eye of Round Steak

This cut is from the hind leg of the cow, found between the top round and the bottom round. 

A very flavorful extra lean cut, it looks a bit like the tenderloin, but not as tender, and even a bit more lean. 

Very often used as a whole roast, this cut of meat can also be sliced into steaks, cubed for stew, or even kebabs. 

How to Cook

This cut is best braised, and can also benefit from slow cooking. 

Use the gravy for serving with mashed potatoes, and other steamed vegetables

Once gently cooked the steak can be cut into strips and added to a stir fry. 

4. Bottom Round Steak

From the bottom part of the round cut that comes from the hind leg of the cow. 

This piece of meat is again often used as a roast, cooked slow, then thinly sliced. 

The fat content in this cut is very low, and therefore will have less flavor than cuts with visible fat.

How to Cook

Preheat the oven to 300ºF (200ºC). 

Brown the steak on all sides in a cast iron pan on the stove top.

Wrap the hot steak in foil with garlic butter and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Remove from the oven, slice into thin strips and serve with juices and butter from the foil.

5. Top Sirloin Steak

The top sirloin is cut from the primal loin just below the tenderloin, while not as flavorful or tender as the tenderloin, the top sirloin is a great one for grilling. 

Top sirloin is different to sirloin in that the bone and bottom round muscles have been removed.

How to Cook

Marinate steak with your favorite marinade, preferably overnight, but at least two hours to help tenderize and flavor the meat. 

Preheat the grill to 500ºF (260ºC). 

Make sure the steak has been allowed to reach room temperature before grilling. 

Remove from marinade, add salt and pepper, and place on the hot grill until juices start to bubble on the top.

Flip once using tongs and cook until you reach your level of preferred doneness.

At least to an internal temperature of 145ºF (63ºC) for safety reasons.

Some Final Thoughts

In my opinion every healthy diet has room for some red meat giving a few extra grams of protein.

One of the best sources of iron, more easily absorbed by the body through eating steak. 

Micronutrients and vitamins that support good health all around are found in steak.

And finally, some studies have shown that eating red meat is good for mental health.

Be good to yourself, get a steak.

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