Oh summer, glorious summer.  You were good to us this year.  So many opportunities for gorgeous backyard barbeques with family and friends.  So many delicious meals cooked on the grill.  Hamburgers, seafood, ribs, grilled veggies from the garden and of course, steak.  I love all sorts of things done on the barbeque but if I had to pick just one it would be a nice juicy steak.

Now if you asked me what is my favorite cut of steak, well that’s a tricky question!  If I wanted something quick and easy to throw on the grill with maybe just a touch of seasoning I might pick a rib steak or tenderloin.  If I  was in the mood for something to marinade first I might pick a flank or sirloin tip.  And if I wanted to make a nice slow cooked “comfort food” sort of dish I would opt for a blade or cross rib.

Wow, when it comes to steak there are a lot of choices right?  Right!  But picking the right cut doesn’t have to be a stressful decision.  You just have to keep in mind that, when choosing a cut of steak, there are three main categories to pick from:

The Grilling Steaks
Cuts include: T-Bone, Rib, Ribeye, Tenderloin, Porterhouse, Bottom Sirloin, Top Sirloin, Stip Loin, Wing, Tri-tip
How to cook: These are your go to cuts for simple no fuss grilling (or broiling and sauteing).  They only require simple seasoning and they are ready to go.

For some awesome grilling recipes check out these recipes at Canadian Beef .  Note that many of these recipes can also be used with the Marinating Cuts (below).  If you are going to hit the grill you might also want to check out the Grilling Basics.

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Herbed Chèvre

The Marinating Steaks
Cuts include: Flank, Full Round, Sirloin Tip, Eye of Round, Inside Round, Outside Round
How to cook: These are also great cuts for the grill or broiler or can be pan fried or sauteed. Simply throw them in a freezer bag with your favorite marinade and let them sit in the fridge for 4-12 hours before hand. Oh and to get the best out of your marinade be sure to pierce the steak all over with a fork first!

Vietnamese Flank Beef Steak with Noodle Salad

The Simmering Steaks
Cuts include: Bottom Blade Boneless, Brisket Country Style, Blade, Top Blade
How to cook: For most flavourful results, brown the beef in a lightly oiled skillet, add enough liquid (broth, canned tomatoes, wine, etc.) to cover the beef and simmer on the stove top or in the oven (a slow cooker works great for simmering steaks too).  Are you thinking comfort food?  I know I am!

You can find some fantastic Simmering Recipes here.

Classic Beef Swiss Steak

So now you have it all figured out right?  Good because it’s quiz time!  Ok, just kidding, this is suppose to be fun and I’m betting most of you don’t think a pop quiz is exactly a great time.  Besides, there’s no need to memorize which cut falls into which category.  With time and experience you’ll figure it out, and, one of the great things about the Canadian Beef site is that all of their fabulous recipes tell you which cut to use so there is no guess work.  Of course, with your new found knowledge of which steak falls into which category you can also try your hand at substituting one cut for another!

Hungry for more information?  Head on over to Steaks 101 to get more information on everything steak and then mark September 13th on your calendar – for the #LoveCDNBeef twitter party. Be sure to RSVP for the party!