3 Most Overrated Cuts of Steak, According to a Pitmaster
When you've been craving a steak, you'll have plenty of options to choose from at the grocery store. For seasoned cooks, this wide array of options can be quite the thrill. But for those less-experienced, at-home cooks, choosing the right cut of steak can be an intimidating process—especially when some of the most expensive types are often considered to be overrated and not worth the price.
There are many different cuts of steak, each with its own pros and cons, but with all of these popular cuts, such as ribeye, porterhouse, skirt, hanger, filet mignon, tenderloin, and top sirloin, how can you know which cuts are worth the price and which ones are better to avoid?
To learn more about steaks that just aren't worth it, we talked to Danielle "Diva Q" Bennett, Pitmaster at Traeger Grills and CEO of DivaQ BBQ, who provided the following three cuts of steak as the ones she suggests avoiding next time you're at the store or out at a restaurant. Read on to learn from the expert, and for more, don't miss I Tried Every Steak at Outback Steakhouse & There Was One Clear Winner.
3 Overrated Cuts of Steak
Despite their popularity, Pitmaster Bennett says these steak cuts aren't worth your time or money.
For starters, Bennet says that the number one overhyped steak is the tomahawk cut. Sliced from the rib of the animal, the tomahawk steak cut is basically a ribeye but with the bone in. While this fatty cut of meat is tasty and considered high-quality, Bennet says it's not always worth the price.
"Seriously, just order a beautiful marbled ribeye and leave the bone to the side," she says. "The bone may look great, but you are paying for something inedible."
Interestingly enough, many consumers online seem to agree. One Reddit user started a post that says "Tomahawk steaks are a scam." The user further explained, saying "Tomahawk steaks are just ribeye steaks with extra bone, which looks neat in pictures, but you're generally paying a 40- to 80-dollar upcharge for that piece of bone that does nothing to enhance the flavor of the steak."
In a completely separate Reddit thread in the subreddit named Stupid Food, a user writes, "Unpopular Opinion: Buying a tomahawk steak is ridiculous," which received over 600 upvotes, a signifier of agreement on the website.
One of the most expensive cuts of steak—tenderloin—is also one that Bennett considers to be highly overrated.
"This unused muscle is great for its tenderness, but it's just a boring cut," says Bennett. "There is just not enough flavor from marbling or great texture from usage." She adds truthfully, "The best part of a tenderloin on a menu is usually the accompanying sauce."
Tenderloin is also sometimes referred to as filet mignon, but technically, filet mignon is just the smallest part of the tenderloin, so not all tenderloin cuts are considered filet mignon.
Bennet's third choice for overrated cuts of steak is one that may not be as commonly talked about as the first two: the porterhouse cut. This type of steak is where the tenderloin meets the top loin (also called the New York strip), with the bone still intact.
"The overall texture differences between the two cuts of beef (the tenderloin and the strip) make it a challenge to cook, and although it's often labeled as the king of steaks, you're better off ordering them individually," says Bennett.
Cuts of Steak to Try Instead
When it comes to more affordable cuts of steak that are actually worth the price, Bennett recommends three cuts: the flank steak, flap meat, and the Denver cut.
Flank steak and flap meat
"The flank steak and flap meat do so well with delicious marinades that help break down some of the fibers, and a hot fast grilling technique makes it super simple and easy."
"The Denver is part of the chuck and is a beautifully used muscle that has lots of marbling with great, rich fats and lots of beefy flavors. As a boneless short rib, it is super easy to cook and serve," she says.