what is a new york strip steak

What Is a New York Strip Steak? The Definitive Guide

Ah, the New York strip steak - a tender, juicy, and flavorful cut that’s perfect for grilling season or a cozy weekend dinner. But what is a New York strip steak, what makes this steak so special, and how do you select and cook it to perfection? In this definitive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of the New York strip steak, revealing its origin, qualities, and best cooking methods. Ready to become a strip steak connoisseur? Let’s begin!

Key Takeaways

  • The New York Strip Steak is a popular, flavorful cut of beef from the short loin.
  • Marbling and USDA Choice grade are key indicators of quality when selecting steak.
  • Cooking methods such as pan searing, grilling, oven roasting should be used in combination with seasoning and toppings to create an unforgettable meal.

    Understanding the New York Strip Steak

    a new york strip steak on a cutting board

    The New York strip steak, also known as the strip loin steak, Kansas City strip, or york steak, is a popular and versatile cut of beef that comes from the short loin of the cow. Praised for its tenderness, taste, and affordability, this steak can be enjoyed on its own or with a variety of rubs, sauces, and sides. You might also hear it called by other names like the ambassador steak, Omaha strip, or club steak, but rest assured, these are all different names for the same delicious cut, including the Kansas City strip steak, the New York steak, and the NY strip steak.

    New York strip steaks usually come in serving sizes ranging from 10 to 16 ounces, ideal for a hearty meal or a delightful surf-and-turf combination with shellfish. As for the thickness, an ideally cut strip steak measures between 1 and 1.5 inches, which ensures the best cooking results.

    The Cut: Where It Comes From

    So, what makes this cut so special? The short loin, located on the back of the cow, is the source of the New York strip steak. This muscle region doesn’t get much exercise, which results in a tender and flavorful steak. The New York strip steak shares a similar origin with the porterhouse steak, as both cuts come from the short loin. However, the porterhouse also includes a portion of the tenderloin, making it a larger and more decadent cut.

    In terms of tenderness, the New York strip steak lands somewhere between the tougher hangar steak and the luxuriously tender filet mignon. This harmonious balance of tenderness and flavor propels it as a favorite among steak enthusiasts.

    Marbling and Quality

    Marbling is a crucial factor that contributes to the overall flavor and texture of a New York strip steak. It refers to the fat interspersed within the muscle of the steak, which adds to the richness and juiciness of the cut.

    For a high-quality steak, seek out well-marbled meat and, at a minimum, opt for USDA Choice grade beef for a gratifyingly tender outcome.

    Choosing the Perfect New York Strip Steak

    A plate with a Bone-in New York Strip Steak

    Armed with the knowledge of what sets a New York strip steak apart, how do you select the finest one at the store or butcher? Consider factors like thickness, marbling, and grading (USDA Prime, Choice, etc.). A top-tier steak should boast a vibrant red color, uniform marbling, and creamy white fat. It should also possess a firm texture and lack any strong odors.

    Keep an eye on the label for any additional information that may impact your decision.

    Bone-in vs Boneless

    There are two main types of New York strip steaks: bone-in and boneless. The main difference between the two is that bone-in steaks retain the bone, while boneless steaks have had the bone removed. The presence of the bone can contribute to the flavor of the steak, as the bone itself can impart flavor to the meat during cooking. However, the bone can also affect the cooking process, as it takes longer to cook than the meat itself.

    Concerning cooking methods, bone-in steaks might need an extra minute or two to cook compared to their boneless counterparts, yet they can be used interchangeably in recipes, including the Grilled New York Strip Steak recipe referred to later in this guide.

    Grass-fed vs Grain-fed Beef

    The type of beef you choose can also affect the taste and texture of your New York strip steak. Grass-fed beef comes from cattle that have been raised on a diet of grass and other forage, resulting in leaner meat with a more pronounced flavor. On the other hand, grain-fed beef comes from cattle that have been fed a diet primarily composed of grains, such as corn. This type of beef is usually more marbled and has a milder taste.

    So, which one should you choose? What you choose depends on your personal preference. Everyone has their own unique tastes so it’s best to go by what matters most to you. If you enjoy a leaner steak with a more distinct flavor, opt for grass-fed beef. If you prefer a more marbled and tender steak with a milder taste, go for grain-fed beef.

    Cooking Methods for New York Strip Steak

    A Cast Iron Skillet with a New York Strip Steak

    Numerous methods can be employed to cook a tantalizing New York strip steak, each boasting unique advantages. This guide will delve into pan-searing with a cast iron skillet, grilling to achieve perfect grill marks, and oven roasting for uniform cooking.

    No matter which method you choose, you’re sure to end up with a delicious and tender porterhouse steaks that will leave you wanting more steak recipes.

    Pan-Searing with Cast Iron Skillet

    One of the most popular methods for cooking a New York strip steak is pan-searing with a cast iron skillet. This method involves:

    1. Heating the skillet over medium-high heat and adding a small amount of oil, such as canola, vegetable, or olive oil.
    2. Seasoning your steak with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, ensuring that it is evenly coated.
    3. Once the skillet is hot, adding the steak and searing it for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until it reaches your desired doneness.

      Using a cast iron skillet provides excellent heat retention and even cooking, ensuring a perfectly seared steak with a delicious crust. The pan-searing method is also relatively quick, making it an excellent choice for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion.

      Grilling for Perfect Grill Marks

      An image of a perfectly grilled New York strip steak, the answer to the question 'what is a New York strip steak?'

      If you prefer a more traditional approach, grilling your New York strip steak can result in perfect grill marks and a beautiful, smoky flavor. To achieve the best results, follow these steps:

      1. Preheat your gas grill on high for at least 10 minutes, making sure the internal temperature reaches around 550-600°F.
      2. Season your steak with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
      3. Place the steak on the hot grill.
      4. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until it reaches your desired doneness.

        Using a thermometer is crucial for ensuring the perfect level of doneness and maintaining the tenderness of your steak. Also, don’t forget to use the lid while grilling, as it turns your grill into an oven and helps cook the inside of the steak without overcooking the exterior.

        Oven Roasting for Even Cooking

        For those who prefer a hands-off approach, oven roasting is an excellent method for cooking your New York strip steak. This technique provides even cooking and tender results, ensuring that your steak is cooked to perfection. Here’s how to do it:

        1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
        2. Season your steak with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
        3. Place the steak on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet, allowing air to circulate around the steak for even cooking.
        4. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak.
        5. Roast the steak in the preheated oven until it reaches your desired level of doneness.

          Once the steak is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it have a steak rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a tender and juicy steak.

          Seasoning and Toppings for Your Strip Steak

          A plate with a New York Strip Steak with Salt and Pepper seasoning

          The key to a delicious New York strip steak is in its seasoning and toppings. While a classic salt and pepper seasoning will never go wrong, you can also get creative with your own steak rubs and flavorful toppings, such as garlic, rosemary, and compound butter.

          Let’s dive into the world of steak seasonings and toppings to take your strip steak to the next level.

          Classic Salt and Pepper Seasoning

          The significance of seasoning your strip steak with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper is paramount. These basic seasonings amplify the beef’s natural flavor without overshadowing it, letting the steak’s true taste take center stage.

          Generously season your steak with salt and pepper before cooking, ensuring that it is evenly coated for the best results.

          Creating Your Own Steak Rub

          If you’re looking to add a little more excitement to your steak, why not create your own steak rub? This can be as simple or as complex as you’d like, using various herbs, spices, and other flavorings to create a unique taste sensation. Start with a base of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and then experiment with additional ingredients like paprika, cayenne pepper, dried herbs, and brown sugar to create a rub that suits your taste buds.

          Once you’ve created your ideal steak rub, apply it to your New York strip steak before cooking. This will not only add an extra layer of flavor but also help to form a delicious crust on the exterior of the steak when cooked.

          Compound Butter for Extra Flavor

          Compound butter is a fantastic way to add richness and depth to your finished steak. This mixture of butter and other flavorings, such as herbs, spices, and aromatics, can be easily made at home and used to elevate your steak to the next level. To create compound butter, mix softened butter with your chosen flavorings, shape it into a log or container, and refrigerate until firm.

          To use compound butter on your steak, follow these steps:

          1. Melt a tablespoon of the butter.
          2. Brush the melted butter onto the steak before and after cooking.
          3. The butter will add a luxurious richness to the steak and enhance its natural beefy flavor.
          4. Store any leftover compound butter in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to three months for future steak feasts.

            Side Dishes to Pair with Your New York Strip Steak

            A plate with a New York Strip Steak with a Compound Butter topping

            A delicious New York strip steak deserves equally delicious side dishes to complement its flavors. Some popular side dishes to pair with your New York strip steak include:

            • Roasted vegetables
            • Garlic mashed potatoes
            • Creamed spinach
            • Grilled asparagus
            • Baked potatoes
            • Sautéed mushrooms
            • Caesar salad
            • Sweet potato fries
            • Grilled corn on the cob
            • Green beans with almonds

              There are countless options to choose from, ranging from classic pairings like sautéed vegetables and roasted potatoes to more adventurous choices like baked salmon or blackened shrimp.

              Don’t be afraid to get creative with your side dishes and experiment with different flavors and textures. The perfect side dish can elevate your steak dinner from good to unforgettable, leaving you and your guests craving more.

              Storing and Reheating Leftover Steak

              If you end up with leftover steak, proper storage is vital to preserve its taste and texture. Keep the leftover steak in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness for up to 3 days..

              When the time comes to reheat your steak, a gentle approach is crucial to prevent overcooking and drying out the meat. Employing the oven is one of the most effective ways to reheat a New York strip steak. Place the steak in an oven-safe dish with a small amount of water or broth at the bottom, and cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil to trap the steam. This will help to keep the steak moist while it reheats.

              Preheat your oven to a low temperature, around 250°F (120°C), and heat the steak until it reaches your desired temperature, checking with a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy. This gentle reheating method will help to maintain the tenderness and juiciness of your steak, making it just as delicious as the first time it was cooked.


              In this definitive guide, we’ve explored the world of the New York strip steak, learning about its origin, qualities, and various cooking methods. From pan-searing and grilling to oven roasting, there are countless ways to prepare this tender and flavorful cut of beef. With the right seasoning, toppings, and side dishes, you can create a truly unforgettable steak dinner that will impress your guests and leave them craving more. So go ahead, fire up the grill or heat your cast iron skillet, and treat yourself to a delicious New York strip steak tonight. Bon appétit!

              Frequently Asked Questions

              What cut is a NY strip steak?

              A New York strip steak is cut from the beef short loin, right behind the rib area. It has an intense flavor, with bold, beefy notes and a great bite and solid chew. It is a popular cut of steak for grilling, as it has a good balance of fat and flavor. It is also a great choice for pan-searing, as it has

              Is New York Strip or ribeye better?

              For a full-flavored steak, the ribeye is recommended; for a leaner steak that is still juicy, the New York strip is a good choice. Whichever you choose, following proper grilling tips can help you achieve delicious results.

              What is the difference between a steak and a New York Strip?

              The main difference between a steak and a New York Strip is the amount of fat visible in each. The steak has limited marbling while the strip features marbling throughout the tissue and an edge of fat. Furthermore, the ribeye steak has a richer flavor and a more tender texture compared to the chewier texture of a New York Strip, with a beefier and less fatty flavor. A New York Strip is cut from the salmon primal, specifically the 'top loin', while a steak may come from various parts of the animal.

              What is the ideal thickness for a New York strip steak?

              For the best results, an ideal thickness for a New York strip steak is between 1 and 1.5 inches.

              What is the difference between bone-in and boneless strip steaks?

              Bone-in strip steaks have the bone intact, while boneless strip steaks have had the bone removed. This can affect both the flavor and cooking process of the steak.

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