How to Select the Best Steak For You

Woodward Meats
overhead shot of best steaks
"What's the best steak that you carry?"

This is a question we're asked all the time and a question that we often struggle to answer. There are so many factors that can contribute to making a cut “the best,” but truly in the end, the best steak is really all about personal preference and what method you choose to cook it.

So how do you decide which steak is the best for you? We've broken it down into three sections to help you determine that for yourself.

  1. How do you plan on cooking the steak?
  2. Is steak tenderness or flavor more important?
  3. Which Grade of beef is best for you?

How do you plan on cooking the steak?

different cooking methods for steaks

How you plan on cooking your steak can affect the cut that you select. We've broken it down into three categories: indoors, outdoors, and sous vide.

Cooking steak indoors

When cooking indoors it's best to avoid bone in cuts like a Bone in Rib Steak, Tomahawk, or T-Bone / Porterhouse where the bone can prohibit direct contact with your skillet. This prevents that beautiful Maillard reaction that creates a browned crust on the meat.

Here are some of our favourite steak options for cooking in a skillet on the stovetop:

  • Tenderloin Steak / Filet Mignon
  • NY Strip Steak
  • Boneless Rib Eye
  • Flat Iron Steak

Cooking steak outdoors

Anything you can do indoors can be done outdoors with the addition of all the bone in cuts. Just keep in mind that cooking steak on the BBQ can be a little harder to control the heat. If you're not completely comfortable BBQ grilling steak you might want to stay away from some of the super tender, more delicate cuts like Filet Mignon. Thick steaks can also be a little more difficult to cook to the perfect doneness if you're just getting started out.

Cooking steak sous vide

For sous vide steak, we definitely recommend choosing thicker cuts such as our Thick Cut NY Steak. Thinner steaks have the risk of overcooking when attempting to develop a crust when searing at the end. Filet Mignon is a perfect candidate for the reverse sear. Ideally you are looking for a steak that is at least 1 1/2-inches thick.

Is steak tenderness or flavor more important?

steak tenderness vs flavour

Ask yourself what's most important to you - tenderness, flavor, or something with a mix of both?

The most tender steak

Filet Mignon, also known as the tenderloin steak, is known for being buttery and extremely tender in texture with barely any fat. As we know, fat equals flavor, so if you care more about a tender steak than one bursting with flavour then this steak is for you. If you're looking for the tenderness of a filet mignon but with more juiciness the try going for an American Wagyu from Snake River Farms or a traditional Wagyu straight from Japan.

The most flavourful steak

Rib Steak, Rib Eye Steak, and Tomahawk Steak. These are all portioned from the rib and are the true steak lover's steak. Less tender than the tenderloin but extremely flavourful due to it's abundant marbling which results in a bold and beefy flavour that makes for an excellent steak.

Steaks that are both tender and flavourful

Here are some of our favourite steaks that fall into both categories.

  • NY Strip - not quite as tender as the filet or as rich as the rib eye but these steaks are a great in-between option for someone looking for a nicely marbled steak.
  • Flat Iron Steak - almost as tender as the filet but with a bold beefy flavour and excellent marbling. Often labelled as a "grilling steak" this cut also cooks beautifully in a skillet on the stovetop.
  • Sirloin Steak - Similar to the filet, these steaks are quite lean though can be quite marbled and flavourful in higher grades.

Which Grade of beef is best?

Is there are a particular Grade that you prefer? Do you have a particular budget in mind? These questions will direct you to which type of beef you’re looking for. At Woodward Meats we carry a variety of different beef options to allow our customers to pick what works best for their budget and lifestyle.

  • AAA
  • Canadian Prime
  • US Prime
  • Grass Fed
  • American Wagyu
  • Australian Wagyu
  • Japanese Wagyu

So, after asking yourself those three questions, tell us - what’s the best steak for you? Find the perfect cut on our Online Public Retail Menu and be sure to tag us in a cooking photo on Instagram @woodwardmeats.