If you're looking for a delicious meal to make or trying to choose which steak to eat at a restaurant, sirloin steak and strip steak are two great options. Many aspects differentiate them, but the main difference lies in the texture of each cut.
They are excellent options for any occasion, and you can prepare them in many ways due to their versatility. In this article, we will review the differences between the two cuts of meat and the nutritional health benefits of each cut.
Sirloin vs. Strip Steak: What Are the Differences?
Sirloin and strip steak have many differences, but they are both significant cuts of beef that you can use in various recipes. Let's go over the four main differences between these two delicious cuts.
- Versatility: Sirloin steak is more versatile than strip steak. You can prepare sirloin using various methods, such as roasting, grilling, pan-frying, and slow cooking. Strip steak is best for grilling or pan-frying because of its marbling content.
- Texture: The muscle in sirloin steak is more exercised than a strip steak cut, giving sirloin steak a less tender texter. Strip steak is a juicier, more tender cut of beef.
- Cut: Strip steak is from the cow's short loin, making it a tender cut. Sirloin steak is from the cow's rear leg, which is a chewier and drier cut.
- Marbling: Marbling is the fat content of a cut of beef, which gives steak excellent flavor and a tender texture. Strip steak contains more marbling than sirloin.
What is Sirloin?
Sirloin steak is cut from the sirloin primal, which is from the 13th rib down to the hip bone of a cow. They split this cut into two sections: the top sirloin butt and the bottom sirloin butt. The sirloin steak is generally from the top sirloin butt, which is why it is the top sirloin steak.
Grilling is better for the top sirloin butt while roasting or making ground beef is best for the bottom sirloin butt. The tenderloin cut lies in the middle of these two cuts. Although the top sirloin is a leaner cut of meat, it is still very flavorful and one of the most popular cuts of steak.
Is Sirloin a Healthy Cut of Steak?
Sirloin steak is a healthy and inexpensive cut of steak. An average 3-ounce serving has many nutrients that can significantly benefit your health when eaten in moderation. This cut of meat has fat, protein, calories, cholesterol, vitamins, and minerals. Let's take a closer look at the health benefits of some of these nutrients and minerals in sirloin steak.
Total Fat Content
This steak has a moderate amount of total fat, including monounsaturated, saturated, and polyunsaturated fat. In a 3-ounce serving of sirloin, there are 14 grams of total fat, but only 3 grams are saturated fat, which is the only type of unhealthy fat in sirloin. You should eat this steak in moderation because if more than 7 percent of your calorie intake is saturated fat, it will negatively impact your health.
A high saturated fat intake can lead to elevated cholesterol levels, increasing heart and blood vessel disease risk. Even though saturated fat can negatively impact your health, sirloin steak also contains healthy fats that can benefit your health. The healthy fats in sirloin steak can promote good cholesterol levels, lowering your heart disease and stroke risk and lowering blood pressure.
A sirloin steak contains 25 grams of protein in 85 grams of top sirloin. Protein is vital for human health and is present throughout your body, including in your bones, skin, hair, and almost every other part. In addition, this nutrient has enzymes that help power hemoglobin that carry oxygen throughout the blood in your body.
Top sirloin has many B vitamins that can benefit your health immensely. It contains 33 percent of the recommended niacin intake, 26 percent of B-6 vitamins, and 25 percent of B-12. These vitamins will help improve metabolism, increase red blood cell production, and improve neurological function.
Sirloin steak contains minerals that can help many different functions in your body. A 3-ounce serving contains both kinds of minerals, macrominerals and trace minerals. Consuming larger macro-minerals and only small amounts of trace minerals is best. This cut of steak has 39 percent of the daily intake of selenium, 30 percent of zinc, and 19 percent of phosphorus.
Selenium has antioxidants that help prevent damage to your cells and increase your metabolism. Zinc is an essential mineral; it helps improve digestion, nerve function, metabolism, and skin health. Phosphorus helps bodily functions, including kidney function, the regulation of your heartbeat, your nervous system, and muscle contraction.
What is Strip Steak?
Strip steaks come from the beef short-loin sub-primal. They make the strip steak cut by removing the tenderloin and the backbone from the short loin, which creates a boneless strip loin. In addition, this steak contains a muscle from the cow called the longissimus dorsi, the longest muscle in a cow's body. The longissimus dorsi is a very tender muscle, which helps create a very tender cut of steak.
This cut of steak has a high amount of marbling, without a large amount of connective tissue or fat, giving strip steak a juicy and flavorful texture. Its high marbling content makes this steak of higher quality, which is why it's a more expensive cut of beef.
Is Strip Steak a Healthy Cut of Steak?
The strip steak is low in calories, nutrient-rich, and has many proteins, making it a very beneficial cut of meat. This cut of steak also doesn't contain carbohydrates, fiber, or sugars and contains minimal saturated fats making this a great steak even on a diet. Let's review some of strip steak's health benefits and nutritional facts.
Protein is an essential macronutrient, a vital part of the process that carries oxygen throughout your bloodstream and fuels your energy. Harvard recommends that your daily protein intake should be 0.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight. Additionally, according to the USDA, 100 grams of raw, grass-fed strip steak has 23.1 grams of protein.
Calories are the energy people get from their food and drinks. For example, a 3-ounce serving of strip steak contains 264 calories. A human body cannot live without calories; essential bodily functions such as staying warm, thinking, blood circulation, and digestion need the energy calories provide to function well. Your weight, age, and height measure your recommended calorie intake.
A strip steak contains 300.9 mg of potassium in a 3-ounce serving of steak, which is an essential mineral for bodily function. Potassium can help keep blood pressure at a healthy range and lower your stroke risk. The adequate intake of potassium gets based on your age. For example, for a male between 19 and 50 years old, the intake should be 3,400 mg.
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 onion, sliced
1 (10¾ ounce) can beef broth, divided
1 pound boneless sirloin steak, trimmed of excess fat and cut into thin strips
1 (10¾ ounce) can tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
¼ teaspoon pepper
Whole wheat pasta of your choice, 4 servings
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, coat a large non-stick skillet with non-stick cooking spray and cook asparagus, onion, and ⅔ cup beef broth, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid is almost evaporated; remove the asparagus mixture from the skillet, set aside and keep warm.
3. Add the steak to skillet and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring, until the steak is no longer pink.
4. Return the asparagus mixture to the skillet. Stir in the remaining broth and the tomato puree, basil, and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until the meat is done. Serve over pasta.
- Serving Size: 1 serving, not including pasta
- Calories: 225
- Sodium: 396mg
- Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 30g
- Cholesterol: 46mg
- Sirloin is less tender than strip steak, meaning it needs to be prepared more carefully to ensure it's tender enough.
- Strip steak comes from the cow's short loin, while sirloin comes from the cow's rear leg. The location of the sirloin cut means that it is tougher, since it gets more exercise.
- Sirloin has less marbling than strip steak, meaning that it has a beefier and less intense flavor. It also has lower fat content than strip steak.
When deciding between sirloin and strip steak, it all comes down to personal preference and how you intend to prepare it. Sirloin is a more versatile cut that contains healthy nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals, while strip steak is popular for grilling and pan-frying because of its tender texture and higher marbling content. Regardless of your preference, consuming these cuts in moderation is critical to maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. You can make an informed decision and enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal by understanding the differences and benefits of each cut.
It's worth noting that the quality of the meat has a significant impact on the flavor and texture of the final dish. Therefore, grass-fed and organic beef can provide additional health benefits while improving your steak's overall flavor. In addition, experimenting with different cooking methods and seasonings can elevate your culinary skills and your sirloin or strip steak to the next level.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Chatham172/Shutterstock.com.