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Sirloin vs NY Strip: The 6 Differences You Need To Know

Sometimes, all the different meat cuts and options available out there can be a little overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with the terminology.

As a result, if you are not an expert, when it comes to preparing a five-star dinner with a great steak, things can get a little complicated.

If you are not sure where to start, do not worry, we are here to help you out. Here is a list that will highlight the key differences between a New York strip and a sirloin steak.

By the time you finish referring to this, all your doubts and questions will be gone, and you will be fully equipped to make the most sumptuous dinner of your life!

What is a sirloin steak?

A sirloin steak is a wonderfully versatile type of steak. The term ‘sirloin’ is frequently used as a generic way to describe meat cuts that originate from the loin area.

There can be various kinds of sirloin, but in most cases, the differences are categorized as top sirloin and bottom sirloin.

Thanks to their anatomic position, top sirloin represents a very tender and soft cut of meat. It comes from a muscle that does not get much exercise, hence the incredible tenderness of the meat.

This is one of the reasons why it can be a little pricier compared to other cuts, but not so much when compared to the New York strip steak.

Its tenderness also allows it to be adaptable to any recipe, from a classic steak and side dish to tacos and burritos.

Bottom sirloin is a cut of meat that, as the name gives away, comes from the bottom part of the cow.

It is an area that gets plenty of exercise, therefore it is less tender compared to top sirloin and as a result, it can be relatively cheap compared to other types of steak.

Either way, sirloin steak is generally a lean cut, with not much fat to it. Therefore, it might not be as flavorful as other kinds of steak, but still a fantastic and versatile cut.

How to cook sirloin steak?

To bring out all its fantastic flavor, sirloin steak can be pan-fried on medium heat with some butter and some rosemary.

You can choose how cooked you want your steak to be. It can go from rare to medium-rare to well-done. It is totally up to your personal preferences.

The great thing about this meat cut is that it matches perfectly any type of side dish, therefore it does not matter if you pair it with boiled veggies or roasted potatoes. It will still be delicious.

What is a New York strip steak?

New York strip is a type of sirloin steak. It derives from the upper sirloin section, the area that does not get much exercise in a cow.

Although the New York strip steak comes from the same place as any other sirloin cut, they are not the same thing.

NY sirloin steak is lean, but still contains more fat than any other top or bottom sirloin steak. The marbling imparts a particular and fantastic flavor, and it is the optimal balance between tough and buttery.

Due to its anatomical origins, New York strip steak is a little more expensive compared to any other sirloin steak, as it is considered of superior quality.

How to cook NY strip steak?

NY strip is an outstanding type of meat no matter how you decide to cook it. It can be pan-fried, grilled or it can even be roasted in the oven.

It will always be able to bring out an unbelievable taste and flavor, without being too chewy.

What are the differences between a New York strip and sirloin steak?

If you do not know what sets apart the various cuts of meat, recognizing and understanding the difference between New York strip and sirloin steak might be a little tricky.

These differences might be subtle, but sometimes they can change the whole character of your dish.

As a consequence, you might be left wondering: should I pick sirloin or New York strip for my dinner recipe?

The following key points might help you understand a little better the differences between a New York strip steak and a sirloin steak.

And hopefully, they will help you decide which one of the two works best for your fantastic dish.

1. Marbling

Marbling is the distribution of visible fat inside a cut of meat. The absence of it makes your steak lean, while the higher the fat content in your steak is, the more flavorful it will be.

It is called marbling because the white patterns made out of the fat resemble those of the marble.

As we already mentioned, the New York strip has a more significant percentage of fat compared to top sirloin.

Thanks to this, the NY strip is a lot more flavorful and juicy, which makes it a lot easier to eat.

Top and bottom sirloin do not have much marbling, therefore it is leaner and a little tougher to eat. That does not stop it from being a fantastic cut, full of meat and incredible proteins.

2. Flavor

Marbling plays a huge part in the difference between the New York strip and sirloin steak in terms of flavor, which is in fact mainly given by the fat content.

Therefore, a New York sirloin steak will be more flavorful, with a hint of sweetness to it as well.

A top sirloin steak will be a little more bland and tougher compared to the first option.

3. Cooking methods

The presence of fat in the New York strip steak allows it to be cooked in various ways, including grilling and roasting. These two methods of cooking are known to dry and strip away the moisture from the meat.

It is equally possible to grill or roast a top sirloin steak, but you need to be careful in the preparation process.

If you do not like a tough or chewy cut of meat, it is always most enjoyable to marinate the meat before cooking it.

This step will convey some extra moisture to your sirloin steak that will prevent it from drying too much during the cooking process.

4. Texture

The texture of your cut of meat depends on two factors: the marbling and the anatomical position.

New York strip steak has a wonderful marbling and can endure a more extensive cooking time, allowing it to be cooked all the way to well-done.

If you do so, you will be able to notice that the meat maintains its tenderness and juiciness throughout the cooking process.

On the other hand, sirloin steak is leaner than a New York strip steak, so it will get quite chewy and tough the more you cook it.

That is the reason why it is always best not to cook a top sirloin steak past the medium stage of cooking.

5. Affordability 

In the present circumstances, if you do not mind the cut of meat, but want to go for the budget-friendly option, here is the deal.

A sirloin steak, top or bottom, is going to be cheaper compared to a pricier New York sirloin steak.

A top sirloin steak might cost around $10 per pound, making it a relatively affordable option compared to the $15 per pound of a New York strip.

Despite the prices though, always make sure to check out the use-by date and that the meat does not smell bad or funny before cooking it.

6. Versatility

Due to its prestigious cut, New York sirloin steak is a fantastic option that should be turned into the main dish of the evening.

It is quite versatile, but it would be a pity to mix it with other ingredients that might overpower its delicious taste.

Simply grill it or roast it and serve it with a delicate side like vegetables, both boiled or pan-fried. Or with a side of fantastic mashed potatoes.

Top and bottom sirloin are an awesome option and can be used in any way you can think of.

They are delicious on their own, cooked from rare to medium. But they also work wonders if paired with eggs, or if added in a tacos or burritos mix.

Sirloin steak works as a delicious appetizer, or as a top-rated sandwich filler, alongside some lettuce, a couple of tomato slices, cheese slices, and a sauce that matches your preferences. 

Sirloin vs NY Strip: are they the same?

Any New York strip steak is a sirloin steak, but not all sirloin steak is a NY strip.

The only thing they have in common is that they come from the same area of the cow. There are a few ways to differentiate between the two:

  1. The New York strip has a marvelous marbling that makes it tender, while sirloin is leaner and tougher.
  2. Sirloin steak tastes fantastic but it is not as flavorful as a New York strip steak.
  3. As the NY strip has more fat, it can be cooked in various ways because it won’t dry out too quickly. Sirloin, on the other hand, is better off marinated before you cook it.
  4. Sirloin texture might be a little tough and chewy compared to the fattier New York strip steak.
  5. If you want to go for the more affordable option, sirloin steak is the ideal option for you.
  6. Both are incredibly versatile in the kitchen, but the New York strip is better served as a stand-alone dish, while sirloin can be accompanied by a side dish or even added to sandwiches and similar dishes.

The difference between New York strip and sirloin steak is now evident, and picking the right one between the two is up to you. It all depends on your personal preferences, your recipes, and your budget. 

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