Sirloin refers to steak cut from the lower portion of beef ribs, continuing from the tenderloin, which is where we get prized steaks like filet Mignon. Sirloin is a high quality cut, since the muscles are still doing a reasonable amount of work, giving it more flavor than other areas. The sirloin is divided into a number of different kinds of steak.
The Different Sirloin Steak Cuts
The top sirloin is the most prized of all the sirloin steaks, and you are unlikely to find it unless you look for it specifically. Most sirloin steak is really bottom sirloin, a tougher, larger piece of steak that can be more readily available and cost less. Bottom sirloin is also connected to what is called the sirloin tip roast, a good, if somewhat tough roast that should not be eaten as a steak.
Tri-tip steak is one of the most robustly flavored parts of the bottom sirloin, but is quite lean and easy to overcook. Sirloin pin bone steak comes from the front of the sirloin, and has an oval pin bone in it that gives the steak its name. A sirloin flatbone steak can be identified by the flat hip and backbone pieces it has inside this cut of steak.
Sirloin round bone steaks contain less bone and fat than the majority of other sirloin cuts, while sirloin wedge bone steaks come from the rear of the sirloin, and contain small wedge shaped bones. These, and many other kinds of steaks, are all readily available at most markets.
Sirloin Steak Cooking Methods for Perfect Results
Sirloin cuts are leaner and less tender and buttery than the higher end competition, but they make up for it in price and flavor. They are best cooked over a high, dry heat, such as pan cooking, grilling, roasting, and broiling. Of course, you will need to treat different parts of the sirloin differently, so cooking sirloin steak will have a lot to do with what part of the sirloin you are preparing.
Make sure you buy only sirloin that is red and clear in color – that is the color that normally purplish beef becomes when air hits it. Make sure your sirloin is cold and tightly packaged, with a firm feeling to the meet and a reasonable sell by date. Make sure it is in the coldest part of the refrigerator for storage, and keep it only a few days. Fat can be trimmed before or after cooking.
Your steak will be finished to medium rare at an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, and will reach well done at 165. Turn the steak only with tongs, since a fork or knife will puncture the meat and cause loss of juices. Rest all steaks for five to ten minutes before you serve it.
You can broil steaks in a pan two to four inches from your heat source – it takes only eight to ten minutes. Grill steaks for six to eight minutes, lightly brushed with oil, or pan broil them on the stovetop for thirteen minutes to a quarter hour.