Most steak lovers will tell you that the fat is the source of the steak’s flavor. This means that the more fat a steak has, the more flavorful it is likely to be. Japanese wagyu beef producers operate on exactly this principle as cows are raised to maximize the fat content of their meat. When it comes to steaks in particular, fat is essential for making the meat flavorful and tender.
The two types of fat that you will see in beef cuts are the extra-muscular fat that lies on the outside of the muscle and the intramuscular fat that we call marbling. Intramuscular fat is the fat inside the muscle itself and it is what steak fans value most. Here are three of the fattiest steaks that all contain lots of intramuscular fat:
New York strip
Sometimes referred to simply as a strip steak, the famous New York strip steak comes from the short loin primal cut. Note that in the United Kingdom, it is referred to as a sirloin and in Canada as a strip loin. The short loin primal lies behind the cow’s ribs. It consists of a muscle called the Longissimus muscle that does not do a lot of work, which is why it stays tender and fatty.
The New York Strip steak has extra-muscular fat along with a significant amount of intramuscular fat. New Strips don’t have as much fat as other steaks on this list but they have enough to be juicy. Also, the muscle from which these steaks are cut is a large one, so it is possible to get very large cuts. They have enough lean meat to give you the kind of strong beefy taste that you might associate with leaner cuts.
From a 3oz serving of New York Strip steak, you will get 6g of fat per serving.
A T-bone steak consists of the strip steak plus a small portion of the tenderloin, which is the filet mignon cut. The large side is the strip steak. The bone between them is a piece of the spine. To be exact, it is a piece of one side of the spine that has been sawed down the middle. The bone in a T-bone is half a cross-section of a vertebra. The benefit of a T-bone steak is that you get two types of fatty steak in one. The downside is that these types of steak have different textures and cooking times, which makes t-bones challenging to cook evenly.
Porterhouse steaks are essentially the same steak as a T-bones. They are both cut from the same muscle but come from different parts of that muscle. The T-bone is closer to the front. Also, there are USDA specifications for porterhouse steaks stating that it should no less than 1 1/4 inches thick at its widest point. T-bones are only required to be 0.5 inches thick at a minimum.
From a 3oz serving of T-bone steak, you can expect to get 9g of fat.
Ribeye steaks come from the rib section of the cow and consist mostly of the same longissimus muscle that makes up the New York Strip. Bone-in ribeye steaks have part of the rib bone attached. Ribeyes are known for their heavy marbling, rich flavor, and juicy texture.
You will get 10g of fat from a 2oz serving of ribeye steak.