Best Ways to Cook Beef: Tenderloin, Steak, Ground Beef, and More

Last Update: March 9, 2023

Ready to beef up your recipe repertoire? From from tenderloin to strip steak, it’s hard to pick a favorite, which is why we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the most popular cuts of meat.

Popular Cuts of Beef

Sharpen your knives! These options are a cut above, and to get the best bang for your buck, it’s important to know how to cook ‘em right.

Beef Tenderloin

This elegant steak lives up to its name.

What Is Beef Tenderloin?

Found in the most tender part of the loin section, the center-cut tenderloin is known for its succulent richness, moist texture, and buttery flavor. But, is beef tenderloin the same as filet mignon? We’re glad you asked! Yes, filet mignon is a cut of beef that comes from the tenderloin—but a very specific part: the circular strip at the tip of the smallest end of the tenderloin.

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

For a beautiful brown crust without overcooking the meat, sear the tenderloin first before roasting in the oven. Start by trimming the fat and seasoning the steaks on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden. Finish by cooking the tenderloins in a 475°F oven for 16 to 20 minutes, or until medium rare (with an internal temperature of 125°F).

New York Strip Steak

The classic cut made famous by the Big Apple.


What Is New York Strip Steak?

Cut from the top of the short loin, NY strip steak has a tight grain and pleasant density. Our humanely raised, 100% grass-fed cattle graze on the lush Patagonian prairies of Osorno, Chile, year-round so the flavor of the meat is quite robust. This beautifully marbled steak cooks best over direct high-heat, making it ideal for grilling.

How to Cook New York Strip Steak

Season your steaks (at least 1 ½-inch thick) generously with salt and warm a sauté pan over high heat. Sear steaks for 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F. Remove the steaks to a cutting board—and this is the really important part—tent with foil and let them rest for 10 minutes! This helps redistribute the juices so every bite is flavorful. Slice steaks against the grain before serving.

Rib Eye Steak

This cut is primed for pan-seared perfection!

Rib Eye Steak

What Is Ribeye Steak?

Other names for ribeye steak include beauty steak, Delmonico steak, Spencer steak, and scotch fillet. Whatever you call it, ribeye steak is the center (and arguably the best) portion of the rib steak! It’s typically highly marbled with fat, which is why this cut is so delicious.

How to Cook Ribeye Steak

Because this cut is fattier than most, grilling can sometimes cause extra flames to flare up. Pan-searing is the way to go! Be sure the steaks are dry (pat them with paper towels) and sprinkle on a generous dusting of salt. Heat a cast-iron pan and add a slick of oil, then cook, flipping frequently, for anywhere between 6 and 12 minutes (depending on thickness), or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F. For a decadent finish, melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan before removing to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Skirt Steak

There’s no skirting the issue—this cut of steak is quick-cooking and high in flavor.

Skirt Steak

What Is Skirt Steak?

Who said skirt steaks can’t be tender? Cut from the underside, skirt steak is prized for its intense beefy flavor and is the choice cut for dishes like fajitas, salads, and marinades.

How to Cook Skirt Steak

Plan ahead and refrigerate your steak in a bag in the morning so come dinner time, your mouth will explode with flavor. For fajitas, try a little vegetable oil, grated garlic, spices like cumin, chipotle powder, and chili powder, plus a bit of lime juice. When it comes to cooking, don’t walk away from the grill. It only needs 2 to 3 minutes per side for a medium-rare sear.

Sirloin Steak

This prized cut is super versatile. From skewers to stews, or just a good pan-sear, you can’t go wrong.

Steak with chimichurri sauce

What Is Sirloin Steak?

Cut from the hip, center-cut top sirloin steak is the most prized portion of the sirloin. The lean, boneless meat is tender, juicy, and perfect for a hearty steakhouse dinner.

How to Cook Sirloin Steak

For a golden crust and a tender interior, try pan-searing your sirloin. Like the ribeye, get your steaks nice and dry by patting them with paper towels, and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Warm a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and add the steaks, cooking for about 4 minutes per side, or until the edges are golden and the internal temperature reaches 135°F. Tent with foil and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve it with an herb-filled compound butter, chimichurri, or your favorite barbecue sauce!

Chuck Roast

What the chuck? No freezer is properly stocked without this slow-cooker must-have.

Chuck Roast Stew

What Is Chuck Roast?

Chuck roast is cut from the shoulder and has a silky texture that easily falls off the bone—perfect for braising, roasting, and cooking low and slow.

How to Cook Chuck Roast

Also known as pot roast, a perfect chuck starts with a big ol’ pot, preferably a Dutch oven. Start by preheating your oven to 275°F, and seasoning the chuck all over with salt and pepper. On the stove, warm a few turns of olive oil and add chopped onions, carrots, and garlic. Keep it cooking until the veggies are tender, then scrape them into a bowl. Now comes the beef. Add a bit more oil and sear the chuck on all sides, until a golden crust forms. Add the veggies back into the pot, along with enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway. (For extra flavor, toss in a bay leaf or a sprig of rosemary!) That’s basically it in terms of the work you need to do. Put the lid on, slide it into the oven, and roast for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). By then, it should be fork-tender and your kitchen will smell heavenly!

Ground Beef

Make burgers, meatballs, or tacos with ground beef.

Ground Beef Burgers

What Is Ground Beef?

You can elevate just about any dish with a little ground beef. It’s exactly what it sounds like—ground beef and fat—often made from leftover trimmings from roasts or steaks. For full transparency, just ask about it at the meat counter so you know which cuts are being used. When it comes to the best ratio of meat to fat, we like 85/15 best. It’s just enough fat to lend delicious flavor, without overtaking the rest of the meat.

How to Cook Ground Beef

This is a perfect example of only being limited by your imagination! Ground beef cooks up quickly in the pan (perfect for taco night), or you can cook it low and slow for a bean chili.

Top Products to Sizzle Your Steak Game

Sometimes all you need is a pinch of salt and pepper to bring out the best in a cut of beef, but when you’re ready for next-level grilling, make sure your pantry is stocked with these top finds.

Annie’s Organic BBQ Sauce

When you don’t have time to make your own, this is a flavorful sauce you can count on. From stone-ground mustard to celery seed, this bottle has all the classic spices inside. Perfect for chicken wings, tri-tip, and even topping pizza!

Thrive Market Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth

When you’re making soup or braising beef, add even more depth with rich, grass-fed bone broth.

Primal Kitchen Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette & Marinade

Prep your steak—Paleo style. This sauce is made with Asian-inspired ingredients like coconut aminos, ginger, coriander, and sesame oil, making it the perfect start to steak salads or gluten-free lettuce wraps.

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

Yes, salt matters. For finishing your steak, sprinkle on some big flakes of salt. It’s a super simple way to amp up the natural flavor of every bite.

Spiceology Habanero Sweet and Spicy Blend

If you can take the heat, here’s a mix that’ll fire up your dry rub. It’s a blend of smoked paprika, fiery habanero chili, and sweet honey granules to balance things out. Use it for your next fajita night, or to infuse baby back ribs (and even veggies!) with spice.

Beef Recipes

From meatballs to rib eye steaks with homemade BBQ sauce, these recipes will hit the spot every time, no matter what you’re craving.

Rib Eye With Cherry Steak Sauce

This crowd-pleasing recipe from Chef Sam Kass’s new cookbook, Eat a Little Better, is a real winner. Chef Kass is a former White House chef who cooked for the first family and worked on the country’s nutrition policy programs. This steak recipe is characteristic of what you’ll find inside because Sam is all about shifting the portion paradigm: “Eat less beef, but when you do, choose the beefiest, most luscious stuff you can find,” he says.

Best Burger

The burger recipe to end all burger recipes is here. We use top-notch ground beef and go-to seasonings like Dijon mustard, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce for the best flavor impact. Really wanna impress your friends? Make some ketchup leather!

Mustard Roast Beef

This seven-ingredient supper is a showstopper, and super hands-off, too. Grab a roast and season it with mustard seeds, pepper, salt, thyme, garlic, and EVOO, then pop it in the oven for almost two hours, until tender and juicy.

Extra-Meaty Paleo Chili

Chow down on this Paleo-friendly chili that nixes beans in favor for a classic Texas recipe for “chili con carne.” There are loads of spices inside (like oregano, chili powder, and paprika), and bone broth deepens the flavors even more.

Paleo Chili

Baked Meatballs With Fresh Mozzarella

Tender meatballs always make a winning meal. We roll ours up with allspice, garlic powder, and other seasonings, then pour on jarred tomato sauce before baking. Fresh mozzarella and chopped basil are the perfect finishing touches.

Butter-Fried Sliders

Don’t let this recipe slide before giving it a try. These lettuce-wrapped sliders skip the bun, but add tangy mustard sauce and sweet caramelized onions. Here’s a tip: fry the burgers in butter for even more flavor in every bite.

Beef and Broccolini Stir Fry

Lean flank steak gets an Asian-inspired treatment with a sweet and spicy garlic-ginger sauce, broccolini, and carrots. Serve it with steamed white rice on the side.

Beef and broccolini

Lomo Saltado

This traditional Peruvian stir-fry brings bold spices to the pot like cumin, chili powder, and coconut aminos. Top the dish with crisp parsnip chips for added texture.

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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