When it comes to beef, sirloin is one of the most popular cuts. But when you’re at the meat counter or ordering at a restaurant, you may be faced with two options: top sirloin and sirloin steak.
What’s the difference? Which is better? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Top Sirloin?
Top sirloin comes from the top of the sirloin primal cut, which is located in the hindquarter of the cow. It’s a lean cut with moderate marbling (or fat) and a firm texture. Top sirloin is often used in restaurants for steak frites or other dishes, and it’s also great for grilling at home.
What is Sirloin Steak?
Sirloin steak comes from the same primal cut as top sirloin, but it’s cut from further down towards the rear of the animal. This means it has less fat and connective tissue than top sirloin, making it slightly more tender. Sirloin steak is often used in dishes like stir-fry or beef stroganoff.
The Nutritional Differences
Both top sirloin and sirloin steak are relatively lean cuts of beef, but there are some differences in their nutritional profiles. A 3-ounce serving of cooked top sirloin contains about 160 calories, 25 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fat. The same serving size of cooked sirloin steak contains about 180 calories, 26 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fat.
Benefits of Top Sirloin
One major benefit of top sirloin is that it’s a very versatile cut. You can grill it, sear it in a pan, roast it in the oven – there are countless ways to prepare it.
It’s also relatively affordable compared to some of the more premium cuts like filet mignon or ribeye. And because it’s a lean cut, it’s a good choice for people who are watching their fat intake.
Benefits of Sirloin Steak
Because sirloin steak is slightly more tender than top sirloin, it may be a better choice for dishes where the beef needs to be cooked quickly at high heat. It’s also a good option if you’re looking for a slightly richer flavor than top sirloin – although keep in mind that this also means it has slightly more fat.
So, which is better – top sirloin or sirloin steak? The answer really depends on how you plan to use the beef.
If you’re grilling or roasting and want a versatile, affordable cut with moderate marbling, top sirloin is probably your best bet. But if you’re making a stir-fry or other dish where the beef needs to be cooked quickly and you want something slightly more tender with a richer flavor, go for sirloin steak. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this classic cut of beef.