It should come as no surprise that the most tender cuts of beef come from the least used muscles. Filet mignon, anyone?

While yes, the filet mignon is going to find itself at the top of the chart for the most tender of steaks; there are still a few other cuts of steak that may surprise you.

All of which are quite tender, full of flavor, and, yes, a tad friendlier on the pocketbook!

A raw tender Flat iron steak on a wooden cutting board.

So what are the most tender steaks? I’ll list them as accurately as possible in order from most tender to the…well, the sixth most tender. 

I know that there are many factors in determining the tenderness of any steak, and of course, at what point do we stop listing steaks as tender? Where is the cut-off? Round steak

Well, that answer is up to you. I, however, will simply list the top 6 most tender steaks based on my research and experience.

Each cut has its own unique flavor, texture, and of course, tenderness. 

A t bone steak resting in a cast iron skillet.

Top 6 Most Tender Steaks

The most important factor when deciding on a cut of steak for most people is its tenderness.

So check out the most tender cuts of steaks below, and let me know what you think!

Filet Mignon

Considered by many to be the most tender cut of steak, filet mignon comes from the smaller end of the tenderloin.

Overall, it actually has a rather mild flavor, with that buttery texture that most people are so familiar with because of its relationship to the beef tenderloin.

You’ll find a filet mignon to be one of the most lean cuts of beef on this list as well as arguably the most tender.

Ribeye

Next up, we have the ribeye. While the ribeye steak, on the tenderness scale, barely squeezes out the t-bone for second place, it truly is a tender steak when it’s cooked right.

And by right, I mean cooked to medium rare at most. Known for its buttery-like marbling and rich beefy flavor, this steak is perfect for the grill or stovetop.

T-Bone Steak

This classic steak comes with, you guessed it, a T-shaped bone in the middle of it. Again, the way it’s cooked is going to be a significant factor in the tenderness, but I have found that cooking the T-bone steak to medium, even medium well, will still produce a deliciously tender steak. This would be an excellent option for those queasy at the sight of a little pink in their steaks.

Strip Steak

Perhaps better known as a New York Strip Steak or Kansas City Strip, or depending on where you are from, it can also be referred to as the sirloin steak. However, the strip and sirloin are different, with strip steak cut from the short loin; this delicious steak is nicely marbled and does well cooked quickly on the stovetop or barbeque pit.

Tri-Tip Steak

This triangular-shaped cut is known for its extremely rich flavor and tender texture. And like the rest of the steaks on this list, it benefits from high heat to sear the outsides and lock in the juices.

Rest time plays a critical role in the success of this tender steak. Always allow time for the meat to rest after cooking, and be sure to slice against the grain.

Flat Iron Steak

Finding itself at the end of this list should not be a reason to excuse a flat iron from finding its way onto our plates this evening.

With decent fat content and distinct grains, You will love everything a flat iron steak has to offer, including tenderness and affordability!

A juicy ribeye steak with thick marbling.

Things to consider when choosing a tender steak

The tenderness of a steak depends on a variety of factors, including the marbling of the meat, cooking method, muscle usage, and the source.

Generally, the more marbling and muscles with the least amount of use will produce the most tender steaks.

On the other hand, steaks with little fat that get a lot of use and have a lot of connective tissue running throughout the meat will be the least tender. 

Most people will either slow-cook those meats or grind them into burgers.

Tips when choosing any steak

Look for high-quality meat. Local butcher shops are an excellent place to buy local steaks, as they generally source their meat from local farmers, ensuring the highest quality and freshest meat.

Watch the color. When picking out steaks, look for ones with good color and no brown spots.

Check the texture. Steaks should be firm and not spongy when you press them gently with your fingers.

Look for steaks with good marbling. The marbling will play a critical role in the juiciness, tenderness, and flavor of a good steak.

Strip steak cut thick on butcher block.

Honorary mentions

Porterhouse Steak: The porterhouse is essentially just a big t-bone. It’s generally thicker and has a much bigger tenderloin portion of meat than the t-bone.

In fairness, this cut would easily fall into the same slot as the t-bone, but since they are so similar, I decided to drop it in this section.

Picanha Steak: The picanha steak goes by a number of different names and is a delicious piece of meat. It’s cut from the top sirloin cap and has a thick layer of fat running along one side that is used to grease the pan before searing.

Because it can be so hard to find outside of butcher shops, I decided to leave this otherwise tender steak off the list above.

Wrapping up

When it comes to choosing the most tender steak, I hope you find this list helpful in deciding what is best for you and your family. 

With everything from the pricy filet mignon to the affordable flat iron steak, there is a cut of beef for everyone. It all comes down to what you want to do with it!

Ultimately, the choice of the most tender steak comes down to personal preference and budget. With a variety of cuts and cooking methods available, there is a steak to suit every taste and occasion.

Let me know if your favorite tender steak is not on this list!

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