The New York Strip steak is one of the most popular cuts of meat sold by butchers and grocers. Coming from the upper loin of a cow, this is the long side of a porterhouse steak, otherwise known as a T-bone. When prepared properly, a New York Strip steak gives a mouthwatering experience for diners as they savor every single bite of it.
New York Strip’s History
As a steak, the New York Strip goes by many different names. They’ve been called ambassador steaks, club steaks, hotel steaks, Kansas City steaks, sirloin steaks, striploin steaks, and top loin steaks. The New York Strip steak got its name after a restaurant in Lower Manhattan called Delmonico’s started a trend in 1937.
That trend was offering a fine dining experience with the finest cuts of beef. These included the restaurant’s infamous ribeye steak and striploin steak. Even today, Delmonico’s continues to impress discerning diners who won’t give a second thought spending top dollar to sink their teeth into a juicy steak. The New York Strip earned the striploin its nickname due to the restaurant’s influence as the first of its kind to offer an elite-class dining experience for its guests.
Anatomy of the New York Strip
What makes the New York Strip steak so special is the flavor this short loin provides from its generous marbling. This is the one part of the cow that doesn’t get as much muscular activity as the rest as it sits behind the rib and above the flank. The beauty behind the marbling from this cut of meat is the fat acts like an automatic baster to keep the steak while it's cooking from going dry. This is why, when cooked properly, a New York Strip offers a beautiful balance of flavor and texture.
Although not quite as tender as the ribeye, the New York Strip steak offers a meatier option as a beautiful cut for meat lovers to enjoy. Although it is a striploin, the one thing it's not is a top sirloin. A top sirloin is considerably meatier with less fat content and a tougher steak to chew. The New York Strip is a steak that’s usually separated from the T-shaped bone and served on its own. Technically, it’s a striploin while the smaller portion of meat from the T-bone is known as the tenderloin.
Usually, butchers cut an eight-ounce steak that’s slightly under an inch thick. Ideally, a good New York Strip steak should be about sixteen ounces and about 1.5 inches thick. This particular cut offers about 500 calories of energy. In general, the striploin has the least amount of fat content when compared to the other loin cuts.
New York Strip Culinary Tips
Frying and grilling are the two most popular methods used when cooking a striploin steak. There’s also the oven but the majority of the best chefs in the business tend to prefer using either a frying pan with butter or a charcoal grill. Before cooking their steaks, they like to season them with a bit of salt, first.
After adding either Kosher salt or seasoning salt to both sides of a steak, allow the meat to sit in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes. You can add pepper if you want but this is a seasoning that burns easily. This may compromise the flavor quality of your steak. Ideally, save the pepper as an add-on after the meat has already been cooked.
Once the steak has been taken out of the fridge, let it warm a bit on the counter. It’s perfectly fine for the steak to reach a fairly close room temperature at this point. While doing so, now is the best time to fire up the burner or grill, whichever cooking device you wish to use. Be sure to have it on high heat as this is essential when the time comes to apply your steak to a heat source. It would also be recommended to gently pat your steak down with a paper towel before placing it in the pan or on the grill as it’ll make the cooking process easier and less messy.
Cooking New York Strip Steaks
Ideally, a New York Strip steak should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. In cooking terms, this means the steak will sit at the medium well stage with the center of the meat bordering between slightly pink and light brown. If you prefer rare, the internal temperature should range between 120 to 130 degrees and the center of the meat should be dark pink. Medium rare steaks will have a medium pink center and a temperature ranging between 130 to 135 degrees. As for well-done steaks that have no pink at all, the ideal internal temperature for that is 155 degrees.
There are also meat lovers who want just the surface to discolor but keep the center of the meat cool. These are called blue rare steaks where the ideal internal temperature should be 115 degrees. Whether in the frying pan or on the grill, it can take anywhere between one or two minutes on each side for the steak to reach this level of doneness.
The cooking times will vary according to the size of the New York Strip steak you’re working with. If you have a meat thermometer to work with, great. Use this to monitor the internal temperature of the steak as you pierce into its center. For rare steaks, an eight-ounce, one-inch cut takes about three minutes on each side. For medium rare, add an extra thirty seconds per side. Medium steaks take about four and a half minutes on each side while medium wells will likely need anywhere between five to six minutes. Well-done steaks usually take seven minutes per side.
It should be pointed out here that even after a steak has been removed from a high heat source it will continue to cook a little bit more. Whatever stage you want your New York Strip to be at, removing it from the heat a couple of degrees shy of the ideal temperature would be your best bet. This acts as your insurance policy that it won’t overcook.
If you’re aiming for a diamond pattern on the grill, turn your steak about forty-five degrees at the halfway mark of its recommended cooking time. After this, flip your steak and turn it at a ninety-degree angle. This is how the professional chefs do it. Another practice they’re famous for is allowing the cooked meat to rest anywhere between five to ten minutes before having it served to the customer. Some will go as far as lightly covering it in foil.
The Best New York Strip Steaks
When shopping for New York Strip steaks, don’t cheap out. If you want quality, look for a cut of meat that has generous marbling. This does make a big difference. When prepped properly, you will taste the benefits of a luxurious steak that keeps meat lovers coming back for more.
The best steakhouses in the business prefer to keep things simple when it comes to providing customers with the best possible dining experience. Instead of going with a fancy collection of seasonings and spices, the majority of top chefs stick to just a bit of Kosher salt. This was how the best New York Strip steaks were done back in the 1930s and it's still the favorite method used today.