New York Strip vs. Sirloin (Which is Better?)

Are you interested in purchasing some steaks, but you aren’t sure what the difference is between a new york strip vs. a sirloin? You came to the right place!

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The difference between a new york strip and a sirloin
  • Which steak is healthier
  • And much more!

Choosing between a new york strip and a sirloin can be a difficult decision. After all, on the store shelf, these cuts look very similar. But in reality, they are completely different cuts of steak. 

Depending on your personal preferences and what you plan to cook, the answer to whether you should buy a new york strip, or a sirloin will differ. We are going to cover all the differences between the two steaks in this article. 

Read on to learn all the facts about New York Strips and Sirloins so that you can make an informed buying decision next time you head to the store to buy steaks!

New York Strip vs. Sirloin: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between a new york strip and a sirloin is that a new york strip is leaner and more flavorful than a sirloin. Sometimes people say that a New York strip is a thicker cut than a sirloin, but this isn’t always the case as it depends on the cow the steaks are cut from. 

In terms of looks, the main difference you will notice is the line of fat running down the side of a New York steak. While both steaks may contain some marbling, sirloins don’t have this line of fat because of where they are cut from the cow. 

New York strip tends to be a slightly more pricey cut of meat, and this is for a good season. The fat found in a New York strip, when cooked correctly, can add some amazing flavor to your meat. 

Some people like to argue that a New York strip is more tender, but the truth is, any steak can be tender depending on how you cook it. New York strips generally need more care and taste better when seared at high temperatures. Sirloins are more resistant to a variety of cooking methods and are a good choice for a beginning griller.

The reason these steaks are so different is because they’re from different parts of the cow. The new york strip comes from the longissimus dorsi (located in the loin) in the cow, while the sirloin is cut from what is known as the round or sirloin subprimal. Both cuts will be about the same level of tender when cooked correctly. 

Related >> Ribeye vs Sirloin

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What Is a New York Strip?

Where it’s Located:

The new york strip is a cut from the loin of the cow. This loin is broken up into several regions, with the new york strip coming from the short loin primal region, which is under the backbone of the cow. 

When you order a T-bone steak, the new york strip makes up one side of it. 

Other Names for New York Strip

There are several names for the new york strip, and we’ve listed them all below:

  • NY strip (abbreviation)
  • Ambassador steak
  • Country club steak
  • Kansas City steak(when served bone-in)
  • Shell steak (when served bone-in)
  • Top loin steak
  • Hotel cut steak
  • Porterhouse (only in Australia)

Characteristics of a New York Strip

A new york strip is characterized by its tenderness and rich flavor. Usually, a butcher will cut your steak to about one inch in thickness. 

While you may see some marbling in a new york strip, this isn’t the main characteristic of this steak. Instead, if you are looking for visual confirmation that you have a new york strip, you should search for the telltale strip of fat down the side. 

Buying Info for a New York Strip

Although new york strips are known for being somewhat tender, this is definitely a cut that you don’t want to cheap out on. A cheap new york strip could be tough and stringy. 

If you want to order your steaks online, Snake River Farms is a quality butcher known especially for their new york strips. 

Cooking Methods for New York Strip:

1. Sear

As previously mentioned, the new york strip is the perfect steak to sear. Since there is less marbling throughout the steak than in other cuts, there isn’t much benefit to cooking this one low and slow. So turn up the flame and toss your new york strip on the grill while it is hot! 

2. Pan Fry

If you don’t yet have a grill, a hot pan can work the same and yield similar results. We recommend heating the pan on high with a small amount of olive oil. Toss your new york strip for a couple of minutes on each side, removing slightly early and allowing your steak to come to temperature as it rests.

Related >> Sirloin vs Filet

new york strip steak on a grill with perfect grill marks

What Is a Sirloin?

Where it’s Located

The sirloin is cut from the top of a cow’s back on the opposite side of where a new york strip is cut. This is known as the sirloin subprimal. This area has two sections, the top sirloin butt, and the bottom sirloin butt, which results in a couple of different types of sirloin steak.

You can see our chart for exactly where the sirloin is on a cow.

Other Names for a Sirloin:

  • Top sirloin (when cut from the top sirloin butt)
  • Sirloin steak (cuts from the bottom sirloin butt)
  • Rump steak

Characteristics of a Sirloin

Sirloin is characterized by its low amount of marbling, and typically any excess fat is cut from the steak during butchering. While you might see some fat in your meat, it is likely to vary from cow to cow, and you shouldn’t depend on having marbling in your sirloin.

Like the new york strip, the sirloin is also cut at a thickness of about an inch. While you may occasionally see smaller ones, this is rare. Sometimes the bottom rump sirloin is chopped up and sold as stew meat since this meat is a bit tough for grilling. 

Buying Info for Sirloin

Generally, if you are looking to purchase a sirloin steak, we recommend choosing a top sirloin. Top sirloin is known to be a bit more tender and flavorful than just sirloin, which may come from either part of the sirloin portion of the cow. 

Because sirloin is so close in price to the new york strip, while you can buy premium sirloin, if you are looking for an upgrade, we generally recommend upgrading to a new york strip. This is because a nice sirloin is basically the same quality as the regular new york strip and will likely be about the same price. Sirloin is more of a budget steak meat.

Cooking Methods for Sirloin

1. Sous Vide

You may have heard that there is no way to make a tender and juicy sirloin. This isn’t the case. If you use the sous vide method of cooking, you can get an amazing medium-rare sirloin that is still juicy. That being said, this method does take time and possibly a sous vide setup. 

2. On the Grill

You can throw your sirloin on the grill, but you’ll need to sear it at high heat first, then allow it to grill for a few minutes at medium heat to get it to temperature. This can be a bit tricky, which is why we recommend sous vide for those who truly want a medium rare sirloin. 

3. In a Cast Iron Pan

If you are a beginner steak cooker, then grab your cast iron pan and use it to sear your top sirloin. This is the easiest cooking method to control, and it can help you master cooking a top sirloin. Once you’ve figured out the cast iron, consider making your next top sirloin on the grill!

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07/13/2024 09:03 am GMT

Which Steak is Healthier?

Honestly, it’s hard to say which is healthier between the new york strip and the sirloin. While the new york strip does technically have more fat, most people don’t consume this strip of fat. Therefore, because sirloins can have unpredictable fat marbling from animal to animal, it’s difficult to say which would actually have less fat, as it will depend on the steaks you purchase. 

If you are truly on a diet and want to consume either steak, we recommend splitting the New york strip into two. Eat half for dinner tonight and the other half chopped on a salad for lunch tomorrow. This will help lower your calories without needing to sacrifice taste or flavor!

Want More Steak Info?

We’ve done a lot of homework and shared our opinions in these posts about steak:

Photo of author

Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

2 thoughts on “New York Strip vs. Sirloin (Which is Better?)”

  1. Thanks very much. I was recently out on Ozempic and have to try to stay away from my beloved Rib Eye. After reading, I’ve tried a Fillet and that was ok, but pricy. After reading this I tried the NY, and that was a whole lot better. Kept it to a small 6 oz. portion. Again, much thanks.
    Tony G. – Chackbay, La.

    • Tony,

      My personal favorite steak is a ribeye – its tough to beat! That being said a New York Strip is a close second for me. A little less fat marbling, but still really tender with great depth of flavor. Hard to go wrong with a NY Strip. In our neck of the woods ribeye, NY strip, and fillets are all really expensive. For special occasions I’ll splurge and buy Wagyu which is lightyears better than anything else I’ve purchased in a grocery or butcher shop. Grill On!


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