Fattiest Cuts of Steak

This guide presents the five steak cuts with the highest fat content. As you may already know, fat adds flavor to a steak and makes it more tender and juicy – for clarity, we’re referring to the intramuscular fat commonly known as marbling. When cooked, the marbling melts and gives the meat a juicy and melt-in-your-mouth texture, especially when there’s a lot of it. So, without further ado, let’s explore the top choices for the most flavorful, fatty steaks.

The 5 Fattiest Cuts of Steak

The steaks listed below naturally have a high marbling content, and while you may be familiar with most of them, the list also includes some lesser-known cuts:

  1. Ribeye Steak
  2. Chuck Eye Steak
  3. New York Strip Steak
  4. Skirt Steak
  5. T-Bone Steak

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of them to discuss their most significant advantages and disadvantages.

1. Ribeye Steak

raw ribeye steak
Raw Ribeye Steak

As we previously mentioned, fat is a source of flavor and tenderness; in the case of ribeye, it contributes to its rich taste and tender texture. The ribeye steak comes from the front end of the longissimus dorsi muscle, from a cow’s rib. This particular cut of steak is known for its high level of marbling. Upon closer inspection of a ribeye cut, you will notice a significant amount of marbling and fat separating the main muscles that make up the ribeye: longissimus dorsi (eye of ribeye), spinalis dorsi (ribeye cap), complexus, and in some cuts, longissimus costarum (lip or nose).

Ribeye is the fattest steak and one of the most tender and flavorful. Unfortunately, it comes with a big price tag. We would also like to remind you that the ribeye goes by other names in slightly different variations, such as the tomahawk steak (which differs only in its long bone) or cowboy steak (which, similarly to the tomahawk, includes a bone but is shorter in length).

Read More on Ribeye Steak »

2. Chuck Eye Steak

The chuck eye steak may surprise many as a lesser-known cut that offers an excellent, cheaper, and equally tasty alternative to ribeye. Why is that? The chuck eye steak comes from the chuck roll primal, located against the cow’s ribs. Specifically, it is cut from the fifth rib, while ribeye is cut from the sixth to twelfth rib.

When you take a closer look at this cut, you’ll notice the similarities to ribeye in marbling – yes, it’s a fatty steak. The chuck eye steak offers almost the same tenderness and juiciness as ribeye.

3. New York Strip Steak

raw strip steak
raw strip steak

New York Strip comes from behind the cow’s ribs and consists of muscles that don’t do much work, making it fatty and tender. Although it doesn’t contain as much intramuscular fat as the ribeye, it still has enough to make it juicy and tender, with just the right amount of chewiness.

With a slightly bolder beef flavor, it is also easier to cook than ribeye due to its lower fat content. Some may not realize that the strip steak is part of the T-bone and porterhouse steak.

Read More on Strip Steak »

4. Skirt Steak

raw skirt steak
Raw Skirt Steak

There are two types of skirt steak: outside skirt and inside skirt. The outside skirt comes from the diaphragmatic muscle from the plate on a cow, while the inside skirt comes from the cow’s transverse abdominal muscle. While the inside skirt steak is more widely available nowadays, the outside skirt steak is the more highly valued cut.

Skirt steak is a flavorful, fatty cut that pairs well with marinades but can be tough if not cooked correctly. This long, thin cut, with its high-fat content and grainy texture, requires very high heat and a short cooking time to prevent overcooking. After cooking skirt steak, it’s crucial to slice it properly; otherwise, you might end up with a tough and chewy texture. The key to avoiding this is to slice the steak against the grain.

Read More on Skirt Steak »

5. T-Bone Steak

raw T-bone steak
Raw T-Bone Steak

The T-bone steak is two cuts in one, separated by a T-shaped bone. On one side is the fatty strip steak, and on the other is the lean tenderloin. The cut itself comes from the front of the short loin primal. The strip steak part tastes like the strip steak described earlier, while the tenderloin part is extremely tender but has a mild beef flavor. One downside of the T-bone steak is that it is not the easiest cut to cook, as the tenderloin part cooks faster than the strip, making it challenging to cook a T-bone steak evenly.

T-bone steak is often confused with a porterhouse steak, which differs only in the width of the tenderloin. A porterhouse steak has a tenderloin width of at least 1.25 inches, while for a T-bone steak, it is usually less, typically between 0.5 to 1 inch. You can learn more about the differences between these two types of steak by reading our article on T-bone vs. porterhouse steak, which covers this topic in detail.

Read More on T-Bone Steak »


What’s the fattiest cut of steak?

The ribeye steak is considered the fattiest due to its high intramuscular fat content, also known as marbling. However, it is also one of the most delicious cuts of beef. On average, a 3-ounce cooked ribeye serving contains 10.8g of fat, including 4.2g of saturated fat, 4.4g of monounsaturated fat, and 0.4g of polyunsaturated fat. (source)

What is steak fat called?

The fat visible on the surface of a steak is intramuscular fat, often called marbling due to its appearance, which resembles a marble pattern. This intramuscular fat is responsible for the meat’s flavor and contributes to its juiciness and tenderness. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out our guide on marbling in steak.

Are fatty steaks better in taste?

In general, cuts with more intramuscular fat tend to be tastier. This is because the intramuscular fat, also known as marbling, melts during cooking, providing the meat with enhanced flavor, juiciness, and tenderness. However, it’s important to note that excessive marbling can sometimes have the opposite effect. For instance, Japanese Wagyu A5 beef, which contains a significant amount of marbling, can be overwhelming if consumed in the same portion size as a standard steak.

However, this does not mean lean cuts are always worse than fatty ones. They may even be tastier for many, depending on personal preferences. Lean cuts require more attention when cooking, but if prepared correctly can also be tender and juicy, with a strong beef flavor, like a flank steak.

Explore Other Guides:

Photo of author

Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow, the founder of Steak Revolution, is a true steak enthusiast. His primary goal is to help others perfect their steak-cooking skills.