Fattiest Cuts of Steak

There are so many kinds of steaks out there, each with its shape, size, flavor, tenderness, and, of course, the amount of fat it has. In this article, I will talk about steaks famous for their high-fat content, like the ribeye and skirt steak. Whether you’re a fan of fatty steaks for their awesome flavor and tenderness or keeping an eye on your diet and wanting to know which ones to eat less of, you’ll get all the info you need right here.

Note: All the fat content info I mention comes straight from the USDA.

Listed below are the 10 fattiest cuts of steak:

  1. Ribeye Steak
  2. Chuck Eye Steak
  3. Skirt Steak
  4. Flap Steak
  5. Denver Steak
  6. Ribeye Cap Steak
  7. Flat Iron Steak
  8. Picanha Steak
  9. Porterhouse Steak
  10. Strip Steak

1. Ribeye Steak

raw ribeye steak
Raw ribeye steak

The ribeye steak ranks as one of the fattiest cuts of steak. It’s a bit fattier than the chuck eye steak and the outside skirt steak, according to the USDA’s fat content data. What makes the ribeye special is its marbling. Take a closer look at this steak, and you’ll spot loads of intramuscular fat (that’s the marbling) and some intermuscular fat, separating the ribeye’s big muscles. These include the longissimus dorsi (eye of the ribeye), the spinalis dorsi (ribeye cap), the complexus, and sometimes the longissimus costarum (also known as the lip or nose).

Four Ribeye Muscles: Longissimus Dorsi, Longissimus Costarum, Complexus, and Spinalis Dorsi.
Four Ribeye Muscles: Longissimus Dorsi, Longissimus Costarum, Complexus, and Spinalis Dorsi.

You need to know something about intramuscular fat (marbling). It’s the secret behind the steak’s flavor and tenderness. When intramuscular fat melts, it makes the steak tender and full of flavor. That’s why ribeye tastes so rich when you bite into it. Also, please remember that the ribeye goes by a few different names, like the tomahawk steak, which is the same cut but with a long bone, or the cowboy steak, which is similar to the tomahawk but has a shorter bone.

Ribeye Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories241
Total Fat18.4 g
Saturated Fat8.07 g
Protein18.7 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, choice, raw Source.

Read More on Ribeye Steak »

2. Chuck Eye Steak

USDA fat content data shows that the chuck eye is the second most fatty steak. If you look closely at a chuck eye steak, it looks very similar to ribeye, especially with all those fat marbles. It’s a fatty cut, but that’s a plus here. It comes close to the ribeye in terms of tenderness and juiciness, and the best part? It’s usually cheaper.

If you love the taste of ribeye but don’t want to break the bank, chuck eye steak is your go-to. What’s the story behind it? The chuck eye comes from the chuck roll, which is right next to the cow’s ribs. It’s specifically cut from the fifth rib, while ribeye is from the sixth to the twelfth ribs. 

Chuck Eye Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories227
Total Fat16.8 g
Saturated Fat7.18 g
Protein18.9 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, choice, raw Source.

3. Skirt Steak

raw skirt steak
Raw skirt steak

There are two kinds of skirt steak: outside skirt and inside skirt. The outside skirt, which comes from the cow’s diaphragmatic muscle near the ribs, is usually fattier. It’s almost as rich in fat as chuck eye and ribeye steaks. The inside skirt, on the other hand, is a bit leaner. It’s cut from the cow’s transverse abdominal muscle. Although the inside skirt steak is more commonly available in the market today, the outside skirt steak is considered the more premium cut due to its richer fat content.

Outside Skirt Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories238
Total Fat18.4 g
Saturated Fat7.43 g
Protein17.7 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, choice, raw Source.

Inside Skirt Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories195
Total Fat12.8 g
Saturated Fat5.03 g
Protein20.1 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, choice, raw Source.

Read More on Skirt Steak »

4. Flap Steak

raw flap steak
Raw flap steak

The flap steak, probably better known as the bavette steak, is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. It’s a long cut with plenty of fat and a deep, beefy taste. A lot of people mistakenly think flap steak is tough and chewy. But, if you start slicing the flap steak against the grain, you’ll be amazed at how tender each bite becomes. And remember, cook it between medium-rare and medium (ideally 130°-140°) for the best taste and texture. This way, the fat melts nicely, making the steak juicier, more tender, and packed with flavor. One last tip: flap steak is not the same as flank steak – they’re two different cuts of beef.

Flap Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories196
Total Fat12.5 g
Saturated Fat4.46 g
Protein19.64 g
Nutrition data: Source.

Read More on Flap Steak »

5. Denver Steak

Denver steak is an interesting cut from the shoulder of the cow, right under the blade. When you see it, the first thing that’ll catch your eye is the amazing marbling. If you get a high-grade denver steak, like a prime one, its marbling can be just as impressive as what you’d see in a ribeye or new york strip. But there’s more to it than just a lot of fat. Denver steak has a great beefy taste and is super tender. Plus, many butchers would tell you it’s the fourth most tender cut you can get from a cow.

Denver Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories189
Total Fat12.4 g
Saturated Fat5.14 g
Protein18.8 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, choice, raw Source.

6. Ribeye Cap Steak

The ribeye cap steak is super flavorful and among the most tender and fattiest cuts. What is it exactly? It’s the spinalis dorsi muscle. Yep, that’s the same one you find in your classic ribeye. If you’ve ever enjoyed a traditional ribeye’s taste, just wait until you try a big, juicy ribeye cap steak. You’ll find the ribeye cap steak in two forms: one’s flat, just like a flat iron steak, and the other’s rolled up, looking pretty much like a filet mignon.

Ribeye Cap Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories187
Total Fat11.4 g
Saturated Fat4.36 g
Protein19.5 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, choice, raw Source.

7. Flat Iron Steak

two raw flat iron steaks
Raw flat iron steaks

The flat iron steak is a nicely fatty, interesting cut. What makes it special is that it’s the second most tender cut of steak. Plus, it’s got a great, beefy flavor. The flat iron steak comes from the cow’s shoulder, specifically the chuck primal cut. It’s part of the top blade roast, right above the shoulder blade.

Flat Iron Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories182
Total Fat11.3 g
Saturated Fat4.19 g
Protein18.8 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, choice, raw Source.

Read More on Flat Iron Steak »

8. Picanha Steak

raw coulotte steak

Picanha steak, also known as the coulotte steak in the United States, is a cut known for its decent marbling, robust beefy flavor, and tender texture. This gem comes from the back end of the cow, specifically from a part of the top sirloin butt subprimal in the sirloin primal area. You can spot picanha steak from a mile away with its unique triangle shape and that generous layer of fat on top. It’s a real hit for grilling, no doubt about it.

Picanha Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories199
Total Fat13.4 g
Saturated Fat5.08 g
Protein19.7 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, choice, raw Source.

Read More on Picanha Steak »

9. Porterhouse Steak

raw porterhouse steak
Raw porterhouse steak

A porterhouse steak is like getting two steaks in one – the strip steak and filet mignon, with a T-shaped bone dividing the two. This steak comes from the back part of the short loin on a cow, part of the bigger loin area, right between the ribs and the sirloin. The cool thing about a higher-grade porterhouse is the marbling on the strip section. As for taste, the strip side delivers that classic beefy new york strip flavor, while the tenderloin is super tender but has a very mild taste.

Porterhouse Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories218
Total Fat14.6 g
Saturated Fat6.17 g
Protein20.4 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, choice, raw Source.

Read More on Porterhouse Steak »

10. Strip Steak

raw strip steak
raw strip steak

The strip steak, also known as new york strip or kansas city steak, is a generally leaner cut of beef if you stick to no more than a select/choice grade of beef. The prime-grade strip steak is a different story. It has a nice amount of marbling, which makes the steak more flavorful and tender. The choice-grade strip has 6.43 grams of fat and only 2.38 grams of saturated fat, while the prime-choice strip has 22.2 grams of fat and 9.08 grams of saturated fat. The prime-grade strip has more fat than the most fatty choice-grade steak cut. This shows you how important the beef’s grade is in the fat-content amount in any cut.

Choice-Grade Strip Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories155
Total Fat6.43 g
Saturated Fat2.38 g
Protein22.8 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, choice, raw Source.

Prime-Grade Strip Steak Nutrition facts per 100g (About 3,5 oz)

NamePortion size: 100g = About 3.5 oz
Calories281
Total Fat22.2 g
Saturated Fat9.08 g
Protein19 g
Separable lean only, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, prime, raw Source.

Read More on Strip Steak »

FAQs

What exactly is intramuscular fat?

Intramuscular fat, often referred to as marbling, is the fat you can see within the muscle fibers of a steak. Its pattern is quite similar to marble, hence the name. This marbling isn’t just there for show; it gives the steak a rich flavor. Plus, it’s key in making the meat juicy and tender. Want to know more about it? Check out my guide on steak marbling.

Are fatty steaks better in taste?

Generally, steaks with more fat or “marbling” taste better. This fat melts during cooking, making the steak more flavorful, juicy, and tender. However, it’s good to remember that too much marbling isn’t always good. Take the Japanese Wagyu A5 beef, for example. Unlike your regular steak, it’s super marbled and can be overwhelming in large portions.

But this doesn’t mean that lean cuts are any less tasty. It comes down to what you like. Sure, they need a bit more care when cooking, but get it right, and you’ve got a tender and juicy steak with a great beefy taste – think something like a flank steak or hanger steak.

Which steak is the fattiest?

The ribeye steak is considered the fattiest due to its high intramuscular fat content, also known as marbling. According to the USDA’s nutritional data, a raw, boneless ribeye steak, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 0″ fat, and classified as a choice grade, contains about 18.4 grams of total fat and 8.07 grams of saturated fat in every 100 grams (about 3.5~ ounces).

What is the USDA?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for developing and executing farming, agriculture, forestry, and food policies. The USDA plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and security of the nation’s food supply, promoting agricultural sustainability, and supporting rural communities. It oversees various agencies and programs dedicated to agriculture, nutrition, research, and conservation.

The USDA plays a significant role in beef grading, including the grading of steaks, to provide consumers with information about the quality of the beef they purchase. Beef grading is a voluntary program conducted by the USDA, and it involves evaluating beef carcasses for various factors, including marbling, tenderness, and overall quality.

The USDA provides extensive nutrition data for beef and steaks as part of its efforts to promote informed dietary choices and food safety. The USDA operates the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR), a comprehensive source of nutrition information for a wide range of foods, including various cuts of beef and steaks. This database contains detailed nutritional data, including information on macronutrients (such as protein and fat), micronutrients (like vitamins and minerals), and other dietary components.

How does the grade of steak affect its fat content?

The higher the steak’s grade, the fattier it is. Take prime-grade steak, for example – it’s fattier than select-grade cuts. For example, a choice-grade strip steak has around 6 grams of fat, which is pretty lean. But a prime-choice strip? That’s a different story – it has over 20 grams of fat.

Want to cut back on fat without giving up your favorite steaks? It’s easier than you think. Sometimes, all you need to do is go for a lower grade. Lower grade = less fat.

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow is a Polish entrepreneur and writer who founded Steak Revolution in 2020 because of his passion for steaks. Adam has been cooking steaks for over 5 years, so he understands well all aspects of steak, from the types of steaks and their cooking times to choosing the best cooking technique for any steak.