New York Strip vs. Sirloin

New york strip, also known as strip steak, is a cut of beef from the strip loin roast, which comes from the short loin primal, a subprimal cut of the loin primal. On the other hand, sirloin is an area on a cow known as sirloin primal, which also comes from the loin primal, but the sirloin primal starts at the end of the short loin primal and ends before the back legs.

Sirloin is separated into the bottom sirloin butt and top sirloin butt. In this article, I will focus on a comparison between the new york strip steak and the center-cut top sirloin steak, which comes from the top sirloin butt, center-cut.

New york strip vs. Sirloin: At a Glance

New york strip and sirloin differ in location on the cow, tenderness, flavor, and price. Rich in marbling, the new york strip is more tender and juicy but more expensive. On the other hand, the center-cut top sirloin steak is a budget-friendly option with a good beefy flavor profile and reasonable tenderness with a bit of chew.

Below is a table comparing new york strip and center-cut top sirloin steak, including basic information like their differences in location on a cow, marbling, texture, flavor, and price.

FeaturesNew york stripSirloin
Location on the CowShort loinSirloin primal
MarblingMedium to HighLow to Medium
CookingPan-searing, grilling, sous-vide, smoking, oven.Pan-searing, grilling, sous-vide, broiling, stir-fry.
TendernessMedium to HighLow to Medium
FlavorRich flavorStrong beefy flavor
PriceExpensiveCheap

Location on the Cow

New york strip and center-cut top sirloin steaks come from different parts of the cow. The new york strip, also known as strip steak, comes from the short loin, a sub-primal of the loin primal on the cow, while the center-cut top sirloin is from the sirloin primal. You can find the new york strip steak with and without the bone, while the Center-Cut Top Sirloin is always boneless.

Comparison: New York Strip vs. Ribeye Cuts from the Cow
New York Strip vs. Sirloin: Location on Cow

Marbling

The new york strip steak has significantly more marbling than the center-cut top sirloin steak. That means it’s a great pick for those who love their steak with plenty of marbling but still want that nice, beefy flavor. As for the Center-Cut Top Sirloin, it’s a much leaner option. According to USDA guidelines, it’s considered extra-lean, meaning it’s got little to no marbling, which puts it among the leanest steak cuts you can find.

raw new york strip steak
Raw strip steak. Photo by Adam Wojtow
Center cut top sirloin steak
Raw center cut top sirloin steak

Cooking

The new york strip is super versatile. You can cook it in many ways, but honestly, grilling, pan-searing, and reverse-searing are your best bets. If you’re aiming for that perfect medium-rare, evenly cooked throughout, reverse searing or using sous vide is the way to go with a new york strip. Now, the sirloin’s a different story – it’s pretty lean, so you’ve got to be careful not to overcook it. You want to keep it juicy. Sure, you can grill or pan-cook it, but think about going low and slow to keep that center-cut top sirloin juicy and tender. Plus, sirloin’s great for more than steaks – it’s awesome in stir-fries, stews, soups, and even tacos.

pan seared strip steak with garlic and thyme
Pan-seared one-inch thick strip steak with garlic and thyme on a wooden cutting board. Photo by Adam Wojtow

Tenderness

The new york strip is way more tender than a center-cut top sirloin, especially if you cook it right so the fat melts. Get that steak to a sweet spot between 130°F and 140°F, and you’ll notice the fat melting just right, making your new york strip both juicier and more tender. Don’t get me wrong, a well-cooked center-cut top sirloin isn’t super tough, but it’s chewier than the new york strip.

Flavor

The new york strip steak has a richer flavor than the top sirloin, thanks to its marbling. On the other hand, the top sirloin has a beefier flavor due to its lower fat content.

Price

The new york steak is one of the most expensive cuts, especially those higher-grade ones with lots of marbling. On the other hand, the center-cut top sirloin steak is a great pick if you’re looking for something more wallet-friendly. It’s one of the cheaper cuts and a solid alternative to premium cuts like the new york strip. Also, the center-cut top sirloin is an excellent choice for those who prefer a tasty lean steak without spending a lot.

New york strip vs. Sirloin: Which is Better?

Well, it comes down to what you like. The new york strip is more expensive than sirloin, but it’s easier to cook. Just a quick sear in the pan or a grill over high heat, with a bit of salt and pepper, and you’re good to go. Sirloin, on the other hand, is a bit tougher but more forgiving for your wallet. If you’re all about that classic steak experience with tender meat and a rich flavor, go for the Strip. But if you’re watching your budget and still want something at least a bit tender with a good beefy taste, the center-cut top sirloin is your best bet.

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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.