New York Strip vs Sirloin

When it comes to battles of the steaks, New York Strip vs. Sirloin is one of the classics.

The New York strip steak is one of the most-ordered steak cuts in restaurants – after the ribeye, Porterhouse, and filet mignon – because it is meaty and tender and offers excellent flavor.

The sirloin steak also is good eating. Although chewier, it is more affordable and more versatile, making it an ideal steak cut for frying, broiling, and braising. Bottom sirloin is also typically used in roasts. 

What’s the difference between these two steak cuts? We take a closer look at New York strip and sirloin to help you decide which cut of meat to serve at your next cookout or dinner party.

New York Strip vs. Sirloin

New York strip, also known as strip loin or shell steak, comes from the upper portion of the sirloin. Sirloin, however, is a wider term, referring to any cut of beef from the sirloin area.

The sirloin area refers to the area of the cow between the ribs and the hips. Cuts of meat from this area come from between the round and the short loin. These lean steak cuts are chewier than those from the loin and the ribs, but they are quite flavorful.

Generally, because of its marbling, New York strip has superior beef flavor compared to top sirloin or bottom sirloin. Sirloin, on the other hand, is leaner and more versatile, lending itself to cooking methods other than grilling and pan searing, including broiling, baking, and frying.

Sirloin Overview

raw sirloin steak

The sirloin area is at the rear of the cow, between the last rib bone and the hips. It comes in two sections:

  • Top sirloin
  • Bottom sirloin

Steaks cut from the top sirloin area cost more than steaks from the bottom sirloin area because these steaks are a more tender cut of beef. The bottom sirloin is larger than the top sirloin, but the bottom is tougher and so sells at a more affordable price. These cuts of beef are ideal for the long and slow cooking typical of the type of cooking required for a Sunday roast.

An important point to note when comparing New York strip and sirloin is that the New York strip is merely a subsection of sirloin. Therefore, “sirloin” is a general term used when referring to cuts of beef from this area. “New York strip” refers to a specific cut of steak from this area of the animal. 

New York Strip Overview

new york strip

The cut of steak known as the New York strip is a specific steak cut taken from the top section of the sirloin behind the ribs. Known as the short loin, this area of the animal has some marbling, making for a tasty and tender cooked steak.

In short, the New York strip is a sirloin, but not all sirloin steaks are New York strips. These steak cuts are also known as shell steaks, and you may sometimes find them in supermarkets or at the butcher shop labeled “club steaks” or “strip loins.”

Butchers typically sell New York strips as boneless, but, as with the Porterhouse, you can find these steaks with the bone in. With the bone, they are known as Kansas City steaks.

Sirloin vs. New York Strip: Differences in More Detail

What are the main differences between New York strip and sirloin steaks? In short, the New York strip steak is a sirloin cut from an area of the cow known as the short loin.

New York strip steaks are super flavorful because of their marbling with white fat, making for some of the tastiest steaks available. This steak cut also comes from a little-exercised muscle known as the longissimus. This muscle, along with the marbling, creates a steak with a tender texture that sirloin can’t match. Of course, that makes this more desirable steak more expensive overall.

In contrast, sirloin is more versatile and pocket-friendly. It is, however, a chewier cut of meat, and it benefits from either high heat and quick cooking (frying) or low heat and slow cooking (braising).

The versatility makes sirloin a top contender for dishes such as braised Italian beef braciole, Asian stir-fries, and that classic Texas breakfast of fried steak and eggs.

Similarities of Sirloin and New York Strip

Sirloin steak, both top sirloin and regular sirloin, is comparable to the New York strip. Although these cuts of meat cost less than New York strip, they are just as high in quality and taste.

Sirloin also has the bottom sirloin or sirloin butt steak cut, which runs below top sirloin and above the flank.

Which Steak Is Better for You?

New York strip or sirloin steak: Which is the best choice for you? Well, that very much depends on your preferences.

New York strip costs more than sirloin, and it benefits from a simpler cooking method such as pan searing or grilling on high with simple seasonings like butter, salt, pepper, and, if desired, garlic and rosemary. With sirloin, however, you can make all sorts of recipes that call for broiling or braising. This cut of meat also lends itself well to stir-fries.

Now that you know the difference between New York strip and sirloin steak, we hope you’ll try cooking these types of steak for yourself. Check out our in-depth guides and subscribe to our newsletter today to get valuable tips on cooking these and other steak cuts.

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About the author

Adam can tell you the difference between a flank steak and skirt steak and any other cut of meat. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.