Blade Steak: Its Location, Names, Flavor Profile, and Size

Blade steak isn’t popular, mostly because of the tough sinew that runs right through the middle of it. But it consists of one of the most tender muscles in a cow. Plus, it’s got a lot of fat marbling through it, which means it’s flavorful. So, if you don’t mind dealing with that sinew, you might find that blade steak a pretty interesting cut.

What is Blade Steak?

Blade steak is cut from the shoulder section of a cow, more specifically from the shoulder top blade roast. This steak is known for its marbling and the strip of connective tissue that runs through the center. While it’s generally more affordable than premium cuts like ribeye or strip, it offers a rich beef flavor, and when cooked correctly, it becomes incredibly tender.

Blade steak is often confused with flat iron steak, but technically, they aren’t the same. Sure, they both come from the same part of the cow, but what sets them apart is how they’re cut. For flat iron steaks, the butcher removes the gristle and cut the meat into two flat pieces. But with blade steak, they cut it across, leaving the gristle in. So, when you’re looking at a blade steak, you’ll see that characteristic line of gristle right in the middle.

Tough sinew in the top blade steak
Tough sinew in the top blade steak
two raw flat iron steaks
Two raw flat iron steaks without sinew in the center

Both the flat iron steak and blade steak vary in size and thickness. However, they have the same flavor and texture because they’re cut from the same muscle. While the flat iron steak doesn’t have the tough connective tissue that the blade steak does, it tends to be pricier. If your budget allows, I’d suggest choosing the flat iron steak.

What Are the Other Names for Blade Steak?

The beef blade steak has a few other names you might come across. People often refer to it as boneless top chuck steak, top blade steak, book steak, butler steak, petite steak, and oyster blade steak.

Where Does Blade Steak Come From on a Cow?

Blade steak comes straight from the shoulder top blade in the chuck primal section of the cow. When butchers cut this steak from the top blade roast, they create cross-sections with the gristle in the middle. That’s why you’ll always find the visible sinew right at the center of the steak.

blade steak location on cow

While the chuck primal section gives us some cuts full of rich beef flavor, most of them are pretty tough. But blade steak? It’s a delightful exception.

Is Blade Steak Tender or Tough?

Blade steak comes from the cow’s second most tender muscle, which means it remains exceptionally tender even when cooked to medium-well doneness. But there’s this long gristle in the middle that’s pretty tough. That’s why I recommend taking it out after your steak is nicely cooked.

Internal Top Blade Steak Temperature 124.2 Fahrenheit

What Does Blade Steak Taste Like?

Blade steak has a lot of marbling, which gives it that rich, beefy taste. It’s tender, juicy, and can rival a ribeye in flavor. I really like it not just for its flavor but also its tenderness. What’s more, if you’re someone who enjoys their steak a bit more cooked, blade steak doesn’t lose its juicy tenderness—even beyond medium doneness.

Intramuscular fat and sinew content in top blade steak
Intramuscular fat and sinew content in top blade steak

What is The Average Thickness of a Blade Steak?

Top blade steak is typically cut around 1.5 inches thick. However, I find that a thickness between 1.5 to 2 inches is ideal for this type of steak.

The Average Thickness of Top Blade Steak
The Average Thickness of Top Blade Steak

What is The Average Width and Height of a Blade Steak?

On average, a top blade steak measures about 5-6 inches in width and about 3-5 inches in height.

Average Length of Top Blade Steak
Average Length of Top Blade Steak

What Are the Best Methods for Cooking Blade Steak?

Blade steak is at its best when seared at a high temperature in a skillet or grill. Aim for medium-rare to medium for optimal tenderness. Even at a higher level of doneness, a blade steak can keep a good amount of its juicy quality. It’s a good pick for those who like their steak closer to well-done. Now, about the gristle—it can be a bit of a hassle, right? But cooking it just right makes it much easier to deal with. Once your steak is ready, just trim around that gristle and you’re all set to enjoy your delicious steak.

pan seared top blade steak
Pan-seared top blade steak with rosemary, garlic, and butter

Is Blade Steak Expensive?

Blade steak doesn’t have the same fame as cuts like ribeye or filet mignon, so it’s not as expensive. The reason? It’s got this tough connective tissue in the middle, which a lot of folks, me included, aren’t big fans of. Now, the flat iron is a different story — it’s cut from the same muscle but without that tough center, making it a bit more expensive But generally, blade steak is one of the more budget-friendly options at the butcher shop.

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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.