What Is Cube Steak?

As a steak enthusiast, you may have come across the term cube steak in your culinary adventures.

But, what is cube steak and how does it differ from other well-known cuts of steak such as ribeye, filet mignon, porterhouse steak, or its lookalike, ground beef?

Here, we break down all things cube steak, explaining where this steak cut comes from, what it tastes like, and how to cook it properly to yield delicious and tender results.

What Exactly Is Cube Steak?

Cube steak is an inexpensive steak cut from the top round or top sirloin of the cow.

This cut of beef is quite tough and needs tenderizing before consumption. Butchers tenderize cube steak with a mallet or a tenderizing machine, giving it the characteristic potted marks that make it look like ground beef.

While cube steak might look like ground beef, its texture is anything but. All ground beef needs to be pan-fried to cook up right. With cube steak, however, you’ll need to cook it carefully to ensure it doesn’t become chewy and tough.

Cooked properly, cube steak can yield several delicious beef recipes, including country fried steak, beef burgers, and slow cooker smothered beef.

Other Names for Cube Steak

When shopping for cube steak at your local butchers or the supermarket, you may find it labeled differently. Other names for cube steak include:

  • Swiss steak
  • Minute steak (the Canadian term for cube steak)

Interestingly, cube steak is mostly made with beef but may also consist of deer, elk, and pork.

Where Does Cube Steak Come from on the Cow?

Cube steak typically comes from a round steak or roast located on the rear hind end of the cow. Butchers can also make cube steaks from the shoulder or chuck of the animal.

What Does Cube Steak Taste Like?

Cube steak is lean with not a lot of fat on it. It has a pronounced beefy flavor but because it doesn’t have a lot of fat, it needs oil, butter, and gravy to boost its taste.

Where to Buy Cube Steak

You can buy cube steak from your local butchers or the supermarket. You can also get cube steak from specialist meat vendors online.

Cooking Methods

To yield tender cube steak, it’s best to utilize cooking methods that lock in the juices.

These include:

  • Braising: Slow cook your steaks for a flavorful and tender result.
  • Pan-frying: Fry up breaded cube steaks in oil, making them tender inside and brown and crispy on top.
  • Sautéing: Sauté your steaks in oil and butter and finish them off by making some gravy with the pan juices, broth, and cream for a delicious meal.

Tenderizing cube steak

Cube steak typically comes from tougher parts of the animal. This means it needs tenderizing to yield tender and juicy results.

Tenderizing cube steak is easiest done with a mallet or a tenderizing machine. If you don’t have these at home, you can still tenderize cube steak using this simple method:

  1. Place your raw cube steaks on a cutting board.
  2. Sprinkle the meat with some all-purpose flour and season with a little bit of salt and pepper. You may also add any other seasonings you may fancy.
  3. Pound each piece of meat with a large knife, using the cutting edge to pound away until you leave indentions 1/8-inch deep. Ensure that you don’t cut right through the piece of meat.
  4. Turn the meat over and repeat the above three steps on the other side of the steak.
  5. Cook up your cube steak in your favorite recipe or store tightly wrapped in cling film for use later.

Nutrition & Calories

One serving (113 grams) of cube steak contains 170 calories, which breaks down as 25 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat.

One serving of cube steak also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 65 mg Sodium
  • 420 mg Potassium
  • 32 mg Magnesium
  • 3.8 mg Zinc
  • 2.7 mg Iron
  • B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12

Examples of Cube Steak Recipes

There are several delicious and famous beef recipes available for cube steak. This cut of meat is incredibly versatile, making it a dream for people on a tight budget.

You certainly won’t have to sacrifice flavor for quality with these delicious cube steak recipes:

  • Southern Cube Steak with Country Gravy, Onion Gravy, or Mushroom Gravy
  • Beijing Beef
  • Burgers
  • Cheese Steak
  • Chicken Fried Steak
  • Cube Steak Milanese
  • Crock Pot/Slow Cooker Cube Steak
  • Grilled Cube Steak Roll-Ups
  • Swiss Steak
  • Sandwiches

Serve up your favorite cube steak recipe with mashed potatoes, noodles, gnocchi, or biscuits.

We hope we’ve answered the question “What is cube steak?” adequately for you. Fire up your stove and get cooking today to enjoy this versatile steak cut. Also, sign up for our newsletter to get further hints and tips on delicious steak recipes, information on steak cuts, cooking tips, and more straight to your inbox.

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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.