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, and porterhouse steak?

Here, we break down all things cube steak, explaining what cut of meat is cubed steak, what it tastes like, and how to tenderize it properly to yield delicious and tender results.

What 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.

Is cube steak 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.

Cube steak cooked properly can yield several delicious beef recipes, including country fried steak, beef burgers, and slow cooker-smothered beef.

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

two raw cube steaks
two raw cube steaks

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,
  • Cubed Steak,
  • Chicken Fried Steak,
  • Bucket Steak,
  • Minute steak (the Canadian term for cube steak).

Important note: Not every minute steak is a cube steak. Often minute steak is called cube steak, which may be a misnomer. A thin slice of steak is called a Minute Steak. If you put it through a mechanical tenderizer, it will become a cube steak; if you don’t, it will still be a minute steak with an unchanged texture, not a cube steak.

What Cut of Meat is Cube Steak?

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

One common characteristic of all the cuts listed above is that they are very tough. They require low and slow cooking to make the meat tender.

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.

Buying 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.

Cube steaks are one of the cheapest cuts of beef, so they are an excellent choice for those on a budget. In some parts of the United States, cube steaks may be known by a different name. We have listed the most common ones above.

How to Tenderize 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 it tightly wrapped in cling film for use later.

Cube Steak Nutrition

To find out the nutritional values of a cube steak, you must first determine what cut your Cube steak is made from. As mentioned above, cube steak is usually made from bottom or top round steak, but keep in mind that butchers often use other cuts of meat.

Knowing the answer to the above question, you can move on to check the nutritional value of cube steak. To do this, visit https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/ and in the “Name of food” field, type the name of the steak you are interested in and click the search button. After a while, you will get a list of nutritional values for your cut, including the number of calories, total fat, protein, vitamins, and more.

What is Cube Steak Used For?

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.

Bottom Line

Cube steak is an inexpensive, tough but versatile cut of beef that is best suited for slow cooking. This is a delicious alternative to classic rib eye or new york strip steaks. Choose one of the many recipes available, follow the instructions and enjoy tender meat.

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam is the founder of Steak Revolution. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.