During the decade I’ve been on a carnivore diet, I’ve tried all kinds of steaks — from Porterhouse to Sirloin, including ball tip. Ball tip steak became one of my favorites, and I’ve been cooking this steak several times a month for the past year.
Today, I’ll explain where this steak comes from and all the ways you can cook ball tip steak.
- Cow’s hip bone is divided into Top Sirloin Butt and Bottom Sirloin Butt. The ball tip comes from the bottom.
- The best cooking method for ball tip is marinating and slow cooking.
- Cut the steak into thin slices after cooking for the best tenderness and less chewiness.
About Ball Tip Steak
Ball Tip is also called sirloin tip steak, petite sirloin, or round tip steak if the fat isn’t trimmed. This is one of the more affordable cuts of beef.
However, it’s very lean and not as tender as other, more premium cuts, which is why it requires some cooking finesse. But, before we get into the cooking methods, here’s where this steak comes from.
Where Does Ball Tip Steak Come From?
Ball tip steak comes from the top of the cow’s hip bone.
This area is called Sirloin Primal. The Sirloin Primal consists of two sections: the top sirloin butt and the bottom sirloin butt. The ball tip is cut from the bottom sirloin butt .
The bottom sirloin butt is a part of the cow that gets a lot of exercise during a cow’s life, so it is a very lean and tough cut.
Generally, this meat is less tender and of lower quality than more expensive steaks.
Ball Tip Steak Taste
Ball tip steak tastes similar to Top Sirloin or Sirloin Filet because it’s from the same part of the cow. However, the ball tip is much leaner and tougher than these premium cuts.
Overall, the taste is similar to the Top Sirloin but has a tougher texture.
Note: If the fat isn’t trimmed from the steak, it’s called a round tip. However, this fat doesn’t give much tenderness or flavor to the steak because the fat on a ball tip isn’t marbled.
Ball tip is a tougher cut of meat, but it’s great for marinating because the salt and acid liquids make it tender and change the flavor. The ball tip takes on the flavor of the sauce or marinade you use on it.
Overall, the ball tip is tough and chewy when grilled but great for making fajitas, tacos, stews, and more.
You can overcome how lean the meat is by adding butter and olive oil when cooking.
Note: The ball tip has noticeable grain, so it’s best if it’s sliced thinly, or you’ll have a very chewy mouthful.
Ball Tip Steak Cooking Methods
After years of testing and experimenting, I’ve rounded out my favorite methods of cooking ball tips.
1. Oven Roasting
You can roast Sirloin tip steak:
- Place the meat on a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the steak.
- Roast for up to three hours until the temperature reaches 130 degrees.
- Transfer to a cutting board, and cover with aluminum foil. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.
- Carve the steak. The ball tip is best served cut into slices. Cut across the grain for best tenderness.
Roast ball tip steaks with butter on medium-high heat for maximum tenderness. You can also add veggies and roast them together until soft.
If you have leftovers, you can use them to make beef sandwiches.
You can also braise ball tip boneless cut in a slow cooker or an oven:
- Use a paper towel and pat dry the steak.
- Apply your spice rub or seasoning to the meat.
- Brown the steak on both sides on medium heat and take it out from the pan.
- Saute the vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and onions.
- Once the veggies are soft, add liquid, such as cooking wine, water, or beef broth, and scrape up the brown bits from the pan.
- Return the beef to the pan, and add more liquid if the recipe calls for it.
- Turn down the heat, and cover the pan with a lid.
- The steak is done when the beef is tender. You can remove the meat and vegetables, strain the liquid and combine them with a roux to make a sauce.
The Best Way to Cook Ball Tip
The best way to cook top sirloin steak and bottom, including ball tip, is to marinade it. This is a flavorful cut of meat but isn’t tender, so it needs some help with the texture. Marinading can break down the muscle fibers and soften the meat.
You can use a spiked mallet and pound the meat to tenderize it. Make sure to pound both sides of the steak, so there are dimples in the meat.
Don’t hit too hard, as too much pressure can compress the meat and make it tougher, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
“You can cut little medallions out of the ball tip, use it for stir fry, or a satay. You can even throw it on a smoker but be careful because it’s lean.”
- Pete Geoghegan, Corporate Chef
Once your meat has dimples, here’s how to tenderize it:
- Cover the meat in coarse salt and leave for 15 minutes. Then rinse off the salt and marinate the steak.
- Use a premade marinade, or combine vinegar, oil, and Worcestershire sauce. Leave the steak in marinade in a resealable plastic bag overnight in the fridge. Make sure there’s enough liquid to cover the steak.
- Roast, braise, or cook the steak in a skillet. Avoid grilling because grilled steak will be too tough even after marinating.
- Make sure the meat is sliced thinly for the most tenderness. You can use the slices to make tacos, fajitas, or sandwiches.
What is Ball Tip Steak Good For?
Ball tip steak is good for making fajitas, stews, and sandwiches. It’s not the best steak for grilling.
What is Another Name for Ball Tip Steak?
Another name for ball tip steak is petite sirloin and sirloin tip steak.
Is Ball Tip the Same as Tri-Tip?
No, the ball tip isn’t the same as tri-tip. These cuts come from the same area on the cow, but Ball Tip doesn’t have outside fat and less marbling, making it less juicy compared to tri-tip.
Should You Try Ball Tip Steak?
You should definitely try ball tip steak. It’s a boneless cut that’s not as flavorful as other top sirloin cuts, but it’s delicious when properly cooked.
Make sure to marinade the steak first before cooking for the best tenderness. Avoid grilling, but braise the meat instead. Finally, make sure to cut it into thin slices.
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