New York Strip vs Sirloin (8 Differences That You Must Know)

Gabriel Woods
Published by Gabriel Woods
Last Updated On: March 28, 2024

As a seasoned chef with over 20 years of experience in the industry, I have had the pleasure of cooking a wide range of red meat.

However, I have found many people often confuse the New York strip and sirloin steaks and struggle to determine which is better.

After extensive research and countless hours exploring the nuances of beef cuts, I'm excited to share my expertise on a vital topic for any steak enthusiast.

Today, I will break down the differences between these steak cuts and help you make the best decision for your next meal.

Quick Summary

  • New York strip steak is a more tender cut with a fatty marbling that gives it a rich flavor.
  • Sirloin steak, on the other hand, is leaner and has a milder taste.
  • A 1999 study in the National Library of Medicine asked 2212 consumers to evaluate how cooking methods and degrees of doneness influence consumer satisfaction with top sirloin steaks and found no significant differences in preference across various cooking techniques or doneness levels [1].
  • Cooking methods for the two cuts differ, and it's important to know how to prepare each.

8 Differences Between New York Strip and Sirloin

Whichever steak you choose, I recommend you use ButcherBox's meat delivery service as the best meat source.

Here’s what sets these two apart.

1. Location of Cut

A top view of New York strip steak and sirloin cuts

Though New York strip steak and sirloin steak arise from the beef loin, they come from two different sections. The New York strip steak is cut from the top section of the short loin of the cow.

This short loin steak cut is located just behind the rib section, extends towards the animal's rear, and is known as the prime rib cut.

Like the tenderloin and filet mignon, this area does not get much exercise, so the texture is fine and without gristle.

On the other hand, sirloin steak is a lean cut from the sirloin primal that starts behind the last rib bone and extends to the hip bone.

The sirloin cut is a broad steak cut, often divided into bottom and top.

Sirloin is a leaner cut with very little marbling. This gives it a rougher texture when cooked but without as much flavor as fattier cuts of steak have.

2. Names

The bone-in strip steak is also known as Kansas City steak. Other names include shell steak, New York steak, Delmonico steak, or strip loin steak.

The New York strip steak is a tender cut with a small fat cap, making the strip loin moist, juicy, and one of the tastiest steaks available.

Indeed, the shell steak is a signature dish in many New York restaurants.

Unlike New York strip steak, sirloin is usually cut into boneless steaks. However, it can also be found in bone-in cuts like T-bone and porterhouse steak.

It is also known as the short loin or rump steak and is a bit tougher than the New York strip.

3. Flavor Profile

A close up shot of sliced sirloin steak on a fork

The sirloin is a tasty, tender steak with a mild flavor. Since sirloins have less flavor, they do well with a dry rub or marinades added during preparation for increased flavor potency.

New York strip steak, on the other hand, is a high-quality cut with more marbling.

Strip loin steaks also have a more pronounced beefy flavor, and the fat cap on the New York strip steak will also add great flavor when cooked properly.

The NY strip steak has a natural flavor that needs no additional seasoning beyond salt and pepper before being grilled or pan-fried.

4. Texture

Sirloin steaks are usually between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick, have a fine texture, and are usually relatively lean. This makes sirloin steaks a healthier choice than many other steak cuts.

The leanness also means that it doesn't have as much intramuscular fat. This means you need to be careful not to overcook this meat. Otherwise, you can end up with a tough, dry steak.

On the other hand, the extra fat cap on the surface of a New York strip steak can give it a more succulent texture than a top sirloin steak.

NY strip steaks are generally quite juicy and can be cooked to a medium-rare to medium doneness without drying out.

"A steak is like a blank canvas. You can take it anywhere you want."
- Marc Forgione, American Chef

5. Price and Availability

A woman paying for New York strip steak and sirloin using credit card

New York strips are a more expensive beef cut than regular sirloin. This is partly due to Kansas City steaks' tender texture and mild flavor.

According to the National Retail Report by the USDA for March 2024, the strip steak is pricier than sirloin steak on average by more than $1.50 per pound [2].

When it comes to availability, however, most grocery stores and butcher shops sell sirloin steak and New York strips year-round.

This makes either choice easily accessible at almost any time, with some seasonal variations depending on demand during various holidays or celebrations.

6. Preparation Methods

A New York strip steak has a bit more fat than other cuts, which makes it really juicy when cooked properly.

The best way to cook shell steaks is to use a hot, direct heat source such as an open flame or cast iron skillet.

The key here is to get a good sear on both sides without overcooking it. This will ensure that your steak retains its juiciness while developing a great char-grilled crust on the outside.

In contrast, I recommend using indirect heat for sirloin since they are thinner than New York strips and prone to overcooking if exposed to too much heat for too long.

Start by searing both sides of the sirloin over high heat for about 1 minute, then move the top sirloin steak away from direct heat and close the grill lid until you reach the desired doneness.

7. Nutrition

A raw New York strip steak with salt and other spices

Both steak cuts are an excellent source of protein, providing the essential amino acids needed for building muscle mass & bone strength.

New York strips typically contain more fat than sirloin cuts, which provide added flavor and extra calories since those same fats don't always render fully during cooking [3] [4].

In a 100 g serving, top sirloin steaks contain:

  • Energy: 183 calories
  • Total Fat: 5.79 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2 grams
  • Protein: 30.6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 82 mg

In comparison, 100 grams of NY strip steak contains:

  • Energy: 202 calories
  • Total Fat: 8.41 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 3.41 grams
  • Protein: 29.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 91 mg

Also Read: What Meat Is Low in Cholesterol?

8. Versatility

Two pieces of New York strip steak being grilled

The NY strip is an excellent choice for grilling, but you can also pan-fry or roast it.

Since it has a more natural flavor than sirloin, it's often served with simple seasonings such as salt and pepper, though some chefs will add various herbs and spices or even marinate the meat in red wine to add extra flavor.

That said, it is best to think of the New York strip as the "star of the show" when it comes to your meal.

You may want to have side dishes or sauces to complement the steak, but you don't need many accompaniments for this cut since it already has a lot of flavor.

On the other hand, top sirloin is quite versatile and can be used to make various tasty dishes.

You can cook sirloin steak for stir-fries, kebabs, a salad topping, fajitas, and traditional steak dinners. You can also grind sirloin up instead of ground beef for burgers, meatballs, and other recipes.

Overall, both sirloin and Kansas City strip are great options depending on how you prepare them and the occasion you serve them for.

If you're looking for a richer flavor, go with the New York strip; if you want something versatile that's easy to cook in different ways, choose sirloin.

NY Steak With Cilantro Onion Dredge Recipe

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes 
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes 
  • Total Time: 25 minutes 
  • Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 8-Oz New York Steak (I prefer to get my NY steaks from ButcherBox meat delivery, which comes highly recommended)
  • 2 Bunches of Cilantro (remove leaves and chop)
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic (finely minced or grated)
  • ½ Yellow Onion (chopped using large holes on a box grater - will make about 4 tablespoons)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over high heat. Coat the grates with olive oil. 
  2. Remove the NY steaks from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Pat dry with a paper towel and season the NY steaks generously with salt and pepper. 
  3. On a large plate or cutting board, combine the onion, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil to make the cilantro onion dredge sauce. How much onion you use will determine how much olive oil you need; we want a thick marinade, not runny. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, stirring together with a fork. 
  4. Add steaks to the grill. The cook time depends on your desired doneness and how thick your steaks are. Typically, grill steaks for 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove steak from grill 1 minute before finishing. 
  5. Add fresh cilantro onion dredge marinade to steaks and return to grill. Cook for 30 seconds on each side. Remove from heat and allow the grilled NY steaks to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

FAQs

What Tastes Better, Sirloin or New York Strip?

New York strip tastes better than sirloin due to its higher fat content, which makes it more tender and flavorful. While sirloin steaks have a beefy flavor, New York strip steak is considered a premium cut of beef that is more juicy and flavorful.

Is New York Strip or Sirloin Healthier?

Sirloin is generally healthier than the New York strip due to its lower fat and calories. While both cuts offer a good source of protein and essential nutrients, sirloin steak is a leaner cut of meat with less fat, making it a great choice for those watching their fat intake.

Is Sirloin or New York Strip More Expensive?

New York strip steak is more expensive than sirloin steak due to its higher quality and premium taste. New York strip steaks are prime cuts of beef with tenderness, marbling, and rich flavor. In contrast, sirloin steak is a more affordable option with great taste and nutritional value.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10229360/
  2. https://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/lswbfrtl.pdf
  3. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168632/nutrients
  4. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168634/nutrients
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About the author

Gabriel Woods
Chef/Food Editor
Gabrielle Woods holds a BSc degree in Hospitality Management with a summa cum laude distinction from the University of Santo Tomas, majoring in Culinary Entrepreneurship. She helps clients achieve specific fitness goals through protein-based meal prepping. She believes cooking is both an art and a science best done with a balance of tradition and innovation.
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