Gabriel Woods
Published by Gabriel Woods
Last Updated On: April 21, 2023

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.

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.
  • 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

Here’s what sets these two apart.

1. Location of Cut

A top view of New York strip steak and sirloin cuts

Though both 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 also 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 that comes 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 sirloin and top sirloin steak.

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 the T-bone steak 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 that has 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

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

According to recent market prices, the strip steak is pricier than sirloin steak on average by more than $1.50 per pound [1].

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 but also extra calories since those same fats don't always render fully during cooking [2] [3].

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, or fajitas, as well as traditional steak dinners. You can also grind sirloin up and use it 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.

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 and are also tasty when cooked properly, 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 considered 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 that are known for tenderness, marbling, and rich flavor. On the other hand, sirloin steak is a more affordable option that still offers great taste and nutritional value at a lower price point.

Which Is Better, New York Strip vs Sirloin?

New York strip steaks and sirloin steaks are two of the most popular cuts of steak, each offering its own unique flavor and texture.

Ultimately, which cut you pick depends on your personal preference, taste, budget, and how you plan to cook it.

I recommend whichever steak you choose comes from ButcherBox meat delivery service.

Its premium beef is responsibly sourced from ranchers and farmers across the US and is delivered fresh to your door.


References:

  1. https://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/lswbfrtl.pdf
  2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168632/nutrients
  3. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168634/nutrients
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