Know Your Cut: Sirloin

Sirloin Steak

The sirloin steak is cut from the sirloin, the subprimal posterior to the short loin where the T-bone, porterhouse, and club steaks are cut. The sirloin is divided into several types of steaks. The top sirloin is the highest quality of the types and is specifically marked for sale under that name. The bottom sirloin is generally less tender and much larger, is typically sold simply is a “sirloin steak.”


Top sirloin generally gets made into boneless steaks but it can be trimmed to different degrees. Top sirloin steaks and filets make a reasonably priced choice for the grill that comes close in enjoyment to the more expensive short loin and rib cuts like the New York strip and rib-eye.

The bottom sirloin which is located closer to the cow’s rear legs is generally used for roasts. The most common bottom sirloin is the tri-tip, which is relatively lean although it does have a layer of fat on the outside that can be ideal for slow cooking.

In a common British, South African, and Australian butchery, the word sirloin refers to cuts of meat from the upper middle of the animal, similar to the American short loin, while the American sirloin is called the rump.

Top sirloin steaks are generally suitable for high-heat grilling, which can make them easy to overcook. The meat can begin to turn tough and dry at temperatures above 145 degrees, or medium doneness.

Cuts from the sirloin tend to be packed with flavor, but can be on the chewy side since they are on the leaner side. Most should be cooked hot and fast or slow and low to prevent toughness.

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