What Steak Has the Least Fat: A Guide to Lean Meat

Having a nice juicy steak is a treat for many people, but the unhealthy fat content in some cuts can be a concern for health-conscious individuals. In this article, we will guide you through the world of steaks and help you navigate which cuts of meat are the leanest.

Understanding Steak Fat Content

Before we dive into the different types of steaks available, it is important to understand the fat content of steak. The fat content of steak can vary widely depending on the cut, grade, and cooking method.

The amount of fat in steak is typically measured by a marbling score. This score ranges from one to five, with five being the most marbling, and thus the highest fat content. A high marbling score can result in juicy and flavorful meat, but it also means a higher percentage of fat.

A lean cut, on the other hand, has less marbling and a lower fat content. While it may not be as juicy or flavorful as a more marbled cut, a lean cut is a great choice for those looking for a healthier option.

Cuts of Steak with the Least Fat

Filet Mignon

The filet mignon is the leanest cut of steak, with only 2.6 grams of fat per 3 oz. serving. This cut comes from the tenderloin, which is a muscle that does not do much work. As a result, it has very little connective tissue and is quite tender.

Sirloin Steak

The sirloin steak is a popular option for those looking for a lean cut of meat. This cut comes from the rear of the animal and has only 10 grams of fat per 3 oz. serving. It is a versatile cut that can be cooked in many ways, including grilling, broiling, and pan-searing.

Flank Steak

The flank steak is a relatively lean cut of meat that comes from the animal’s underbelly. It has only 9 grams of fat per 3 oz. serving and is often used in dishes such as fajitas or in sandwiches. However, it can be tough if not cooked properly.

Eye of Round Steak

The eye of round steak is a very lean cut of meat that comes from the hind leg of the animal. It has only 4.3 grams of fat per 3 oz. serving, making it an excellent choice for those watching their fat intake. However, it can be tough and is often marinated before cooking to help tenderize the meat.

T-Bone Steak

The T-bone steak is a popular cut that comes from the short loin section of the animal. It has only 9.3 grams of fat per 3 oz. serving, but it does contain a strip of fat that runs along one side of the T-bone. However, it is a very flavorful cut that is great for grilling or broiling.

Choosing the Right Grade of Meat

In addition to the cut of meat, the grade of the meat can also play a role in the fat content. The USDA grades meat based on marbling, age, and texture.

When choosing a lean cut of meat, look for a lower grade of meat, such as Select or Standard. These grades have less marbling and therefore less fat than higher grades such as Prime or Wagyu.

Cooking Methods for Lean Steak

The cooking method can also impact the fat content of your steak. When cooking a lean cut, it is important to use a method that will keep the meat tender and juicy.

Grilling

Grilling is a popular method for cooking steaks, but it can be tricky with lean cuts. To grill a lean steak, it is important to marinate it beforehand to help tenderize the meat. Cook the steak over high heat, and be sure to let it rest for a few minutes before cutting to allow the juices to settle.

Pan-Searing

Pan-searing is another popular method for cooking lean cuts of steak. Heat some oil in a skillet over high heat, and cook the steak for a few minutes on each side. For extra flavor, add some garlic or herbs to the pan for the last minute of cooking.

Baking

Baking a steak is a great option for those who want a low-fat meal but do not want to sacrifice flavor. Simply season the steak with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices, and bake in the oven until it reaches the desired temperature. This method is especially great for cuts that are normally tough, such as the eye of round steak.

Conclusion

When it comes to steak, there are many options available for those looking for a leaner cut. The filet mignon, sirloin steak, flank steak, eye of round steak, and T-bone steak are all great options with relatively low fat content.

Remember, when choosing a lean cut of meat, pay attention to the grade and cooking method to ensure a juicy and flavorful meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the leanest cut of steak?
  • The filet mignon is the leanest cut of steak, with only 2.6 grams of fat per 3 oz. serving.

  • What is the most flavorful cut of steak?
  • The most flavorful cut of steak is the ribeye, but it is also one of the fattiest cuts.

  • What grade of meat is best for a lean steak?
  • Choose a lower grade of meat, such as Select or Standard, for a lean steak.

  • What is the best way to cook a lean steak?
  • Grilling, pan-searing, and baking are all great options for cooking a lean steak. Be sure to marinate the steak beforehand for added flavor and tenderness.

References

  • USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. (2021). Evaluation & grading of meat and poultry. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/production-and-inspection/evaluation-grading-of-meat-poultry
  • The Spruce Eats. (2021). The best steak cuts from different types of beef. https://www.thespruceeats.com/best-steak-cuts-by-beef-type-2313472
  • Healthline. (2018). The 29 healthiest cuts of meat for weight loss. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/leanest-types-of-meat

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