what is beef top sirloin

The Butcher’s Guide: What is a Top Sirloin?

  • by Omaha Steaks
  • Last updated Jan 10, 2024

The top sirloin is a naturally lean, thick cut of steak with a bold, beefy flavor. This popular steak is delicious on its own, adds huge flavor to recipes, and cooks well with marinades and sauces. Top sirloin is a favorite grilling steak that’s lean enough and affordable enough to enjoy any night of the week. At Omaha Steaks, we call top sirloin our “weeknight steak.”

What gives top sirloin that bold, beefy flavor, leanness, and firm texture?

Top sirloin is more than just a name, it describes the anatomical location of the cut of beef. Top sirloins are cut from the sirloin subprimal (one of the subprimals from the beef loin primal cut). The sirloin subprimal is divided into two distinct sections, the top sirloin butt, and the bottom sirloin butt. Our top sirloin steaks are cut from the more tender top portion of this subprimal. The bottom sirloin butt provides tri-tip roasts and tri-tip steaks.

When you buy “sirloin steaks” at a grocery store, they’re not telling you anything about the location or quality of the cut. A true top sirloin steak (like ours here at Omaha Steaks) is a tender top sirloin butt steak, cut only from the top sirloin butt cut of meat. They are cut thick and angular and make a great choice for grilling.

Omaha Steaks unique sirloin supremes are cuts of meat from the densely marbled tip portion of the top sirloin. Sometimes referred to as picanha, this cut has a strong beef flavor and incredible marbling – a truly amazing combination.

A Naturally Lean Steak

The sirloin is located in an area on the animal that gets more exercise. Therefore, beef from the sirloin subprimal will have less marbling and a firmer texture than a non-weight bearing muscle, like the tenderloin (filet mignon). That’s not a bad thing, and it does not mean “tough.” Lots of steak lovers prefer a firmer steak with more bite.

This unique location of the top sirloin a lean steak that is high in protein with a robust beefy flavor. Top sirloin is a great choice for high protein diets, keto, paleo, or people counting macronutrients.

How to Cook a Top Sirloin

Be careful not to overcook this lean steak – because it’s lean, it dries out more easily. Our chefs recommend cooking a top sirloin to medium-rare doneness to retain maximum tenderness with a desired temperature of 130°F. Because of the leanness of this steak, avoid cooking higher than 140°F internal temperature (or medium doneness).

When cooking a top sirloin, follow this steak cooking chart with cook times or download the Omaha Steaks app with a built-in timer to cook your steak to a perfect medium-rare doneness. Cook times are estimates and it’s best to check internal temperature with a high-quality meat thermometer and remove from heat at 5°F below desired doneness.

A fast cooking method with high dry heat (like grilling) is the best cooking method for top sirloins – you’ll get that flavorful, fantastic sear. Preheat your grill to 450°F and grill steaks over direct heat until internal temperature reaches desired doneness.

To pan sear a top sirloin, preheat a heavy-duty or cast iron skillet over high heat with a small amount of high-smoke point cooking oil. Dry steaks with paper towels and season. Place steaks in the preheated pan and cook evenly on both sides using the pan searing cooking chart. Remove at 5°F below target internal temperature, rest five minutes, and enjoy!

Cook a top sirloin steak in the oven using the reverse sear method. Preheat the oven to 250°F and place seasoned steaks on an elevated baking rack. Cook until internal doneness is 10°F below your target temperature. Preheat a cast iron or heavy duty skillet over high heat and sear the steaks about 2 minutes per side, flipping every 30 seconds until both side have a beautiful crust.

A flavorful cut that’s versatile and juicy. Great served as a steak or cut into kabobs. Learn more about this beef cut here.

FAQ

Is top sirloin a good cut of beef?

The top sirloin is a naturally lean, thick cut of steak with a bold, beefy flavor. This popular steak is delicious on its own, adds huge flavor to recipes, and cooks well with marinades and sauces. Top sirloin is a favorite grilling steak that’s lean enough and affordable enough to enjoy any night of the week.

What is another name for beef top sirloin?

Other labels for top sirloin are top butt steak, center cut sirloin, or hip sirloin steak. The meat itself is intensely flavorful, with a deep beefy taste. The muscle is tender, but not quite as tender as cuts like filet mignon or prime rib.

Is top sirloin better than regular sirloin?

Top sirloin is basically a sirloin steak with the bones and bottom round muscles removed. You get a “premium” boneless cut with top sirloin, which makes for a superior eating experience. You may also see cuts labeled top sirloin, sirloin tip, top sirloin cap, or picanha.

What’s the best way to cook a top sirloin?

The best way to cook this cut is on the grill. But pan-seared Sirloin steak is also delicious. Additionally, you can broil Top Sirloin steaks in the oven, sous vide, or even air fry your steak. Select your favorite Top Sirloin steak marinade or our Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning and get started!

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