Spotlight on Steaks: Choosing the Right Level of Doneness for the Different Cuts

Having lunch or dinner at a steakhouse means indulging in the restaurant’s main attraction: its steak. When you are dining at a well-known steakhouse restaurant in Abu Dhabi, to get the most from your meal, knowing the different cuts of beef and how they are best cooked will give you an advantage. It will allow you to have a fantastic, filling meal as well.

Different Steak Cuts

Being familiar with the different types of steaks you can order at a steakhouse will help you reduce the time you need to peruse the menu. And this will allow you to savor your food and stay at the restaurant longer. It is also a good start to enjoying your lunch or dinner at the restaurant.

Below is a primer on steak cuts you can order at a steakhouse:

1.     Strip loin

Also known as the New York strip, this cut is taken from the T-bone area of the cow. This cut has a juicy steak flavor. It is lean, moderately tender, and comes either bone-in or boneless.

2.     Ribeye

The ribeye or prime rib is one of the most popular steak cuts ordered in restaurants. It is one of the tastiest and juiciest cuts, thanks to its high-fat content. It is fine-grained and has a rich, beefy flavor.

3.     Tenderloin

Also known as filet mignon and Chateaubriand, the tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef. Although its fat content is low, it has a buttery texture and mild steak flavor.

The tenderloin is often the most expensive steak you can order at a steakhouse.

4.     T-bone

If you are having a hard time choosing between the filet mignon and strip loin, you can enjoy both in one dish: the T-bone.

A T-bone steak, which is cut from below the porterhouse, combines the two steaks: the tenderloin and strip steak. These two cuts are connected by a T-shaped bone, hence, its name.

Although its fat content is medium, it has a smooth texture and savory flavor.

5.     Porterhouse

The porterhouse is a bigger, more filling version of the T-bone. But even if it is a large cut, the meat is tender and easy to chew.

Also cut from the tenderloin, it is also one of the priciest steaks in all steakhouses. This is mainly due to its excellent flavor and texture.

6.     Tomahawk

This type of steak is a huge bone-in ribeye steak cut with the entire rib bone intact.

It has a large amount of marbling and as such, one of the most flavorful steaks around. It is also one of the biggest since a cut is typically two inches thick and weighs between 30 and 45 ounces.

Best Level of Doneness for Each Steak Cut

Now that you have a better idea of the typical cuts you will find in a good steakhouse menu, the next step to having a fantastic steak meal is to have your choice of meat cooked the right way.

Below is a guideline on the recommended level of doneness for the most popular types of steaks:

1.     Strip loin

This flavor-packed steak is best enjoyed medium rare. It should be cooked between six and eight minutes at 140°F.

2.     Ribeye

This steak cut will also excite your palate when cooked medium rare. If the ribeye is an inch thick, it should also be cooked between six and eight minutes before letting it cool.

3.     Tenderloin

The tenderloin is best served medium, cooked at 155°F. However, if you want it more tender, order it medium rare.

4.     T-bone

The T-bone steak is one of the few cuts that you can enjoy medium well or well done. As such, if you want your steak served at a higher degree of doneness, opt for a T-bone.

5.     Porterhouse

To indulge in the perfect porterhouse steak, order it medium rare or medium. The meat will remain tender and juicy when cooked to either of these two levels of doneness.

6.     Tomahawk

This giant steak cut, which can be shared by two diners, is best enjoyed when cooked medium rare or medium.

And to fully enjoy your steak lunch or dinner, order one or two side dishes. It is best to order at least one vegetarian-inspired dish to have a well-balanced, truly satisfying meal.


Chiara Bisignani is the F&B Marketing Executive at Saadiyat Beach Club. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ enquiries for the company’s destinations of KOI Restaurant & Lounge, Boa Steakhouse and Caramel Restaurant and Lounge in Abu Dhabi.