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Sous vide strip steak is one of my favorite steaks to cook. Strip steak is less expensive than ribeye or filet because it can be a little tough, but with sous vide it can be cooked long enough to tenderize it. It only needs to be heated through, usually 2 to 4 hours, but I'll often let it go an extra few hours to soften it up some.
Strip steak is the general name for a whole slew of similar cuts such as top loin strip, New York strip, Kansas City strip, top sirloin, top loin, and shell steak. Strip steaks are a tender cut that have decent marbling but are still leaner than a ribeye.
It is a good middle of the road steak, in terms of marbling, texture, and even price. It has a denser texture than many of the other cuts and there are also no large pockets of fat in a strip steak.
Strip steaks come from the short loin, located on the top of the cow about halfway back, which is where T-bones and porterhouses also come from. The tenderloin is also located in that region.
Strip steak is tender, so it only needs to be heated through, usually 2 to 4 hours for an average strip steak. However, strip steaks do sometimes have a bite to them, and I will often sous vide them for several hours longer to further tenderize them, especially when I am using a lower-quality steak.
I like to serve sous vide strip steaks with a flavorful, fat-based sauce to add some more richness to them.
Strip steaks are known by a lot of different names. Some are the exact same cut, others have very minor differences. When using sous vide all strip steaks can be cooked the same way, but it does help to know the minor variations of them.
There are a lot of names, and very minor differences, so for most people, just remembering that if it has "strip steak" anywhere in the name, it's probably an almost indentical cut.
The short loin is the name for the entire loin primal that you can cut your own strip, filet and t-bone steaks from. It usually still has the bone attached. It can be hard to sous vide a whole short loin because it is so big, but with a proper bag you could make an amazing presentation. It is normally cut into the individual steaks themselves.
The strip loin is the name for the entire loin that is removed from the short loin. This may be bone in or bone out and is can be broken down in many strip steaks.
A New York Strip is probably the most common and all inclusive name for all of the cuts. As mentioned above, they also all sous vide pretty much the same way.
Many of the names are also used interchangeably (or incorrectly) over the years, so they can all mean pretty much the same thing. That said, here are a few common varieties and how they "might" be different.
A Kansas City strip steak is basically a normal New York Strip with some bone on it. When making sous vide Kansas City Strip be sure that the bone is not sharp or it could puncture the bag.
A bone-in strip steak with no tenderloin attached is sometimes referred to as a shell steak.
The other names for strip steaks seem to have no real different between them and the above. They are the Top Loin Steak, club steak, Ambassador Steak, Boneless Club Steak, Hotel-Style Steak, and Top Loin Strip Steak. And any that are "first cut" usually have more gristle that isn't present on the steaks cut from the middle of the loin.
In France, it is called contre-filet. Then to confuse matters, it is known as a Porterhouse and Sirloin or striploin steak in Australia and New Zealand and a sirloin in the UK and Ireland.
Pretty confusing, isn't it!
If the strip still has the full bone and there is filet on the other side, it is a t-bone or porterhouse steak.
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