New York Strip vs. Sirloin Steak: 7 Key Differences Explained

New York Strip is from upper sirloin, rich in marbling and flavor, pricier. Sirloin Steak from loin, leaner, earthy, versatile, affordable.

Differences Between New York Strip & Sirloin Steak

Let’s clarify the key differences between New York strip and sirloin steak, so steak night is the best night.

It is stressful enough to get the cook right on a steak without worrying that we got the cut wrong. And steak is too expensive to screw any of it up.

Without a doubt, meat cuts can get confusing, and the available options can overwhelm anyone.

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1. Where It’s Cut From

Cuts of Beef

The first thing to remember is that a New York strip is always sirloin, but a sirloin steak is not always a New York strip. And, it has everything to do with the region of the meat cut.

New York Strip. It is cut from the upper sirloin section, where any other sirloin cut comes from. But they’re not the same thing.

Sirloin Steak. All sirloin steak comes from the back part of the loins. The loin is the meat between the last rib and hips.

2. Marbling

Note the heavy marbling in this New York Strip
Note the heavy marbling in this New York Strip

Visible fat in a cut of meat is called marbling. It is called that because of how the white patterns look like stone marbling.

The more glistening goodness a steak has, the more favorable it is. Meat with little to no marbling is going to be super lean.

New York Strip. Because of the steak’s cut, it has a higher percentage of fat than a sirloin. The marbling helps bring a New York Strip to life with flavors and juiciness.

Sirloin Steak. Whether it is top or bottom sirloin, this cut of steak has less marbling, making it leaner and tougher to eat

3. What It Tastes Like

We’ve covered the fact that more marbling means more yumminess. But that’s not the only taste difference between a New York Strip and a sirloin steak.

New York Strip. Adding to its already existing juicy tenderness, a New York Strip has an intense flavor, with rich, beefy notes.

Sirloin Steak. Sirloin steak has an earthy taste. A lot of the flavor of a top or bottom sirloin cut will depend on how you cook it & season it

4. Texture

When you cook a steak, the last thing you want is it to turn into rubber. But, that is a possibility depending on the cut of meat.

New York Strip. You can cook a New York Strip until it’s well-done, and you don’t have to worry about it losing much of its juiciness during the cooking process. You can thank the marbling for it enduring a more extreme cook time.

Sirloin Steak. In contrast, a sirloin steak is leaner and already tougher. The longer you cook it, the chewier it is going to get. The recommendation is never to cook this cut of meat past medium.

5. The Cost of the Cut

The words budget-friendly and steak typically don’t go together. But, there are ways to get the cut meat that you want without breaking the bank.

New York Strip. A New York Strip will run you $15 a pound or more. But, you can always check with your local butcher or grocer for use-by-date meat sales.

Sirloin Steak. Sirloin steak is always going to be cheaper than a New York Strip. The cost of top sirloin steak averages at about $10 a pound. 

6. Versatility

The versatility of a cut of meat depends on what you’re going to use it. For example, you wouldn’t buy a New York Strip to make a stir-fry.

New York Strip. It is really hard to consolidate using a New York Strip for anything but to eat like a steak. It is versatile, don’t get us wrong, but who wants to overpower the robust taste with other ingredients? Grill or roast this cut with a simple side to get the bang for your buck.

Sirloin Steak. When it comes to the top or bottom sirloin, you can literally do anything with it. It makes a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner food. It’s great in the slow cooker and the grill.

7. How You Cook It

Because the two cuts of meat are different in a lot of ways, it means the cooking methods you use will differ, too.

New York Strip. We mentioned that grilling or roasting are your best bets with a New York Strip. However, regardless of the cooking method you choose, be aware that you can strip the marbled beauty of its moisture and tenderness. 

Sirloin Steak. You can cook a sirloin steak the same way, just far more carefully. It is an excellent plan to marinate a sirloin before cooking it because it introduces additional moisture to the meat.

How do I marinate my steak?

Everyone has their own mix when it comes to marinated meat. But, when it comes to pricier cuts, the simpler, the better. You don’t want to rob yourself of naturally robust flavors.


  • Soy sauce
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic, minced
  • Italian dressing or seasoning
  • Sale
  • Pepper


  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Use a ziplock bag or large bowl to place the steaks.
  3. Add the marinate.
  4. You will want to marinate your steak for at least 2 hours. It is best to let them soak overnight.

Should I tenderize my steaks before I cook them?

Marinating is one way to tenderize a steak. But, you have a couple more options to ensure that your steak is easy to eat, and you get to concentrate on the taste and not the chewing.

  • You can use an old-fashioned mallet to beat the steak into submission. Go over the cut of meat 2 to 3 times.
  • Dry brining with different salts makes the meat tender and takes nothing away from its taste. 

How long should I cook my New York Strip?

One of the best and simplest ways to cook a New York Strip is to grill it.

  • Put the steak on the grill.
  • Cook it until it’s a golden brown with slight charring. It should take 4-5 minutes. 
  • Flip the steak over and continue grilling it for 3-5 minutes if you are looking for a medium-rare. (internal temp. of 135°F)
    • 5-7 minutes for medium (140°F)
    • 8 -10 minutes for medium-well (150°F).

How to Shop For That Perfect Steak

  1. The first thing you want to do is know what cut of meat you want from the get-go. 
  2. Decide on how thick you want your steak. If you’re buying more than one, try to keep them at the same thickness. Also, edges need to be even and not ragged.
  3. You will choose how much marbling you’re looking for. The USDA has a grading system for beef based on the marbling amount. – USDA Select, Choice, and Prime. 
  4. The meat needs to be a healthy color and slightly moist. If it is browning or slimy wet, don’t touch it, much less buy it.
  5. Avoid buying a steak that has tears in the packaging or liquid at the bottom.
  6. Steak should feel firm and cold when you touch it.


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