The Budget Steak Cut Guy Fieri Recommends - Exclusive

Everybody has an opinion about steak. And when the weather starts to warm and grill season rolls around, those perspectives begin to get louder — but not always wiser. Conventional meat-lover wisdom says the best steaks to purchase for your weekend barbecue are the ones with the most flavor and simplest cooking process, but most often, those are also the cuts with higher price tags. Since food costs only ever seem to go in one direction (up), it's sensible to remain on the hunt for less expensive pieces of meat. Budget cuts can have just as much flavor and can be more fun to cook — if you're interested in getting creative.

Recently, Tasting Table sat down for an exclusive interview with Guy Fieri, a certified expert in the field of barbecuing and meat grilling (among many other things). With the season nearly upon us — and wallets in mind — we wanted to know what the Mayor of Flavortown considers as a choice budget cut of steak. Never one to mince words, Fieri told us straight: "I am a huge top sirloin fan. Okay? Love them. Love top sirloin."

Why you should buy top sirloin

Anyone who has taken a stroll through their grocery store's meat department knows that top sirloin isn't necessarily an under-the-radar pick by Guy Fieri, but it is a sensible one. Top sirloin is beloved in international grilling cultures (hello, picanha), even if it doesn't always get the same amount of love in the U.S. Pricing data on the national average cost of beef, shared by the USDA in March 2024, planted boneless top sirloin steak as a firmly viable budget cut at just over $7.50 a pound. That is significantly cheaper than premium cuts like filet mignon (nearly $21), ribeye (nearly $11), and New York strip ($11). 

If you're worried about overcooking a sirloin steak, fear not. Fieri recommends a few simple steps to ensure your sirloin doesn't end up a dry or chewy mess. It involves dry brining the steak so the seasoning is imparted (and moisture stays put) before you place it on the grill. Then, be sure to give the steak time to rest. Because top sirloin is cut from the hip area of the cow, an area that was used to move throughout the animal's life, it's a steak that is leaner with more tense muscle fibers. The remedy for this is to cut against the grain when serving top sirloin steak. By slicing "on the bias," as Fieri says, you'll shorten those muscle fibers, leading to a more tender bite with each piece of steak you chew.