Cuts of steak

When the carnivore that lurks inside your belly starts acting up, you have to make some quick moves to sate it before it starts making an appetite-fueled racket. But what exactly is the answer to the question it’s tormenting your belly with? The answer is steak. A great cut of steak will satiate every carnivorous urge in your body and leave you feeling like you just conquered a task. An epic meat-filled task that required all the effort of your palate to accomplish. And it’s always worth the effort.

Obviously, there are plenty of different cuts of steak that all range in quality and the last thing you want to do is invest in a subpar selection that doesn’t scratch that meaty itch you’re feeling. Keep in mind that a high-quality piece of steak can put a sizable dent in the wallet, but the flavor that’s packed into it is more than worth the financial splurge. So, if steak is on the menu, these are the top 10 most expensive cuts ranked worst to first. One last word of advice: Vegetarians need not apply here.

10. Hanger

Hanger steak

Juicy and tender is always the name of the game when it comes to steak. There are few things more off-putting than cooking a piece of meat until the flavor completely leaves and it becomes the texture of a hockey puck. You need that rich juice from the fat to smack your palate hard, and that’s one of the reasons why hanger steaks, although tasty if prepared correctly, might deserve a pass.

One of the reasons that meat in hanger steaks is so tender is because the cut comes from the plate, which is the cow’s diaphragm. Since this part of the cow doesn’t have to support the animal’s weight, the cut doesn’t toughen up due to muscular tension. But just because the meat is tender doesn’t mean it has a lot of that epic marbling you see in other cuts, which means it’s easy to accidentally cook the meat for too long and dry it out since there’s no melted fat to give moisture.

9. Tenderloin

Tenderloin

If you’ve ever eaten filet mignon before, then you’re familiar with what a cut of tenderloin looks like. It’s a thick-cut meaty medallion that sits nicely in the center of a garnished with all the delicious accouterments that a steak can come with. The tenderloin comes from the loin section of the cow, which means the texture is super soft. This makes for a pleasant mouthfeel, but, again, if it’s serious marbling and run-down-your-chin juices you crave, look elsewhere.

Now, that’s not to say ordering this in a restaurant is a mistake. You’ll certainly receive a medallion that doesn’t take much effort to cut with a knife because the meat is so soft. When you start to chew, eat bite falls apart nicely in your mouth without you having to hurt your jaw muscles. The tenderloin isn’t a bad option, but it may not tickle that fatty-flavored itch you’re trying to scratch.

8. Ribeye

Ribeye

If you’re perusing a restaurant menu or your local supermarket shelves looking for a cut of steak that’s going to have some great marbling throughout the meat, the ribeye is one of the go-to cuts. Obviously, the striations of fat vary in each piece, but you’ll always find a higher fat content than many other selections. And, as we know, a high fat content means a lot of rich flavors that infuse the meat. But, even though the marbling may be excellent, that doesn’t mean every ribeye’s texture is astoundingly delicate.

For the most part, so long as you don’t leave a ribeye on a grill for too long while you grab yourself another beer, the texture is soft and cuts easily. However, sometimes even the marbling just isn’t enough, and each bite is overly chewy, which is not definitely how a ribeye experience should unfold. This problem is much more likely to happen if you cook it medium-well or well-done. If you’re in the market for this cut, just keep aware this can happen.

7. T-bone

T-bone steak

One look at this cut of steak and you know exactly where the name comes from. The shape of the letter "T" stands out in the form of the bone that runs through the middle of the meat. Interestingly enough, the letter-shaped bone actually splits the steak into two different cuts, a New York strip and a tenderloin (via Rube’s Steaks). This makes T-bone steaks a great option for anyone looking to get some variety by eating two different textures and flavors in one piece of meat.

Keep in mind that the leveling of marbling in T-bone steaks isn’t as much as in ribeyes, which might be a turnoff to those looking for those rich fatty flavors that seep onto the plate when you cut into a steak. However, you get the meaty flavor of the short loin paired with a super tender texture of the tenderloin, which works as a nice textural contrast. The bone that runs down the middle also lends the meat some of the rich marrow juices that give the surrounding meat a rich burst of additional flavor.

6. Porterhouse

Porterhouse steak

If you’re dining out with another person and both of you want to dive into a filling and delicious cut of steak, one porterhouse will likely be enough to more than satisfy both of your carnivorous appetites. A porterhouse cut actually offers two different cuts of steak in one, a New York Strip and a tenderloin filet (via My Chicago Steak). It’s similar to a T-bone that way, but the Porterhouse is bigger in size and comes with a larger piece of the tenderloin, which makes it a more luxurious cut.

If you’ve been to a fair share of steakhouses, then you’re probably aware the porterhouse is sometimes the most premium cut on the menu, and for good reason. There’s usually an impressive amount of fat that runs around the circumference of the steak and that melts down and floods the meat with rich coat-your-mouth juices. The two steaks you get don’t have a ton of marbling running through, but they’re super tender and have a soft mouthfeel.

5. Tomahawk

Tomahawk steak

If you’re at a steakhouse on a mission to order a cut of meat that will have the entire dining room staring at you when the server plops it on the table, look no further than the almighty tomahawk. This behemoth variety of steak screams meaty indulgence and it packs one heck of an in-your-face flavor punch. It’s served with long bone protruding out from the end that resembles an ax handle, which makes it that much more hardcore.

You better have a squadron of friends with you if you’re asking your server for the tomahawk steak. Either that or get ready to eat leftovers for the next week. The meat on this cut is super tender and riddled with fatty marbling, and the sheer size of this thing means that each bite has tons of juice that erupts out. If you’re feeling both bold and astoundingly hungry, this might just be the right play for you.

4. Wagyu tenderloin

Wagyu Tenderloin

When you start dealing with Wagyu beef, you know you’re experiencing some of the most flavor-packed and well-marbled cuts of meat in the world. One of the most luxurious cuts is the Wagyu tenderloin, which not only has super soft meat, but also really amazing striations of juicy fat spread out evenly throughout it. This elevates Wagyu tenderloin over the lean tenderloin from conventional cattle. If you have the money to shell out for this cut, it’s more than worthy of your appetite’s attention.

The first thing you might notice when looking at the tenderloin is that the marbling isn’t quite as extreme as other cuts of Wagyu or Kobe beef you’ve seen, but don’t let that fool you. Sure, it may have slightly less, but you really can’t tell because it is distributed so well that every bite contains the rich melty juices that are associated with these super high-quality cuts. The fat content ensures the meat packs enough flavor so you don’t need any extra sauces to enhance it.

3. Kobe sirloin

Kobe sirloin steak

Kobe is a special, super-premium type of Wagyu beef that comes from Japan. It comes from a specific breed of cattle and it’s raised in an immaculate environment with tons of meticulous care to ensure that the meat that comes from each cow after slaughter is second to none (via Kobe Jones). Of course, that also means Kobe beef is wildly expensive, but it’s one of those cuts you buy on rare occasions to knock the socks off of everyone you’re serving it to. Kobe-level quality is truly the most decadent option available.

The decadence of Kobe beef is mostly due to the intensely marbled meat that glistens with vibrant strands of fat throughout. Of course, the actual meat is also super tender and delicate thanks to the care that goes into raising the cattle, but it’s the high fat content that sizzles away on the grill and absorbs into the already-rich meat to create a mind-blowing wallop of deep steak flavor. One word of advice: Once you go Kobe, it’s tough to go back.

2. A5 Wagyu Steak

A5 Kobe Steak

If next-level marbling is what you’re looking for in a steak, there’s nothing that compares to an A5 Wagyu steak, which is the highest grade of Japanese beef you can buy (via Wagyu Shop). Foodies drool over photos of the astounding ribbons of glistening fat that run in every direction throughout the meat. The fat content frequently outweighs the meat content, so you’re actually getting more of the aggressively rich fat flavor than beef flavor. These coveted cuts of steak are so special that nearly all of them are reserved for restaurants only, so unless you have a pretty serious connection in Japan, you’ll have to dine out to enjoy one.

When a cut of this arrives at the table, it’s impossible not to stare in absolute awe at how much it glistens with the intense juices that flooded over it while on the grill. It usually comes sliced thin, and you literally don’t have to chew it in order to swallow it. Let the meat just rest on your tongue and it quickly melts down like meaty cotton candy. The only reason this beef doesn’t top this list is that it’s so immensely rich that you can only eat a small amount before it gets too overwhelming.

1. Kobe filet

Kobe Filet

Since filets are cut from the tenderloin, they’re already super delicate cuts and fall right apart beautifully in your mouth with each bite. So, what happens when you combine the already-tender texture of a filet and throw in the fact it comes from a Kobe cow? Your mouth should already start watering just thinking about it, because that combination results in one of the softest, juiciest, and richest cuts of steak on the planet.

If there’s a heaven, this is one of the foods that would be on the menu every night leading your mouth into a Shangri-La of epically indulgent flavor. You can almost see the fat melting into the meat before you even start cooking it. It literally feels like you’re eating a creamy, meaty butter that washes over your palate like a tsunami of deep steak flavor and settles onto your taste buds, nestling deep into each one. If the opportunity ever presents itself to try this, steak lovers would likely agree it’s worth draining your wallet to do so.