What is New York Strip Steak?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

New York strip steak is a cut of beef which is known by a variety of other names, including shell steak, Kansas city steak, top loin steak, hotel cut steak, and ambassador steak. This cut of meat is particularly prized for its flavor and tenderness, and it tends to fetch a high price on the market. Many butchers carry New York strip steak, and it is a common offering on restaurant menus. Many people like this cut of meat rare, showcasing the delicate flavor and naturally tender texture.

A cooked New York strip steak.
A cooked New York strip steak.

Before plunging into the specifics of the New York strip steak, it may help to become familiar with some basic cuts of meat. This cut comes from the short loin, a section of meat located along the back of a cow, right behind the ribs. Behind the short loin is the sirloin, another flavorful and tender cut of beef; the ribs are on the other side, towards the front of the cow, while the flank is located beneath it.

A New York strip steak comes from the short loin, a section of meat located along the back of a cow.
A New York strip steak comes from the short loin, a section of meat located along the back of a cow.

The location of the short loin is very important, because its location is what gives the New York strip its unique properties. The strip steak comes from a part of the short loin which sees minimal use while the cow is alive, creating a tender cut of meat because the cow does not develop big, strong muscles like those in the flank and shanks. In some cows, especially those finished on grain, the New York strip will also be richly marbled with fat, providing additional flavor and tenderness.

In Britain, the New York strip steak is known as a porterhouse steak, which can get confusing for Americans, as “porterhouse” is a separate term in the American meat industry. In the United States, the porterhouse or t-bone steak includes the New York strip and part of the tenderloin, attached by a characteristically t-shaped bone. This cut of meat is also highly prized for its flavor and tenderness.

Depending on the diet of the cow involved, the flavor and texture of a New York strip steak can vary. Grass fed beef has a much richer, more distinctive flavor, with less fatty marbling, and it requires careful cooking. Some people prefer the flavor of grass fed beef, because they feel it is more natural and complex. Others prefer grain-fed beef, which tends to be richly marbled. However, a grain-based diet can be unhealthy for cows, so meat producers typically try to strike a happy medium, selecting cattle breeds with a tendency towards marbling and finishing them with grain before sending them to market to create the desired look.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


A New York strip steak sells at the market for just under $4 a pound, so it is an inexpensive steak and not the most tender or flavorful steak one can buy.

Ribeye steak is very tender and flavorful. Worthwhile paying a little more and getting a delicious steak. Ribeye sells between $8 and $16 a pound, depending on market and location. Sometimes more.


I worked at a meat shop and I know a New York steak is the larger side of a T-bone. A KC shell is the T-bone cut in half and the bone along the strip becomes the shell. a boneless strip is just the New York cut without the bone/shell. It is an easy cut to distinguish as it looks vaguely like a foot. It's rectangular and bigger on one end.


New York strip steak is so much better than sirloin steak. Sirloin just has too much fat and muscle in it. It's really stringy and chewy.

New York strip is the opposite. It's lean and juicy, and since I order mine medium well, it's also tender and easy to chew.


I think that it's great to start with this cut of meat when cooking a steak, but still, so much depends on the chef. I've had New York strip steak at several restaurants, but some have definitely tasted better than others.

Even at its least excellent, I prefer New York strip steak to other types of steak, like sirloin. It is hard to make it taste bad.

My best steak experiences have been with New York strip steak. If it's on the menu, I'm going to order it. I don't go out that often, so when I do, I want the best, even if I have to splurge.


@Perdido – I agree that a great steak doesn't need steak sauce, but I think that every steak needs to be marinated with something. Of course, the better the meat, the less powerful the marinade ingredients need to be.

If I'm going to grill a steak, I vary the intensity of the marinade based on how cheap the meat is. So, if I'm making cheap skirt steak, I know I need to use a lot of spices and flavorful juices. However, if I'm using a juicy, delicious New York strip steak, I only need a little lime juice to tenderize it and some salt and pepper.


If you marinate any steak in the right stuff, it will taste good. My best friend is so crazy about New York strip steaks, but she goes and marinates hers in stuff that is so full of its own flavor that I have never really tasted the meat itself. I think the sign of a great steak is that it doesn't need any marinade or steak sauce.


My uncle raises grass fed beef and I can really tell a difference in how his beef looks compared to what I buy in the store. It not only looks healthier but is also a lot healthier for me. I love buying my meat from him because I know it doesn't contain hormones or antibiotics either.

The best steaks I have ever eaten have been those that I have prepared myself. I don't like to pay the hefty price for a nice New York strip steak at a restaurant. Making it at home is much cheaper and I think it tastes better too.

I am pretty picky when it comes to how my steak is prepared. When I make it myself I know it will be just the way I like it.


My son likes all of his steak rare but especially when eating an expensive cut of meat. I don't like steak so have no idea what the different cuts are.

He says the New York strip is one of the most tender cuts and that is one reason it costs more. My son loves to grill and smoke meat and he has a steak marinade he uses that makes even cheaper cuts of steak taste really good.


@anon36758 -- I have always thought a t-bone steak and New York strip steak were the same thing. This is my favorite cut of steak but because it is kind of expensive I don't order it very often.


Delmonicos was apparently the first restaurant in NY to serve this cut of steak. They would sell it as a Delmonico.


Grocery store that sells "Shell Steaks"? Surely you mean a butcher, or is there no such thing. Here in England, the fine butcher shop has not disappeared yet.

Incidentally what a strange anomaly that Benihana Japanese Restaurants menu talks about New York Steaks. Not very Japanese is it? ATB to all.


New York strip steaks were first popularized in NYC, hence the name. It is the large side of the t-bone, with the bone still on. The other side is the fillet. When the bone is removed, it becomes a boneless strip or KC strip. Most MY strip steaks are really misnamed KC strips.


A NY strip is the large side of a T-bone or Porterhouse. The small side is the tenderloin or Filet Mingon.


As for the bone, when it is present, the steak is technically called a Porterhouse or T-Bone.

Thank God for beef!


My favorite steak cut is the Chuck Eye, hanging there between the Rib and Chuck primals. Loosely textured and well marbled, it is fall apart bliss when fresh and cooked just medium. But when all else fails, or when in doubt, a NY Strip rarely fails to satisfy.

When I was coming up, the "strip" was known more often as a 'Delmonico' -- probably intended to impress. But by any name it is dependable, as any good steak should be.


i still don't know why it is call a "New York" strip steak!


I always thought a new york strip was the larger side of a t-bone, but I guess I was mistaken.


Can a New York Strip steak have a bone in it or is it always boneless.


I'm from NY, and we had both NY strip steaks and shell steaks. I'm in NC now and can't find a grocery store that sells "shell steaks" specifically

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