If you’re looking to grill this weekend but are tired of chicken recipes and don’t want to spend a fortune on steak even on special offers, look no further than top sirloin steak.
It’s not as tender as a filet mignon or as robust as a ribeye, but it’s my favorite steak cut for two simple reasons: it’s less expensive and has a fuller, beefier flavor than those other cuts.
In two words, it’s a perfect steak. This American-style grilled steak will change your life.
Sirloin steak is inexpensive and delicious, with a hearty beef flavor.
Learn how to grill moist and tender sirloin with your favorite seasonings or my special marinade.
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WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS?
- I could go on and on about why this recipe works. It’s quick, delicious, and simple.
- Quick — From fridge to grill to mouth in under 30 minutes! That can’t be topped!
- Simple — Prepared with pantry seasonings, you can grill these steaks to your liking in no time and even make the butter while the steak is cooking on one side, it’s that simple!
- Customizable — If you don’t have sirloin, you can use another type of steak instead, and you can change up the butter in a variety of ways (see more ideas on that below).
- Adaptable — Eat your steak as is, or slice it and serve it on a salad, over rice or noodles, on a hoagie bun with peppers and onions, dice up for quesadillas or tacos…this sirloin steak recipe goes great with so many other dinner ideas!
WHAT IS TOP SIRLOIN?
Top sirloin is a moderately tender steak with some chew to it. It has good marbling and a great beefy flavor without being overly fattened.
Top sirloin is a boneless cut of sirloin that comes from the top of the sirloin primal section.
It’s one of the leanest and healthiest steak cuts available. In this grilling recipe, we’ll go over everything you need to know about grilling steak.
TENDERIZING TOP SIRLOIN STEAK
Top sirloin will not require as much attention, but the standard “sirloin steak” can benefit from tenderizing.
In this recipe, I’m taking “two bites of the apple,” so to speak. I’m using both a mechanical and a chemical tenderizer.
Adolf’s meat tenderizer contains pineapple extract, which aids in tenderization. You can omit one or both, but your steak will be less tender.
CHOOSING A STEAK
Look for a bright red steak with minimal browning, as brown spots indicate that the steak was exposed to oxygen for an extended period of time.
While top sirloin isn’t known for being particularly fatty, you should look for a steak with good marbling throughout and a thin layer of fat on top.
The steak should be 1 inch thick and evenly cut. If possible, strike up a conversation with the butcher and request that he or she cut you a steak to order.
TO MARINATE OR NOT TO MARINATE?
When it comes to top sirloin, I like to keep things simple. Because it’s not a tough cut of meat, it doesn’t need to marinate in an acidic solution for an extended period of time.
Because it’s low in fat, you won’t have to shave off much fat to avoid grill flare-ups. Preparation time is minimal.
Because the steak already has a robust flavor and the grill will add some smoke flavor, I only season with salt or kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Rub a small amount of olive oil on each side of the steak just before grilling and season with coarsely ground pepper. To taste, add some minced garlic or garlic powder.
Salt the steak 40 minutes to 8 hours before cooking if you have the time. When you salt ahead of time, you won’t need as much salt, and it will enhance the beefy flavor of the steak.
If you’re salting it overnight, place it on a baking rack, uncovered, in the refrigerator.
TIME TO HIT THE GRILL
Make sure your steak is at room temperature before you put it on the grill. This will help it cook evenly from the edge to the center, resulting in the perfect medium rare.
Get the grill (gas grill, outdoor grill, whatever you have) really, really hot. Keep the lid closed until you’re ready to place the steak on the grill. You want a hard sear to seal in the juices.
Lay the steak on the grill quickly with a good pair of tongs, protecting yourself in case the addition of fats and oils causes a flare-up.
I usually keep a squirt bottle of water on hand for flare-ups. Set your timer and wait: you won’t want to move the steak for a few minutes in order to get a good sear.
HOW LONG SHOULD I COOK THE STEAK?
Cooking times vary depending on temperature preference, but a 1-inch steak takes about 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare, and a 2-inch steak takes about 9 minutes per side.
When flipping the steak, always use tongs rather than a fork. A fork would be used to pierce the steak and allow the juices to escape.
We went to such lengths to seal in the juices with a great sear that we don’t want them to escape!
Turn the steak at a 45-degree angle a quarter of the way through cooking to achieve professional grill marks. Then, at the halfway point, flip and repeat the process.
Use an instant-read meat thermometer if you really want to nail your cooking temperature.
The internal temperature of a medium-rare steak should be 130-135 degrees F, and this handy chart will help you with the remaining temperatures.
I dislike using a thermometer because it allows the juices to escape, but it is the most accurate way to determine the temperature.
To get a really good steak, there are also online guides that show you how to tell when your steak is done by using your thumb and forefinger.
LET IT REST
Now comes the really important part: let that steak rest. Do not, under any circumstances, cut this steak immediately after it comes off the grill.
Resting it for at least 5 minutes allows the juices within the steak to redistribute rather than bleeding out as it is cut, resulting in an incredibly juicy steak.
This minor change will mean the difference between a good steak and an outstanding one. Take my word for it.
HOW SHOULD THE SIRLOIN STEAK BE SERVED?
Now that you’ve got a perfectly grilled top sirloin, serve it with a herbed compound butter or, my personal favorite, chimichurri.
This is one cookout that everyone will be talking about for a long time!
Served with a side of beautifully grilled fingerling potatoes and charred carrots, this is one cookout that everyone will be talking about for a long time! If you want to get fancy, add a glass of red wine.
A digital thermometer is the best way to tell when your sirloin steak is done.
Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to determine whether the steak is done to your liking.
I don’t recommend cooking your meat above 150 degrees F because it will become tough or dry.
Remember that steaks should be rested for at least 5 minutes before cutting into them.
It’s best to remove the steak from the heat a few degrees before it reaches the desired temperature, as it will continue to cook while resting.
- 130 degrees Fahrenheit is extremely rare.
- 135 degrees Fahrenheit is considered medium rare.
- 145 degrees Fahrenheit is considered medium.
- 150 degrees F for medium well
- 160 degrees F for a job well done
SIRLOIN STEAK FLAVOR VARIATIONS
This steak is delicious on its own, but you can add other sauces and flavorings to make it your own.
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, cooked in 3 tablespoons melted butter Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper before serving with the steak.
- BBQ Sauce: Instead of using the garlic butter, brush your cooked steak with homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce.
- Cajun: To softened butter, add 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, and 2 teaspoons chopped parsley.
- Mexican: To the butter, add 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon lime zest, and 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro leaves.
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT STEAK
- You can sear your steak in a skillet on the stove, or you can use an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan. If you’re using a grill, add the butter after the steak has been removed from the heat so it doesn’t drip onto the grates.
- The garlic butter can be made up to two days ahead of time. Store the butter in the refrigerator and allow it to soften at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before using.
- For the most tender results, slice your meat against the grain.
- Combine this recipe with a marinade for even more flavor. Marinate the meat for up to 24 hours before cooking it as directed with the butter on top.
- Serve your steak with sides like mashed potatoes, rice, or roasted vegetables like asparagus or green beans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Top Sirloin Steak good for grilling?
Top Sirloin steak is a popular steak choice because of its hearty beef flavor. Grilling top sirloin steak is the best way to prepare it. However, pan-seared top sirloin steak is also delicious, and you can broil top sirloin steak in the oven.
Does top sirloin steak need to be marinated?
Whether you grill or broil your sirloin steak, marinating it first makes it more tender and flavorful. According to the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, marinating meat before cooking may also help reduce the formation of cancer-causing compounds in browned meat.
Is Top Sirloin tough?
A good-sized boneless top sirloin steak can easily feed a family. The disadvantage is that it can be a tough cut of meat if improperly prepared. Fortunately, properly cooking sirloin steak results in a flavorful meal with tender meat.
Do you close the grill when cooking steak?
You can leave the grill open if you’re grilling quick-cooking foods like burgers, thin steaks, chops, fish, shrimp, or sliced vegetables directly over the flames. When grilling thicker steaks, bone-in chicken, or whole roasts, keep the lid down, especially if you’re using indirect heat.