top sirloin

The Ultimate Guide to Top Sirloin

Does top sirloin steak figure into your weekly dinner rotation? It should—here’s why.

This humble steak battles a bit of a reputation as a tough, chewy, inferior cut. And while it’s generally more affordable and easier to prepare on a weeknight than luxe ribeyes or porterhouse steaks, you do not have to settle for leathery top sirloin. Ever.

Top sirloin steak is quick and easy to prepare, and we’ll teach you how to cook it up juicy and delicious every time. It’s a lot easier than you think.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • A quick breakdown of top sirloin steak
  • How to cook top sirloin steak
  • Mouthwatering recipes to get you started

Read on for the ultimate guide to top sirloin steak, and how you can work this comfort food steak into your weekly rotation.

The Cut

Top sirloin is one of the most versatile cuts of beef. It carries an intense depth of flavor like a roast but cooks up quick and easy like a steak.

You may have considered top sirloin a little inferior to steaks like porterhouse or ribeye, and we get it. It’s usually much more affordable and can be cooked poorly, resulting in a tough and chewy bite. It definitely does not have to be that way.

Top sirloin

Cut from the hip area, near the round primal, top sirloin can just as easily work as a juicy steak as it could be cubed stew meat in your next stew. This area of the cow gets a lot of exercise, so top sirloin steak is naturally lean.

Because it’s easy to prepare and generally more affordable than other cuts of steak, top sirloin has a reputation as “weeknight steak.” It’s also the more common cut to serve alongside eggs for breakfast steak and eggs. We think of it as a comforting cut that makes weeknight meals easy.

How to Cook Top Sirloin

To get a proper char and perfectly medium-rare interior, you should opt for fast-cooking methods for top sirloin. We recommend pan-searing or grilling.

How to Sear Top Sirloin:

For best results, get started on your steaks the night before. Pat them dry, salt them liberally, then let them chill in the fridge uncovered overnight. Let them come to temp out of the fridge for 30 to 40 minutes before preparing them. You could also marinate the steaks, or use a dry rub on them.

Heat a cast-iron skillet with your preferred high-temp cooking fat (ghee, butter, tallow, avocado oil, etc.) When the skillet is roaring hot, sear your steaks for about three minutes per side. When steaks reach an internal temperature of 125°F, set the steaks aside to rest for eight minutes or more. It’s that easy.

How to Grill Top Sirloin:

If you have the time, you can salt your top sirloin in the same way you would to sear it. Pat the steaks dry, salt them liberally and allow to chill in the fridge uncovered overnight. Let them come to temp 30 to 40 minutes before preparing them. Alternatively, feel free to marinate your steaks, or use a dry rub.

Rub the grill down with an oil-soaked rag, held with a pair of tongs (protect your hands!). Prep your grill by getting it very hot. Keep the lid on up until the moment you grill your steaks, so you can get the ultimate char and grill marks.

Cooking time will depend on the size of your steak, but for a one-inch thick steak, grill for around 4 to 5 minutes per side. Once again, let your steak rest for at least 8 minutes.

P.S. You can even cook up juicy, succulent top sirloin from frozen. Read on for a recipe with the method below.

Top Sirloin Recipes

Perfect Top Sirloin from Frozen

That’s right – you can cook top sirloin steak straight from the freezer, and it will still taste amazing. There’s no excuse for ordering in now.

To cook your top sirloin steaks from frozen, you’ll sear and quickly bake them. To start, you’ll preheat the oven, then sear your steaks for about 2 ½  minutes on one side, then 1 minute on the other. Quickly baste the steak with some butter, then bake them with some broccoli and serve with eggs for a complete dinner in one.

Jerk-Rubbed Top Sirloin

Ready for a seriously flavor-packed cut of top sirloin steak? This jerk rub really spices things up, and the accompanying mashed plantains are the perfect complement.

For these steaks, we use the pan-searing method, freeing you up to focus on the frying and smashing the delicious Puerto-Rican inspired dish of smashed plantains. It’s 1000% worth it, though.

Pan-Seared Top Sirloin with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Hash

There’s a reason top sirloin has its reputation as a “weeknight steak.” It’s because it’s super easy to make meals around it, like this all-in-one top sirloin with bacon and Brussels sprouts hash.

Once again, we pan-sear the steaks until golden on the outside and pink on the inside. From there, you can just add your hash ingredients to the pan to cook while the steak rests. And it’s a delicious hash, combining bacon, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, onion, and mushrooms.

Top Sirloin Steaks with Cumin, Peppers, and Chickpeas

This vibrant recipe is a healthy way to enjoy top sirloin steaks any night of the week. Plus, you’ll love the punch of color from the peppers and chickpeas.

Here, we marinate the top sirloin steaks with a bright and spicy blend of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and cumin. You’ll want to pat off the excess marinade and season with salt and pepper before pan-searing the steaks. They only need a few minutes per side, and adequate rest.

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Courtney Hamilton
Courtney Hamilton is a writer and editor with over seven years' experience in journalism, blogging, communications, and other media. She has written for publications like PaleoHacks, PaleoPlan, The Center for American Progress, OC Weekly, and more. 
 
Check out more of her work at www.courtney-hamilton.com.