How to Make New York Strip Steak Tender

New York Strip Steak with mashed potatoes and green beans

Love steak? If so, knowing how to make New York strip steak tender is important. Once you discover a few cooking tricks, you can turn otherwise tough cuts of beef into some of the most tender and juicy entrees imaginable.

Steak is one of the pricier types of meat protein – many people like to reserve it for special occasions. Once you discover how to cook it, you’ll fall in love with this juicy and flavorful meat. It has one of the best and fullest flavors and is one of the most-requested types of steaks from high-end restaurants.

This guide will teach you much more than just how to make New York strip steak tender. You’ll learn more about this beef cut, including all the different ways to tenderize it, how to cook it, and what to do with leftover steak.


What is New York strip steak?

New York strip steak goes by a bunch of different names. It’s also known as ambassador steak, strip loin steak, Kansas City strip, club steak, or the Omaha Strip.

Why is it called New York strip? This is a really easy answer because that is where it originally came from.

This steak is cut from the back-middle part of the cow behind the ribs, also called the beef short loin subprimal. This part of the cow is also where the filet mignon comes from. After the butcher removes the tenderloin, the beef strip loin steaks remain.

New York strip steaks with bones are also known as T-Bone steaks and porterhouse steaks.

Here’s how to tell the difference between the types of steak:

  • It is a T-Bone steak if it is sold with the bone in.
  • It is labeled as a Porterhouse steak if it is sold with a part of the tenderloin.

All three types of steak are cut from the same place.


Why is New York strip steak tough?

Honestly, New York strip steak can be the most tender beef cut. We want to look at how to tenderize it because it is so much more enjoyable to bite into steak when it’s easier to chew.

If your New York strip steak is difficult to chew and tough, you might have overcooked it. For those times when you know you didn’t overcook the steak, I have some tips that will give you the most tender and juicy bites of steak that you have ever made.


Different Ways to Make New York Strip Steak Tender

cooked NY strip steak

Even though a New York strip steak is one of the most tender cuts of beef, it is still important to know how to tenderize it properly. When you figure this out, you’ll become a steak master, cooking the most awe-inducing entrees everyone loves.

Since it is already so tender, you don’t have to do much to it. These are the most popular (and easiest) ways to tenderize New York strip steak.


Score Meat with a Knife

This is the easiest way to make New York strip steak tender. The steps are literally like it sounds. Use a sharp knife to cut lightly into the steak a few times. Do this, especially if you are marinating the steak so the marinade will soak into the meat.

Do not pierce the meat with a fork – this is a myth that people spread, thinking that the seasoning will penetrate the meat easier. If you stab it with a fork, the juices inside the meat will flow out, leaving you with a dryer steak.


Marinate the Steak

steak marinating before cooking

The acid in a marinade breaks down the tendons and naturally tenderizes the steak.

  • Add your marinade to a resealable food storage bag and place the steaks in the bag.
  • Spread the marinade evenly over the steaks.
  • Let the steaks set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.

There are a lot of different steak marinades – look for one that has an acid in it, like vinegar or lemon juice.

After discovering your favorite marinade, this is how to cook marinated steak in the oven. The times will differ based on your steak’s thickness, but the general rules still apply.


Pound the Steak

Pounding the steak actually has two advantages: It breaks down the toughness of the meat, making it easier to chew after you cook it. It also flattens the steak, which means it will cook faster on the grill or stove.

If you have an uneven steak cut, pound it so it has a uniform thickness. This will help the entire steak cook at the same rate.


Season with Salt

Be careful when you use salt on steak because it draws the water out of the meat. However, salt is a fantastic tenderizer because it breaks down the protein cells and makes it easier to chew.

Here’s how to use salt to tenderize NY strip steak.

  • First, pat your steak dry with paper towels.
  • Then, season it with salt on both sides.
  • Let the steak sit for 30 minutes – but no longer than that.
  • Finally, rinse off the salt and season like normal, then cook immediately.


Best Ways to Cook New York Strip Steak

Strip Steak infographic

Image Source: Traeger Grills.

How you cook your steak also affects how tough or tender it is. These are the best ways to cook a New York strip steak, so it is just as juicy and tender as you want it to be. Traeger recommends cooking New York Strip Steak fast over high heat to ensure this crowd-favorite cut of beef remains tender and flavorful. Check out the infographic above for more tips!


Pan Fry in Cast Iron Skillet

When you pan-fry the steak in a cast-iron skillet, it cooks in its own juices, which keeps the steak nice and juicy. The other benefit of a cast iron skillet is that you can transfer it to the oven to keep it warm while cooking other parts of your dinner.

This guide teaches you how to cook a ribeye steak in a frying pan. It contains helpful tips and the best spices to use on your steak to bring out the natural flavors.



steak cooking on a grill

Grilling NY strip steak is one of the most popular cooking methods. When you grill the steak, make sure the heat is all the way up. It should be high enough to sear the steak and cook it quickly, leaving the inside medium-rare (or cooked to your liking).

Check out this guide to grilling porterhouse steaks. I share all my best tips, including my favorite spices and cooking temperatures.


Slow Cooker

The slow cooker is my least favorite way to cook NY strip steak. I don’t like how it overcooks the steak. However, a few NY strip steak slow cooker recipes tempt me, so it is worth a try.

I know that when you cook steak slowly at low heat, it makes the meat extra tender. It will fall apart on your fork.


In the Oven

Cooking steak in the oven is my second-favorite way to cook a New York strip steak. The steak will sit in its juices, which helps it retain all its natural flavors.

You can cook steak in the oven without it drying out. Follow this guide to cooking steak in the oven with foil. The foil doesn’t just make clean-up easier; it also collects the juices and allows you to continue drizzling it on top of the steak.


Safe Cooking Temperature for New York Strip Steak

The temperature of your steak will depend on how you like it cooked. If you want a medium-rare steak, cook until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

To cook your steak medium, keep cooking until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F.


How to Store New York Strip Steaks

How you store your meat depends on whether you store leftovers or fresh meat.

To store fresh meat, either vacuum seal it or keep it in loose wrapping. Do not wrap your meat in plastic bags or plastic wrap – this will make your meat go bad faster. Vacuum-sealed meat will last one week in the refrigerator. Meat in loose wrapping will stay fresh for five days.

Store leftover cooked steak in an airtight storage container for no longer than two days.


How to Freeze New York Strip Steak

To freeze your steak:

First, cut it into strips or cubes, or leave it in steaks – you’ll want to prepare it to be ready for how you plan to use it. Then, wrap the steak in moisture-proof plastic wrap, sealing out as much air as possible. This will prevent freezer burn.

After it is wrapped, place your steak in a resealable freezer-safe food storage bag. Keep it in the freezer for no more than six months.


What to Do with Leftover New York Strip Steak

If you have leftover steak, keeping it in the refrigerator and eating it as leftovers is fine. So here’s how to reheat steak without it turning into a tough lump of meat.

A good way to use leftover steak is to cut it into strips and use it in fajitas. You can also chop it into small pieces and spread it on top of chopped lettuce for a steak salad.



What is the best way to tenderize a New York strip steak?

Marinating a New York strip steak is the best way to tenderize it. This breaks down the protein cells while infusing the meat with flavor, spices (and more juices).


Does NY strip steak need to be tenderized?

No, New York strip steak doesn’t really need to be tenderized as long as you cook it correctly. This is already a very juicy and tender cut of beef. If you don’t overcook it, it should come out perfectly every time.


Are New York strip steaks tough?

No, New York strip steaks are not one of the tougher cuts of steak. Cube steaks are tougher than New York strip.


Why do chefs put butter on steak?

You might see chefs at steakhouses serve you a steak with some butter on top. They do this because it adds a rich flavor to the meat and softens the charred exterior, making the steak more tender.


What oil do you use for steak?

When you cook your steak, use an oil that doesn’t have a strong flavor. Vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are the most popular types to use for steak because they have a neutral flavor. You can use them on a super-hot grill without affecting the flavor.


Is the New York strip better than sirloin?

A New York Strip steak costs more than a top sirloin steak. This is because it comes from a part of the sirloin that doesn’t get a lot of exercise, so it is more tender than sirloin and has more flavor.

New York strip steak also has more marbling, making it a juicier beef cut. However, sirloin is leaner – which many people want.

Trying to pick out which one is better depends on personal preference. For example, do you care about the price? Taste? Fat content? There are so many elements to different types of steaks.

If you are looking at price and leanness, Sirloin is better than the New York strip.


Can you cook NY strip steak in the air fryer?

Yes, you can cook New York strip steak in the air fryer and a convection oven, but this is my least favorite way to cook it. This method pulls the juices away from the steak, which makes it tougher. I love a juicy steak, and the air fryer doesn’t give you a juicy steak. It dries it out.


What are effective methods for tenderizing a NY strip steak before cooking?

To tenderize a New York strip steak, use mechanical methods such as pounding with a meat mallet, scoring the surface, or applying a meat tenderizer. Enzymatic tenderizers such as papain or bromelain can also be effective if used according to their directions.


Can you suggest a marinade to enhance the tenderness of a NY strip steak?

A good marinade for New York strip steak includes acidic components like vinegar or citrus juice, oil, and flavorful herbs and spices. For example, combining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and rosemary can enhance tenderness and taste.


What is the optimal cooking time for NY strip steak in the oven to ensure it remains tender?

Cook a New York strip steak in a preheated oven at 400°F for about 8-10 minutes for medium-rare. The exact time may vary based on steak thickness and your desired level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to ensure accurate results.


What techniques should be used to cook NY strip steak on a stovetop for maximum tenderness?

When cooking on a stovetop, first let the steak reach room temperature, then sear it over high heat for 1-2 minutes each side before reducing the heat to medium and cooking for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Resting the steak after cooking is essential for tenderness.


How do you achieve a tender NY strip steak when grilling?

For a tender grilled New York strip steak, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling. Cook over high heat to sear the exterior quickly, then move to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. Don’t forget to rest the steak for 5-10 minutes before slicing.


How can thin sliced strip steak be prepared to maintain tenderness?

Thinly slice the steak against the grain after cooking, and use a marinade for at least 30 minutes before cooking to maximize tenderness. Pan-sear quickly over high heat to avoid overcooking, which can toughen the meat.


How do I make round steak tender?

Though not a New York strip steak, to tenderize round steak, marinate it for several hours, then apply a slow cooking method like braising or use a moist heat cooking method. Slicing thinly against the grain also helps make the meat more tender.


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