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Raw fillet steaks from free-range cattle
Porterhouse steaks on the grill

A steak ( English steak [ steɪk ], from Old Norse Steik , "roast", to steikja "roast on a spit"; cf. Icelandic Steik "roast" ; steikt , "fried") is a slice of beef that is suitable for short frying or grilling . Steaks that come from other animals and meats, marked accordingly in their name (eg. As veal steak , pork steak , turkey steak , venison steak , etc.). Slices of larger, firm-fleshed fish such as swordfish , tuna , shark or salmon that are cut across the spine are also known as steaks.


Sirloin steak with french fries
Fillet steak with fries dauphine
  • According to the German public opinion, the general terms steak and beef steak are identical. The use of certain cuts is not mandatory. In Germany, beef steaks are often cut from the top shell . In Austria, however, the term beef steak is firmly defined for a steak made from fillet of beef . German Beefsteak is the name of a hamburger steak , not a steak in the true sense, but a molded minced meat mixture that is similar prepared and consumed in uncooked state.
  • Beef steak tartare , on the other hand, is made from seasoned scrap meat and consumed raw.
  • In some areas of northern Germany (Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and parts of Lower Saxony) the term gap is not used for the entire club, but only for the upper shell in the club. Accordingly, in these regions cleft steaks are mainly cut from the topside.
  • T-bone and porterhouse steak are not differentiated from each other under food law. A T-bone steak may be offered as a porterhouse steak and vice versa. The consumer expects the porterhouse steak to have a larger fillet portion and an overall thicker slice.
  • As prime rib steak is a steak is prime rib , respectively. It is usually cooked in one piece in the oven and only divided into slices for serving.

Types of meat


In principle, a beef steak can be cut from any part of the beef muscle that is suitable for short frying. However, lean, low-connective tissue sections are preferably used. As a rule, steaks do not contain bones. Exceptions are: T-bone steak, porterhouse steak, rib steak, sometimes also club steak and American cuts of sirloin steaks (pin bone sirloin steak, wedge bone sirloin steak, etc.). It is not prescribed for all steaks which part they are cut from; rather, terms such as gourmet steak, barbecue steak, grill steak, councilor steak are purely imaginary names. Most steak cuts, however, are precisely defined by food law and their names clearly indicate the use of certain cuts of meat.

Suitable cuts of beef are:

Divisible into the thin fillet tip (end piece), the high quality middle piece and the fillet head located in the leg, qualitatively below.
Hip (also called flower)
A section from the club that can be dismantled into the hip pin, the narrow and the thick hips. The latter two pieces form the so-called steak hip (sometimes only the thick hip is used for steak cuts).
Upper shell
Another part of the leg, which can be divided into the (round) upper shell , which is more suitable for braising, e.g. for roulades , and the smaller corner piece (also called cone), which is better suited as steak meat.
roast beef
Divisible into the round roast beef , which protrudes into the high rib in the shape of a tongue (hence also called tongue piece in some regions), and the flat roast beef, which comes from the lower back. The flat roast beef with backbones and fillet is known as the big loin.
Prime rib (also called high rib or high roast beef)
Lies between the sixth and ninth thoracic vertebrae . The raised rib consists of the flat high rib lid and the round roast beef, which forms the lean core or the rib eye of the prime rib. Complete slices of the prime rib (also with bones) or just the removed core can be used for steaks.

A well-known steak is the T-bone steak, which consists of the meat of the roast beef and the fillet and also contains an eponymous T-shaped lumbar vertebrae . The butcher cuts these steaks into slices weighing up to 700 grams . A beef fillet medallion, on the other hand, consists of the meat of the fillet tip or the center piece and weighs less than 150 g. In general, a cut of approx. 200 g per person (160–250 g) is recommended for boneless steaks. For smaller cuts (tournedos, filet mignon, beef fillet medallion), two pieces of meat may be required per person. Bone-based steaks are heavier due to their non-edible components. The slice thickness of a steak is usually at least two centimeters.

The main types of steak
designation Brief description Cooking time
(minutes per side)
Chateaubriand Fillet steak cut twice thick from the middle piece, 360 g approx. 5-6
Club steak Slice from the back of the prime rib or from the adjacent roast beef, with or without the bone
Entrecote traditionally a slice from the prime rib, more recently also from roast beef, 200-550 g approx 4
Entrecôte double 5–6 cm thick slice of roast beef, approx. 400–500 g approx. 10
Entrecôte Château 6–9 cm thick slice of roast beef, approx. 600 g approx. 12-15
Fillet steak Slice from the fillet (center piece), approx. 160–220 g 2.5-3
Filet mignon Slice from the fillet tip 2.5-3
Hip steak or hoof steak A 2–3 cm thick slice from the hip, also called a point steak 3-4
Cleft steak Steak from the leg (usually from the hip or upper shell)
Porterhouse steak Large roast beef steak approx. 700–1000 g, with bones and a large portion of fillet - a thicker cut than a T-bone steak. 12
Prime rib steak from the lean core of the prime rib, approx. 2–3 cm thick and 200 g
Rib-eye steak or Delmonico steak Slices of the loosened round roast beef of the prime rib, approx. 2–3 cm thick and 200 g 3-4
Rib steak or prime rib chop Bone steak from the prime rib
Rumpsteak Approx. 2–3 cm thick slice from the roast beef or from the adjacent part of the hip (flower) 200–250 g 4th
Sirloin steak English name for rump steak, but usually more difficult to cut
Tournedos small steak from the fillet, approx. 2 cm thick, 80–100 g 2.5-3
Tenderloin steak English name for fillet steak 2.5-3
T-bone steak Roast beef slice with bone and a small portion of fillet, 400–600 g; thinner cut than the porterhouse steak. 8th
Flank steak From the thinning / belly flap, approx. 1000 g 8th
Skirtsteak ( Kronfleisch ) diaphragm 8th

The cooking times relate to well-hung meat from a young cattle and to the medium cooking level.


A fish steak is a slice of the fish cut across the center bone, compared to a fish fillet , which is always cut parallel to the center bone. In order for the steak not to fall apart during the cooking process, the fish meat needs to be fairly firm.

Suitable for cutting steak are e.g. B. salmon , swordfish , halibut , turbot or tuna . The larger fish make boneless steaks, while smaller fish (such as salmon) make steaks that contain skin, meat, the middle bones and smaller bones. Fish steaks are usually grilled, fried, baked or deep-fried (with or without breading ).

Poultry meat

Poultry steaks (turkey steak, chicken steak) are usually obtained from the breast fillet of the animals.


A pink roasted veal steak

Veal steaks are primarily cut from the fillet, the back and the hip. Rather small steak slices from the veal fillet are called fillet medallions . Medallion cuts from the fillet of other animal species carry additional information (e.g. beef fillet medallion or medallion from pork fillet, etc.).

Horse meat

Horse steaks are mainly cut from the fillet, the back and front back, the topside and the hip.

pork meat

Pork steaks come from the neck (pork neck steak, pork ridge steak), the loosened chop (pork loin steak, minute steak from pork, butterfly steak from pork), the hip (pork steak, hip steak from pork) or the fillet (pork fillet medallion). Pork lumberjack steaks are cut from the comb (neck) or shoulder and may contain bones.

Deer meat

Steaks, venison fillets or medallions are cut from venison .


All steaks (with the exception of fish steaks) are cooked by roasting or grilling , rarely also by poaching . However, with some types of steak, short, spicy searing, followed by cooking in a preheated stove, is becoming increasingly popular. Different cooking levels are distinguished here.

Before a steak is put on the grill or in the pan, it should be stored for some time at room temperature so that the core temperature reaches ambient temperature (approx. 20 ° C).

Designations of the cooking levels in different languages
Cooking level Core temperature German English French
raw 20 ° C raw raw cru
almost raw 36 ° C blue blue rare, very rare bleu
Core raw Max. 45 ° C bloody rare saignant
inner core raw Max. 55 ° C English medium rare medium
half done 56-61 ° C pink medium anglaise
almost done 61-68 ° C half pink medium well à point
well done > 68 ° C through (fried) well done bien cuit

The steak prepared in the pan should rest in the preheated oven for about five to eight minutes before serving. The reason for this is that the meat fibers are under great tension from the heated meat juice and so a lot of juice escapes when the meat is cut. Resting reduces the pressure in the cells and thus the juice leakage during the cut.


  • Günther Bischoff, Gerhard Bamberger, Klaus Bippes: meat processing. Expertise and technical arithmetic. Schroedel Schulbuchverlag, Hanover 1996, ISBN 3-507-91412-3 .

Web links

Commons : Steaks  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Steak  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d German Food Book, Guidelines for Meat and Meat Products , LS: 2.506
  2. Codex Alimentarius Austriacus, A 4.5
  3. Codex Alimentarius Austriacus, A 4.5.1
  4. German Food Book, Principles for Meat and Meat Products, LS: 2.507.1.2
  5. Principles for meat and meat products. (PDF) In: German food book. German Food Book Commission, November 25, 2015, accessed on August 2, 2018 : “2.507.2 - German Beefsteak, Hackbeefsteak. Starting material: low-tendon beef (1,111), coarsely torn beef (1,112) "
  6. German Food Book, Principles for Meat and Meat Products, LS: 2.503
  8. a b c Norbert Latz (ed.): Butchery today. 3. Edition. Verlag Handwerk und Technik, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-582-01400-2 , p. 210 ff.
  9. Retails Cuts of Beef, US Meat Export Federation
  10. Heinrich Keim: The specialist knowledge of the progressive butcher. 9th edition. Sponholz, Frankfurt am Main 1981, ISBN 3-87150-159-X , p. 120 ff.
  11. German Food Book, Guidelines for Meat and Meat Products, LS: 2.502 ff.
  12. a b c d e German Food Book, Guidelines for Meat and Meat Products, LS: 2.502
  13. a b c d e German Food Book, Guidelines for Meat and Meat Products, LS: 2.501
  14. a b German food book, guidelines for meat and meat products, LS: 2.505
  15. ^ German food book, guidelines for meat and meat products, LS: 2.504
  16. Cooking levels of steak .
  17. Norbert Latz (ed.): Butchery today. 3. Edition. Verlag Handwerk und Technik, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-582-01400-2 , p. 270.