Everybody’s heard of a Porterhouse steak, rump steak, or New York strip, but have you ever heard of a baseball steak? I hadn’t either until I had my first class about steaks at cooking school. Once I’d tried one, though, it was something I wouldn’t forget in a hurry!
So what is a baseball steak?
I can’t wait to introduce you to this little-known steak because, let me tell you, it’s a treat that every steak lover is going to go wild for!
By the end of this article, you will know:
- What a baseball steak is
- Where it comes from on the steer
- The best way to cook this steak
What is a Baseball Steak?
A baseball steak is a center cut taken from the top of the sirloin cap. Some confuse this cut with a sirloin steak, but a baseball steak has the bone and bottom round muscles removed. It may also be referred to as a top sirloin steak.
The baseball steak gets its name from its distinctive shape. It is very round and almost as thick as it is wide, around the size of a baseball. As it cooks, the top of the steak will rise and dome to emphasize the round shape for which these cuts are known.
Where Does Baseball Steak Come From?
I alluded to it briefly before, but a baseball steak is taken from a particular part of the sirloin.
The reason that this cut is so round is due to the shape of the muscle it’s taken from. This center cut is from the top sirloin, just in front of the round and below the tenderloin. Technically speaking, it’s made from the muscles gluteus medius and biceps femoris. Cutting out the tougher bottom round means that this cut is not only incredibly tender, but it also has an amazing deep beefy flavor that I can’t get enough of!
This cut is often mistaken for the filet mignon, but since it is from the sirloin, it has a firmer texture and is much more flavorful! The filet is also a slightly different shape – it won’t get that rounded baseball shape that this cut is known for when cooked.
Best Way to Cook a Baseball Steak
In my opinion, baseball steaks need very little intervention to make them come out juicy and delicious.
The two main ways I like to cook my baseball steak are on the grill and using the reverse sear method. In my opinion, these steaks are best-served medium to medium rare, so you are looking to cook your steak to between 125-130°F.
The right internal cooking temperature is hard to nail with a steak this thick. I recommend getting yourself a meat thermometer so you can get your steak just right. Meat thermometers are relatively affordable, and I find myself using mine all the time, especially when I’m cooking steak.
Before you cook your steak using any technique, there are a few steps you need to take:
- Take the meat out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking to let it come to room temperature. This will ensure quicker cooking times and more even cooking throughout.
- Pat down the steaks to dry off the surface of the meat.
- Sprinkle the steak liberally with salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and garlic powder. This cut is very thick, so don’t be shy with seasoning.
After you’ve done the meat prep, It’s time to get the grill ready. I like to let it fully warm before stoking the coals until they are glowing and very hot.
If you find that the steak is browning quickly while the middle is too rare, don’t worry; this method uses a cast iron skillet to get the internal temperature perfect.
- Once the coals are hot and the meat is prepped, slap the steaks on the grill to get that outside nice and caramelized.
- Cook for three minutes on each side. The internal temperature should read 120° F at this point.
- Place a cast iron skillet on the grill and let it get nice and hot.
- Add a few knobs of butter and some sprigs of rosemary.
- Once the butter has melted, add the steak to the pan.
- Baste the steaks with the melted butter while they cook on both sides.
- Cook until the internal temperature reads between 125-130 F.
- Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
The reverse sear is a method I love, and it works perfectly for a steak this thick. It involves placing the steak in the oven first to get that internal temperature, but before finishing with a good hard sear in the pan. It’s pretty simple, and the results are killer every time!
I should note that I only recommend this method for steaks 1 ½ – 2 inches thick. Cuts any thinner don’t require the extra oven time and will likely overcook.
Here is a quick step-by-step on how to reverse sear your baseball steak:
- Preheat the oven to 175-225 F.
- Place the steaks on an oven tray and place them in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 120 F.
- Get your skillet very hot, and add a few knobs of butter.
- Place your steaks in the pan and brown on each side for at least a minute.
- Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes before serving.
How to Buy a Baseball Steak
I must admit, there is one downside to baseball steaks, and that is trying to find them. They are not as common as some of the steaks that are household names, but if you know where to look, you should be able to find yourself some.
Remember, the baseball steak is also sold as the “top sirloin,” and may be easier to find by that name, especially in the US.
My local butcher is my number one spot to find baseball steaks.
The main pull for me is that if you don’t find the cut you want on the shelves, in this case, a baseball steak, you can simply go up to the counter and ask. If you have a good butcher, they might be able to special order that cut for you if you ask very nicely.
I find that a great source for more hard-to-find cuts is online butchers. They usually have locally sourced, high-quality cuts from nose to tail, including amazing steaks! My recommendation is to search online for butcheries that are based in your area to ensure that the meat is sustainable and local.
Here are just a few US-based online butcheries that stock baseball steaks:
Although supermarkets are the easiest way for most people to access meat, I can’t guarantee that they will stock baseball steaks. They usually sell whole sirloin steaks that are not separated into individual muscles. Now this might be different in stores with large in-house butcheries that focus on quality beef, so if you can find one of those near you, then you’re in luck!
Named for its distinctive round shape, the baseball steak is a prime cut of beef taken from the top of the sirloin, which can be hard to find. This specialized cut might be rare, but if you ever encounter one, I urge you to give it a try; you won’t regret it!