Top Blade Steak: History, Origins, and Preparation

Two raw top blade steaks on a black surface with rosemary sprigs

In comparison to the well-known and lucrative filet mignon or prosperous porterhouse, the top blade steak is one of the less well-known cuts currently available.

You might have already tried it, or you might have consumed the same piece of meat cut in a different manner, which is then referred to as the Flat Iron steak (don't worry, I'll explain it later). )

Because, as the old adage goes, "it's the quiet ones that you need to watch out for," and the Top Blade is most certainly one of those steaks, we've made it our mission to educate our readers on ALL of the different cuts of meat that are available.

It has a flavor that is buttery and beefy, is tender when cooked properly, is relatively inexpensive, and offers a great value for the money.

After reading this guide, you will know everything there is to know about Top Blade, regardless of whether you are an avid fan of Top Blade or a complete novice to it.

We are going to discuss its origins on the cow, the various names it is known by, the best places to purchase it, and, most importantly, how to prepare it so that it is tender and flavorful.

It is the same muscle as the Flat Iron steak, but instead of being cut against the line of the gristle to create two long flat cuts, it is cut into cross-sections with the line of gristle running through the middle of each steak. The result is a steak that looks very similar to the Flat Iron steak.

This cut is reminiscent of a Marmite steak; either you'll adore it or despise it.

When prepared properly, it releases a wealth of flavor, and the cost per serving is extremely reasonable. Hate, due to the fact that the line of gristle is too much hassle for some people, and they would say that you might as well just get a Flat Iron instead.

However, in this article of our guide, we will explain in detail how the Top Blade differs from the Flat Iron, as well as all of the advantages associated with using the Top Blade.

Visit our comprehensive guide to all beef cuts, complete with a chart and a diagram, if you are interested in learning about other types of beef cuts.

Where exactly on the cow does the top blade steak come from?

Diagram showing the chuck primal on a cow

The Chuck primal, also known as the shoulder of the cow, is where the Top Blade steak comes from. This primal is known for producing cuts that are both rich and flavorful.

To be more specific, it originates from the Top Blade subprimal, which is also known as the Infraspinatus muscle. This muscle is recognized as being the second most tender muscle throughout the entirety of the steer.

This cut of beef, like the vast majority of others, is known by a few other names as well:

  • The northeastern coast of the United States is more likely to use this name for chicken steak. However, the exact reason why it is called that is unknown, and it is a name that can be somewhat confusing to those who are unsure whether you are referring to bovine or poultry products.
  • Boneless Top Chuck steak is a cut that originates from the top of the Chuck primal, as indicated by its name, which is also more self-explanatory given that it does not contain any bones.
  • Book steak gets its name from the seam-like appearance of the line of gristle that runs down the middle of the cut.

The Industry ID for the Top Blade is 1114D (IMPS/NAMPS), and 1136, 1114 (UPC). If you ever need it, or if you've confused your butcher with your description of it, this information is available to you.

Flavor, Tenderness, Texture, and the Amount of Fat in It

sliced grilled top blade steak on a black plate with some cherry tomatoes

You will find that it has a flavor that is comparable to that of flat iron or blade chuck steaks.

It has a flavor that is very reminiscent of butter, and the meat that is located around the gristle line is very tender. Because it does not have a fat cap and marbling runs beautifully throughout, it has a flavor that is both creamy and rich.

If you try to eat the gristle that runs through the middle of the steak, or if you cook the steak for too long, it can become quite chewy.

This cut can easily be ruined, so make sure to cook it skillfully, and make sure to use an instant-read thermometer so that you can hit your target temperature accurately.

Never cook it beyond medium, as doing so will cause the gristle strip and the meat around it to turn into rubber, which will result in some very disappointed guests.

You have much more control over the Top Blade steak when you are cooking it in comparison to the flatter Flat-Iron, which many beef connoisseurs prefer. This is because the Top Blade steak is much thicker, meatier, and consistent in shape than the Flat Iron.

It is possible to consume it on its own as a steak, with the chewing process requiring the consumer to navigate around the gristle line.

It can also be used in any dish that is cooked slowly, such as stews and casseroles, or it can be smoked slowly until it reaches the desired level of doneness.


Nutrition Total Amount (Based on a Serving Size of 3 Ounces) %DV (determined based on a daily caloric intake of 2000) Calories 160 8% Fat That Is Saturated 3.2 g 18% Protein 24 g 48% Iron 2.6 mg 15% Zinc 8.2 mg 60%

Spending money on top-cut steak

Two raw top blade steaks on a slate board, with garlic, pink peppercorns and thyme

This steak, which is becoming more popular as a result of its price being lower than that of most others, can be purchased in some grocery stores; however, it is not easily accessible in all of them.

It is known as the Chicken steak in the northeastern part of the United States, where it is more common, so if you live in that region, you have a better chance of finding it.

While you are looking for it, you should keep in mind that depending on where you live, it could be referred to by a different name; therefore, you should remember all of its other names.

Utilizing online meat markets is a simple way to save time and eliminate the hassle associated with the task of locating your legs. You won't even have to get out of your favorite armchair to check on inventory, which is especially convenient if you're quarantined for the coronavirus right now like we are.

According to the preliminary findings of my investigation, it would appear that there are no online retailers that stock it. However, there are only a small number of online butcher shops that list it under any of its other names.

At the time this article was written, the following online butcher shops had it listed on their websites:

  • Meat from the Applestone
  • Fresh Meat from Local Farmers

If you are unable to find it online, or if any of the previously mentioned stores do not have it in stock when you need it, be sure to cultivate a relationship with your neighborhood butcher. They will be happy to locate and acquire it for you.

The Standard Cost

It is less expensive than the Flat Iron simply due to the fact that a lot of people do not like the inconvenience of the gristle strip.

But if you're up for the challenge or just want to try your hand at some butchering, the Top Blade steak is an excellent value.

As of the time of this writing, the cost ranges between $4 and . 99 and 99 cents per pound, which gets you a great deal of flavor and tenderness for your money.

five top blade steaks on a chopping board The majority of people only need one steak to feel satisfied.

Before placing an order for the meat, you should consider, as is the case with every cut of steak, whether you intend to satisfy the needs of five thousand people or just your immediate family.

The Top Blade steak typically ranges in weight from 8 to 10 ounces. One of these is sufficient for one person, so depending on the size of the child's appetite, either one or half of one will do.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Grill or Smoker When Cooking Top Blade Steak

Many people who are passionate about grilling will tell you that while they prefer to remove the silver skin and sinew from most steaks before cooking them, they find that leaving a small amount of sinew on this steak helps to achieve a succulent tenderness on the inside while still achieving a good sear on the outside. Don't cut this guy too much slack just yet.

Regardless of what the instructions on the package say, the method that yields the best results and makes cooking this cut the least difficult is to roast it in the oven.

Because it contains that string of gristle down the middle, there is a possibility that it will become overcooked and turn into a thick rubber band that not even the dog will eat.

The only way to guarantee that it will remain tender while being cooked is to do so in a slow manner using a method that generates moisture, such as braising, or low and slow smoking, with plenty of basting or mopping sauce taking place.

Two cooked top blade steaks with tomatoes

Because it does not have a fat cap or fat ribbons, it requires a substantial amount of moisture when it is cooked in order to remain juicy and tender.

Here is our guide to making a delicious braise, which can be prepared in the oven and kitchen, or directly on the grill using a cast iron pot or Dutch oven.

  1. Prepare the grill according to your tastes, then preheat it to approximately 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Apply a generous amount of salt and a great deal of ground black pepper on both sides of the steaks.
  3. In a large pan with a heavy base, heat a little bit of oil over medium heat, and sear the meat for a couple of minutes on each side.
  4. Take the steaks off the heat and place them on a plate to the side.
  5. Put in a glug of new oil in the frying pan and cook some onion over medium heat until it turns golden brown and becomes tender. At this point, you have the option of enhancing the dish's flavor further by including garlic.
  6. Deglaze the pan by adding one cup of stock—beef stock is what we typically use, but vegetable stock or even a glass of red wine will also work. Once the remnants of the meat and onions have been removed from the bottom of the pan, place the steaks back in the pan.
  7. Stir in just enough stock to cover the steaks, and cook for another minute. Bring everything to a boil, then take the dish away from the heat.
  8. After ensuring that the lid fits the pot snugly, place it on the grill at a temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit while it is being preheated.
  9. 90 minutes of cooking time for every pound Of beef
  10. Check the surface of the stock at regular intervals and remove any fat that you find by skimming it off.
  11. Transfer the meat to a plate when it is tender, but is not falling apart. After allowing it to rest for five minutes, serve it with the sauce or gravy of your choosing, along with a hearty side dish.
  12. Savor the tender and flavorful steak, which will cut cleanly and dissolve in your mouth.
Grilled and sliced top blade steaks with a pot of sea salt and some rosemary leaves

Using this recipe, you can make a steak that is so tender that it practically melts in your mouth. It is topped with tender vegetables and is served with crushed potatoes. Simple yet delicious

Recipe for braised beef blade, available for your perusal here.

Momfoodie's Portuguese Blade Steaks can be found here.

This dish gets its robust flavor from the traditional cooking style of the Mediterranean.

The steaks are cooked over a low heat for a long period of time, and smoked paprika and tomatoes are used to keep them moist. The end product is a beef and sauce combination that will blow your mind with its depth, richness, and smokiness.

Find out everything you need to know about these Portuguese blade steaks by reading this recipe.

Also See

Recipe for Blade Steaks with Mushrooms, courtesy of

This is one of the few recipess that we discovered that can cook the Blade as quickly as any other steak on the grill while still resulting in a meal that is tender and moist.

The secret is to cut slits in the cartilage and to cook the steak twice as long.

After being grilled and given some time to rest, it is re-warmed in a sauce that is based on stock in order to re-hydrate it and reheat it. Exception to the rule that grilling is not allowed due to its delicious flavor.

Here is the recipe for blade steaks with mushrooms, so you can drool over it.

You asked for it, and here it is: the legendary Top Blade steak in all its glistening glory.

Taking the time to learn how to properly prepare this premium steak is essential if you want to savor every bite of it. If you manage to get that right, you will be rewarded with a new star for your collection of cooking accomplishments.

Contact us in the comments section below if you are aware of any online meat markets that sell the Top Blade steak or if you have any top cooking tips and tricks for it, so that we can share them with our dedicated readers and with ourselves.

Happy grilling

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