Minute Steak Is The Quick Cooking Cut With A Misleading Name

"Minute steak" — it sounds pretty simple, right? In a perfect world, it would be steak that cooks in a minute, just as the name suggests, although that's not entirely true. Still, the name isn't too far off base. Minute steak is a thin cut of beef that's intended to be cooked quickly and on high heat. You might get away with cooking it for one minute on each side, although a cooking time closer to two minutes per side is probably a bit more reasonable, especially if you're not a fan of rare meat.


Minute steaks tend to be more affordable options than some of the fancier and more tender varieties, as they're usually made with tougher cuts of beef; the fast cooking time means that they're not given much of a chance to get overly tough. They can often be as thin as a quarter-inch (half a centimeter) thick, and they're generally best cooked in a frypan or grill.

What cut is minute steak?

A hunk of minute steak isn't quite the same as a standard beef cut like rump, chuck, flank, and so forth. The name doesn't refer to one single cut of beef (it's more about the fast-cooking nature of this steak), meaning that a minute steak could theoretically come from various parts of the cow. In practice, minute steaks tend to be from somewhat tougher parts of the cow, such as the rump, strip, or sirloin. However, the thinness of the meat makes these steaks seem more tender than if you were cooking thicker versions of the same cuts.


The term"minute steak" is sometimes used interchangeably with "cube steak." Although cube steak is a similar, fast-cooking piece of beef (also used in dishes like chicken-fried steak), cube and minute steak have subtle differences. Cube steak tends to be an even-tougher beef cut, but it's tenderized in advance with a machine or mallet, and this means it tends to have a much less natural shape. For example, cube steaks might be squarish.

How to cook with minute steak

The standard recommendation for cooking a minute steak is to pan-fry it; a grill would work too, although minute steaks are often billed as a quick weeknight meal, so getting the grill all fired up might be excessive. A grill pan could be a happy medium, though. Season the steak as you wish — salt and pepper are good, but you could also try some herbs or a spice rub — then heat a pan to high heat. Next, throw a little oil in the pan (particularly if it's a leaner cut of beef), then add the steak and cook until it's browned and a little seared on each side, which should take as little as a minute, maybe longer if the steak is on the thicker side. Finally, let it rest a few minutes afterward, so it stays juicy.


To serve, you could easily use the drippings in your skillet to make a little pan sauce with some butter or cream, wine, and seasonings. On the side, anything from roasted vegetables to a light salad could work. All said and done, it will take longer than a minute, but not much.