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What is Petite Sirloin Steak? Where Does it Come From, How to Cook it

Petite sirloin is very lean and not particularly tender. This puts many people off, as there are certainly better cuts to eat from a cow. However, it’s still great tasting and, if treated right, cooks well. Learn all about it in our guide, where we think we’ll convince you to give it a try.

Last Updated: July 27, 2021

Raw petite sirloin steaks in a tray with one sprig of parsley

This guide will show you exactly what petite Sirloin steak is, by answering all of the questions you might have.

From where it comes from on the cow to what it tastes like, and how much it costs through to the most important questions in preparing and cooking it.

Many good steaks come with premium prices attached that don’t allow for everyday feasting. And so the never-ending search for alternative cuts goes on.

From the Denver steak to the Chuck Eye, and through the array of round primal steaks, there always seems to be a new must cook steak.

Most avid grillers could talk about the qualities of a Sirloin Steak, but few have heard of the Petite Sirloin. Let alone know enough to talk about it at length.

And so we thought it was about time we broke the silence.

But what is Petite Sirloin steak? It’s not a smaller cut of Sirloin steak; instead, it is a smaller steak that is closer to a Rump cut.

But enough small talk, let’s dig in and see what the Petite Sirloin steak is all about.

What is Petite Sirloin Steak?

To put it bluntly, it is a cheaper and tougher steak than most would choose or enjoy.

It comes from the tail end of the Sirloin primal, almost into the rump area, has flavor but lacks tenderness.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a write-off. When cooked well, it can be a delightful steak. And with its coarse grain, it takes well to rubs and marinades. Which means there are many ways to turn this average steak into a good steak.

Weighing in at an average of 6 to 8 oz. per steak, it’s on the smaller end of the steak size scale.

Where Does Petite Sirloin Steak Come from on the Cow?

Diagram showing the sirloin primal on a cow

The Sirloin primal is where this steak calls home. A well known primal that is separated into the Top Sirloin Butt and Bottom Sirloin Butt.

The Petite Sirloin is part of the Bottom Sirloin Butt and is closer to the Rump primal than the Loin.

Scientifically, it is part of the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscle group, that sits at the tip of the Sirloin where it meets the round primal.

This means it is part of the locomotive group of muscles that drive the animal when it works. So, very lean, but not very tender.

Alternative Names

You would expect a steak with such a grand name to have equally grandiose nicknames, but no sir, not for the Petite Sirloin.

As we’ve covered already, the Petite Sirloin’s name really sets it up to fail on the Sirloin expectation front, but here are a few names that make a bit more sense.

Ball Tip steak: So-called because it comes from the muscle that attaches to the main muscles around the tip of the femur at the top of the hind leg.

Loin Ball Tip steak: A slight extension to the previous name in a bid to make it sound more tender, by pointing out it comes from the loin primal.

If you have any trouble finding it with any of these names, try the industry ID. This is basically the butcher code that directs them straight to the correct cut: IMPS/NAMP – 1185B, UPC – 1308.

Flavor, Texture, Fat Content, and Tenderness

When prepared well, the Petite Sirloin is a cut full of beef flavor somewhere between a Sirloin steak and a Rump steak.

It is firm to the chew with a coarse texture. It does have some marbling and a small fat ribbon that gives it a slight buttery aftertaste.

Typical Uses

Typically used as a good value stand-alone steak, the Petite Sirloin can be grilled, broiled, or braised.

Recipes that call for steaks to be slow-cooked in stock or a rich sauce are popular with those that are looking to cook the Petite Sirloin.

As always, extra moisture means extra tenderness, which is vital for tough steaks like this one.

Nutritional Info

NutritionTotal Amount (Based on 3oz Serving)% Daily Value (based
on 2000 calories/day)
Calories1508%
Saturated Fat3.5g8%
Sodium50mg2.5%
Protein25g50%
Iron1.1mg6.5%
Zinc3.7mg35%

Buying Petite Sirloin Steak

As one of many new and popular cuts, the Petite Sirloin is available at many supermarkets but not all butchers or online meat markets.

There should be no problem purchasing them from a butcher if you ask for them in advance. This is precisely why you should forge a great relationship with your butcher, and then they will be more than happy to cut them for you.

If you can find them online, it can be a much simpler process of purchasing your meat.

No scouring the aisles of the supermarket, just click and wait for the delivery to come fresh to your door.

Where to Buy it Online

As a value cut of beef, sold cheap as an alternative to more expensive cuts, the Petite Sirloin suffers a similar fate to the Round steaks. The online gourmet meat sites don’t tend to stock them.

Thankfully, a quick consult with Mr. Google does bring up a few supermarket sites that do, so here are some for you to look at:

Average Price

At the time of writing, the cost per pound is $6.99 – $8.49 per lb. across online supermarkets.

Portion Size: How Much Per Person?

Petite Sirloin Steak isolated on white

At various outlets, the Petite Sirloin can weigh anything from 4 oz. up to 8 oz. So, depending on the size of your steaks, you can cook one or two per person.

If you are cooking the steaks as part of a saucy slow-cooked dish, one steak per person will be enough if it’s accompanied by rice and vegetables.

How to Prepare for Grilling or Smoking

Regardless of what you plan on doing with your Petite Sirloins, we recommend a potent marinade. We’re talking vinegar, alcohol, or something equally caustic for your meat.

A traditional oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and Worcestershire sauce marinade is a great starting point. Then feel free to add, mustards, sweetness, or even red miso for extra oomph.

The minimum marinade time is at least 24 hours. Any less and the Petite Sirloin will still be tough. Too long and the steak’s texture will go mushy, and not very palatable. Plus, it will dull the beef flavor.

How to Cook it on a Grill

Once you have put the time and effort in to marinade your Petite Sirloins just as we directed, they are perfect for a high and dry cook on the grill.

So, fire up the grill to a high setting so that you can get a great sear and cross-hatch markings – because the presentation is half the battle. Then follow these steps:

  1. Remove your steaks from the fridge, and out of the marinade, and allow them to reach room temperature. Do this for at least 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size and thickness.
  2. Scrape any excess marinade from the steak and pat them dry. Excess moisture will reduce the grill temp as they hit the grates, reducing the quality of the sear and crust.
  3. Scrape your grates to remove any old food debris and oil them with a kitchen towel and your choice oil.
  4. Place the steaks on the grill directly over the heat and sear them for 1 to 2 minutes depending on thickness.
  5. Flip the steak and sear for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. When the internal temperature is at 125f, remove from the grill.
  7. Give each steak a healthy knob of butter, and tent in foil for a 5-minute rest. The internal temperature will continue to rise to 130 – 135f.
  8. Slice against the grain and enjoy it!

Three Best Petite Sirloin Steak Recipes from Around the Web

Uncooked beef petite sirloin steaks on butcher paper

So as you can see, once understood, this tough little steak can be coaxed into a great steak. It just takes a little patience and a good imagination for a decent marinade.

Here are our three best recipes from around the web to assist in your quest for a great steak. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Crème De La Crumb Steak and Potatoes Skillet

This recipe is about as simple as it gets and will serve you up a great steak dinner with just one pan and an oven.

Being small enough to sit in the pan with the potatoes means both the steak and spuds get a great sear and taste delicious.

Full recipe and instructions can be found here: Petite sirloin steak and potatoes skillet recipe.

Food4less Surf and Turf

The only thing better than a cheap steak dinner is a cheap surf and turf dinner.

Food4less uses the Petite Sirloin to perfection by serving it with a quick sautéed shrimp recipe. Just serve with your choice of potatoes and veggies for a great weeknight treat.

Check the method here: Petite sirloin surf and turf recipe.

Oregon Live’s Grapefruit Petite Sirloin

This recipe has all the makings of a fabulous marinade with one special ingredient, grapefruit juice.

This addition helps to tenderize the meat quicker. However, it’s not everyone’s liking, but adding honey to the mix should balance it out and make it taste amazing.

Try it here: Grapefruit petite sirloin recipe.

Conclusion

The Petite Sirloin steak has a name that shouts quality, but a provenance that falls short if you don’t know how to handle it. Get it wrong, and you will end up with a steak that most wouldn’t be happy feeding to their dogs.

Take your time to get it right, though, and you really do have a delicious steak at very low prices. As Gandhi once said, ‘to lose patience, is to lose the battle.’ So, keep to our guide, and you’ll get it right.

Whether you’re new to the Petite Sirloin or are a seasoned pro at tenderizing value cuts of meat, let us know your experience of this steak in the comments below.

We’re happy to give you tips and tricks, answer any of your questions, or a good ole pat on the back for your successes.

Hey, I’m Emma Braby, a contributing author here at FoodFireFriends.

I like to write about current BBQ trends, juicy recipes and to let our readers into tricks and tips that I’ve learnt along my BBQ journey.

I currently cook on a Kamado Joe Classic II and a Pro Q Smoker, and love nothing more than having my friends and family round at the weekend trying out my new tasty recipes.

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7 Comments

  1. Would a tenderizer hammer do any good?

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Hi Dale,

      A hammer does soften meat fibers, making the cut easier to chew on, giving it a nicer ‘mouth feel.’ Personally, I have only ever used a mallet for flattening out meat for stuffing and for making, and have never used one on a steak, (though many, many people do of course!) so I can’t really give a good assessment on how it would turn out.

  2. Awesome recipe. I bought theses 2 petite steaks on sale, $4+ bucks, followed you suggested recipe and nailed it, ate both my self…

  3. Gary Mosteller says:

    Very well done article (no pun). Great details with out bogging the reader down.

  4. Chris Wolfgram says:

    I have gotten many (most) of my Petite Sirloins on sale for $2.98 a lb ! Yes, cheaper than hamburger !
    I use a Jaccard tenderizer, followed by 6-12 hrs of marinating in Teryaki, light salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
    Then Souse Vide at 135F for 2 1/2 hrs. Chill down completely in fridge. Finally, seared on a very hot, smoky BBQ grille for an amazing crust.
    This is the best steak I’ve ever had “at any cost”…. And the cheapest too 🙂 I love having guests over to try it. And after their done, I tell them it was cheaper than hamburger ! Unbelievable 🙂

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Sounds great, Chris. Excellent work making the most, and getting the best out of, a cheaper cut. Well done!