29th July 2021
Rump, chuck, ribeye, flank; there are no shortage of cuts of beef to fry up at home, but when browsing your local supermarket, it's the sirloin that often gets top billing and a price to match.
To find which supermarket steaks were best we sampled 11 premium range sirloins from supermarkets including Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose for the June 2019 issue of Which? magazine.
Only logged in Which? members can view the results of our taste test and overall score for each sirloin steak. If you're not a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the steaks we tested.
£19.78 per Kg
Aldi’s steaks are aged for 36 days, that's more time than any other steak we tasted. 21 of those days are spent aging on the bone and Aldi says that makes the steak ‘rich, meaty and tender’.
£17.62 per Kg
At just £17.62 per Kg, Asda Specially Selected sirloins are the cheapest we tested. They still get 21 days of ageing on the bone and another nine maturing for succulence and fuller flavour.
£25 per Kg
It’s always a brave move to call a steak irresistible, but the Co-op feels confident that its premium 28 day aged sirloin is worthy of the adjective.
£34 per Kg
Being comfortably one of the priciest supermarket sirloins on offer means expectations are high for M&S’s prime cut. It’s also one of the few steaks that has been salt aged.
£22 per Kg
Aberdeen Angus and Hereford breeds are a common choice for supermarket sirloins, but Shorthorn isn’t. It’s a breed famed for its rich flavour and tender marbled meat.
£19.78 per Kg
Ocado says that the 28 days of maturing its sirloins go through ensures the steaks are ‘tender, lean and full of flavour’. Our experts thought a good crown of fat and marbling was essential to a good sirloin.
£23.33 per Kg
30 days seems to be the magic number when it comes to ageing and Sainsbury’s sirloins spend 21 days on the bone and another nine maturing to seal in freshness and flavour.
£34 per Kg
Tesco’s sirloins spend a total of 32 days maturing before skilled butchers hand trim the cuts so that only the most succulent parts remain.
£32.99 per Kg
Meltingly tender and exceptional flavour are just some of the descriptions Waitrose gives its luxury sirloins. They are also some of the priciest.
Note: Prices correct as of May 2019.
A good sirloin should be thick and even throughout.
The last thing you want is one that's thin on one side and thick on the other, otherwise you'll end up with a steak that's rare on one end and overdone on the other.
If the steak you buy is too thin then the edges will curl during cooking, which doesn't look good on the plate and again makes them tough to cook evenly.
A good sirloin needs a healthy wedge of fat across the top.
This key strip of flavour was sadly lacking on some of the steaks we sampled.
Look for marbling, too. These thin ribbons of fat should run through the meat adding delicious flavour throughout.
You shouldn't go for a pale cut, instead find the steaks that are a delicious deep red.
The colour is all to do with the amount of myoglobin in the meat. Without steering (no pun intended) too far into a biology lesson, more myoglobin means the meat came from an older, more active cow.
You've chosen a prime cut of beef and now it's time to do it justice in the kitchen.
Follow these five steps and you will get mouthwatering steak every time.
Dry-aged, matured, salt-aged are just some of the descriptions you'll see on the packet.
If a steak you're eyeing up has been matured for 30 days then that could mean it's been sat in its sealed vacuum pack for that long, or it could've been hung for a week before being sealed for the remaining 23 days.
That's not say that ageing in the packaging is bad. This process locks in moisture and helps oxygenate the meat, which gives it that rich red colour.
If meat says it's been dry-aged for a certain length of time then that's how long it has been hung on the bone for. Interestingly, this doesn't necessarily affect flavour, but it does improve texture.
Ultimately, you shouldn't be beholden to how the meat has been aged. Don't assume that a steak that's gone through a fancy ageing process will taste any better than ones that haven't.
We used five experts, ranging from butchers to chefs, well versed in all things beef to sample our choice sirloins by viewing one raw steak and rating its appearance and aroma before each getting a separate cooked one prepared with oil, salt and fried in a pan until medium rare.
We chose to pan fry them since that’s how most people prepare them throughout the year, but our top choice steaks will cook just as well on a barbecue. They rated the cooked steaks for taste, juiciness, tenderness, aroma, appearance and texture.