Tender, lean top sirloin is a juicy and flavorful cut of steak that's not super expensive — which is probably why it's so popular. The top sirloin cut is boneless, so it's easy to work with and very versatile. Steak lovers, rejoice. This is a tasty cut of meat that's affordable enough to eat regularly. Here's how to cook it.
How to Cook Boneless Top Sirloin at a Glance
This chart offers approximate cooking times on a grill or in a medium-high pan to get the steak to its desired doneness. Sear on high heat (450°F to 500°F) first for about 3 minutes per side, and then cook on medium-high heat (375°F) according to the chart below. Remove the steak and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving. The steak will rise in temp by about 5°F.
|5 to 6 minutes
|6 to 7 minutes
|7 to 8 minutes
How to Cook Top Sirloin Steaks Step-by-Step
With the basics in mind, let's break down the steps to making your boneless sirloin steak super tasty and tender.
Step 1 - Season Your Top Sirloin
Unless you're an absolute meat purist (I've known a few in my life — no seasoning on meat... meat is enough), a little seasoning will bring out the best flavors in your boneless sirloin. Rubs and marinades both work well for this purpose, and they both take about the same amount of time.
There's a myth that marinades penetrate deep into the meat, but unless you inject them into your sirloin, they don't. Both marinades and rubs add flavor to the sirloin's surface. For best results, rest the meat in the marinade or with the dry rub for about four hours (in the fridge for food safety, please).
To Make Marinade for Your Steak
You can use a commercially prepared marinade or make your own. If you prefer to make your own, include the following components.
- A liquid base — Contrary to popular belief, this doesn't need to be an acid like vinegar. In fact, marinating beef for long periods in acid allows the acid to cook the beef partially and gives it a mushy texture. Some good liquid bases for your marinade include red wine and beef stock, or a combination of liquids, such as a little citrus juice, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce.
- Salt — Adding salt or salty ingredients to your marinade helps flavor the meat. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce or a half teaspoon of sea salt to the marinade. It doesn't take much salt to flavor the meat when distributed in liquid.
- Other seasonings and flavorings - These can include flavors like garlic, pepper, onion, shallot, thyme, honey, brown sugar, rosemary, tarragon, Dijon mustard, fish sauce, or whatever sounds good to you at the moment.
I like a marinade that has ¼ cup red wine, 1 cup of beef stock, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of chopped shallot, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, and ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper.
To Use a Dry Rub
Alternatively, you can season your meat with a dry rub. You can purchase rubs for meats in the spice aisle of your grocery store or mix up a simple dry rub that adds tremendous flavor.
For a dry rub, I like 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper.
Step 2 - Dry the Boneless Sirloin
If you've marinated the meat, it will be pretty damp. To prepare it for cooking (so you can get a good sear), blot away any excess marinade with a paper towel. After blotting (which is unnecessary if you've used a dry rub), allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to come up slightly in temperature. This prepares the meat's surface for cooking.
Step 3 - Cook Your Steak
A delicious steak is crisp on the outside and moist on the inside, so you need to select the proper cooking method to maximize tenderness and flavor.
Gas Grilling Method to Cook Top Sirloin
One of the best methods for cooking this type of steak is on the grill. In order to develop flavor, you will need to use an extremely hot grill (450° to 500°F) to sear the meat, followed by grilling at a moderate temperature (375°F) to cook it through.
- Turn all the burners to high and preheat with the lid closed for about 15 minutes.
- Turn one burner down to medium.
- Place the steak on the hot burner. Grill until well-browned on one side for about two to three minutes. It is important to the development of the flavorful crust that you don't move the meat during this searing process.
- Flip the steak and grill it on the other side for about two to three minutes.
- Move the steak over to the cooler side of the grill. Put the lid down and grill according to the cooking chart.
Charcoal Grilling Method Instructions
Charcoal adds a smoky flavor to the meat you won't get from a gas grill. To use a charcoal grill:
- Build a two-level fire where the grill is closer to the charcoal on one side (stack charcoal higher) and farther away on the other side.
- When charcoal is ready, grill steak over the hot side of the fire for two to three minutes per side — until steak is well-browned on both sides.
- Move the steak to the cooler part of the grill. Continue grilling according to the cooking chart.
Instructions for Pan Frying Your Steak
You can pan-fry the steak from start to finish if it is one inch thick or less, or pan-fry to start and finish in a 350°F oven if it is thicker than an inch. Choose an oven-proof, thick-bottomed skillet, such as a cast-iron skillet.
- Heat a tablespoon or two of oil or butter in the skillet on medium-high.
- Add the steak and cook without moving, two to three minutes per side.
- If the steak is one inch or less thick, turn off the heat. Tent the pan with foil and allow the steak to rest for about seven minutes. The pan will retain enough heat to continue cooking the steak.
- For a thicker steak, transfer the pan to a preheated 350°F oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer measures the desired temperature.
How to Broil Your Steak
To broil your steak, heat your oven's broiler on high with a broiling pan in the oven preheating. Set the oven rack to the middle position.
- After about 10 minutes, place the steak on the broiler pan in the oven.
- Broil for about five minutes per side.
Instructions to Roast Your Steak
You can also roast your steak in a preheated oven. Adding a little liquid to the pan allows the meat to retain its moisture and tenderness. To roast:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add two cups of marinade to a baking dish and add the steak.
- Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for two to three hours, or until very tender.
Slow Cooker Method for Cooking Top Sirloin
A slow cooker is a hands-off way to cook your steak.
- Add vegetables, such as sliced onions and carrots, to the slow cooker.
- Add two cups of marinade or another liquid.
- Add the steak. Cover and cook on low for eight hours or on high for four hours.
Step 4 - Let It Rest
If you cut the steak too soon, the juices will drain out. Therefore, once the steak has cooked, allow it to rest tented with foil on a cutting board for about 10 minutes.
Step 5 - Cut the Steak
For maximum tenderness, slice the steak very thinly against the grain. Doing so shortens the steak fibers, making it less chewy.
The Perfect Boneless Top Sirloin Steak
There are as many ways to cook a boneless sirloin steak as there are to flavor it. Add some of your favorite ingredients and the cooking method of choice to make your steak delicious and memorable. And while we doubt there will be leftovers, if there are, try our recipes for leftover steak.