How To Cook A Cross Rib Steak

How To Cook A Cross Rib Steak? | Find The Best Answer

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How to cook a cross rib steak? With just a bit of preparation and practice, you can create an amazing dinner the entire family will love. Whether you’re a novice chef or an avid home cook looking for new recipes, this comprehensive guide is designed to help you execute the perfect cross rib steak. From choosing the best cut of meat to marinating and seasoning tips, this blog post has everything you need to master your steak-cooking skills. So let’s get started on your journey toward deliciousness.

Cooking Methods

Cooking Methods

There are a few approaches to cooking a cross rib steak, depending on your desired result. For ultimate tenderness, braising is the way to go. For a quicker cook time, you’ll want to use a tenderizing technique before grilling or pan-searing. You can also cut the steak thin and use fast, high-heat methods like stir-frying.

Braising for Ultimate Tenderness

Braising is the technique if you want your cross rib steak to become fall-apart tender. Braising involves browning the meat first for flavor, then slowly cooking it in a flavorful liquid. This extended cooking time at a low temperature turns this typically tough cut meltingly tender.

To braise, first pat the steak dry and generously season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy braising pan over medium-high heat. Brown the steak well on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the steak from the pan. Add aromatics like onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Deglaze the pan with a cup of wine or broth, using a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Return the steak to the pan and add enough liquid, such as beef broth, wine, or tomato sauce, to come about halfway up the side of the steak. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and transfer to a 275-325°F oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is extremely tender when poked with a fork. Remove from oven, transfer steak to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before slicing across the grain. Serve with the braising liquid on the side.

For variety, try different braising liquids like red wine, stout beer, tomato sauce, or salsa. Herbs, spices, and aromatics like onions, carrots, celery, and garlic add great depth of flavor. The long braising time allows the flavors to permeate the meat.

Quick-Cooking with Tenderization

For a shorter cook time, use a tenderizing technique before grilling or pan-searing. Tenderizing helps break down the steak’s tough muscle fibers so it cooks up tender in less time.

Mechanical Tenderizing

Use a meat mallet or needling tool like a Jaccard to physically break down the muscle fibers. Pound the steak with the mallet until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. For a Jaccard tool, pierce the steak all over with the thin blades. This disruption makes the meat much more tender.

After tenderizing, season the steak well. Grill over high heat for 4-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Or pan-sear in a very hot skillet with oil for a few minutes per side. The thinner the steak, the less time it needs. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing across the grain.

A drawback to mechanical tenderizing is it can make the steak cook up drier. Be careful not to overcook.

Enzymatic Marinade

For a chemical-free tenderizer, use an enzymatic marinade. The enzymes in acidic ingredients like buttermilk, yogurt, wine, beer, pineapple, or kiwi help break down proteins.

To marinate, place the steak in a sealed bag or dish with your marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Grill or pan sear as desired. The enzymes continue working during cooking for an even more tender result.

Thin Cuts for Fast Cooking

Cutting the steak thin before cooking allows for quick grilling or stir-frying without tenderizing. Popular thin-cut methods include London broil and stir-fry.

London Broil

For London broil, have your butcher slice the steak against the grain into 1/2 inch thick portions. Or place steak in freezer for 30 minutes until very firm but not frozen. Slice very thin against the grain.

Season the slices well with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat for just 2-4 minutes per side until browned and medium-rare. Don’t overcook, or the thin slices will toughen. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve in thin slices. The thin slices make this typically chewy cut more tender.


For stir-fry, slice raw steak against the grain into 1/4 inch thick strips. Marinate if desired. Heat a wok or skillet over very high heat. Cook steak strips in batches for just 1-2 minutes, stir-frying until browned but still pink inside. Mix in your desired seasonings and vegetables. Serve immediately. The quick cooking keeps the thin strips from overcooking.

Cutting cross rib steak thin before cooking allows for fast cooking methods. Just be sure to always slice against the grain – this shortens the muscle fibers so they don’t contract and toughen.

Selecting the Right Steak

When purchasing your steak, consider the desired result. For braising, choose a thicker, more marbled steak with generous fat cap. The fat will help keep it moist through the long cook time.

For grilling or stir-fry, look for a steak that is evenly thick through the center. Thinner steaks cook more quickly. Marbling is less important since cooking times are shorter.

Let your butcher know if you need the steak cut to a certain thickness or sliced against the grain. Specify 1/2 inch for mechanical tenderizing methods. Or 1/4 inch for stir-fry.

For any cooking method, allow the steak to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Cold steak from the fridge takes longer to cook.

Additional Tips for Cooking Cross Rib Steak

Cut Against the Grain

Cutting against the grain is one of the most important tips for cooking cross rib steak perfectly. The grain of the meat refers to the direction that the muscle fibers run. When you cut with the grain, the long muscle fibers contract and toughen as they cook.

Instead, always slice cross rib steak against the grain. This shortens the muscle fibers so they don’t contract as much. The result is a much more tender and enjoyable steak, regardless of cooking method.

To find the direction of the grain, look closely at the surface of the raw steak. The muscle fibers should run in a slightly visible pattern or texture. Cut perpendicular across this grain pattern for maximum tenderness.

Check Doneness with a Thermometer

Since cross rib steak varies in thickness, using an instant-read thermometer is the best way to test doneness. This prevents over or undercooking.

For medium-rare, take the steak off heat when it reaches 135°F internally. The temperature will continue rising as it rests. For medium, cook to 145°F and for well-done 160°F. Always let the steak rest at least 5 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.

If you don’t have a thermometer, you can check doneness by feel. A rare steak will be quite soft when pressed, medium-rare will have some spring, medium will feel firmer, and well-done will be very firm. Cut into the thickest part of the steak to check the internal color.

Get Creative with Flavor

Don’t be afraid to try bold flavors with your cross rib steak. Marinades, spice rubs, and braising liquids are all great ways to add flavor.

For marinades, consider ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, mustard, herbs, and Worcestershire sauce. Let the steak soak for at least 2 hours for the flavors to permeate.

Dry rubs with spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne bring tons of flavor. Apply generously before cooking.

When braising, the steak takes on the flavor of the liquid. Try tomato sauce, salsa, wine, beer, broth, balsamic vinegar, fruit juice, or a creamy sauce. Play around and find your favorite combinations.

With the right preparation, you can make cross rib steak an amazing and flavorful meal. Follow these tips for perfect results every time.


Cross rib steak has great beefy flavor. With the right technique, you can achieve a tender, juicy result full of flavor. For ultimate tenderness, braise the steak for hours in a flavorful liquid like wine or broth. To reduce cook time, tenderize mechanically or with marinade before grilling or pan-searing. Or simply cut the steak thin and use a fast, hot cooking method like stir-frying. No matter the technique, always remember to slice against the grain before serving. With a little know-how, you can enjoy melt-in-your-mouth cross rib steak any night of the week.

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