What cut of meat is best for Philly Cheesesteaks?

Last Updated on June 18th, 2023

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You may hear from various sources that it will be possible to use shaved beef or chuck roast to make cheese steak sandwiches, but it must be said the only choice for a real authentic Philly Cheesesteak will be to use Ribeye steak. 

When you ask any native or sandwich experts from the Philadelphia area, there is no substitute for the top-shelf cuts from a good ribeye steak.

If you choose to use another meat, those same chefs and knowledgeable sandwich tasters will call those cheesesteaks similar flavor but no cigar. In this article, we will explore the traits of a true Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. 

Pieces of raw beef - What cut of meat is best for Philly Cheesesteaks?

Which Cut is the Popular Choice?

The cut needed for a quality Philadelphia origin authentic-made Philly Cheesesteak will be a thinly sliced, lightly cooked, and seasoned ribeye cut of beef. 

Using a combination of salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings with these thinly sliced meats creates the flavor palette found in a well-made authentic Pennsylvania cultural sandwich. 

When you are looking for a substitute meat to make a cheese steak sandwich, consider looking for a good chuck roast after cooking in a crockpot for an afternoon or a selection between one of these following meats, cut thinly:


  • Flank Steak
  • Sirloin Steak
  • Skirt Steak
  • Top Round


Which Meat Cuts are the Easiest to Use for a Cheesesteak?

If you ask any Philly native, there is no substitute for a solid Ribeye Steak, thinly cut and cooked to perfection. To be focused on those budgets that cannot always afford these top-shelf cuts, consider using a Top sirloin, London broil, or a chuck roast. 

These are all cuts known to be easily sliced thinly. If slicing raw, allow it to chill to make it easier. Otherwise, be sure to make the cuts after letting it rest for around ten to fifteen minutes. 

Just so you know, the sandwich you will be making will be a cheesesteak unless you use what the serious Philly cheese steak enthusiast will tell you is a must, perfectly thin sliced ribeye steak. 


What is Cheesesteak Meat Called at the Store?

When you walk into a store, butcher shop, or grocery, when you walk up to the meat counter, be sure to ask for thinly sliced ribeye steak for authentic recipe Philly cheese steaks. 

You may not always have a grocery store that will have this available. Check for a local butcher, or you might have to do this yourself. 

If you can borrow a slicer, do so. Otherwise, consider using a sharp knife and cutting against the grain for a more tender and slenderer cut of beef. 

If ribeye is not available, ask for a recommendation, you might be surprised by what the expert comes up with or potentially spark a conversation about the subject.


Can you use Steaks for Philly Cheesesteaks?

There are going to be other steak types you could consider; the best will be the ribeye steak. However, sometimes a cook does not have the time for a pot roast or any longer means of cooking the meat, in which case getting the meat precut is an option. 

Otherwise, here is a list of thin steak cuts you could consider for your next cheese steak sandwich:


  • Hanger steak – A prized cut is known as Butcher’s steak or Hanging tenderloin in some circles.
  • Skirt Steak – A tougher cut than flank steak but with a bolder beef flavor.
  • Sirloin steak – Lean like Filet Mignon, but with a more structured, flavor cut of beef.


Are there Any Cuts of Meat that You Shouldn’t Use?

Two simply too-tough textured types of meat would be the flank steak and brisket cuts. Each will become too chewy to enjoy a full bite, a traditional Philly Cheesesteak sandwich that becomes more of a melt-in-your-mouth texture. 

There are going to be assortments of venison, Antelope, or other meat products that will seem like solid substitutes but be sure to avoid any of these when making a cheese steak sandwich.

Before you make one, have a professional delicatessen or chef prepare you an authentic Philly cheesesteak. 


Final Thoughts on What Cut of Meat is Best for Philly Cheesesteaks

The most important thing to remember when making a Philly Cheesesteak, use Ribeye steak. It is the only way to make the real thing. If you are going to be on a budget, just remove Philly. 

These chuck roast and sirloin cuts of beef will be perfect for a well-made cheese steak sandwich. 

Don’t forget to get solid mushrooms, and creminis are a solid choice for this sort of sandwich, be sure to purchase a quality piece of bread as well. A good piece of bread can make or literally break your sandwich-eating experience. 


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