The top sirloin is one of our favorite cuts of beef because it’s loaded with flavor, gorgeously marbled, and can stand up to quick, high-heat cook methods. We’ll cover everything from buying and how to cook it, including a top sirloin steak recipe for the stove-top, grill and air fryer.

What is a Top Sirloin Steak?

Top sirloin steaks come from the sirloin, which is the area situated right behind the loin and in front of the round on a cow. Top sirloin steaks are great for quick-cooking methods like pan-searing and grilling since they’re gorgeously marbled and full of flavor. 

Other names it goes by include: boneless top sirloin steak, boneless top sirloin butt steak, top sirloin center-cut steak, top sirloin steak boneless cap off, top sirloin steak cap off. 

Cuts from the bottom sirloin include, tri-tip steak and roast, sirloin bavette, and petite sirloin steak.

If you’re curious to learn more about specific cuts of beef, check out this article on the difference between Tri-Tip and brisket.

Seasoning Steak

When you buy quality meat, you don’t need to complicate the seasoning. When in doubt, give each side of the steak a heavy dose of kosher salt and black pepper. Dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano, or spices like red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, paprika and coriander are all great options as well. 

We don’t think this cut needs marinating (few do), but if you’re looking for one, try our chimichurri or our triple herb marinade

raw beef top sirloin steak on a white plate

What to Look for When Buying Top Sirloin

Top sirloin is a fairly marbled cut of steak and should have even marbling throughout. The marbling itself should be thin and kinda veiny—this type of marbling will create an uber-juicy steak.

Seek out a cut that has milky white fat running throughout it. If there isn’t much marbling or the fat has a yellow or brown color to it, opt for a different steak. 

Additionally, any steaks that have large fat deposits in the center of the steak will likely cause flare ups on the grill and result in a greasy steak. 

Pro tip: seek out angus beef whenever you can. It guarantees you’ll get a quality, consistent steak every time. Not sure what Angus beef is? Check out this article where we break down the grades of beef and what they means.

The meat itself should be deep pink or light red in color. And finally, the meat shouldn’t be sticky, wet or have much, if any, collected moisture in the package. 

Cook Steak By Temperature 

The best way to ensure your steak is cooked to your liking is to monitor the internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer

Beef should be removed from the heating element when it temps 5–10 degrees BELOW your desired doneness. Dense meat retains heat better, which causes internal temperatures to continue to rise as it rests off-heat. This is called carry over cooking, so if you want perfectly cooked meat, give it a short rest and keep an eye on that temp!

We should note, the USDA recommends cooking any cut of beef to an internal temperature of 145ºF.

Rare

Pull from heat at115–120ºF (46–49ºC)
After resting temp should reach120–125ºF (49–52ºC)

Medium-Rare

Pull from heat at120–125ºF (49–52ºC)
After resting temp should reach125–130ºF (52–54ºC) 

Medium 

Pull from heat at130–135ºF (54–57ºC)
After resting temp should reach135–140ºF (57–60ºC)

Medium-Well

Pull from heat at140–145ºF (60–63ºC) USDA recommended temp
After resting temp should reach145–150ºF (63–65ºC)

Well-Done 

Pull from heat at150–155ºF (65–68ºC)
After resting temp should reach155–160ºF (68–71ºC)
sliced cooked steak in a marinade

How to Cook Top Sirloin 4 Ways

The below timings and temperature is for a 1-inch thick steak. 

Stove Top

Cook seasoned steak in a preheated cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 6 minutes total (3 minutes per side) for the perfect medium-rare, or 8 minutes total for medium.

Gas Grill 

Preheat a gas grill on high. Turn all but the main burner off then cook steak over main burner for about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or 5 minutes per side for medium.

Charcoal Grill

Open bottom vent of grill then prepare a chimney of charcoal. Dump the hot coals over one side of the grill, set the grate in place, then cook the seasoned steak over the heat for about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or 6 minutes per side for medium.

Airfryer 

Cook seasoned steak in the basket of an airfryer set to 400ºF. Cook for about 7 minutes per side for medium-rare or 8 minutes per side for medium.

thin slices of steak on a bed of lettuce with herbs, sliced shallots and cucumber chunks.

How to Serve Top Sirloin

Here are a few way to serve our top sirloin steak recipe (below).

  • Serve with our chimichurri for the ultimate steak dinner. 
  • Thinly slice and serve over rice with our salsa verde and some thinly sliced radishes and fresh cilantro.
  • Use grilled top sirloin in place of flank steak in our Steak Tacos (aka Tacos al Carbon). 
  • Top with a slice or two of compound butter.

How to Cook Top Sirloin Steak

Print Recipe
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Preheat time 15 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Yield 4 (4-ounce) servings
Category Main Course
Cuisine American

Description

4 simple and easy ways to cook top sirloin steak!

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-pound) top-sirloin steak, at least 1-inch thick
  • Morton kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Instructions

Stove top

  • Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over high for 5 minutes.
  • Pat steak dry with paper towels, then season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • Reduce heat to medium-high. Place steak in skillet. Cook until charred and beads of moisture begin to form around edges of steak, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125ºF for medium-rare, about 3 more minutes. For medium cook to an internal temperature is 135ºF, about 4 minutes per side.
  • Transfer steak to a clean plate, tent loosely with foil or parchment paper and let rest 10 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, slice thinly against the grain and enjoy.

Gas Grill

  • Turn all burners to high, cover, and let grill preheat for about 15 minutes. Brush grill grate clean.
  • Pat steak dry with paper towels, then season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • When ready to cook, keep primary burner on high and turn other burners off.
  • Place steak over hot part of grill and cook until beginning to char and beads of moisture appear on edges of steak, 5–6 minutes. Flip steak and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125ºF for medium-rare, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer steak to a clean plate, tent loosely with foil or parchment paper and let rest 10 minutes.

Charcoal Grill

  • Open bottom vent completely.
  • Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (about 6 quarts). Once top of coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill.
  • Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely.
  • Let grill preheat, about 5 minutes. Brush grate clean.
  • Pat steak dry with paper towels, then season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • Place steak over hot part of grill (over coals) and cook until beginning to char and beads of moisture appear on edges of meat, 5–6 minutes. Flip steak and continue to cook until charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125ºF for medium-rare, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer steak to a clean plate, tent loosely with foil or parchment paper and let rest 10 minutes.

Air Fryer

  • Pat steak dry with paper towels, then season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • Place steak in air fryer basket of a 6-quart air-fryer and cook at 400ºF until steak is lightly browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125ºF for medium-rare or 135ºF for medium, about 14 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
  • Transfer steak to a clean plate, tent loosely with foil or parchment paper and let rest 10 minutes.

Notes

These instructions should be used for a 1-inch thick steak. Adjust timing up (if it’s thicker) or down (if its thinner) as needed.
Feel free to play around with the seasonings, but you can’t go wrong with just kosher salt and black pepper.
It’s incredibly important to allow the steak to rest for at least 5 minutes, but ideally 10 minutes before slicing into it. This will keep it tender and juicy.

Nutrition

Keywords How to cook top sirloin steak, top sirloin steak, Top sirloin steak recipe
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
cooked beef sirloin steak on a white plate

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Beautiful very easy and the timing was perfect for the air cooker, my steak came out so tender and juicy, and flaverfull.