Cowboy Steak
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It’s a good thing that Westerns are known for fighting because there is a lot of contention about what constitutes a “Cowboy Steak.”


Cowboy Steak is available all year long.


One camp defines it as a Bone-In Ribeye. Another camp claims it can be any of the great steaks taken from the Short Loin Primal Cut like a Club Steak, a T-Bone Steak or a Porter House Steak. Some of these claimants have been cooking Cowboy Steak for 40 years and might know.

Still another camp claims that the important ingredient is other than the beef portion cut and can include the Aging or even the heat source. The heat source band claims there’s no cowboy in the steak unless it’s cooked over a roaring wood (or charcoal-fed) flame under an open grill, with some going so far as to claim that only Mesquite Wood will do. There is also a French camp, that claims a Frenched Rib SteakNAMP 1103B, is called a Cowboy Steak. Ironically, for the western film buffs, the Frenched Rib Steak can also be called a “Tomahawk” Steak.

At some juncture the “wrassling” get pointless and at Smart Kitchen, we are not loading our six shooters and mounting up to get into the fight. We just want to clarify for you what they’re all tussling over so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing your beef. If you can get a Porterhouse Steak at a Cowboy Steak price you are making out like a bandit.

The production of beef is carried about by three primary types of operations: Cow & Calf Operations, Weaner Calf & Yearling Operations, and Dry-Lot Feeding Operations (also known as “Backrounders”) which are the most expensive operations in the Beef Industry. To learn more about Beef Producers just follow the link to Smart Kitchen’s Page on Beef Producers. The Beef Producers are represented by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

American cattle production has remained almost stagnant between 1985 and 2009, growing just 6.4%, while the amount of beef imported has nearly tripled in that time, according to an analysis of USDA figures conducted by R-CALF USA, another the trade group that represents cattle producers.

Once raised, Beef is typically sold to Meat Packers who slaughter, inspect, and butcher the animals to provide Primal Cuts to butchers and portion cuts to consumers.

The Meat Packing Industry is in a period of consolidation. In 1999, the 10 largest beef-packing firms accounted for more than 90 percent of all Steer and Heifer slaughter in the U.S. In 2011, according to the Western Organization of Resources Councils three major companies controlled Beef market. Visit Smart Kitchen’s Meat Packers Resource Page to learn more.


When shopping for Cowboy Steak, look for Cowboy Steak that has a clear, red exterior color known as the “Bloom,” that come from exposure to oxygen and not the more normal purplish-red color of vacuum packed beef. Your purchase should be cold, firm to the touch and, if packaged, free of any punctures or rips. Notice the “sell-by” date on the label and make sure you are buying product that is well within its dates of safe use as specified by the sticker.


Raw Cowboy Steak should last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Add an extra day of cold storage time if the Cowboy Steak is Marinated or oiled. Raw Cowboy Steak will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer without any appreciable deterioration in quality.

Cooked Cowboy Steak should be refrigerated for up to 1-3 days.

Culinary Uses

Cowboy Steak is a tender Portion Cut of Beef. On Smart Kitchen’s Home Plate it should be Cooked, it is Tender, it can be Thin or Thick depending on how it is cut, it is Moist, and Lean. Using the Home Plate we would call it Cooked, Tender, Thin or Thick, Moist, and Lean or noted in the home plate shorthand Cowboy Steak would be (C, T2T3-T4, M, L).

Cowboy Steak is best cooked using the following techniques: GrillingBroilingBaking, Spit RoastingRoastingSautéing,Pan FryingDeep Fat FryingSous-vide and Smoking.

Portion Size

Allow 6 to 9 ounces (170 g to 255 g) per person of Cowboy Steak as a Serving Size.

Gluten Free


Low Fat


Low Calorie