How to Tenderize New York Strip Steaks (Three Super Simple Methods)

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There is nothing like a juicy steak, so we will see how BBQ veterans tenderize New York strip steaks. It doesn’t matter what I’m grilling—it could be strip steak, ribeye, tomahawk, or patio steak.

The smell alone makes my mouth water, but you want to make sure the steaks are tender and juicy when it’s time to tuck them in.

But what happens when you don’t have the cash to splash on expensive cuts like a tomahawk or ribeye? You need to learn to tenderize your steak, especially cuts like the NY strip. They are known to be tough if not prepared right!

I am going to look at the three popular methods of tenderizing: salt, marinades, and puncturing holes with a fork. We compared the methods and found that dry salt brining produced the most tender steak.

What is Strip Steak?

The New York strip steak is cut from the short loin of the cow. It is also called the Top Loin Steak, Country Club Steak, or the Kansas City Steak.

The New York strip steak has less marbling than other cuts of beef and needs to be tenderized before it’s cooked. It is also a healthier option because it has a lower fat content than other cuts, like the ribeye.

Testing Three Ways to Tenderize New York Strip

Here are the three ways we will test to determine the optimal way to tenderize NY strip steak. If you don’t have time to read the information below, I will give it to you straight up. I found that the dry salt brine helped produce the most tender steak.

1. How To Tenderize New York Strip Steak With Salt.

Dry brining the steak will help tenderize it because it helps the meat preserve moisture during cooking. You can use different salt types, preferably kosher or sea salt, to tenderize the New York strip steak.

Follow these simple steps to tenderize steak with salt.

  1. Pat and dry a piece of meat with paper towels and season both sides with salt; I recommend using sea salt, but any salt will do. Place your steak on top using a cutting board or clean surface and cover it with salt.
  2. You want to cover the meat completely. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes; don’t leave for 20 minutes. Rinse the steak and pat dry with paper towels

2. Using A Marinade To Tenderize

The marinade you make will not tenderize the strip steaks unless it has an acidic or fruit component in it. Follow these simple steps to tenderize steak with marinade:

  1. In a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper
  2. Pour the mixture on the steak into an air-tight zip lock bag and let the steak marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

3. Using a Fork to Tenderize Your Steak

Go over the entire steak, puncturing holes, flipping them over, and doing the same on the other side. The idea behind this method is that all the holes allow moisture to escape during the cooking process.

Cooking The NY Strip Steaks and Comparing

For this tenderizing comparison I will be cooking with indirect heat then searing the steak hot and fast with the grill, however below I have listed some other methods for cooking it to ensure you end up with a nice juicy tender steak.

The best cooking methods for the New York strip steak are is smoking it, pan-frying in a cast-iron skillet or grill your NY strip hot ‘n’ fast or in the oven. You can also cook the New York strip on a Pit Boss then reverse sear it.

We cooked the NY strips at 250°F with indirect heat. Once the strip steaks reached 100°F, I seared them for a few minutes on each side. Once we reached 135°F, which is medium rare, I removed them from the grill.

The Results: What Tenderizing Method Produces The Most Tender NY Strip?

After letting the steaks rest for 10 minutes, they were sliced and tested. The results are in: all three steaks tasted identical. The salt-brined steak, however, was found to be the most tender. So, this is the method I will be using going forward and recommending to family and friends.

Don’t Forge to Render The Fat and Grill The Steak

When you place the meat on the hot grill, you want to cook the steak on its narrow side. You want to render the fat so there is good, flavorful fat on the grill or pan for the rest of the cooking.

After rendering, grill one side of the meat for 2-3 minutes and the other side for 2-3 more minutes. The browning will also help the steak look appetizing when it is served.

Alongside grilling the meat, grill some onions, carrots, or any vegetables of your choice for 5-10 minutes or to your preferred doneness.

If you have a Traeger, you can also try smoking your NY strip and then searing it.

What to Serve With NY Strip?

Serve the juicy steak with some side dishes like;

Grilled or smoked vegetables – Try this smoked zucchini

Cucumber and tomato salad

Mac and Cheese

How To Store The Strip Steaks.

The strip steaks can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if they are raw. Cooked strip steaks can be stored in an airtight bag for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Like a Spicy Steak?

Tender strip steaks can also be marinated with spicy harissa butter. If you’d like a more spicy steak, you can modify the above marinade recipes by adding other ingredients, like a pepper spice rub.

 How do you tenderize your steak?

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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