It’s a question that plagues anyone who has ever taken a bite of the most delicious sandwich in the world: What kind of meat should you use for your Philly Cheesesteak?
The answer is simple: Whichever kind you like!
But we’re here to help if you need it.
Here are some of our favorite meat options for making a fantastic Philly Cheesesteak.
Note: Not sure what the best bread for Philly cheesesteak is? Check out this post!
Also, check out this post for the best cheese for Philly cheesesteak!
What Meat to Use for Philly Cheesesteak
The perfect Philly cheesesteak is a thing of beauty.
It’s got everything you could possibly want: meat, cheese, onions and peppers, and the right kind of bread to hold it all together.
Here are 15 different types of meat that will make your mouth water:
1. Boneless Ribeye Steak
This steak is well-marbled with fat and has a great flavor. It also has just enough fat to keep the meat juicy when cooking it on a grill or in a pan.
The ribeye is typically 1/2 inch thick so it cooks relatively quickly.
See Also: 8 Best Spices and Herbs for Ribeye Steak
If you don’t have time to marinate it overnight then just give it an extra minute or two on each side in order to get it perfectly cooked through without overcooking it on the outside!
You can also top off your steak with some fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme before serving if you’d like!
2. Flank Steak
Flank steak is a great option for making a delicious Philly cheesesteak sandwich because it is thinly sliced, which makes it easy to eat and chew on.
This cut also tends to be more tender than other cuts of beef because it doesn’t have much fat or gristle attached to it—making it perfect for slicing thin enough to cook up quickly without drying out too much during the cooking process!
3. Chuck Roast
If you like your steaks cooked well done then chuck roast is probably your best option because it can withstand high heat cooking methods such as broiling or grilling without drying out too much but still retains plenty of moisture and flavor when cooked long enough for slow-roasting at lower temperatures (225F/ 107C).
4. Sirloin Tip Roast
This beef cut is well-marbled with fat and has a lot of flavor because it comes from the round primal section (the upper hind leg).
It also has enough fat to keep it moist when you cook it.
It’s a little less tender than other cuts because it’s not as finely textured, but if you cook it correctly, you’ll end up with a delicious sandwich!
5. New York Strip Steak
This cut comes from the short loin section of beef and is prized for its rich flavor and tender texture.
It’s usually sold bone-in or boneless with the bone removed so make sure you check which one you’re buying before paying for it!
6. Flat Iron Steak
The flat iron steak is a relatively new player on the block when it comes to steaks.
It gets its name from its shape—it’s cut from the shoulder clod, which lies between the neck and chuck on the rib primal (the same place as top blade steak).
It’s got a rich beefy flavor with a little bit more fat than other cuts, which makes it ideal for grilling.
The flat iron steak is great for Philly cheesesteaks because it’s tender enough to slice thin enough but still has a good amount of fat to keep it moist during cooking.
7. Skirt Steak
Skirt steak is another affordable cut that’s delicious when cooked properly—and it’s even better when you throw it on a sandwich!
Skirt steak has become so popular that many restaurants now offer it as an item on their menus because customers love it so much!
8. Chicken Breast (sliced)
Chicken breast is one of those meats that can be used for so many different things. It’s easy to find in most grocery stores and is really versatile.
You can grill it, fry it, or even bake it!
Because chicken breast is so lean, it doesn’t need much seasoning at all.
Just salt and pepper will do the trick! It’s also very low in calories which makes this option great for anyone looking to lose weight without sacrificing flavor!
9. Turkey Breast (sliced)
Turkey breast is another good option for those who want to make their Philly cheesesteaks healthier without sacrificing taste or texture.
Turkey has less fat than chicken, but it still has plenty of flavor!
Slicing turkey breast also allows you to control how much fat goes into each bite of your sandwich—so if you’re watching your waistline, this is definitely the way to go!
10. Lamb Chops (sliced)
Lamb chops are a great choice for philly cheesesteaks because they’re tender and flavorful—and they have just enough fat to keep them juicy while they’re cooking.
The best part?
They’re super easy to slice into strips!
Just trim them up a bit and cut each chop into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on how big they are.
11. Pork Tenderloin (sliced)
Pork tenderloin is another great option for Philly cheesesteaks because it’s also tender and flavorful—and it comes in smaller portions than lamb chops do, so you can buy one tenderloin and cut it into strips instead of buying several lamb chops at once.
12. Ground Beef (80/20)
If you’re looking to get a great deal on your meat, ground beef is your best bet. It’s super cheap but still packs a ton of flavor!
The ground beef should be 80/20 or 85/15 lean meat.
If you can’t find this ratio at your butcher shop, ask them if they can order it for you! You’ll need about 2 pounds of ground beef for one sandwich.
13. Tri-Tip Roast
The tri-tip roast is known for its intense flavor, which makes it perfect for a Philly cheesesteak!
It’s also easy to find and inexpensive—just make sure they cut it into thin slices so they’ll fit into the roll easily (you’ll want about 2-3 slices per sandwich).
14. Brisket Flat (also known as the flat)
The flat is cut from either side of the brisket—it’s a large piece that includes both layers of fat from the top and bottom parts of the meat (which means there’s plenty of flavor).
This cut is great for sandwiches because it has more fat than any other part of the cow. It also cooks quickly, which helps keep things juicy.
You can order this cut from most butchers or ask your butcher if they’ll cut one up for you.
15. Shoulder Tender (also Known as The Chuck Flap)
This cut comes from a cow’s shoulder and is prized for its rich flavor and tenderness.
The shoulder tender is popular among Philly cheesesteak connoisseurs because it has just enough fat to keep things juicy when cooked (and none of those gristly bits!).
How to Pick the Right Meat to Use for Philly Cheesesteak
The Philly Cheesesteak is a classic—but it’s also a dish that can be easily made at home.
Here are nine things to consider when picking the right meat for your philly cheesesteak:
The most important part of any philly cheesesteak is the flavor of the meat.
You want something that tastes great on its own, but also pairs well with cheese and veggies.
You want your meat to be tender but not too soft; if it’s too tender, it will fall apart when you cook it and won’t give you the texture you’re looking for in your sandwich.
If it’s too tough, though, it’ll be hard to chew through!
The more expensive cuts of meat are often better for making sandwiches like this one because they have more flavor and tend to be easier to chew through—but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, try using ground beef instead!
4. The thickness of your meat
If you use too thin of a cut, then it will be easy for it to fall apart when you bite into it and pull away from the bread.
If too thick, then there won’t be enough room for all of that cheese!
5. How much fat is in the meat?
If you’re going to be grilling your meat for this sandwich, you’ll want to make sure it has a good amount of fat in it.
Otherwise, your steak will turn out dry and flavorless.
6. What Kind of Bread You’re Using!
You may have heard that you can use just about any kind of bread for your philly cheesesteak, but that’s not entirely true.
If you want to truly recreate the experience of eating an authentic Philly cheesesteak, you need to use a seeded Italian roll or an Italian bread that has been sliced in half lengthwise (like they do at Pat’s and Geno’s).
The only other bread that’s acceptable is a kaiser roll—or even better, one with sesame seeds on top!
7. How You Want To Season It!
If you’re going for something like a “traditional” Philly cheesesteak, then go with just salt and pepper—but if you want to get creative with flavors, try adding some paprika or even basil or oregano!
Just remember that these flavors should complement each other well so there aren’t any overpowering tastes in one bite.
8. Whether You’re Using Cheese as A Topping Or Not!
If you’re not using cheese as a topping, then you’ll want to choose a leaner cut of meat like sirloin or flank steak.
If you are using cheese as an ingredient in the sandwich, then it doesn’t matter what kind of meat you use because the cheese will help balance out any fat content.
9. How Much Time You Have To Cook Your Meat
When cooking your meat, remember that thinner pieces cook faster than thicker ones and also absorb less moisture from being cooked in liquid (like marinades).
That means if you have more time to cook your meat, then go for something like sirloin or flank steak because they won’t water down the taste of your sandwich!
What Meat to Use for Philly Cheesesteak
- Boneless Ribeye Steak
- Flank Steak
- Chuck Roast
- Sirloin Tip Roast
- New York Strip Steak
- Flat Iron Steak
- Skirt Steak
- Chicken Breast (sliced)
- Turkey Breast (sliced)
- Lamb Chops (sliced)
- Pork Tenderloin (sliced)
- Ground Beef (80/20) – For those who want their steak super-juicy!
- Tri-Tip Roast
- Brisket Flat
- Shoulder Tender
- Pick one of the meats from this list to use for your sandwich.
- Prepare the rest of your tasty meal.
- Be ready to munch in no time!