Home » Tips & Guide

How Much Steak per Person – Steak Sizes & Portions by Cut 

Disclaimer: There may be affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you sign up for a free trial or purchase through the links, but there is no extra cost to you.

The type and thickness of a steak can make or break your meal prep. 8 ounces of steak per person is a good rule of thumb to get started. 

But as you’ll soon find out, all steaks are not created equal.

In this article, I’ll help you portion plan the right size steak for a dozen of the most common cuts. You’ll also learn about other factors that should shape your decision, like cooking method, thickness, and the size of your party.

Steak Sizes: Know Your Steak

Diagram of a steer and the various cuts of beef that come from each section of the steer.
Source: https://virginiaboyskitchens.com/blogs/features/beef-cuts

Steaks from different parts of the cow can be quite… different.

Depending on what you order, there may be a huge variation in thickness, size, and shape. These factors impact how the steak cooks and, ultimately, how it eats.

Here’s a quick reference chart of portions by cut of beef:

Steak Sizes Chart

Steak TypeThickness (in inches)Weight (in ounces)Number of Servings
Bone-in rib and boneless ribeye1.5322-3
Top sirloin1.58-152-3
Tri-tip161
Top blade1 – 1.541
Chuck-eye1 – 1.5322-4
Tenderloin1 – 1.58
T-bone1.5322-4
Porterhouse2322-4
Top loin / Strip1.512-161-3
Hanger0.5-116-322-4
Flank116-322-4
Skirt1323-4

In general, 8 ounces of uncooked meat yields 6 ounces of cooked meat – the right portion for one person. Multiply 8 by the number of people you are serving, and you have the size of steak you should buy (in ounces). 

It’s difficult to compare steak sizes and plan the right portions for your guests if you want to mix up a few steak types. I learned this the hard way, but let me make it easy for you.

T-bone Steak

The T-bone steak is cut from the front part of the short loin and consists of a large portion of the tenderloin and a strip of the top loin, separated by a T-shaped bone. It’s both meaty and tender – a favorite I have fond memories of my dad grilling as a kid! A 1½ -inch thick, 32-ounce T-bone can feed 2 to 4 people.

Porterhouse Steak

Cut from the short loin, a Porterhouse steak resembles the T-bone. The only difference is that the Porterhouse steak has a larger portion of the tenderloin and the strip steak. It must be 2 inches thick. A 32-ounce Porterhouse can easily serve 2 to 4 people. 

Porterhouse steak next to a T-bone steak. Both are raw. Text of Porterhouse versus T-bone.

We break down the difference between a T-Bone and Porterhouse here.

Tenderloin Steak

The tenderloin steak or filet mignon is cut from the cow’s loin or the area below the backbone, home to the most tender and best steak cuts. The thickness of the tenderloin steak varies between 1 and 1½ inches and is good for serving one person. 

Ribeye and Rib Steak

Cut from the center of the prime rib, the marbled ribeye steak can be bone-in (rib steak) or boneless (ribeye steak). The bone adds more flavor and juice. Both ribeye and rib steaks are 1½ inches thick, although you may expect a 2-inch thickness in bone-in rib steaks. 32 ounces of rib steak can serve 2 people. 

Top Sirloin Steak

The top sirloin is cut from the subprimal sirloin, resulting in a leaner and tender steak with a firm texture and a bold flavor. It’s one type of steak that is 1½ inches thick and can serve 2 to 3 people. 

Raw top sirloin steak with a rosemary garnish atop.

Tri-tip Steak

Also cut from the sirloin subprimal, the tri-tip steak is a triangular cut from the bottom sirloin. It’s lean and full of beefy flavors. With an inch of thickness, a 6-ounce trimmed tri-tip steak is good for a single serving. 

Top Loin Steak / Strip Steak

Cut from the upper part of the short loin primal, it’s a boneless steak that’s marbled and juicy. It’s more commonly known as the strip steak or New York strip. Typically weighing 12 to 16 ounces, the top loin steak is 1½ inches thick and can serve 1 to 3 people.

Raw New York Strip picture from overhead.

Top Blade Steak

The top blade steak is cut from the beef chuck primal part of the cow. Although this cut is flavorful and tender, a tough connecting tissue runs through it. Its thickness is between 1 and 1½ inches, and can serve 1 person. 

Chuck-eye Steak

This is cut from the upper shoulder of the cow or the chuck primal and is a good balance of flavor and moisture. About 1 to 1½ inches thick, a 32-ounce chuck-eye steak serves 2 to 4 people. 

Flank Steak

A type of flat steak, the flank steak comes from the belly of the cow, under the loin. It’s a little tougher but has lots of flavors and very little fat. Weighing between 16 and 32 ounces, it has an inch of thickness and is good for feeding 2 to 4 guests.

Hanger Steak

This is another type of flat steak cut from the diaphragm or the plate section of the cow. It is a 16- to 32-ounce thin steak that is ½ to 1-inch thick. With this cut, you can feed 2 to 4 people.

Skirt Steak

The third type of flat steak is the skirt steak. It’s cut from the plate section of the cow. It weighs around 32 ounces with an inch of thickness and can feed 3 to 4 people. 

How to Determine the Perfect Steak Size

Because you probably won’t be carrying my “steak sizes” chart to the butcher counter, here’s a good rule of thumb you can use when shopping.

A 3-ounce steak is considered a “serving,” and according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, two servings is a healthy amount to consume in a day. Stick with 6 ounces of cooked steak per person.

Another cool way to determine if the portion size is healthy is by comparing the steak size with the surface area of a deck of cards. It should be roughly 0.5 inches thick. 

The right steak oz size is not just about knowing the right apportionment but also about the right cooking method. For example, if you want to grill your steak, you should opt for a thick cut of 1½ inches or more. A thin steak will likely be overcooked, dry, and chewy as the heat will travel fast to the center. 

Ribeye side profile being measured by a measuring tape.

If you want to fry a steak, choose a well-marbled and tender steak. Massage it with 1 to 2 tablespoons of one of these best steak oils to get the perfect sear.

Refer to the steak size comparison in the previous section to choose the right cooking method. 

Pro Tip: Pan-fry thin steaks and grill thick steaks.

The Best Thickness for Steak

Does steak thickness matter? Yes! The thickness of the steak decides the best way of cooking it. 

You can cook ½ to 1-inch thick steaks quickly on high heat to get a crust without overcooking the inside. 

Steaks with a thickness of 1½ inches and above gives you more control. It allows you to cook the steak slowly to keep the center medium to rare while the outside gets a nice crust. 

That’s why the best steak thickness is 1½ inches. 

Recipes

If you could use some help in perfecting your steak, I recommend sous vide. Sous vide steak is amazing and easy. It’s a great method whether you’re cooking steak for one or for a large party.

Here are a handful a few sous vide steak recipes:

FAQs

What is a normal size steak?

An uncooked 8-ounce steak is the normal size steak for an individual serving.

Is 8 oz steak big enough?

An uncooked 8-ounce steak is the normal size steak for an individual serving.

What thickness is good for steak?

The best steak cuts have a thickness of 1½ inches so that the outer part gets a nice crust while the inside remains juicy.

Author

    by
  • Rishi

    Rishi is an avid home chef and the owner-operator of Top Sous Vide. He's been cooking sous vide for over 7 years and loves experimenting with new foods. Whether it's a simple family dinner for his wife and 3 kids or an elaborate meal for a group of friends, his food is always a crowd pleaser!

    View all posts

Leave a Comment