Jess Pryles

How to make seriously good Philly Cheesesteaks

philly cheesesteak with wagyu
Share this

The secret to a great Philly Cheesesteak is choosing the right cut, and the perfect ratio of tender and crispy bits.

I’ve never been to Philadelphia. I hear they have a cool old bell. Apparently they also put Cheez Whiz on their cheesesteaks. Not sure how I feel about that. My point is, I don’t think you have to actually GO to Philly or enjoy plastique cheese to make a kickass Philly Cheesesteak. This recipe may not be authentic but, as the title suggests, it’s seriously good.

top sirloin wagyu steaks

Pick the right cut of meat

Usually the first question most folks have is ‘what cut of meat do I use for a cheesesteak’? The answer is, you can technically use any beef steak cut you want. Some folks use ribeye, but I think the steaks found in the hind quarter are just perfect for this. Try top sirloin or top/eye of round. Yes, they tend to be a little less marbled and slightly tougher than their ribeye counterparts, but here’s where you can game the system: use wagyu! Wagyu cattle are highly marbled, so all their cuts are luxuriously tender and flavorful. I used Top Sirloin from Lone Mountain who produce 100% full blood Wagyu beef.

thinly sliced wagyu

Prepare your beef in advance

It’s imperative that your beef be sliced thinly. Particularly if you are using a cheaper cut. Most of us don’t have a deli slicer on hand, but there’s an easy trick that can help. Place your beef steaks in the freezer for an hour prior to slicing. This will firm them up dramatically without freezing them completely, making it easier to shave off super thin slices.

philly cheesesteaks on a flat top

crispy edges on steak pieces

Use the right equipment

A single portion sandwich can be handled in a skillet, but if you want to make any more than one at a time, you’ll need a flat top. This might be as simple as a cast iron griddle that fits over your stove burners, a flat piece of metal over a fire, or a flat cast iron grill plate. Having this large flat top surface means you can cook your meats and your pepper/onion mix in one go. A one-surface recipe. The flat top will also help achieve the “crispy bits at the bottom, melty cheese on top” factor.

cheese melting on a sandwich

Don’t skimp on the cheese

Please do not take this warning lightly. Placing merely a conservative slice or two will get you a dry steak. Go in with three to four overlapped slices per “meat pile”. At least.

cross section of philly cheesesteak

Double wrap if feeding a crowd

Alas, the cheese does not remain melty for very long when exposed to the elements. A great way to maintain soft bread, hot steak and melty cheese is to wrap your sandwiches. Use a layer of greaseproof or parchment paper, then a layer of foil and wrap ’em up tight. The greaseproof paper layer helps to keep the bread from getting soggy-ficated.

Got it? Good! Now check out the full recipe below:

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY LONE MOUNTAIN WAGYU (WHO REALLY DO PRODUCE SOME PHENOMENAL PRODUCT). SPONSORED POSTS AND AFFILIATE LINKS HELP TO SUPPORT THIS SITE. I ONLY WORK WITH PRODUCTS THAT I PERSONALLY USE OR WOULD GENUINELY RECOMMEND.

Print Recipe

Seriously Good Philly Cheesesteaks

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lb top sirloin steak (about 8oz per person)
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 small green bell pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 soft sub rolls
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by preparing your meat. Place steaks in to freezer for an hour to firm. After an hour, use a very sharp knife to slice the steaks as thinly as possible. Set aside.

  2. De seed and de stem the peppers, then slice into strips. Peel the onion, then halve. Slice each half into 1/4" thick strips.

  3. Slice the rolls with a serrated knife, cutting lengthwise but stopping before you cut all the way through. Set them aside on a tray.

  4. Heat a griddle or flat top to medium heat. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil on top. Add the peppers and onions, then season with salt and pepper. Use a burger flipper to move them around on the griddle until they have a little color and have softened slightly. You do not want them mushy. Once the vegetables have colored, move them to the side/cool spot on the griddle. If you're working with a smaller griddle, remove them from the heat altogether to give you room for the meat.

  5. Turn the heat up to medium-high, then add remaining olive oil. Drop the thinly sliced sirloin onto the hot plate, spreading out as much as possible. Leave it for at least two minutes to allow the meat to get a little crusty, and season well with salt at this time.

  6. Use a burger flipper to move the meat around on the griddle, breaking it up slightly as you go, so you end up with larger slices and smaller crispy bits. After 5-7 minutes, the meat should be nearly cooked through, as it's so thin.

  7. Arrange the meat into 4 rectangular piles on the griddle, roughly the same size as the buns. Then place some of the onion and pepper mixture on top, and finally layer with 3 slices of cheese (using a combo of both cheese types). Turn the heat to medium, and allow the cheese to melt. If you find that the cheese isn't melting well, place an aluminum bowl turned upside down over each pile, forming a makeshift lid.

  8. As soon as the cheese is melted, use one quick motion with the burger spatula to scoop up each pile, and lay it on the bun. Serve immediately, or alternatively follow the wrapping instructions in the post to get more "melt life" out of the cheese.

By Jess Pryles

Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She’s a cook, writer, and TV personality specializing in red meat, with penchant for grilling and bourbon. She's also a respected authority on Texas & competition style barbecue. Born in Australia, she now resides in Austin, Texas.

Want to request a recipe?