The secret to a tender Philly Cheesesteak sandwich is marinated beef slices! Thinly sliced chuck roast shavings are marinated before they get browned and scrambled on a hot griddle or skillet! Topped with melted provolone cheese, caramelized onions, and peppers these toasted hoagie rolls are one of the softest steak slices you’ll find in a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich!
We love a good sandwich recipe! That’s why we’ve recreated some of our favorite fast-food sandwiches like these Hot Reuben Sandwiches and grilled burgers made from ground beef! If you’re not fond of provolone cheese try our Cheddar Cheese Cheesesteaks that are just as easy! To develop a Philly Cheesesteak roll from scratch make homemade hoagie rolls by converting our feather-light Hamburger Buns into rolls or make our Copycat Subway Bread for subs! These bread recipes are amazing!
I’m impressed how popular this Philly Cheesesteak bloomed on Pinterest! It’s a fairly new recipe but is becoming one of our most loved recipes! I don’t blame all the bold reviewers–it is one the best-rated cheesesteaks for its amazing quality and tenderizing meat!
Our readers have made it with jalapeno peppers and mushrooms with fantastic results! One reader has even skipped the secret ingredient (baking soda) to the marinade for tenderizing results–and it was still raved for! What makes it one of the best cheesesteak recipes? The marinate!
Besides all the beefsteak talk, the toppings make the sandwich too. You want a Philadelphia Cheesesteak with quality slices of tender beef pieces (typically a chuck roast, prime rib, top round or ribeye steak,) bread, cheese, and some sandwich toppings! We love sauteed onions and bell peppers, although a traditional Philly Cheesesteak is a controversial topic not everybody can agree on. And even if the cheese and toppings aren’t your best pick–you still need to make this sandwich! For the sake of the meat!
Secret Ingredient to Tender Meat:
Like any Steak Sandwich, you’ll want to season the beef. I didn’t want typical pan-seared steak slices that can turn out to be rather thick and chewy, so I brainstormed some ideas. Turn’s out Subway’s Steak pieces are marinaded in water and spices before it’s cooked so I wanted to tenderize my meat first, too.
I ended up soaking my thinly shaved steak pieces in a bowl of spices, water, and baking soda (the secret ingredient,) to really tenderize the steak. This will allow your beef to soften and the thinner the slices the better! I’m convinced fast-food Restaurants have their signature taste to their beef because theirs doesn’t taste like a plain seared ribeye steak. Tenderizing the meat not only gives it a signature taste but makes it much softer to chew down which is sometimes the opposite of what you’d have at home.
Eating out is not always an option for our big family of 7 people and sometimes homemade is far more efficient. That’s why you should invest in a large griddle or cast-iron wok to make it easier to feed a crowd! Grab a spatula and get these hot sandwiches going!
What is a Philly Cheesesteak?
A Philadelphia Cheese Steak is a popular beefsteak sandwich made with sliced steak, cheese, and bread known to have been originated on the East Coast. Toppings like mushrooms, bell peppers, and sauteed onions have come into play along with different cheeses like American Cheese or Cheez Whiz (Cheddar Philly Cheesesteak recipe.) The ingredients are simple but how you make the beef and what bread and cheese you use will determine how good your scrambled steak really comes out to be.
What Cut of Beef Can I Use?
When making Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches choose a lean cut of meat with minimal marbled fat. Since this cheesesteak recipe is pan-fried or cooked quickly on a griddle the fat won’t melt like it would be braised or grilled. Marbled fat is the super chewy part of beef and a steak sandwich nobody wants to chew long for.
A good choice of meat would be Chuck roast or sirloin steak. The darker and meatier the steak the better. Rib-eye, flank steak, and top round are also popular choices just make sure you cut against the grain.
What Kind of Cheese for Philly Cheesesteak?
The best kind of cheese is a mild one like Provolone cheese. Anything sharp or too aged can be overwhelming. Popular choices are American cheese, Cheez Whiz, or Processed cheddar cheese. I’ve used Monterey Jack Cheese with excellent results.
How to Thinly Slice Beef?
The secret to a good Philly Cheesesteak is thinly sliced steak. You get more for the buck and nobody wants to chew thick steak pieces per bite. The only way to get thinly sliced steak at home is to flash freeze your steak until it’s hard enough to slice with a sharp knife or mandoline (this takes about 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness.)
I like to use a mandoline to get beef shavings which makes it easier than using a knife. You can also find beef shavings already pre-packaged and ready to use, or if you can ask your butcher to slice it paper-thin when shopping for beef.
- Make a chicken cheesesteak by omitting the beef.
- Sautee Mushrooms to make a Mushroom Cheesesteak.
- Top with seared sweet bell peppers, banana peppers, or hot peppers to make a Pepper Cheesesteak.
- Make a Pizza Steak by using Marinara Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese.
- Make a Cheesesteak Hoagie with Cheez Whiz and caramelized onions or our Cheddar Philly Cheesesteak
How To Toast Bread for Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches?
There are 2 ways to toast your rolls for cheesesteaks!
- Heat a griddle or skillet over high heat and place the sliced hoagie rolls face down for about 30 seconds.
- The second method is oven-broiled rolls. Place sliced rolls onto a sheet pan and broil opened, face up over high until charred.
Griddle or Pan?
A pan is my preferred method as it’s easily available. You can cook a cheesesteak on a large griddle but an outdoor griddle is best to avoid oil splatters in the home. Scramble the steak, with a spatula on a large griddle then sear in the toppings. It’s good to have the bread toasted and ready before you scoop the mixture into the rolls.
The downside of cooking in a pan is that you’ll have to work in smaller batches. Pan-frying everything at once can steam your beef and toppings rather than sear.
Many Restaurants use open-faced griddles when making a Cheese Steak and I’ll tell you why! Doing so is ideal for fewer dishes to wash and the unit can do everything from toasting your rolls to melting the cheese! It’s much more convenient to use a griddle but not everyone owns one, so a regular pan will get the job done too!
Can I make a Philly Cheesesteak in the Crockpot?
Philly Cheese Steaks can be made in a slow-cooker!
How to make slow-cooker Philly’s:
- Start by seasoning and searing your 4 or 5 pounds of chuck roast in oil first.
- Add the beef to the crockpot with 2 cups of beef broth, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and additional spices if desired.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. Add any veggies like mushrooms, onions, or peppers, and cook for an additional hour.
- Cut the beef against the grain.
- Serve over toasted hoagie buns with melted cheese and veggies.
- Shave your beef with a mandoline for ultra-thin beef pieces.
- Marinade the beef for 20 minutes to tenderize the meat.
- Use a griddle to cook the steak if available. Toast the hoagie buns, and melt the cheese.
- Spread mayo over the buns before toasting works like butter but is much easier!
Other Restaurant Fast-Food Copycats:
- Subway Bread Recipe (Italian Herb and Cheese Copycat)
- Reuben Sandwich Recipe (Little Georges Copycat)
- Popeyes Chicken Sandwich (Copycat Recipe)
- Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
- Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches (McDonald’s Egg McMuffin Copycat)
How To Make Philly Cheesesteak:
- large Pan or griddle
- 2 lbs beef (chuck roast)
- 2 green bell peppers
- 2 onions
- 6 Hoagie rolls
- 9 slices provolone cheese
- 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp garlic salt
- 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
How To Make Philly Cheesesteak:
- Thinly shave partially frozen beef, using a mandoline.
- Add the beef marinade to shavings and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice the onions and peppers with a mandoline. Sear in 3 Tbsp of oil until charred for 3 minutes (30 seconds over high for a firmer texture.) Remove and place the pan back on the burner.
- Drain the beef from the marinade and cook in 3 Tbsp of oil over high heat until browned (10-15 minutes.)
- Cut and thinly spread mayo on each half of the hoagie rolls, then place opened into the oven and broil high for 3 minutes. Add the steak, peppers, and cheese and broil for 2 more minutes until cheese melts.