The Ultimate Guide to Making Authentic Philly Cheesesteak at Home

Key Takeaways

  • Learn the authentic ingredients for a classic Philly cheesesteak.
  • Discover cooking techniques that make your cheesesteak taste like it’s straight from Philadelphia.
  • Understand the various modifications you can make to suit your taste while keeping it authentic.
  • Explore options for bread, cheese, and additional toppings that complement the classic cheesesteak.
  • Acquire tips for serving and enjoying your homemade Philly cheesesteak.

The Philly cheesesteak is not just a sandwich; it’s a cultural icon from Philadelphia with a fervent following. This beloved sandwich features thinly sliced sautéed ribeye beef, melted cheese, and a long, crusty roll. Its irresistible combination of flavors and textures makes it popular nationwide, though purists argue that nothing beats one from its birthplace. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to recreate this famous sandwich at home, ensuring you capture that authentic Philadelphia flavor.

1. Selecting the Right Ingredients


The heart of any Philly cheesesteak is the beef. Traditionally, ribeye is used for its rich flavor and tender texture. When selecting ribeye, opt for cuts with good marbling as fat enhances the flavor. Freeze the steak slightly to make it easier to slice thinly, a critical aspect of authentic Philly cheesesteak preparation.


The choice of cheese can spark debate among cheesesteak enthusiasts. The most traditional options are Cheez Whiz, provolone, and American cheese. Cheez Whiz is the classic choice for its creamy texture and strong cheese flavor, but provolone offers a sharper, more distinct taste if preferred.


The roll makes or breaks a cheesesteak. It should be long, slightly crusty, yet soft enough inside to absorb the juices without getting soggy. Amoroso’s rolls are the definitive choice in Philadelphia, but outside the area, a high-quality Italian or French roll can suffice.

2. Mastering the Cooking Technique

Preparing the Steak

Slice your partially frozen ribeye as thinly as possible. Heat a large, flat griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add just a touch of oil to prevent sticking. Spread the steak slices evenly across the surface and cook without disturbing for a few minutes to get a good sear. Then, use a spatula to break them into smaller pieces as they cook through.

Layering Cheese and Assembly

Once your steak is nearly cooked, layer your choice of cheese over the meat. Allow it to melt, integrating it into the meat with your spatula. Meanwhile, open your roll and toast it lightly on the griddle, cut side down, taking care not to let it burn.

3. Variations and Customizations

While purists may insist on minimalism—just steak, cheese, and bread—many enjoy adding onions, peppers, or mushrooms. If you choose to include onions, which many say brings the true Philly flavor, sauté them alongside your steak until they’re caramelized and sweet. For peppers and mushrooms, cook until they are tender before combining them with the steak and cheese mixture.

4. Serving and Enjoying Your Cheesesteak

To serve, scoop your cheesy steak mixture onto your toasted roll. If desired, you can add condiments such as ketchup, more melted cheese, or hot sauce for an extra kick. Serve your cheesesteak cut in half, with a side of crispy fries or a classic coleslaw to round off your meal.

5. Tips for Perfecting Your Philly Cheesesteak

To elevate your Philly cheesesteak, ensure your pan or griddle is hot enough before you add your meat; this helps to sear the beef quickly without steaming it. Keep ingredients ready at your cooking station for efficient preparation and to ensure your steak isn’t overcooked while searching for toppings. Most importantly, use fresh and high-quality ingredients to replicate the authentic taste of a true Philly cheesesteak.

In conclusion, making a traditional Philly cheesesteak at home can be a deeply rewarding experience. By following these detailed instructions and choosing the right ingredients, you’ll be able to bring a taste of Philadelphia to your kitchen and impress your family and friends with your sandwich-making prowess. Enjoy the process and your delicious creation!

philly cheesesteak recipe