People often times get confused in regards to the different cuts of beef. In an effort to answer all of those lingering questions you have, we have assembled a cheat sheet to outline all the different beef cuts that you should be familiar with.
Upper Half Cuts
- Chuck — The most common cut of beef used primarily for roasts and hamburgers
- Rib — Produces short ribs, the rib eye steak and also prime rib
- Loin — Additional cuts within the loin include:
- Tenderloin — This is considered to be the most tender cut of beef. It is from this cut that filet mignon is derived from. It can either be removed , or it can be left in for T-bone as well as Porterhouse steaks
- Short loin — This particular cut is the loin that T-bone steaks are derived from.
- Sirloin — This cut is considered to be less tender than the short loin, but is also considered to produce more flavor. It can be further divided into Top sirloin and Bottom sirloin.
- Round — A predominantly lean cut, yet moderately tough. It has lower fat marbling and because of it’s natural toughness, it os often cooked in recipes that add in additional moisture (ie gravies, sauces, stews) or it requires less cooking time to retain some at least some degree of tenderness, slight as it may be.
Lower Half Cuts
- Brisket - Used for items such as corned beef or BBQ beef brisket.
- Shank - Primarily used for soups and stews. Due to it’s inherit toughness, it usually is not served in direct form.
- Plate - This cut produces short ribs for pot roasting as well as producing types of steak used in, for example, hanger steak and fajitas It is considered to be a typically cheap, fairly tough and a rather fatty meat.
- Flank – At one time this was one of the more affordable cuts of steak available. It is used mostly for grinding; with the exception of the long and flat flank steak. It is considerably more tough than loin or rib steaks resulting in many flank recipes calling for a marinade or moist cooking method (for example, braising) in order to soften the meat up a bit.