What Cuts of Beef There Are, and How to Cook Them Correctly

Beef is one of the most popular and affordable types of meat. If cooked correctly, dishes with beef come out juicy and aromatic. However, if the cooking method for a chosen piece of beef turns out to be wrong, the meat can become tough and almost inedible.
The thing is, meat from different parts of a cow or bull has different properties, and it’s important to take them all into account to get a tasty dish.

5-Minute Crafts can help you learn more about beef cuts and how to cook them correctly.

Main types of cuts

Here are some of the most frequently used beef cuts:

  • Chuck
    This is cut from a shoulder. It’s quite tough but flavorful.
  • Shank
    This is leg meat. It’s very tough and requires a lot of chewing.
  • Brisket
    This is cut from the breast. The meat will be a bit tough if cooked incorrectly.
  • Rib
    This is cut from the rib area. It’s very tender and flavorful meat.
  • Short plate
    It’s quite tough meat from the cow’s belly.
  • Flank
    It’s cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s one of the toughest cuts.
  • Loin
    It’s cut from the back of the cow above the ribs and is very tender meat.
  • Sirloin
    It’s cut from the back of the cow, just past the loin. It’s a flavorful, tender meat.
  • The round
    It’s cut from the back of the cow above the back legs and is a tough meat.

Additionally, the neck, tongue, knuckles, and other subproducts are consumed as well.

How to cook different types of cuts

  • Chuck
    Meat from this cut is located between the shoulder and neck area of the cow. It contains a significant amount of connecting tissue that gives meat toughness but, at the same time, provides it with good flavor. In order to prevent the meat from losing its taste while making it softer, it’s better to cook it on low heat with a crockpot or by braising.
  • Shank
    It is one of the toughest and sinewy beef cuts. At the same, it’s one of the cheapest ones. It’s best to cook shank on low heat by braising or boiling it. It gets a nice flavor in soups, broths, and braised dishes.
  • Brisket
    Just like shank, brisket from the chest contains a lot of connective tissue, which makes it not very soft. This meat is perfect for being cooked on the coil, smoked, or braised.
  • Rib
    Rib meat is considered one of the juiciest and tenderest, and it has superb marbling and flavor. The rib is best cooked grilled or smoked.
  • Short plate
    Meat located on the front belly of the cow can be tough and contains a lot of cartilage. In order to make this type of beef tender, it’s best to braise or roast it.
  • Flank
    This cut is a long flat cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow. This meat is very tough, so the best way to cook it is to braise or roast it.
  • Loin
    It’s cut from the hindquarter part of the cow’s back. Usually, it’s one of the main titbits. This meat is very tender and flavorful and is perfect for being cooked on fire (like a grill).
  • Sirloin
    Sirloin is also cut from the back part of a cow. It’s located just past the loin. The meat here is not tough but it’s less tender compared to loin cuts. Sirloin cuts can be cooked on the grill, pan-fried, or roasted.
  • The round
    The cut from the cow’s back near the rear legs can be quite tough. In order to make its taste more tender, round cuts are best roasted.
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