Description of Beef Cuts

Learning about various cuts can make shopping for beef a much easier experience. A general knowledge of beef cuts and how they are best used will help you select the proper cut for a particular recipe. Important points to learn are:

  • The names of the primal cuts
  • The names of the sub primal cuts
  • The location on the carcass of the various cuts of beef
  • The tenderness of the cut
  • The leanness of the cut
  • The most suitable cooking methods for each cut

The most tender cuts come from the loin and the rib. They should be cooked with high heat methods such as broiling, roasting, grilling, sautéing, and frying. Cuts from the round, chuck, brisket, plate, and flank are the least tender and are best suited for moist heat cooking methods such as braising/ pot-roasting, stewing, and steaming.

Various cuts of beef may differ in name between different countries and even in different regions of the same country, so it can be confusing. For example, in the United States, the rear section of the carcass is known as the round, but in Canada, the same section is called the hip. A more thorough description of beef cuts can be found in Cuts of Beef.

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