Figuring out the different cuts of beef that come from a cow and which method is best to cook them, it can be daunting for even the most experienced of chefs.
With their being so many different cuts and cooking styles, there are many options for you to choose from depending on what you would want.
Some cuts of beef can cook perfectly on the grill whilst others are best when slow cooked for hours.
In this article, I will be going over the different cuts of beef and how they are best cooked to make sure you get that perfectly tender meat every time.
The chuck or as it is more commonly known as the seven bone steak is located by the shoulder and neck of the cow.
This slice of meat is some of the more economical cuts of beef such as the chuck roast, chuck arm roast and the flat iron steak.
So how do you cook the chuck?
A cut of chuck contains a large amount of connective tissue which does contain collagen and makes it rather tough, but when cooked right it is packed full of flavor.
Chuck cuts of beef are best cooked slowly over time in a crock pot or by braising them.
The shank is the leg of the cow and is one of the toughest cuts of beef.
The leg muscle is used frequently so the large muscle is a very tough sinewy cut. It is one of the least popular cuts of meat but is also one of the cheapest.
A cut of shank does not yield many good cuts of meat, just the shank or the shank cross are clean cuts of meat.
You will also find shank in very low ratios of ground beef. The shank like the chuck is best cooked over a long period of time, but also in a liquid. This cut is best in a soup, stew or to make beef stock.
Brisket is cut from the breast and lower portion of the cow. It also much like the shank has a large amount of connective tissue and will be tough if not cooked correctly.
The brisket comes in two popular cuts of meat, a brisket flat cut and the brisket point cut.
Brisket is a very popular meat for BBQ fanatics everywhere and as you might have guessed it is best cooked smoked or braised.
The rib includes some of the best cuts of a cow, it is best known for its tenderness, juiciness, flavor and superb marbling.
The rib cut refers to ribs six through to twelve on the cow. The rib includes several of the finest cuts on a cow and includes the prime rib, short rib, rib eye steak and rib eye roasts.
Rib cuts are best cooked over a dry heat and for a long period of time. American BBQ’ers prefer to grill or smoke these tender cuts of beef.
The short plate can be found on the front belly of the cow below the ribs. It also contains a lot of cartilage and is a cut of meat that is rather fatty and tough.
It contains a few different cuts including the short ribs, hangar steak, and the skirt steak.
This cut is best known for being used in the disk carne asada, and is best braised because of the toughness in the meat.
The flank is a long flat cut of meat from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It is perhaps the toughest cut of meat.
The flank is typically cut into flap steaks or flank steaks. You will see flank being used primarily in Asian and Mexican cuisine in stir frys and fajita beef. It is also used in London broils.
Due to its excessive toughness, flank cuts are best cooked with moist methods such as braising.
The loin is cut from the back of the cow and typically a portion of the hindquarter directly behind the ribs. It is one of the most tender and sought after cuts of beef.
The loin is best known for producing the cut filet mignon, porterhouse steak and the T-bone steak.
However the loin also contains the KC strip, tenderloin roast, and the shell steak. Loin cuts are best cooked over dry heat such as on a grill.
Sirloin is also cut from the back of the cow, just past the loin. Although it is not as tender as a loin cut the sirloin remains a very popular cut of beef.
The sirloin cut contains the top sirloin, bottom sirloin and the center cut sirloin steaks. As well as the tri-tip steak, filet of sirloin and the ball tip roast.
Sirloin is best cooked by grilling but it can also be broiled, sauteed or even pan fried.
Round / Rump
The round also known as the rump is a lean cut of meat with little to no fat. It is located at the back of the cow and near the right leg.
Much like the shank the round is a tough cut of meat due to the cows obviously using its legs a lot.
Despite the round’s toughness it does produce a few popular cuts of meat.
The more common cuts are rump steak, top round steak, bottom round steak, eye of round steak, and the sirloin tip center roast.
Round cuts are best braised or roasted with low levels of moisture.
So there you have it, nine of the best cuts of beef money can buy, they all have a wide range of tastes and methods of preparation.
No two cuts of meat are the same so make sure you know which type of meat you are going to be buying and how you would cook it.
Beef should always be firm, even colored and mild smelling so if it meets the criteria then tuck in.