Your Guide to Cuts of Beef
Here is a general break down of the main cuts of beef you will find available. View our recipes page to find delicious preparations.
Where to find it: The shoulder right behind the neck.
What it is: Chuck is a value steak, and it can be delicious when you get the right slab and have it prepared properly. Pot roast is a great example of chuck.
How to Prepare it: Chuck is often generically labeled, if it is on the fattier side, it will be great prepared in the slow cooker. If it is on the leaner side, throw it on the grill!
Where to find it: The lower breast
What it is: This cut of beef is popular around the world, in Texas, its the King.
What to look for: You want a nice layer of fat on the top, this will provide tons of flavor.
How to cook it: There are a infinite ways to cook brisket, but the most popular way is to season generously with a rub and then slow-smoke it until it’s falling apart and develops the beautiful pink smoke ring.
Where to find it: Toward the rear, right above the flank and behind the short loin.
What it is: For a while, this hunk of bottom sirloin was typically used for burgers. In the last 50 years, it has gained popularity as an awesome option for the grill.
What to look for: Heart shaped, fairly tender to the touch and contains a moderate amount of fat. If it is too lean, it can dry out while cooking
How to cook it: Grill it up!
Where to find it: Right in the belly.
What it is: Most popularly used for the ultra-rare London broil and cut in chunks for stir-fry and carne asada.
What to look for: It’s going to be long and thin, so find one that’s fairly consistent in size and fat content
How to cook it: Start with a marinade of your choice, then it typically requires either a super-slow or super-fast cook in order to become chewable.
Where to find it: Right in the middle of the loin
What it is: The source of the filet mignon. Also the most tender and lean cut on the cow.
What to look for: Find one with nice fat marbling throughout, and make sure it is firm, not soft
How to cook it: Roast it, grill it, just don’t over cook it!
Check out this awesome recipe for roasted beef tenderloin with garlic horseradish cream sauce
T-BONE & PORTERHOUSE
Where to find it: The front end of the short loin
What it is: Two of the most prized cuts on the cow, they’re being lumped together here because it can be tough to tell them apart. Basically, porterhouse steaks contain a larger portion of tenderloin. T-bones have more strip steak.
What to look for: Make sure the meat is bright red, the cut is thick, and there’s a nice perimeter of fat.
How to cook it: Great with a dry rub, and cooked on the grill.
Where to find it: Right in the ribs.
What it is: The best part of the prime rib section, the eye refers to being cut from the center of the rib. As with prime rib, the layer of fat gives it extra flavor and juiciness.
What to look for: Bright red color with consistent marbling.
How to cook it: Season to your liking and throw on the grill. This is also the meat used in the best cheesesteaks, so if you’re going that route, you will thinly slice it raw, and then grill it.
Where to find it: Right in the center of the ribs.
What it is: It can also be called a standing rib roast, or a Sunday roast. But to most of us, it is the centerpiece of any Friday or Saturday night special at your favorite steakhouse. Fatty and tender, every bite is delicious.
What to look for: Get it bone-in if you can and make sure the roast has a nice layer of fat, fat equals flavor. The bigger the prime rib, the better, since you’ll be able to get rare cuts in the middle and well-done cuts at the ends.
How to cook it: Hit it with salt & pepper, keep it simple (check out our tips). Roast in the oven low and slow. View one of our favorite Prime Rib recipes
Where to find it: Right along the front of the belly, underneath the rib.
What it is: A long, fatty cut from the diaphragm, usually what you’re eating in a fajita or in a stir-fry.
What to look for: Since they’re long, you can use the shake method: shake it, the more it wiggles, the better.
How to prepare it:Start by marinating the meat, then cook it over high grill heat or braise it. Let it rest, then slice it against the grain to maximize juiciness.
Where to find it: The short loin (middle of the back).
What it is:Also known as a New York Strip, or Delmonico, it’s the thick side of a T-bone, and one of the most popular cuts in the world.
What to look for: Find one that’s fairly firm with significant marbling
How to prepare it: Like the T-bone & porterhouse, you don’t need to do much here… just salt/seasoning and a hot grill.
Where to find it: The rear leg.
What it is: One of the toughest and leanest of all the cow’s meats, which makes it perfect for for jerky and stew.
What to look for: Minimal marbling and a distinct pinkness.
How to prepare it: You need to keep it tender, so your best bet is braising it or slow-cooking it to keep the juices locked in.
Where to find it: small of the back
What it is: Also known as the chateaubriand, this is the cut right below the tenderloin. It’s also referred to as the top butt.
What to look for: Find a “top sirloin”, and find one that’s about 1-2in thick with a nice band of fat.
How to prepare it: Either roast it or grill it up as steaks, just be sure to trim the fat accordingly if you’re roasting.