You go to the store or to a butcher’s shop and look at the meats available and find it hard to choose one, right? There are multiple different types of cuts available from chucks of meat, to ribs, to tenderloin, sirloin and more!

Beef Cuts

So, if you’re someone who finds it hard to choose the perfect cut of beef to cook your next meal, well, this article is for you.

We’ll talk about the different types of beef cuts, its type, texture and flavour and what cooking method you can use to cook that particular type of cut.

What Should You Know About Beef Cuts

When beef is cut, it is divided into large sections and these sections are called as ‘primal cuts’. These primal cuts are then divided into steaks, roasts and other types of cuts sold in the retail market.

The cow carcass is split through its backbone, into half and thereafter is halved in between the 12th and 13th ribs of the cow.

Thus, the tender cuts of beef, like beef tenderloin, rib etc., come from the back of the cow, which is the meat farthest away from the horns and the hooves of the cow. The tougher cuts like the shoulder and leg, come from the parts of the carcass closer to the horns and the hooves.

10 Types of Beef Cuts

1. Shank

Shank cuts are tough, because they are naturally lean and flavourful. They are perfect to make stews and when its slow cooked. It is best for making ossobuco, nihari and pho.

Perfect for: stewing, slowcooking

  • Ossobuco
  • Nihari
  • Pho

2. Brisket

Brisket meat is tough and it is perfect for slow-roasting and smoked. You can use this meat to make corned beef, pastrami or barbecued brisket.

Perfect for: smoking, slow-roasting

  • Corned beef
  • Pastrami
  • BBQ brisket

3. Round

Round cut of beef is lean and tough and is less flavourful. It is best when roasted or braised. You could use it to make roast beef, pot roast, rouladen etc.

Perfect for: braising, roasting

  • Roast beef
  • Pot roast
  • Rouladen

4. Short Loin

Short loin cut of meat is tender, buttery and flavourful. It is perfect when broiled or grilled. You can make grilled T-bone steak, grilled porterhouse, bistecco alla fiorentina etc.

Perfect for: grilling, broiling

  • Grilled t-bone
  • Grilled porterhouse
  • Bistecco alla fiorentina

5. Ribs

Ribs are marbled, tender and flavourful. They are best when roasted or barbecued. You can make rib roast, barbecued ribs or grilled ribeye steaks.

Perfect for: barbecuing, roasting

  • Rib roast
  • BBQ ribs
  • Grilled ribeye steak

6. Short Plate

Short plate cuts are marbled, fatty and flavourful. They are best for braising or slow-cooking. You can make braised short ribs, galbi or even carne asada tacos.

Perfect for: slow-cooking, braising

  • Braised short ribs
  • Galbi
  • Carne asada tacos

7. Flank

Flank meat is grainy, chewy and flavourful. It is perfect when broiled or grilled. It can be made into London broil, fajitas, beef and broccoli dishes etc.

Perfect for: grilling, broiling

  • London broil
  • Fajitas
  • Beef & broccoli

8. Tenderloin

Tenderloin meet is very tender, the most tender among al the cuts and is flavourful with a mild flavour.  It is perfect for grilling and roasting. You can make beef wellington, carpaccio, steak au poivre etc., with tenderloin meat.

Perfect for: grilling, roasting

  • Beef wellington
  • Carpaccio
  • Steak au poivre

9. Sirloin

Sirloin meat is tender, flavourful and a very versatile type of cut. It is best suited for grilling and broiling. You can use sirloin meat for kebabs, steak tartare, beef stroganoff etc.

Perfect for: grilling, broiling

  • kebab
  • Steak tartare
  • Beef Stroganoff

10. Chuck

Chuck cut is flavourful, yet quite tough and muscular. It is best suited for ground beef or stewed beef. You can use chuck meat for making hamburgers, meatballs, beef bourguignon etc.

Perfect for: grinding, stewing

  • Hamburder
  • Meatballs
  • Beef Bourguignon

Tips for Cooking/Buying Beef Cuts

  • For beef cuts that are tough, it is better that such cuts are slow cooked with liquid. This will help break down the tough muscle fibres of the meat.
  • The lean parts of the cow carcass, will give you tender meat which are more expensive and cook quicker. They are the steaks and tenderloin.
  • Some of the best beef cuts are the T-bone, filet mignon, porterhouse and rib eye.
  • Always make sure that the beef you’re buying is fresh/freshly chopped by the butcher, for the best taste experience.