Cuts of beef

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Cuts of beef

Beef is first divided into primal cuts. These are basic sections from which steaks and other subdivisions are cut. Since the animal's legs and neck muscles do the most work, they are the toughest; the meat becomes more tender as distance from hoof and horn increases. Different countries have different cuts and names.

British primal cuts

British cuts of beef

British cuts of beef.

  • Neck & clod
  • Chuck & blade
  • Rib
  • Silver loin
  • Rump
  • Silverside
  • Topside
  • Thick rib
  • Thin rib
  • Brisket
  • Shin
  • Flank
  • Thick flank
  • Leg

American primal cuts

American cuts of beef

American cuts of beef.

The following is a list of the American primal cuts, ordered front to back, then top to bottom. The short loin and the sirloin are sometimes considered as one section (loin). Upper half

  • Chuck — one of the most common sources for roasts and hamburgers
  • Ribshort ribs, rib eye steak and prime rib
  • Loin — subprimals are:
    • Short loin — from which strip steaks are cut,
    • Sirloin — less tender than short loin, but more flavourful, further divided into Top sirloin and Bottom sirloin, and
    • Tenderloin — the most tender, from which filet mignon is served, can be removed separately, or left in for T-bone steaks and Porterhouse steaks
  • Round (Top-round, Bottom-round) — lean cut, moderately tough, lower fat marbling, requires moist cooking or lesser degrees of doneness

Lower half

  • Brisket — often associated with barbecue beef brisket.
  • Shank — used primarily for stews and soups; it is not usually served any other way due to it being the toughest of the cuts.
  • Plate — produces short ribs for pot roasting and types of steak such as the outside skirt steak for, say, fajitas and hanger steak. It is typically a cheap, tough, and fatty meat.
  • Flank — used mostly for mincing, except for the long and flat flank steak, best known for use in London broil. Once one of the most affordable steaks on the market, it is substantially tougher than the loin and rib steaks, therefore many flank recipes use marinades or moist cooking methods such as braising. Popularity and leanness have resulted in increased price.


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