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A Guide to the Numerous Cuts of Beef

by Kevin Yang

Cuts of Beef

If you’re not familiar with how steak cuts work, the different cuts of a steak come from different parts of the cow. For example, chuck and brisket come from the front section and round cuts come from the rear.


The Different Types


  • Sirloin – Sirloin steak comes from the top of the cow’s back. It has just the right balance of tenderness and flavor. These cuts are often large and don’t have much fat.
  • Strip – This cut comes from the loin. It goes by many names, including Kansas City steak and the New York Strip. It’s lean and flavorful with distinct marbling and tastes best grilled or sauteed.
  • Rib-eye – Rib-eye steak is located by the shoulder of the cow. You can tell it apart by its marbled appearance and full-flavor taste.
  • Tenderloin – Tenderloin is melt-in-your-mouth tender. And, it’s usually served in a thick, compact shape. Sometimes, it’s called filet mignon or just fillet.
  • Round – This is the everyday chef’s choice for making succulent London broil.
  • T-bone – T-bone is another part of the loin. It has a signature T-shaped mark in the middle. It’s also quite lean.
  • Brisket – Brisket tastes great as corned beef. It’s usually cooked nice and slow to maximize the flavor.
  • Tri-tip steak – Nice and juicy, tri-tip steak is packed with flavor.




Now that you know the regions, all you need to remember is that the more expensive steaks are cut from the center of the steer, which is the loin and rib section.


Why the center? Because beef gets more tender as the distance from horn and hoof increases.


When you look at a beef cut chart, you’ll see the loin and rib section are at the very top of the steer in the center. The center of the animal is the farthest away from the animal’s head and feet. These muscles aren’t used much, so the meat there is tender. A steer’s legs and neck muscles do most of the work, so the muscles there are firmer and the meat is tougher.


An example of the tender cuts in the loin and rib section are T-bone steak, strip steak, porterhouse, rib eye, rib steak and Filet Mignon. Is your mouth watering yet? It should be! You may also be looking for your wallet because you know these cuts are usually pricier.


What Are The Different Grades Of Beef?


The hiercharchy of quality goes like this: Prime > Choice > Select.

Prime beef has the most marbling and is the highest quality.

Choice beef is also high quality, but has less marbling than Prime.

Select beef is a lower grade of meat that has little to no marbling. Different types of beef include Chuck Roast, Rump Roast, Sirloin Steak, T-Bone Steak, and Porterhouse Steak.


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