Types of Beef Cuts

Exploring 8 Different Types Of Beef Cuts

Knowing the various cuts of beef can elevate your cooking, helping you choose the right cut for the right dish. Different cuts of beef offer distinct flavors, textures, and cooking methods. This guide will provide an in-depth understanding of beef cuts, their characteristics, and their best uses in cooking.

What Are the Cuts of Beef?

Beef is divided into large sections called primal cuts, which are then broken down into subprimal cuts. Each cut has unique qualities that determine how it should be cooked to bring out its best flavor and texture.

Primal Cuts of Beef

The primal cuts are the initial large sections into which a carcass is divided. The main primal cuts are:

  1. Chuck
  2. Rib
  3. Loin
  4. Round
  5. Flank
  6. Plate
  7. Brisket
  8. Shank
Primal Cuts of Beef

Subprimal Cuts of Beef

Each primal cut is further divided into subprimal cuts. For example, the loin primal cut includes subprimal cuts like tenderloin and sirloin.

Best Cuts of Beef

When selecting the best cuts of beef, it’s important to consider what you are cooking. Here are some of the best cuts for various purposes:

  • For Roasting: Ribeye, tenderloin, and sirloin
  • For Grilling: Ribeye, T-bone, and flank steak
  • For Slow Cooking: Chuck roast and brisket
  • For Stir-Frying: Sirloin and flank steak
Best Cuts of Beef

Types Of Beef Cuts


  • Characteristics: Chuck comes from the shoulder area and is known for its rich flavor. It has a good amount of marbling, which makes it ideal for slow-cooking methods.
  • Popular chuck portion cuts: Chuck shoulder roast, flat-iron steak, chuck short ribs, Denver steak, stew meat, and ground chuck
  • Best Uses: Pot roast, stews, and ground beef.


  • Characteristics: This cut comes from the rib section and includes ribeye steaks and prime rib. It’s known for its tenderness and flavor.
  • Popular rib portion cuts: Ribeye steak, prime rib, ribeye filet, cowboy steak, back ribs, short ribs
  • Best Uses: Grilling, roasting.


  • Characteristics: Loin cuts are tender and flavorful, making them some of the most desirable. This section includes cuts like tenderloin, sirloin, and porterhouse.
  • Popular loin portion cuts: Filet mignon, porterhouse steak, T-bone steak, tri-tip roast, New York strip steak
  • Best Uses: Grilling, roasting, pan-searing.


  • Characteristics: Round cuts come from the hind leg. They are lean but can be tough if not cooked properly.
  • Popular round portion cuts: Rump roast, top round steak, eye of round steak, top round
  • Best Uses: Roasts, stews, and ground beef.


  • Characteristics: Flank steak comes from the abdominal muscles. It’s flavorful but can be tough if overcooked.
  • Best Uses: Grilling, stir-frying, and marinating.


  • Characteristics: Plate cuts are from the underbelly. This includes skirt steak and short ribs, which are flavorful but can be chewy.
  • Popular plate portion cuts: Short ribs, ground beef, skirt steak, bacon
  • Best Uses: Slow-cooking, braising, grilling.


  • Characteristics: Brisket is a tough cut that comes from the chest. It requires slow cooking to become tender.
  • Best Uses: Smoking, braising, slow-cooking.


  • Characteristics: Shank comes from the leg and is very tough and sinewy.
  • Best Uses: Braising, stews.


What Is the Leanest Cut of Beef?

The leanest cuts of beef include sirloin tip, top round, eye of round, and bottom round.

What Are the Cheapest Cuts of Beef?

Cheaper cuts of beef include chuck, brisket, shank, and round.

What Are The Fattiest Cuts Of Beef?

The fattiest cuts of beef include ribeye, T-bone, porterhouse, and short ribs.

How Many Steaks in a Cow?

The number of steaks you can get from a cow varies depending on the size of the cow and the way it's butchered. Typically, you can get around 120-140 steaks from a standard cow.

How Many Ribs Does a Cow Have?

A cow typically has 13 pairs of ribs, for a total of 26 ribs.

What Are the Primal Cuts of Beef?

The primal cuts of beef are chuck, rib, loin, round, flank, plate, brisket, and shank.

Which Best Cuts Of Beef For Roast?

The best cuts of beef for roasting are ribeye, tenderloin, and sirloin.


Understanding the various cuts of beef and their best uses can significantly improve your cooking. Whether you’re grilling a tender ribeye, slow-cooking a flavorful chuck roast, or roasting a juicy tenderloin, choosing the right cut is essential. Experiment with different cuts and cooking methods to find what works best for your culinary creations.

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