Beef explained

I love beef, but prices seem to get higher and higher every time I look. So what’s the solution? Toss out your grocery budget? Never eat beef again? Not in my house. I look for sales on beef. They exist. Some sales are good, others are just okay. When I see a sale on beef, I try and stock up for a while. There are so many different cuts of beef on the market. Some even have two names. So what do you buy? What can you do with each type of cut?

Well I lucked out. My Dad worked for a butcher when he was younger. So he learned a lot about beef. Which cuts are tougher and need to be cooked longer and slower, and which cuts are tender and don’t take that much time to cook.

So I am going to share that knowledge with you.

So let’s take a look at the types of cuts.

Chuck – Now chuck is a little bit of a tougher meat.  I ate a lot of this growing up.  I love chuck.  I typically eat it as a roast.  It’s great for pot roast.  Chop it up and use it in a stew, or shred it for tacos.  It’s versatile.  It’s one of the cheaper cuts of meat.  Chuck needs to be cooked low and slow.  If cooked right it is a fantastic cut of meat and just falls apart.

Brisket– I live in the south, so brisket is a staple.  I am going to pretend for a moment that not everyone has had this cut of beef or know what to do with it.  This is another great cut of meat, if cooked correctly.  I recommend buying a whole brisket.  This cut of meat typically goes on sale in the summer. You will have to cut it yourself and trim off some of the fat, although you want to leave some.  Believe me if I can do this you can do it.  I am sure their are probably even how to videos on youtube.  This can be marinated.  It’s great with bbq sauce.  It is another meat that can be quite tough.  Cook it low and slow.

Shank– Now this is a meat that I haven’t experimented with.  It is a tougher cut and needs to be cooked low and slow.

Ribs-Is another low and slow cut.  I haven’t cooked beef ribs before, I was raised on baby back ribs.  I might have to experiment with these.

Plate-This is where ground hamburger meat comes from. This is also used to make cube steak, which is used to make country fried steak.

          Skirt- Skirt steak is also cut from the plate section of the cow. It is mostly known because it is the cut most restaurants use to make fajitas.  This can be a tougher meat if not cooked slowly.  You can cut down on some of the cooking time if the meat is marinated like most restaurants do before grilling it for fajitas.

Loin– We are going to divide into 5 sub sections.

       Tenderloin– Filet mingon, comes from this cut.  It is the most tender cut of beef.

       Short loin– Also called NY, try-bone, filet, powerhouse, and club steak

       Bottom Sirloin– Also known as top round and bottom round.  This is a little tough to use as a steak but can be

used as an oven roast.  It is more tender if cooked at a lower temperature for a longer period of


       Top Sirloin-Tender and makes a great Steak.


       Sirloin-This can be found bone in or as a filet.


Flank– Although it is a different cut of meat, this is sometimes substituted for skirt steak in fajitas.  It is also sometimes used in Chinese stir fry. Marinating this cut or cooking it slow will help make it more tender.  Some chefs suggest cutting across the grain.  This is supposed to help make the meat more tender also.

Rump-This makes a great roast.  It is another meat that is a little tougher.  But if you cook it low and slow, it makes a great roast beef.

Round-This is also a tougher cut of meat.  I typically use this for swiss steak.  It is great and falls apart with a fork if cooked low and slow.


Typically the tougher meats tend to be a little more value for your dollar.  Those are the cuts I normally buy.  They still taste amazing as long as you know how to cook them.  In this day in age of pinterest and youtube, you can find out how to cook pretty much anything.


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