Diagram of How to Butcher a Beef Cow

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Diagram of How to Butcher a Beef Cow

So you want to know how to butcher a beef cow? Well, this diagram right here is extremely useful. If you look further down, there are even some relevant videos about the process, and some how-to guides on the entire process. Keep in mind that there are numerous ways to name each part of the cow, so I made sure to add a few different pictures so you get the full definition of what each piece of the butchered cow is.

A cow's body described
A cow's body described

Why Write a Blog on This?

Well, there seemed like a high need.  It seemed that there were few sites that really went into any detail or tried to thouroughly answer the question, so I thought I'd try my hand as I know a good deal about meat. I still think that the phrase "i want a diagram of how to butcher a beef cow" seems oddly placed as such a popular search term, but who am I to understand the internet. But then again, I guess it's needed information so here's my best attempt:

Pieces of a cow, with a more realistic view
Pieces of a cow, with a more realistic view

Description of the Various Pieces

1,2 - Neck and Shoulder. This piece of the cow should not go alone. It is recommended that you put it into a soup or broth so that it is easier to swallow.

3 - Spinal area - This is what you should put in your barbeque!! It's decent meat

4. - Sirloin - Everyone knows that the sirloin is the best part of the meat. This should primarily be used for a simple steak dinner. It can be used in a soup, but other parts can just as easily be used, and they don't taste as well on their own.

5. - Rump - The rump can be roasted with the bone. If you do this,then put it into a soup for the best taste.

6. - Leg - Great to make cutlets with, or once again to go in soup. The leg is a nutritious part of the cow as it doesn't have extremely high amounts of fat on it.

7. - Aitchbone - Cut of beef from the upper part of the leg. There is some extremely rich fat along the aitchbone (also incorrectly called the edgebone) that is extremely tasty, so make sure to get it in whatever you do with the Aitchbone.

8, 9 - Humeral and Breast - These are two more pieces that are fantastic in soups or bullion. This can provide quite a bit of nutrition when cooked properly.

10. - Groin - Yea, the groin! Believe it or not this can be made into something edible and relatively tasty when made into cutlets or soup. Nevertheless, some people toss it out instead because of where it's from.  In my opinion that's simply a total waste of meat.

11,12 - Front and rear shank - After marinating, cook the meat at 325 degrees, until it begins to bubble. Following this, simmer for 1 hour. Add vegetables. Cover and simmer for 1 1/4 hours. This will make some fantatsic beef shank.

Cutting the Rump out and Cooking it

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Comments 70 comments

nnain profile image

nnain 8 years ago from India

I am never going to butcher a cow, but its good to know information :)

J_Eds profile image

J_Eds 8 years ago from Blackpool

How random... but interesting all the same!!

I would HOPE that only butchers would be doing this, and I'd HOPE they'd get training :P

JoeM profile image

JoeM 8 years ago

Beef, its what's for dinner!

Masterman535 profile image

Masterman535 8 years ago from United States Author

Well it is a bit random, but I enjoy writing hubs about all sorts of topics :)

real_pearl01 profile image

real_pearl01 8 years ago from Pakistan

Nice Hub Dude

expectus profile image

expectus 8 years ago from Land Downunder

nice hub makes me hungry everytime :) , good work

bspilner profile image

bspilner 7 years ago from Altanta, Ga.

If I ever need to pull a survivor man and there happens to be a cow around - i think i will do alright. excellent write up! does this work for other animals I may encounter if lost in the woods (bears, deer, etc.) Just Kidding.

You really did an awesome write up and have excellent use of imagery!

livelovecoffee profile image

livelovecoffee 7 years ago from Georgia

This is a very interesting Hub! Thanks for the information.

farehamwine profile image

farehamwine 7 years ago from Fareham, Hampshire

These are the American cuts for beef, the British and French way of butchering a cow is completely different, but very interesting all the same.

Erick Smart 7 years ago

We raise beef cattle on our small farm, but butchering is such a process I am more than happy to pay someone else to do it. The meat needs aged, you need a clean facility, and so many tools are needed. It is just easier to leave this to the experts.

christine almaraz profile image

christine almaraz 7 years ago from colorado springs

Thanks for the info. Now I actually know how to cook each part.

SCStrat profile image

SCStrat 7 years ago from Seattle

Funny, I was just talking about butchering a cow the other day for fun. Great article!!

B.Z. Alixandre profile image

B.Z. Alixandre 7 years ago from Boise, ID

I may not be butchering any time soon, but I always wanted the parts of the meat explained to me, thanks!

Lucian 7 years ago

Im butcher thank's for this site i learn more

glen the butcher  7 years ago

you should probably go back and study the parts that you have labeled as spinal (which is ribeye) and sirloin(which is shortloin) rump (which is sirloin) Another words its labeled wrong but very good effort! I liked the setup for the diagram and the realistic look of the beef. please correct so that this info doesn't mislead people. Thanks

AK John 7 years ago

Same techniques I use for moose caribou and sheep

Julie 7 years ago

I just want to point out that you need to correct everything after area four. Area four is the short loin, which you missed. So everything after that is not right.

William Autut 7 years ago

This works really well for caribou - up in the Canadian high arctic...thanks for the useful info!

MRS. DAWNY  7 years ago


James 7 years ago

Julie is correct. I was trying to teach my g/f something and after I got to number 4 I was like... This is all off by one. You messed me up.

amisha 7 years ago

hw informative is this

amisha 7 years ago

hw informative is this

Tricky 6 years ago

I'm afraid he is right on target. Good job.

khaled 6 years ago

im good one at this jop i kill cow and cuting at 2 hours

Montana Man 6 years ago

Yea I agree with some folks about the wrong cut of beef names but you still did a good explaining. We cut up a beef, several deer, an elk and two lambs each year as well as butchering 40 chickens, grind hamburger, make sausage, and jerky. It's nice to know what you eat...

Theo 6 years ago

So soup for tea then.

cosmo  6 years ago

very explainitive thank you very much

panda man 6 years ago

u all suck

thony 6 years ago

i im a new butcher here in Qatar,i want to learn more how to cut the beef!!!

Markie Mark 6 years ago

Wow! I've just been inspired to go kill a cow!

jinky 6 years ago

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm pinag araln nmin yan nakaka antuk but so many lesson u can learn hahaha

neville 6 years ago

here is an interesting and educational game

Barbara Hunt 6 years ago

What parts of the cow are the most tender, and where does hanger steak come from?

jhayfloyd22 6 years ago

kahapos mag ihaw baka

jhayfloyd22 6 years ago

tenderloin is the most tender part of cow

charles33 6 years ago

great article...actually kiling a cow in a few weeks.

getting an expert to come over for the first time just to show us what to do but this article gave me a bit more info on what needs to be done for next year

mfd_loghead 6 years ago

Please tell us how to kill a human next time.

MANAN UNDONG 5 years ago

I have been doing butchering in a small abattoir, but this article is useful add-on tips to me. thanks for the author.

countrygirl 5 years ago

I found this to be very informative! People that raise cattle know they are going to lose some due to various reasons so cut it up and be done with it. No reason to waste good meat.

mike 5 years ago

any chance of getting the video back this is just what I've been looking for

Chef Marty 5 years ago

The "Description of various pieces" here sucks. There is almost no reference to the common names of the various cuts, e.g. prime rib, tenderloin, round, chuck, flank, brisket, etc. You'll get better info under "beef" in wikipedia.

Gene 5 years ago

Elsie is getting nervious. I wonder why

Debbie  5 years ago

Hi, is there any truth in the following comment "if the carcass gets wet (by rain) while it is being slaughtered, the meat will be tough?

Thanks, Debbie

BARRY CLARKE 5 years ago



Ryan Milton 5 years ago

I have just purchased a half a cow for the second time and I had the butcher make the cuts too small (like 1 inch steaks). This is perfect so that I can tell them how to cut better.

herman 5 years ago

seven days without meat, makes one week!

Rebecca T 5 years ago

In looking forward to becoming totally self-sufficient and living off the land, this site was extremely helpful. I would like more info on feeding for milk cattle too....

Bobby jo 5 years ago

I like beef

Brandon Kollasch 5 years ago

Beef is cool and stuff

Kevin Knight 5 years ago

Just a note on the diagram of cuts - Clod and Brisket are the wrong way around. There was an old diagram that had this error (titled something like "how to roast a beast") and the error has been replicated many times. Great page - Cheers, K

Nals 5 years ago

Cud you guys just stop killing the innocent animals please....

Emile R 5 years ago

Very informative article.

DW Roland 5 years ago

I'm just a guy from OK and haven't ever butchered my own cow. But I had a cow that broke a leg and couldn't get up. So now I'm learning how to butcher my own beef. I've learned a lot, thanks for the information.

butcher pete 5 years ago

i am am a butcher and have been since 1979, im fed up with people who dont understand where there meat comes from and the work involed in prep , sick of being called a murderer,i am a skilled person with a skill that is dying out, it saddens me,in now looking to leave trade and work as undertaker

Dillon 4 years ago

I am about to buy a cow and slaughter it, well I am taking it somewhere to do that for me. But when I tell them what cuts I want, Can I just get the whole "backstrap"? That's what I call it. Instead of getting the sirloin, Rib, Rump, Chuck and neck.

vijaykumar 4 years ago

Its really great to learn, coz in future i would like to open a buchery shop.than u

suechef 4 years ago

Surely there's more to the magnificent beef cow's legacy than soup! It seems that (according to this site, at least) all cuts of beef are best served in soups. Are they serious?

eliza 4 years ago

oooooooooooh?interested picture i like it.makes me hungry

Dragonfly76 4 years ago

We are getting ready to have a cow butchered soon. This is a great way to get a visual to decide how to get it processed. Steak, roasts, stew meat, ground beef ect..... Thank you so much. This was very helpful.

eleanor 4 years ago

good info it was help for my project

follyfolly 4 years ago

Now i know how to slaughter a cow cow surgery its called

trtr 4 years ago


BossHogg 4 years ago

These cuts are numbered wrong. He doesn't show where the porter house, N.Y. strip, t-bone & many other fine cuts of meat are at, nice attempt....

Neeraj 4 years ago

Whoever has wrote this article , will be cursed and will die in a very cruel way, his/her family member will never be happy they will always fight with each other and will die in cruelsome manner..remember whoever eat beef is writing his/her own destiny of bad world ..

Beef Eater 4 years ago

Where is the prime rib roast? How long do you lat a carcas age befor cutting it up?

nnkastrup@hotmai.com 4 years ago

I am brazilian and i want to know where is locate the pice of the cow is PATINHO, in your butcher cow.

Thanks for help

Chef@ChefMcIntosh@gmail.com 3 years ago

Do more research and go to SCHOOL for cutting up a cow before you post this type of article. You made your self look stupid, and a few others along the way.

Any idiot can make a blog, any idiot can copy and paste. Eduacte yourself before you try to educate others.


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 3 years ago from Yorkshire


you've taken a bit of a battering here, but at least you got lots of visits even if a lot of the comments are rude, bad mannered and typical 'know it all' comments all hiding behind their email addresses.

Just shows, make sure that you know your facts before writing here.




mary 3 years ago

I've been a Butcher for over 30 years, Nice art work but there are a lot of incorrect primal cuts, but for the most part I can tell you put a lot of work into this, good job. I would like it if you could add info on handling and storing meat most people don't know what they are doing. you have a lot of visits to your blog maybe you can spread the word.

Emile R 2 years ago

Just wanted to point out the sirloin is OK, but the best cuts are from the loin and rib section. I agree with Mary, if the article is intended to help someone butcher a cow proper handling and storage should be covered in depth. But, this is a great article to help the buyer of a side of beef familiarize themselves, somewhat.

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