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Beef Cuts: More Than Just Steak

Updated on December 17, 2017

How well do you know your Steak?

I am always baffled and amazed that the average American shopper knows so little about the meat on their dinner plate, specifically, when they walk through the Meat department at the grocery store. I know what your thinking and the answer is Yes. I was a little direct. You see, When you walk along the back aisle of your local food retailer, glancing through the Meat department asking yourself what to cook, roast, broil or grill, I'm the guy thereto help you figure it out. I'm your Meat Cutter! When you find yourself drooling 'cause those steaks look so perrty or the chops are so evenly cut or because there is simply so much variety to choose from... That's your Meat Cutter!

Special request? No Problem. A fresh cut steak, maybe thicker or thinner? You got it. What's that... you need 160 Bone-in Rib eye steaks a half inch thick for a party... in an Hour?!! I'll make it happen! Yes people that's a true story. Trust me! I remember it very well. You don't forget an order like that. I thought my arm was gonna fall off! Ok, Back on track. Would you like me to season or marinade your steaks for you? Or even tenderize them? I'm here to make dinner just a little less stressful. Oh yeah, and Delicious too !

My years of experience have taught me a great deal and I'm more than willing to share it with you. Unfortunately, What I've learned the most is that the majority of customers don't trust their Meat Cutter. I know! I don't understand it either. But its true. I love to grill. I love to bar-b-cue. When it comes to meat, whether steaks, pork chops, chicken, turkey, even seafood, I'll have some guidance on how to prepare any and all of them. So, next time you find yourself looking for something to be the "Star" of your dish, Let me help. I look forward to hearing how Great it turned out the next time you come in with the same dilemma.

Here's The Beef ~beef cuts at a glance~

Let's face it, from the head to the hooves, Nothing is wasted! So, why not explore all the tasty options? Remember, if your not sure what cut to use for a particular dish, just ask your Meat Cutter. If your still a little stand off-ish keep this in mind. Remember the Primal, i.e. Chuck, Loin, Round, Etc.

  1. - Chuck: Pot Roast- Slow cooker, Stew, and Hamburger.
  2. - Loin : Quality cuts- Ribeye, New York, Filet Mignon.
  3. - Round: Lean Cuts- Top, Bottom and Eye of Round

Get the Chuck out!

~no not Norris.~

Here we have the CHUCK. The single largest primal processed from the animal. It brings a good variety of choices. So, it goes without saying that there's a lot of options here. If your on the fence about Chuck, try this... Have your Meat Cutter Grind it for you. Chuck meat is top notch for some of the tastiest, juiciest burgers you'll ever grill!

  1. CHUCK- Bone-in
    • 7- Bone (Bone looks like the number 7)
    • 7- Bone Chuck steak
    • 7- Bone Chuck Pot Roast
    • Chuck Blade (Bone is sharper, pointed)
    • Chuck Blade steak
    • Chuck Blade Roast
  2. CHUCK- Boneless
    • Chuck steak
    • Chuck Pot Roast

There's no hiding the fact that Chuck is fatty Cut. Well, for a leaner alternative that retains plenty of flavor, May I introduce... The Cross- Rib! Here we have a nice choice that is not only a good cut, but a versatile piece as well.

    1. CHUCK- Boneless Shoulder Clod (Cross-Rib)

      - Cross Rib Roast

      - Cross Rib Steak

      - Country Style Ribs

      - Stew or Stir-fry

      1. *
      2. great for stroganoff

    2. CHUCK- Boneless Top Blade

      - Top Blade Roast

      - Flat Iron Steak

My slow cooker - ~great for Pot Roast~

Crock-Pot Programmable Slow Cooker (SCCPVP550-B)
Crock-Pot Programmable Slow Cooker (SCCPVP550-B)

I could showcase some random items here but I'd rather speak to the personal experience I built this lens around. I have this Crock Pot at home and let me tell you, it has served my family of four countless times. From a variety of roasts to chicken to chili to deserts, my favorite part is, you set it in the morning and when you get home from work, dinner is ready! The settings range from 4hrs to 10hrs and automatically goes to warm after the cooking time expires. We love it!


Prime Rib


What is there to say other than Prime Rib?! Bone in or Boneless, Rib steak is by far the choice of the majority of your Meat Cutters. I agree whole heartily! Tender, juicy and full of flavor, nothing beats a Rib steak. I'm not sure how to explain it to you other than if it was the holidays and you were my customer, so here we go.

Part of the Loin, The Rib offers both tenderness and flavor. Comprised of 7 Ribs and located between the Chuck, on what's known as the large end, and the Short loin on the small end. This allows for a bit of variety. To put it plainly, if you prefer lean with less fat, you want a cut from the small end. But, in my humble opinion, all the flavor and tenderness is found on the large end where it connects with the Chuck. This cut is not as desired because in all honesty its just not as " Pretty ".

I'll bet you've enjoyed Prime Rib before. But, Have you ever made it? I've found that most are intimidated by it. Let me tell you, there's nothing to be scared of. Here's what you do. First decide if you want lean or flavor. Once you figure that out your as good as done. Then, how many are you serving? For each Rib bone you'll get 2 servings. Go to your Meat Cutter and tell him how many Ribs you'd like on your roast. He should ask if you want it cut and tied. Cut and tied is when the rib bones are removed but tied back on with butcher's twine. The bone adds to the flavor. Season it with your favorite rub and sear it in the oven at 500 degrees for 15-20 mins. Then drop the temperature to 325 degrees and continue cooking for 15 mins per pound. Cut the twine. Remove the Rib bones and enjoy!

The most important thing to remember...let it rest for about an hour prior to cooking. You'll want to bring your roast to room temperature to allow it to cook evenly.

Prime Rib Roast - ~cook ware for roasts~

Be sure to use a dish or pan that is a couple inches deep. Remember, Rib eye has plenty of Flavor that will drip off and if your pan isn't deep enough, you'll enjoy some clean-up. I use cookware like this for much more than just Rib eye. Turkey, chicken, pork loin, etc. Very versatile!

Pyrex Bakeware 4.8 Quart Oblong Baking Dish, Clear
Pyrex Bakeware 4.8 Quart Oblong Baking Dish, Clear

A little more versatile, A Pyrex dish I find allows for more cooking options. Aside from roasts of all types, Chicken, Fish, or any baking needs are easily accommodated.


Short loin- Porterhouse/T-bone

~the best two for one~

So under appreciated, the Short loin is the Best of both worlds when it comes to steak! You would laugh at some of the surprised expressions when customers are told what makes up a Porterhouse and T-Bone steak. Granted, they can be the size of your dinner plate, but when its just you and the Mrs, Porterhouse is all you need. With a New York Strip on top and the coveted Filet Mignon beneath, Porterhouse is built to please!

So what's the difference between a Porterhouse steak and a T-Bone steak you ask? That's easy! The size of the Filet. The Porterhouse has a full or near full cut of Filet Mignon and the T-Bone has a bone that looks like a " T " with a smaller portion of the Filet. Besides the Best of both worlds, the price is usually a little more manageable than the sum of the parts separately. So, fire up the grill and enjoy!

Top Sirloin w/ Cap on
Top Sirloin w/ Cap on

Top Sirloin

~The Over Achiever~

Top Sirloin is an Amazing cut that is typically very economically priced. I prefer the "Cap" to the Top Sirloin. Lean and Tender, I just find that the Cap has more flavor and versatility. You won't find much fat or gristle but plenty of marbling. Do you like K-Bobs?! Stir fry?! Fajitas?! Steak burritos or sandwiches?! Top Sirloin is the cut you want. Sirloin is the versatile cut that won't hurt your jaw and is easy to work with. Just look at all your burger joints. They all have Sirloin burgers! Why? Sirloin has a nice balance between flavor and tenderness plus the upgrade to Loin meat is what people want. Check out the menu of your favorite restaurant, chances are you'll find it there with some rice pilaf, greens and if your lucky, a tasty piece of cornbread. Mmm Mmm!

A Meat Cutter's Pride

Meat service case
Meat service case

I love those Big Grilling times like the holidays or the 4th of July. As a Meat Cutter, there is nothing I like more then to hear customers compliment how good the cuts look. This is an example of my meat department service case during one of those times.

What...?! I barely know human anatomy and now you want me to know how many?! Look I can guarantee that I don't know everything about anything. That's why I look to the people that DO for the answers.

Do you know your meat?

See results

Quit fooling a Round

~Lean and Mean!~

If you've never seen a Whole Round, You'd be impressed! We're talking the hindquarter people! Some of the leanest cuts you can get. Now, the Round is broken into 3 main parts. The Top Round, The Bottom Round and The Eye of Round. These three wrap around the back leg. So lets break it down...

  1. 1. Whole Round Steak
  • -Includes parts of Top, Bottom, and Eye

One of the largest primals to work with, thus, the good variety of final product. What you need to know is thickness. If the cut is under an inch thick then you have a round steak and if the cut is anywhere over that, you've got yourself a London Broil. This is important because the thickness of the cut when it comes to Top Round/ Inside Round usually determines the price per pound. London Broil (a thicker cut) is generally less expensive than its thinner cut steaks.

  1. 2.Top Round
  • Top Round Steaks (regular/ thin)
    • - London Broil
    • - Top Round Roast
    • - Stew/ Stir-Fry
    • - Cube/ Swiss Steak

  • 3.Bottom Round
    • -Bottom Round Steaks (regular/ thin)
    • - Bottom Round / Rump Roast
    • - Stew/ Stir-Fry
    • - Cube/ Swiss Steak
  • 4. Eye of Round
    • - Eye of ROUND Steak (regular/ thin)
    • - Eye of Round Roast
    • - Cube/ Swiss Steak
  • 5.ROUND Tip
    • - Round Tip Breakfast steak
    • - Round Tip Roast
    • - Stew/ Stir-Fry

What's left... - ~Skirt, Flank, Brisket, etc~

Skirt/ Flap Meat is Awesome Carne Asada! Don't settle for less. Grilled or Pan fried, this cut is great with guacamole in your favorite kinda taco or burrito. Everything is better Grilled though!

Flank Steak is lean and shredable making it perfect for shredded beef burritos. One of my favorites... Have your Meat Cutter "Butterfly" it which means slicing the meat, not into 2 separate pieces, but rather, so that it lays open. Then stuff and roll! Spinach, Peppers, Cheese, Cooked Bacon (fat doesn't drain if uncooked), Ham, Asparagus, etc! Don't forget to ask your Meat Cutter for some butcher's twine to tie the roll to prevent it from unrolling. Bake 350 degrees for 15 mins per pound, slice and you'll see what I'm talking about.

We are all familiar with Corned Beef Brisket at St.Patty 's Day. What about the other 364 days of the year? Its not like Beef cuts grow per the season. Smoke it! Grill it! Bake it! If your a Short Rib fan but would rather not deal with a bone.... Brisket! Season it, Slice it, Love it!

After reading this, I Hope your HUNGRY! I hope your INSPIRED! I Hope you Get Out Back and GRILL!!!!

Well your here... - ~Say hello~

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    • fbcivcoming profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Jealous! Honestly jealous! Angus is typically a better cut but has been over commercialized in recent years but it certainly does not sound like a worry for you. I'm betting u enjoy some premium cuts. Did I say I was jealous? Lol!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Very interesting, intriguing, and fun to read! I like how you brought some personality into a subject that could be a bit dry to read , for some. My parents raise Black Angus, grass-fed, organic beef - which I am sure you know is one of the best kinds of beef you can get. We never get beef anywhere else, so as far as quality, we are a bit spoiled! Now all the special cuts of meat may be a different story..... as i am sure the Meat Cutter would tell me! :) :)

    • SandraOsborne LM profile image

      SandraOsborne LM 

      5 years ago

      Super lens - looks and feels good.

    • stick-man lm profile image

      stick-man lm 

      5 years ago

      My mom really liked your lense. Well done!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Man - I'm hungry now. I spent two years in the south of Brazil. It was great. The churrasco is to die for.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 

      5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I seem to be using beef quite a bit in stews, casseroles and stuff like that. I tend to use shin of beef. I assume that's the same as shank.

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 

      5 years ago

      I like filet mignon

    • fbcivcoming profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @HSP Connections: Sounds like you'd have plenty on your grill I'd be able to work with. Yes, a whole Sirloin along with the majority of your cuts are great when slow roasted. Feeding the freezer is just as important. I like to buy in bulk when theres a good price. I guess I have the advantage of being a cutter. thanks for the stopping by.

    • HSP Connections profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 

      5 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      Lots of excellent information! Whereas I love ribeyes, I do really like all the things you can do with a good sirloin. And sirloin is also excellent if you take the whole thing and slow roast it in the oven-- excellent roast beef for when you need to feed about 20-30 people. When I lived in Texas we used skirt for fajitas... slice it in thin strips, cross grain and marinate overnight-- then grill the strips. And, of course, whole untrimmed briskets are a staple of Texas BBQ... on low heat in the smoker, overnight. Now I'm REALLY looking forward the the steaks we've got lines up for dinner!

    • SandraWilson LM profile image

      SandraWilson LM 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for all the information. I had no idea of all the different cuts possible. Blessed.

    • Rankography profile image


      5 years ago

      Wow, excellent informative lens. Thanks for sharing your deep knowledge!! Blessed

    • StephenJackson2 profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice Lens and some great information :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      T bone gets my vote.

    • Magda2012 profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this, useful information! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Looks promising with a lot of educational material. Gives a new appreciation for the 'meat cutter' but I know they don't all care as much as you do!

    • fbcivcoming profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Here is number 2!!! I am sooo STOKED! Strangely enough, each page I publish excites me like I just won the Jackpot! Let me know what you think, All. Thank you and Enjoy!


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