Guide to understanding the different cuts of beef

Not sure where all the different cuts of beef come from? You're not alone. Plenty of people are familiar with names for common beef cuts but don't really know where each one comes from or how to cook it. Learning more about the cuts of meat on cattle helps to ensure tastier results each time you fire up the grill or heat your trusty cast iron skillet. Check out this beef guide to start digging in to the details.

What Are the Cuts of Beef?

When it comes to beef, there are nine main areas of the cattle where cuts of beef originate. Within each category, you'll find various names for steaks, roasts and other butcher cuts that come from that area:

Chuck: Connective tissue in this area requires longer cooking in order to achieve a tender texture. Cuts include flat iron steak and blade roast. Chuck meat is very affordable and also commonly used for ground beef.

Rib: This area has lots of marbling, which is what makes ribs especially tender and flavorful. Rib meat does well with dry heat cooking. Cuts include ribeye steak, cowboy steak and back ribs.

Short Loin: Another particularly tender area is the short loin, which is great for dry heat cooking on the grill or searing in a skillet. It is the source of popular steaks like striploin, New York strip, T-bone, porterhouse and filet mignon.

Sirloin: Sirloin comes from near the back of the cattle, which features slightly chewier meat that's great for barbecuing. Cuts often contain a bone and include tri-tip roast, sirloin steak and ball tip.

Round: Round cuts come from the rear portion of the cattle, which has less marbling. It's often used for burgers and sausages. The cuts, which include rump roast and tip steak, are best cooked by braising or roasting and then cut very thin before serving.

Brisket: The lower chest of the cattle produces brisket, which requires longer cooking times, usually with braising or smoking. Whole brisket is the most common cut.

Plate: Sometimes known as the short plate, this area includes more cartilage and is relatively fatty. Short ribs and skirt steak are popular cuts from the plate.

Flank: The flank contains muscle fibers, so it's best to grill it quickly on high heat and slice it thinly to serve. Flank steak is the main cut from this area.

Shank: The cattle's thigh is the shank, which can be taken from both front and hind legs. The meat has connective tissue that requires moist heat cooking. It can also be used to make beef stock or ground beef.

Use this guide to find the right cut of meat for a dish you want to prepare. At The Wagyu Shop, we offer a variety cut options from premium beef sources, including authentic Wagyu beef, American Wagyu beef and USDA Prime Angus beef.