There is no shortage of choices when it comes to beef cuts. The number of potential cuts totals more than 60. In the United States, there are eight cuts considered primal, the ones every beefeater should know about. In Europe, there are just six primal cuts, while other countries consider up to 20 cuts as primal.

Learning about beef cuts allows you to understand how the steer’s body is put together and why some cuts are costlier than others.

At Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed, our grass fed beef delivery provides you with the best cuts of meat from cattle that spent their lives consuming only grass and forage, as nature intended. Not only will you enjoy your cuts of 100% grass fed beef, but you know the animal was raised using regenerative agriculture principles that help restore the environment and enhance biodiversity.

Here are the eight primal cuts of beef:

1. Chuck

Chuck is shoulder and neck meat. This versatile cut is used in a number of ways, including as roasts and cube steaks. Because of chuck’s even combination of meat and fat, it is the top choice for ground beef. Sub-primal chuck cuts include chuck roll, chuck tender, chuck steak, and chuck eye.

Chuck includes the blade steak, a coveted sub-primal cut since there is only a small amount of this meat on any animal.

2. Rib

Cattle have 13 pairs of ribs, but just the sixth through the twelfth are considered rib meat. Rib also includes the meat from the backbone. The first five pairs of ribs belong to the chuck cut, while that 13th pair is part of the loin.

Rib cuts include prime rib, short ribs, ribeye filet, and ribeye petite steak.

3. Loin

The loin runs along the cow’s lower back. The term “tenderloin” refers to the most tender, and among the most expensive, beef cuts. The loin’s sub-primal cuts include sirloin, filet mignon, Porterhouse, T-bone, New York strip steak, Chateaubriand, and other top-drawer names. Cooking times for these cuts are not as long as for other primal cuts.

4. Round

Round cuts are made from the animal’s rear legs and buttocks. Since there is little fat, rounds are a fairly tough cut. Among the cheapest cuts of beef, rounds are used mainly for items such as cheesesteaks and steak sandwiches. It is commonly dried to make jerky. Bottom round is good for corned beef.

5. Flank

Flank cuts come from the animal’s belly. Flank cuts include London Broil and flank steak, and it is also used for ground beef. Ground beef from flank is ideal for stir-frying or fajitas.

6. Plate

Also known as a short-plate cut, plate comes from beneath the rib primal, near the animal’s stomach. As a cheaper cut, it is often used to make beef bacon or ground beef. Other cuts include hanger and skirt steak.

7. Brisket

Brisket comes from the chest. Because there is a lot of muscle here, the meat is lower in fat. While there are a lot of ways to prepare it, smoking the cut provides top flavor. Top cuts are brisket flat and brisket point. No matter the brisket cut, moist cooking proves best.

8. Shank

Shanks are part of the legs, either leg or shin meat. This meat contains little fat and is tough. This means it should cook for a long time and benefits from a tenderizer. Shanks are a good source for beef stew cubes or lean ground beef. Shank sub-primals include marrow bones.

No matter the cut, 100 percent grass fed beef is always the way to go for both taste and nutrition. Cattle raised on grass do not receive growth hormones or GMO products. They are not given antibiotics to encourage growth.

Find All 8 Primal Cuts of Beef at Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed

What is grass fed beef and why should you choose it over the grain-fed variety? While the environmental reasons are crucial, so is the fact that grass-fed beef is leaner and contains more nutrients than beef from cattle raised in feedlots. It is a healthier form of beef.

At Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed, we offer the finest 100 percent grass-fed beef products. Eat well and eat sustainably.


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