Kitchen Newbie's Guide to Meat: The Cuts You Need to Know

We have meaty information: Know your meat cuts with our visual guide.



Click here for the downloadable version of the meat guide. Save it on your mobile and use it for your next trip to the market!


Don’t be clueless the next time you visit the meat market:


1 Tenderloin

Tenderloin is considered the most tender part of a cow. It is the muscle located between the shoulder blade and the hip socket, the area least used. This part is also referred to as filet mignon.

Best use: Grill, roast, or sauté.


2 Short Ribs

The short rib is that small piece trimmed off the main portion of a rib. You can get it in three ways: English cut which is about two inches long per piece; flanken cut, which is cut across the bones; or boneless steaks.

Best use: Grill, roast, or broil. If you have time, stew or braise.



3 Ground Beef

This is the by-product of scraps from the flank. In order to be labeled ground beef, the product must be at least 70-percent lean.

The flank is located on the underside of the animal, right below the loins.

Best use: Sauté, pan-fry, or grill.



4 Sirloin The cheapest among the premium steaks, sirloin is found between the short loin and the round. Separated by the tenderloin, the top sirloin tends to be less fatty than the bottom sirloin. Both, however, are flavorful and tender.

Best use: Grill, broil, fry, or roast.



5 Brisket Also called breast meat, brisket comes from the lower chest of the cow. Often used for pot roasts and corned beef, the brisket is usually tough thus slow cooking is required to make it tender.

Best use: Braise, smoke, stew.



Photography by David Hanson; text originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Yummy magazine


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