Beef Cut Guide

Beef Cuts

►Upper half cuts

Chuck: One of the most common
sources for roasts and hamburgers

Rib: Short ribs, rib eye steak and prime rib.

Loin: Subprimals are:

  • Short loin — From which T-bone steaks are cut.
  • Sirloin — Less tender than short loin, but more flavorful, further divided into Top sirloin and Bottom sirloin.
  • Tenderloin — The most tender, from which filet mignon is served, can be removed separately, or left in for T-bone and Porterhouse steaks.

Round: Lean cut, moderately tough, lower fat marbling, requires moist cooking or lesser degrees of doneness.

►Lower half cuts

Brisket: Often associated with barbecue beef brisket.

Shank: Used primarily for stews and soups; it is not usually served any other way due to it being the toughest of the cuts.

Plate: Produces short ribs for pot roasting and types of steak such as the outside skirt steak for, say, fajitas and hanger steak. It is typically a cheap, tough, and fatty meat.

Flank: Used mostly for grinding, except for the long and flat flank steak, best known for use in London broil. Once one of the most affordable steaks on the market, it is substantially tougher than the loin and rib steaks, therefore many flank recipes use marinades or moist cooking methods such as braising. Popularity and leanness have resulted in increased price.

Typical Distribution of Beef in Pounds
Beef Quater Half Whole
Steaks (27%) 32 lbs 64 lbs 129 lbs
Roasts (24%) 28 lbs 57 lbs 115 lbs
Hamburgers (40-45%) 50 lbs 98 lbs 193 lbs
Short Ribs,
Stew Meat, ect (9
10 lbs 21 lbs 43 lbs
Total Approx. Weight 120 lbs 240 lbs 480 lbs
Approx. Freeze Space (Cubic Feet) 4.5 9 18