What Are the Nine Cuts of Meat? (9 Cuts of Meat Explained)

This article may contain affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

As a chef or a butcher, being familiar with the nine cuts of meat is a great skill. It makes you look smart and informed while shopping or serving customers with meat.

Not all cuts of meat are rated equally, so being able to identify every cut of meat can help you get better deals when buying your meat. But what are the nine cuts of meat? The cut of meat varies from one animal to the other. In this guide, we will be focusing on cow meat(beef).

The nine cuts of meat on beef you should always remember includes chuck, short loin, rib, sirloin, brisket, fore shank, short plate, round, and frank.

Let’s quickly look at them one after the other!

What Are the Nine Cuts of Meat?

Since we’re going to be talking about beef, cow meat cuts are as follows.

1. Chuck

What Are the Nine Cuts of Meat

The chuck is found from the upper section of the cow, which includes the neck, brisket, and foreshank is involved in movement thereby, making the meat very lean.

It does not contain fat and can be pretty tough. Chuck cuts are usually chuck eye steak, shoulder steak, boneless short ribs, and chuck 7-bone.

These cuts are not great for roasting or searing because they’d be way too tough to chew through; they are better pot-roasted.

2. Rib

The rib is a section extended from the chuck down to the short loin. A cow has 13 ribs, and it contains 7 of the animals’ ribs; the chuck contains the remaining 6.

Ribs are great for baking and grilling. Ribeye steaks are common cuts of meat that work best when the meat is cooked in the oven.

Ribeye steak is considered a very good cut of meat as it contains a balance of muscle and fats, which creates flavor and juiciness.

3. Short Loin

This section makes up the upper to the middle section of the cow, which is another great cut for steak. Tenderloin cut also falls into this category. The short loin is magnificent for roasting.

4. Sirloin

This is another cut located on the upper part of the cow that sits slightly behind the short loin. There are three main cuts you could get from the sirloin: the top sirloin steak, tri-tip steak, and tri-tip roast. Tri-tip steak is similar to the tenderloin, but its quality is not good.

As the name implies, a Tri-tip roast is good for roasting, while the top sirloin steak is better eaten when it is pan-fried as long as it is not overcooked.

5. Brisket

It is found in the front and lower section of the cow just below the chuck. The cut is very tough and also produces a brisket flat cut. This part is very tough, and if you don’t have enough experience in preparing these types of meat, it could be very difficult for you.

Since this cut is tough, you should cook it for a longer period under low heat. Brisket is normally used to make delicious pastrami.

6. Fore Shank

This part is right underneath the front legs behind the brisket. It is made up of muscles and tendons and will work great as grilled or fried pan steak.

For this cut, the best preparation method mainly is braising it because a long show cook is exactly what you need to make the meat tender enough to cook.

7. Short Plate

The short plate cut is directly under the belly of the cow. The short plate is directly opposite of its name as it is long and stretches from the forelimbs to just before the hind legs. These cuts are extremely tough and can also be extremely rich in flavor.

The skirt steak and hanger steaks come from this area and work best when braised and cooked for a long time.

8. Round

The round section consists of the rear section of the cow. It is also a tougher cut of meat, and like the chuck, you can also use this best when it is roasted and used in stews or any food that will last for some time.

Butcher uses this meat cut as hamburgers because it is lean and can be easy to ground up.

9. Flank

This is the last primal cut of meat that sits behind the short plate behind the hind legs. Flank steak is gotten from the flank cut, and if cooked properly, it could just be as flavorful as the ribeye as it costs less than the ribeye.

Flank steaks work best when marinated overnight as it helps to tenderize the meat before it is cooked. It is most times better as grilled or pan-fried.

Why Is It Important to Know the Different Cuts of Meat?

Whether you purchase a whole, halved, or quartered portion, it is important to know where your meat is located in an animal because by identifying your parts of meat, and you can know the best part that suits your recipe.

What Part of Meat Is the Ham?

This part of the leg comes from the hind part of a hog. It is a cut of meat from a pig, and since we talked about the cow’s cut of meat, it was not mentioned earlier.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve explained what the nine cuts of meat are, it is important to note that the parts of meat explained above is for a cow. Different animals have different ways in which their cuts are referred.

The cuts of meat of a pig are pork shoulder, pork belly, pork loin, pork butt (also known as the ham), and lastly, the head, while the chickens’ major cuts are the drumsticks, wing, thigh, and breast.

So, when shopping for pork meat, don’t get confused if a foreshank or brisket is not mentioned; those animal cuts are not reoffered to that way.

Scroll to Top