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A BBQ guide to beef cuts

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Author: Katie Mae Hewitson
cow parts
Ever wondered about where your favourite
steak comes from ? Wanting to try a different
cut from a cow but not sure which one to try.

On today’s article I will list all the different kind
of beef cuts available from your local butchers.
Cows can be  butchered in different ways
depending on where you live. Since there are
over 800 different breeds of beef cattle
worldwide, of course you can expect each
one to be butchered specific for it’s breed.

Below I have listed some diagrams which show
the different cuts from the different countries.

A short list of Beef Cattle and where they are from:

Angus – Originated from Scotland now very popular in the United States

Australian Lowline -  bred in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and China originated form Australia  

Austrian mountain- A Spanish breed from Spain

Belgian Blue – breed from Belgian named for their blue-grey colour but can vary from white to black . They have a very lean meat due to a gene defect.

Belgian Red- originated in France, breed from Belgium this solid red cow is in danger of extinction.

British White – as it’s name states this breed originated in the united Kingdom dating back to the 17th century. Namely white with dark black or red points.

Blue Grey – popular in Scotland and northern England . They are well suited for rough grazing.

Limousin – originated from France , naturally horned. Produce lean and tender meat

Cuts of Beef from different parts of the world :

British Beef cuts
beef cuts
Dutch Beef cuts
cuts of beef

American Beef Cuts
cow cuts

Cuts Of Beef Explained

Beef clod: cheap cut of beef from shoulder region of the cattle

Beef shank: taken from the leg or shank of the cow this meat can be tough, stringy and dry but is very lean . Used for low fat ground beef or mince . It is also common in soup stocks and can be very cheap.

Blade steak: taken from the “chuck” part of the cow , this steak is tough

Brisket: a cut found on the lower breast or chest of the cow which contains connective tissue producing a tough meat which needs to be tenderised.

Chateaubriand steak: A thick cut from the tenderloin , said to be one of the most flavourful but less tender then a sirloin

Chuck steak: part of the sub prime cut known as the chuck. It is a rectangular cut which contains part of the shoulder. Often used for ground beef or mince or for roasts due to it’s richness in flavour and it’s balance of meat and fat.

Cube steak: cut from the top round or top sirloin and cut into cubes for cooking

Entrecote: considered a premium cut of beef used for steaks from the rib area

Filet mignoncut: from the smaller end of the tenderloin – it is the most tender cut of all the beef because it contains the least amount of connective tissue  and is the most expensive as called Tournedos.

Flank steak:
a long , flat  cut from the abdominal muscles . It is a tough beef . McDonald’s in the United Kingdom uses "100% forequarter and flank" in its burger patties.

Flap steak: cut very thin from the bottom sirloin.

Flat iron steak: is the American name for what the UK calls a butlers’ steak . It is cut from the shoulder and contains a large amount of marbling.

Hanger steak: known to have a lot of flavour this cut of beef is taken from the plate section of the cow. It resembles the flank steak in texture and flavour. 

Oxtail:  this is the tail of the cow , it is a bony, gelatine-rich meat and is usually slowed cooked in a stew.

Plate steak: this cut of beef is from the front belly of the cow just below the rib cut . It also know as the skirt steak or hanger steak

Popeseye steak: this is a rump steak which is then sliced very thin and found in the UK

Ranch steak: a tough cut of meat from the chuck of the cow.

Rib eye steak: this cut of beef is taken from the rib section of the cow. The meat is highly marbled and is fairly tender when grilled.

Rump steak: A steak from the top half of an American –cut round steak primal or with a British or Australian cut from the rump primal

Short loin: this comes from the back of the cow and contains a part of the spine , top  loin and some of the tenderloin.

Short ribs or Jacob’s ladder: cut from the rib, plate and a small corner of the chuck Larger , more tender and meatier then pork ribs, these ribs contain approximately 3-4 ribs.

Shoulder tender: cut from the blade or chuck and is very tender. It lies just below the flat iron steak and is less expensive then a filet. This cut is also known as petite tender medallion  or tender medallions.

Silverside: preferred cut for making corned beef this cut is found in the hindquarter just above the leg.

Sirloin steak:
cut from the rear back portion of the cow. In British and Australian butchery it refers to cuts from the upper middle . In America this cut is called a short loin.

Skirt steak: Same as a plate cut see above

t-bone steak- or porterhouse steaks: are cut from the short loin . The smaller part of the “T” is tenderloin and the larger is considered a strip steak . In British butchery only the strip loin is called a porterhouse and the tenderloin side is called a fillet . Usually a high quality cut of beef with an expensive price tag .
Beef tenderloin: also known as a fillet in England , France and Germany this cut is a high quality , tender,  expensive cut of beef . The centre of the tenderloin being a filet mignon in the U.S

Top sirloin: cut from the primal loin the difference from sirloin steak is that the bone is removed as well as the tenderloin and round bottom muscles are not in this steak

Bottom Sirloin: less tender then the top sirloin  and larger also called a tri-tip

Now that we have gotten to know the types of cow and cuts it’s time to get those steaks on the grill . Be sure to check out my next guide about barbecuing beef . It s full of easy and fun marinades and rubs to try out !

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