Cuts Of The Cow: An Overview

Cuts Of The Cow: An Overview

Here at Keller Crafted Meats, we love everything about meat. We love the animals it comes from, the land they graze on, the processes that let us extract it humanely, and, of course, the way it tastes when raised right. Here at Keller Crafted Meats, our grass fed organic meat is expertly handled, and it shows when you get it on your plate. But, how the meat is raised isn't the only factor determining taste, texture, and the dining experience as a whole. The cut of the meat also plays a big role in that. Here's a quick overview of the cuts of the cow.

The cuts of the cow are split on two axis: "halves" are divided symmetrically (think of the spine as the dividing line), while "quarters" are divided front to back (front and hind quarters).

Forequarter Cuts:

  • Chuck -- Located under the shoulder area, the chuck is responsible for bone in chuck steaks and boneless clod steaks. Sometimes it is also used in ground hamburger meat.
  • Brisket -- As the name probably tipped you off, the brisket cut is used for barbecue, but also pastrami and corned beef. It's located at the front of the cow below the chuck.
  • Rib -- Located on the horizontal axis as chuck, but closer tot he middle of the cow, is the rib cut. It's used for short and prime ribs as well as for rib eye steaks.
  • Plate -- Located under the rib cut, the plate is used for short ribs (in pot roasting or skirt steak), pastrami, and fatty ground beef.
  • Shank -- The shank is one of the toughest texture cuts in the cow, and thus is used pretty much exclusively for stews and soups. It's located below the brisket, starting where the legs protrude.

Hindquarter Cuts:

  • Short Loin -- Adjacent to the rib cut, but on the hind side of the cow, is the short loin cut. It is used for T-bone steaks, porterhouse steaks, and strip steak.
  • Sirloin -- More flavorful, but not quite as tender, the sirloin is a thin strip located behind the short loin.
  • Tenderloin -- One of the top valued cuts of steak, the tinderloin can be cut into tenderloin steaks, roasts, or the prized filet mignon. It's located behind the short loin and under the sirloin.
  • Round -- The round is a tougher, leaner meat that requires a different type of cooking. It's located at the back of the cow.
  • Flank -- The flank is located behind the plate cut and under the short loin and sirloin cuts. It's most commonly used in in ground beef or as fajita meat.

Hopefully this article has proven informative. Here at Keller Crafted Meats, we are committed to providing only top quality, organic, grass fed beef. If you're interested in trying some yourself, check out our products section and order today!