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From Chuck To Shank: 12 Essential Beef Cuts For Home Cooks

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beef cuts

When shopping for beef, you’ll come across cuts such as chucks, ribs, sirloins, and shanks, among other beef cuts. Being presented with so many options can be confusing. But fret not, you’re not alone in this.

In fact, not everyone is aware of the cuts because understanding them requires knowledge of a cow’s anatomy. However, a profound knowledge is unnecessary to understand beef cuts, just knowing the basics is enough.

By grasping the basics of beef cuts, you can easily differentiate their respective characters. This way, you won’t risk wasting your beef dishes by preparing them the wrong way, for example by slow cooking ribeye or grilling shank cuts.

Now that it’s clear that knowing the beef parts is important, it’s time to list down the 12 essential beef cuts for you to cook at home!

12 Essential Beef Cuts For Home Cooks

Before its meat is sold in the supermarket, a cow is first broken down into several cuts. These cuts then produce smaller 12 parts, including:

  1. Chuck Meat
chuck meat

Organic Carbon Neutral Beef Chuck Roll Chilled

Chuck meat, sourced from the shoulder of a cow, naturally has a tough texture. However, its beefy flavour and high fat content ensure that every bite of chuck meat tastes juicy.

Despite being naturally tough, chuck meat can be transformed into a tender delight when properly prepared. The delectable beefy flavour will remain, ready to pamper your taste buds. Dishes that feature chuck meat include stew meat, ground beef, and more.

To properly prepare chuck meat, you have to pay attention to how to cook it. Slow cooking method is what we recommend to make your chuck meat tender and ready to devour.

  1. Neck Meat

Neck meat, as the name implies, comes from a cow’s neck or just below the head and above the chuck. It’s a flavourful, well-marbled, and relatively affordable cut that’s often overlooked. While it’s not as tender as some other cuts, it makes up for it with its rich, beefy taste.

To make neck meat transform into a mouth-watering delight, you must understand how to process it. Some cooking methods like braise and stew are ideal to overcome its toughness. This will result in tender, succulent meat, complete with its rich flavour from the seasonings.

  1. Ribeye Meat
neck meat

Wagyu Ribeye MB 4-5

Known for its incredible tenderness and well-marbled flavour, ribeye beef is a favourite delight among meat enthusiasts. The delectable lines of fat in ribeye meat make it a delicious choice of beef cut for processing into steak.

When processed with the right methods – grilling or pan-searing – ribeye steak tastes juicy, giving you a melt-in-your-mouth sensation like no other. This makes it celebrated as a culinary masterpiece, reserved for special occasions.

Due to its natural tenderness, it’s important for you to avoid cooking it for too long. Otherwise, you’ll waste its delightful, tender and juicy texture, present to give you a devouring experience in every bite.

  1. Sirloin Meat
sirloin meat

Wagyu Beef Sirloin MB5+ Chilled

Located in the rear portion of the cow, sirloin meat is further divided into several sub-cuts – sirloin, top sirloin, and bottom sirloin. This beef cut features a superb combination of tenderness and flavour, making it a go-to choice for steak dishes.

Furthermore, sirloin is high in fat, making this part naturally juicy. Processing it with a quick cooking method, such as grilling or pan-searing, is ideal to retain its true delightfulness. In turn, your sirloin steak will taste perfect, with or without additional sauce.

  1. Tenderloin Meat
tenderloin meat

Sitting beneath the rib and next to the backbone, tenderloin meat is an epitome of tenderness in beef cuts. It features an exceptionally lean, melt-in-your-mouth texture that many steak enthusiasts find a true delight.

Unlike its sirloin counterpart, tenderloin has very little fat. Those who appreciate the most tender and buttery beef experience will be thrilled with the taste of the tenderloin. It’s also often prepared with minimal seasonings to let its natural flavours shine.

However, it’s necessary that you prepare tenderloin the right way to retain its natural delight. Slow-roasting is the most recommended cooking method that you can try to bring out the beefy bliss of the tenderloin in every bite of your steak.

  1. Shortloin Meat
shortloin meat

Wagyu Beef Shortloin T-Bone MB 4-5

Shortloin meat is a beef cut where some of the most famous steaks originate. It’s home to strip loin and T-bone steaks, which many appreciate for their perfect balance of tenderness and rich flavours.

Despite originating from the same primary cut, strip loin and T-bone steaks differ. Strip loin, also known as New York strip or Kansas City strip, has a robust beefy flavour and satisfying tenderness, making it ideal for grilling or pan-searing.

On the other hand, the T-bone steak consists of a combo between strip loin and tenderloin. With every bite of T-bone steak, you’ll taste the perfect combo of tender texture and rich, appetising flavour. Many steak lovers describe this as the best of both worlds.

  1. Brisket Meat
brisket meat

Grain Fed 120 Days Beef Brisket Navel End Chilled

Brisket is a flavourful and well-marbled cut of beef that comes from the cow’s chest. This particular beef cut is naturally tough with a high fat content, but when cooked low and slow, it can become versatile beef dishes with incredible tenderness.

Barbecue is the common method to process brisket. It entails hours of smoking to develop brisket’s smoky, tender, and mouth-watering qualities, ready to satisfy your taste buds. Beef dishes that you can delight in with brisket cut include corned beef, pot roast, and beef stews.

While brisket tastes excellent on its own, you can enhance its flavour with additional sauce. Combine butter, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, and water. Stir the mixture until boiling. Then set it aside in a saucepan to pour over your brisket slices.

  1. Plate Meat
plate meat

Plate, or short plate meat is located just below the rib cut. It’s a more affordable choice known for its tough and slightly fatty meat characteristics. It’s commonly used for ground beef, sliced into short ribs, or processed into braised dishes due to its rich, savoury flavour.

Since plate meat is naturally tough, it needs slow cooking to become tender and develop a savoury flavour. Adding red wine brings out its full potential even more, resulting in tender, chewy, and juicy delight in every bite.

  1. Flank Meat

Flank meat, also known as London Broil, Plank Steak, or Jiffy Steak, features a long, flat cut coming from the abdominal muscles of a cow. It has distinguished grains and boasts a robust beefy flavour, prized for its versatility to process into various beef dishes.

While it’s not the most tender beef cut, with the right preparation, it can be transformed into a truly juicy delight. This includes quick cooking methods like grilling or pan-searing to bring out the most of its flavours. It’s also necessary to slice it thinly against the grains to enhance its tenderness.

  1. Round Meat

Round meat is found in a cow’s rear leg. It’s a lean, moderately tough cut that consists of top and bottom round, each with their own characteristics. The top round is more tender and ideal for roasting, while the bottom round is leaner and best for dishes like London broil or beer jerky.

Despite being affordable beef cuts, rounds deliver flavourful delights when prepared correctly. When it comes to preparing round cuts, the rule of thumb is to marinate the meat before cooking and to use low and slow cooking methods.

  1. Oxtail
oxtail meat

Organic Carbon Neutral Beef Tail – Frozen Oxtail

Oxtail is a distinctive cut known for its rich, gelatinous texture and deep beefy flavour. When simmered slowly, oxtail releases its gelatin delight, resulting in a satisfying culinary experience found in hearty soups, stews, and braised dishes.

  1. Shank Meat

The shank meat is found in the lower leg of a cow and known for its tough, sinewy texture. Due to its toughness, shank is most suitable to prepare with slow-cooking methods. The slow cooking helps in breaking down the connective tissues, resulting in tender delights.

Moreover, shank meat is often used in dishes like osso buco or beef stew that entails slow-cooking. The marrow in the bone enhances the flavour richness and depth to the dishes in which it’s used.

Indulge in Premium Beef Cuts: Wagyu, Grain-Fed, and More

Not all beef cuts come from the same breed of cow. Breeding, feeding, and ageing processes, among other things, influence the texture, flavour, and overall quality of the meat.

The following are several categories of premium beef from which you can choose to cook and serve as succulent dishes at home:

Wagyu Beef

The first and most popular category is wagyu beef. Wagyu beef is celebrated worldwide for its exceptional quality and one-of-a-kind marbling texture hardly found anywhere else, making it one of the most expensive cuts of beef. 

Originating from Japan, ‘Wagyu’ translates to ‘Japanese cattle.’ These cattles are carefully bred and fed, resulting in beef cuts that are richly marbled with fine streaks of fat. Its marbling not only gives Wagyu beef its exceptional buttery texture, but also delivers a depth of flavour.

Due to its characteristics, wagyu is often considered one of the most tender and succulent beef varieties available. Savouring in Wagyu gives you a true delicacy, where its exquisite flavour and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness are present in every bite.

Grain-Fed Beef

Prized for its consistency and marbling, grain-fed beef is obtained through a diet rich in grains such as corn and soybeans. The feeding regimen, along with free-roaming and MSA quality farms results in meat that is well-marbled, tender, and flavourful.

The grain-rich diet also contributes to the beef’s mild, slightly sweet taste ready, appealing to many palates. This particular meat category is commonly found in various beef cuts, making it a versatile choice for searing, broiling, or grilling.

Grass-Fed Beef

Grass-fed beef is cherished for its natural and robust flavour, as it’s raised in a natural pasture and fed a diet of grass. More than that, grass-fed beef is sourced from EU-accredited cattles, ensuring that the meat is free of harmful additives and added hormones.

Due to how grass-fed beef is obtained, the meat often has a leaner profile compared to its grain-fed counterparts. This makes it an appealing choice for those seeking a healthier and ethical option.

Finally, grass-fed beef is known for its earthy taste and can be enjoyed in a variety of cuts, from steaks to ground beef. It’s a choice favoured by those who appreciate the authentic taste of beef in its most natural form.

Organic Carbon Neutral Beef

Organic carbon neutral beef is the epitome of ethical and sustainable farming practices. It’s produced as part of a commitment to being environmentally responsible by reducing carbon footprints. Regardless, there’s no reason to doubt the quality of organic carbon neutral beef.

Sourced from the finest selection of ACO and USDA-certified cattle, organic carbon neutral beef meets the highest standards for tenderness and flavour. From ribeye, brisket, to short ribs, there’s always something for everyone to delight.

Premium Beef Cuts, Conveniently Prepared: Frozen, Dry Aged, Boxed, and Marinated

Cooking beef at home to make delectable cuisines does not always have to be difficult. Many premium beef cuts have been prepared in certain ways to help you in preparing them without the hassle of starting from scratch.

Here’s the list of conveniently prepared premium beef cuts you can choose from:

Frozen Beef

For those who want to enjoy premium beef cuts at their own pace, frozen beef makes a convenient option. It entails carefully freezing the fresh cuts to maintain their quality and flavour. This is an excellent option for busy families or those who prefer to plan their meals in advance.

Frozen beef is also versatile and comes in a variety of dishes, including sausages, ribeye shabu shabu, oxtail, and others. This ensures that you can get what you need, anytime you want, without worrying about spoilage.

Dry-Aged Beef

The production of dry-aged beef involves ageing the meat in a controlled environment for an extended period of time. This allows natural enzymes to break down the meat fibres, resulting in tender and rich in flavour beef dishes.

The delight of tender and flavourful dry-aged beef is similar to that found in premium steakhouses. But now, you can enjoy the depth and complexity of flavours at home by selecting dry-aged beef the next time you go shopping for beef cuts.

Beef Meat Boxes

Beef meat boxes are convenient, providing access to a variety of premium cuts in a single package. These thoughtfully curated boxes contain a selection of beef cuts, from steaks and roasts to ground beef, and specialty cuts. 

They make a perfect solution for those who want to explore different beef options or stock their freezer with a variety of cuts. Beef meat boxes often cater to specific tastes, such as grilling enthusiasts or those looking for a well-rounded beef assortment.

Marinated Ready To Cook Beef

Marinated ready-to-cook beef takes the stress out of preparing meat dishes. It features premium beef cuts expertly marinated with flavourful seasonings, sauces, or rubs. This allows for quick and easy preparation of delightful beef dishes.

Those with busy schedules or who want to add a burst of flavours to their beef dishes without the need for extensive marinating can go for this option. Whether you prefer savoury, spicy, or sweet flavours, marinated ready-to-cook beef makes a perfect, time-saving choice.

Ryan’s Grocery: Your One-Stop Destination For The Best Beef Cuts

As a boutique grocer and butcher, Ryan’s Grocery caters to discerning foodies with a passion for exceptional beef flavour and quality. Our Australian-trained butchers are masters of their craft, dedicated to curating the finest beef cuts to elevate your dining experience.

Enjoy a wide range of beef cuts, including renowned Australian Wagyu and Japanese Wagyu, 120-day and 200-day grain-fed beef, wholesome grass-fed beef options , and even organic carbon-neutral beef, all meticulously sourced to meet our exacting standards.

Shop from our conveniently located outlets in the Binjai Park residential area or in the central hub at Great World. Else, you can also shop our premium beef online and have them delivered to your doorstep.

Have further questions on beef products? Our friendly team is just a chat away, ready to assist you in choosing the best, premium beef cuts for you to delight in at home. Contact us today!

FAQs

What are the 12 basic beef cuts?

There are always cuts of meat for everyone to enjoy, and you can choose from these 12 basic beef cuts based on your personal preferences:

  • Chuck
  • Neck
  • Ribeye
  • Sirloin
  • Tenderloin
  • Shortloin
  • Brisket
  • Plate
  • Flank
  • Round
  • Oxtail
  • Shank

What are the best cuts of beef to order?

Everyone has a different palate regarding the best cuts of beef. Those who fancy tender and juicy, high fat content beef, can shop for sirloin steaks. Brisket, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for those who enjoy smoky, rather tough meat.

About Ryan’s Grocery

Ryan’s Grocery is Singapore’s only full-service organic butchery and allergen-friendly specialist grocery store. The company’s journey began in July 2015 when founders Sebastian and Wendy Chia learnt of their son’s – Ryan – intolerance to gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, egg, and yeast. They searched local markets for products and produce, and even made personal trips internationally to look for a range of dietary items to support his needs.

It was then they saw a demand for such a specialty online grocery and Ryan’s Grocery was born. Ryan’s Grocery now services the local community, discerning shoppers and those with dietary intolerances with an all-inclusive range of organic meats from our specialty butchery, gluten-free products, and other related items with grocery delivery options.

In December 2019, the brand launched its first overseas flagship store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Its flagship outlet in Singapore with ‘Ryan’s Grocery’ and ‘Ryan’s Kitchen’ opened in Great World in December 2020, spanning a total of 4,200 sq ft. In 2022, Ryan’s Grocery was awarded “Gourmet Retailer of the Year” and “Best Meat & Seafood Retailer” in Singapore by World Gourmet Summit & Tatler Asia respectively.

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