Confusing Name Games for Meats - Pressure Cooker Knowledge

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Looking for the Right Piece Of Meat?

If you decide to look for recipes based on a specific cut of meat be prepared for some frustration. The names of the various cuts of meat can vary widely from store brands to different parts of the country and also in other countries. Various cuts of beef may differ in name between different countries and even in different regions of the same country, so it can be confusing. For example, in the United States, the rear section of the carcass is known as the round, but in Canada, the same section is called the hip. Wherever possible the beef recipes in my website do not name a particular cut of meat, but rather state boneless or bone-in of a certain weight. Cooks are free to shop for the cuts of their choice and take advantage of sales to get the most for their dollars.

Locate Beef Cuts

Click on the various parts of the beef to find out just how confusing the names can be.

Read Those Labels and Save Money

If your supermarket offers meats with names like the one in the column on the right, look for meat with names from the left hand column.  When the price is lower for meats in the left hand column buy that pakage and save a little money by not paying for the fancy name. The most notorious cut of all is the ubiquitous London Broil which is the name of a recipe or method of cooking; it is not the name of a cut of beef. The recipe first appeared in print in the U.S. in the early 1930's, and consisted of marinated flank steak, broiled or grilled and sliced thinly across the grain. Top round steak and chuck shoulder can also be used

Cuts From The Chuck

The chuck primal cut extends from the neck to the fifth rib and includes the shoulder blade and upper arm. It is often divided into two main sections, or subprimals, known as the blade portion and the arm half. The chuck has plenty of connective tissues that melt when the meat is cooked. This helps to add flavor and also helps to tenderize the meat. Although chuck cuts are flavorful, they are not as tender as the loin and rib cuts. They can become rather tough if not cooked properly. Cuts from the chuck benefit from slow cooking using moist heat methods such as braising.

The chuck, brisket, round and shank are the most exercised muscles and hence, the toughest. Cuts from the chuck are the least tender and are best suited for moist heat cooking methods such as braising/ pot-roasting, stewing, and steaming.

Common or Primal Cut Name

Other Names, Market Terms Used By Supermarkets

7-Bone Roast, Blade Roast,- The 7-bone roast is a cross cut roast of the shoulder blade. It gets its name from the cross cut of bone that is shaped like a "7". The 7-bone roast is one of the most popular for pot-roasting

Center Cut Pot Roast, Chuck Roast Center Cut, Pot Roast

Arm Roast - The main part of the upper arm is the location where the arm roast is obtained.

Arm Pot Roast, Arm Chuck Roast, Round Bone Pot Roast

Boneless Shoulder Roast - The boneless shoulder roast is also know is located right behind the arm roast.

English roast

Chuck-eye, Roast, Boneless - The chuck eye is a continuation of the rib-eye meat. It is similar to the rib-eye meat of the rib primal (ribs 6-12) except that it is located in the chuck primal (ribs 1-5). The chuck eye is also not as tender as the rib-eye meat

Boneless Bottom Chuck roast, Boneless Chuck Roll, Chuck Tender, Scotch Tender

Cross-rib Roast - A cross-rib roast contains the meaty portions on the top of ribs 3 through 5.

Boston Cut, English Cut, Bread and Butter Cut, Shoulder Clod

Ground Chuck, The package may say ground chuck, ground sirloin, or ground round based on the part of the animal from which the meat has been taken. A product labeled ground chuck will contain at least 20% fat. It may even contain more than 20% fat because it is legal for suppliers to add fat to the product as long as the fat content does not exceed 30%.

Ground Beef- It may just say ground beef, indicating that the meat may have been taken from several areas of the carcass. Ground beef is often produced from scraps from the flank. (In order to be labeled ground beef, the product must be at least 70% lean.)

Although some of the better ground beef may be labeled as ground round or ground sirloin, it may be difficult to know which cuts of beef have been used in a majority of the ground beef sold in food stores. In order to know exactly what you are getting, it may be beneficial to purchase the beef cut of your choice and then grind it at home, or you may have the butcher grind it for you.

Mock Tender Roast - The mock tender is often sold as a roast and is a cone shaped muscle next to the top blade. The name "mock tender" is misleading because the meat isn't very tender and is best when it is braised.

Medallion Pot Roast, Fish Muscle, Fillet Roast

Top Blade Roast, Boneless - The top blade is located above the shoulder blade.

Flatiron Roast, Top Chuck Roast, Blade Roast, Chuck Roast First Cut, Lifter Roast, Triangle Roast

Neck Pot Roast - The meat is obtained from the 7 neck vertebrae. Stew meat is also cut from this area.

 

Stew Meat - Scraps of various chuck cuts can be used as stew meat. Beef for stewing can be purchased already trimmed, cubed, and packaged in most food stores. It is often labeled "stew meat" without describing the cut from which the meat was obtained. Look for stew meat that has some marbling and connective tissue which will provide more flavor and help to keep the meat as tender as possible.

The best beef for stewing, in terms of tenderness and flavor, comes from the chuck. It has plenty of fat and connective tissue that melts during the stewing process, providing flavor and preventing the meat from becoming tough. You can also purchase the beef cut of your choice, trim and cut the beef yourself and as a result, you will know exactly what you're getting.

Mock Tender Steak - The mock tender roast can also be cut into steaks,

Fish Steak, Chuck Fillet Steak, Chuck Tender Steak

7-Bone Steak - The 7-bone steak is cut from the 7-bone roast.

No, it doesn't have seven bones, just one bone that resembles the shape of the number "7".

Arm Steak - A steak cut from the arm roast

Swiss steak (as is a steak from the bottom round), Arm Swiss Steak, Chuck Steak For Swissing, Round Bone Steak

Chuck-eye Steak - The chuck eye steak is cut from the chuck eye roast.

Boneless Chuck Slices, Boneless Chuck Fillet Steak

Shoulder Steak, Boneless

Clod Steak, English Steak, London Broil, Shoulder Steak Half Cut

Top Blade Steak - The top blade steak is a smaller cut from the top blade roast and is also known as the "Flatiron Steak". It is called the flatiron steak because when the top blade roast is cut horizontally into two pieces, the resulting shapes resemble an old fashioned flatiron.

Book Steak, Flatiron Steak, Book Steak, Butler Steak, Lifter Steak, Petite Steak, Blade Steak, Top Boneless Chuck Steak

Under Blade Steak - The under blade roast can be cut further into under blade steaks.

 

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Cuts From The Loin

The short loin is contained within the larger cut called the loin. The loin is divided into the short loin and the sirloin. The short loin includes the 13th rib and the small of the back.

The short loin is the most tender of the primal cuts because the muscles in this area are the least used. The top loin muscle is the largest muscle and the tenderloin is the smaller inside muscle. Cuts from the short loin are also the most expensive. They are very lean, but usually lack the flavor of some of the tougher beef cuts that contain more fat and connective tissue.

Some of the best steaks are cut from the short loin including the porterhouse and T-bone. It is best to cook beef cuts from the short loin with dry heat cooking methods such as grilling, broiling, and roasting. It is important not to overcook loin cuts because they can loose their natural tenderness, which is one of the primary reasons for purchasing them.

Finally, the crème de la crème of beef: the short loin. The most tender cuts come from the loin and the rib. They should be cooked with high heat methods such as broiling, roasting, grilling, sautéing, and frying.

Common or Primal Cut Name

Other Names, Market Terms Used By Supermarkets

Top Loin Roast - The top loin is the largest muscle of the short loin.

New York Strip Roast, Shell Roast, Strip Loin Roast

Tenderloin Roast - When roasted, the whole tenderloin is the most desirable beef cut in terms of tenderness. The tenderloin is the inside muscle of the short loin and is the most expensive cut of beef. It is a long tapered muscle extending from the 13th rib to the pelvis. Part of the large end, or butt end, is actually within the sirloin section. When preparing tenderloin roasts, many butchers cut off part of the butt end (sirloin end). The opposite end of the tenderloin is tapered and is known as the small end, or tail, and is often folded under the center portion of the tenderloin (known as the heart) and tied to form a roast with a consistent diameter.

Whole Filet, Tenderloin Tip Roast, Filet Mignon Roast

Boneless Top Loin Steak - Boneless top loin steaks are cut from the top loin and are very tender and flavorful

Strip Loin Steak, New York Strip Steak, Kansas City Steak, Ambassador Steak, Boneless Club Steak, Hotel Style Steak, Veiny Steak

Bone-in Top Loin Steak - Bone-in top loin steaks are cut from the top loin. Top loin steaks are tender and flavorful and are much like a Porterhouse or T-bone, but with the tenderloin portion removed

Club Steak, Chip Club Steak, Country Club Steak, Delmonico Steak, Shell Steak, Strip Loin Steak

Tenderloin Steaks - The trimmed tenderloin can be cut into steaks

Filet Mignon: obtained from the small end of the tenderloin, near the 13th rib. Tournedos: located between the filet mignon and filet steak. Filet Steak: a generic name given to any steak from the tenderloin. Châteaubriand: obtained from the center of the tenderloin. Bifteck: steaks cut from the butt end (located in the sirloin).

Porterhouse Steak - A crosscut steak containing part of the tenderloin and part of the top loin. It is similar to a T-bone steak except that it is thicker and the proportion of the tenderloin to the top loin is greater.

A Porterhouse steak differs from a T-Bone in that the Porterhouse tenderloin diameter is no less than 1 1/4 inches measured across the center compared to the T-Bone tenderloin, which is not less than 1/2 inch." 

T-bone Steak - The T-bone is another crosscut steak and is similar to the Porterhouse, but with less of the tenderloin included.

See above.

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Cuts From The Rib

The beef carcass has 13 pairs of ribs, but not all of the ribs are included in the rib primal cut. The first 5 ribs are part of the chuck cut in the front of the animal. The 13th rib is part of the loin. The rib primal contains ribs 6 through 12. Beef from the rib primal is often described as "middle meat" (as is beef from the loin).

The cuts obtained from the rib primal are very tender and contain many of the best steaks and roasts. Rib roasts are generally taken from the area of the 9th through the 12th rib. A short rib refers to a small piece that has been trimmed of the main portion of a rib when the rib section is trimmed into smaller cuts. Dry heat cooking methods, such as grilling, broiling, and roasting, bring out the flavor of rib cuts and keep the meat tender.

Common or Primal Cut Name

Other Names, Market Terms Used By Supermarkets

Back Ribs - Back ribs are the portion remaining after a rib roast is boned. The ends of the 6th through the 12th ribs are actually located in the plate primal cut.

Sometimes the ends of the ribs are cut from the full rib and are called Short Ribs.

Rib-Eye Roast - The rib-eye roast refers to a rib roast that has had the 6th through the 12th rib bones removed leaving just the rib-eye muscle. It is tender, flavorful, and expensive.

Delmonico roast.

Rib-Eye Steak - A rib-eye steak is cut from the rib-eye roast.

Delmonico Steak, Beauty Steak, Market Steak, Spencer Steak. The word Delmonico is more common in the East (the original Delmonico's Restaurant was in NYC), where ribeye is used everywhere else

Rib Roast - A full seven bone rib roast (ribs 6 through 12) usually weighs 16 pounds and up, so it is often cut into two sections known as the first cut rib roast and the second cut rib roast. The first cut is also called a small end rib roast and includes ribs 9 or 10 through 12, which is nearer the loin primal. The second cut, also known as the large end rib roast, includes ribs 6 through 8 or 9 and is nearer the chuck primal.

A rib roast is the same as a rib-eye roast except that the bones have not been removed. Pot Roast, First Cut Rib Roast, large End Rib Roast, a rib roast that includes the bones is also known as a standing rib roast. If the rib roast is boned, rolled, and tied, it is known as a rolled rib roast. A rib roast may include the bones and is known as a standing rib roast.

Rib Steak - A rib steak is cut from the rib roast.

Same steak as the rib-eye, except that it contains the bone.

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Cuts From The Brisket

The brisket is located on the underside of the animal below the chuck primal and is also known as the breast meat, which extends from between the forelegs to the plate. It includes part of the breast bone and the lower ends of ribs 1-5. The fore shank, which is the top of the fore leg, is often included with the brisket primal. The brisket / plate / flank are often grouped together as one primal cut or they may be considered as separate primal cuts. Braising and stewing are the preferred methods of cooking brisket cuts.

Cuts from the, brisket are the least tender and are best suited for moist heat cooking methods such as braising/ pot-roasting, stewing, and steaming. The shank is definitely best when braised as in the classic dish osso buco. It can also be used for stews and stocks.

Common or Primal Cut Name

Other Names, Market Terms Used By Supermarkets

Brisket -The brisket is located between the fore shank and the plate and is directly below the chuck primal. It is very flavorful, but tough, so it is mainly used for pot roasts. It is usually sold boneless and more often than not, it is cut into two pieces:

Back half, which is also known as the Flat Half or Thin Cut. Front half, which has more fat than the back half an is also known as the Point Cut or Thick Cut. Corned Beef is cut from the brisket. Stew meat may also be cut from the brisket.

Cross Cut Shanks, Shank Knuckle - The meat of the fore shank is tough and is best when it is cooked in stews.

 

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Cuts From The Plate

The plate, also known as the short plate, is located on the underside of the animal below the rib primal. The brisket / plate / flank are often grouped together as one primal cut or they may be considered as separate primal cuts.

The short plate and flank contain meat of medium toughness. The muscle fibers are relatively coarse but contain sufficient intramuscular fat to maintain tenderness. Cuts from the plate are best suited for moist heat cooking methods such as braising/ pot-roasting, stewing, and steaming.

Common or Primal Cut Name

Other Names, Market Terms Used By Supermarkets

Pastrami

Pastrami is usually made from meat obtained from the plate.

Short Ribs - The plate short ribs are usually taken from the flat ends of ribs 6 through 9 and are cut only a few inches long. (The ribs with the most meat are ribs 1 through 5 located in the chuck primal).

Short ribs cut parallel to the bone are known as English style short ribs. They may include a bit of the bone or may be sold boneless. Short ribs that are cut across the rib bones are know as flanken.

Skirt Steak -  Skirt steaks have much more marbling than flank steaks and as a result, they are more juicy.

Outside Skirt Steak, Inside Skirt Steak, Philadelphia Steak

Hanger Steak - The hanger steak, or hanging tenderloin, is the thick strip of meat that hangs between the last rib and the loin. It is actually part of the diaphragm

Hanging Tenderloin, Hanging Tender, Butcher's Steak

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Cuts From The Flank

The flank is located on the underside of the animal below the loin primal. The brisket / plate / flank are often grouped together as one primal cut or they may be considered as separate primal cuts.

Common or Primal Cut Name

Other Names, Market Terms Used By Supermarkets

Flank Steak - Flank steaks are very lean and are full of flavor.

London Broil, Jiffy Steak, Flank Steak Fillet, Stir Fry Meat, Fajita Meat, Flank Steak Rolls,

Cuts From The Round

Beef cuts from the round are located in the rear portion of the carcass, which includes the top of the leg, or hind shank, and the rump. Cuts from the round primal are lean, but not necessarily tender. The fat and marbling that is present in some of the other primal beef cuts help to tenderize and flavor the meat as it cooks. Because of the limited quantity of marbling, round cuts benefit from a moist, slow cooking method such as braising in order to produce the most tender and flavorful meat. Oven roasting may only be used for top quality round cuts.

Although all round cuts are tough, the top round is the tenderest, relatively speaking. Cuts from the round, are the least tender and are best suited for moist heat cooking methods such as braising/ pot-roasting, stewing, and steaming.London broil comes from the top round and can also be grilled. All of the others however, do best made into roasts with moist heat methods. The bottom or eye round are cheaper than the top round.

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Common or Primal Cut Name

Other Names, Market Terms Used By Supermarkets

Ground Round, Ground Beef - Scraps from the round can be ground, which may be labeled as ground round or ground beef. (In order to be labeled ground beef, the product must be at least 70% lean.

 

Bottom Round Roast - The bottom round is the outside muscle of the upper leg. The bottom round may be used as an oven roast if it is of the best quality and it is not overcooked, but it is much better if it is braised.

Eye Of Round Roast

Round Tip Roast - The round tip is found on the front of the leg from the hip to the knee. It is next to the sirloin tri-tip so it is a bit more tender than other round cuts.

Kabob Meat - cut into pieces for use as kabob meat.

Top Round Roast - The top round is the inside muscle of the upper leg. The top round roast is obtained from the top round.

 

Standing Rump Roast - The rump roast can be a bit tough, especially if it is roasted in the oven. It is much better when it is pot-roasted. A boneless rump roast is sometimes sold as is or it may be rolled and tied before it is packaged and sold.

A rump roast that has not been boned is known as a Standing Rump Roast, Rolled Roast, Boneless Rump Roast

Eye Round Roast - The eye round is the eye muscle of the bottom round. The eye round roast is boneless and can be a bit tough, so it is best to cook it with a moist heat process such as braising.

Beef Eye of Round Roast

Eye Round Steak - The eye round steak is cut from the eye round roast.

Beef Eye of Round Steak, Minute Steak, Cubed Steak, Cube Steak, Stew Meat

Top Round Steak - The top round steak is a thick steak that is cut from the top round roast. A thinner steak cut from the top round roast is simply called a round steak

Round Steak, Eye Of Round Steak, Top Round London Broil, London Broil is the name sometimes given to a top round steak, but it is more often cut from the flank primal.

Bottom Round Steak - cut from the bottom round roast.

The bottom round steak is often referred to as a Swiss steak (as is a chuck arm steak), Full-cut Round Steak. Cube Steak and Minute Steak - Buyer Beware; This Could Be A Piece Of Round Steak Or A Handful Of Meat Scraps Run Thru The Tenderizer

Round Tip Steak - The round tip steak is cut from the untrimmed round tip roast.

If the steak is obtained from the trimmed roast, it is known as a Trimmed Tip Steak or a Ball Tip Steak, Sirloin Tips, Breakfast Steak, Minute Steak, Sandwich Steak, London Broil

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Cuts From The Sirloin

The sirloin is contained within the larger cut called the loin. The loin is divided into the sirloin and the short loin. The sirloin and short loin may be considered as two separate primal cuts or they may be considered as parts of the whole. The sirloin is located between the short loin and the round and includes the hip section and ends at the socket of the pelvis.

Cuts from the sirloin are flavorful and tender, but they are a bit less tender than cuts from the short loin. Cooking methods such grilling, broiling, frying, and roasting are used to prepare cuts from the sirloin.

 

 

 

 

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