Meat cuts have different names
Shopping for meat can be quite a hectic experience if you don’t know the particular name used to label the meat cut you want to buy. It won’t be nice to buy the wrong meat cut especially if you plan to use a recipe. Meat cuts are called different names in many parts of the world. This means if the meat has been imported from a nearby country, you may find the meat cut you want to buy labeled with a name you don’t recognize.
The different names for meat cuts don’t only vary among countries with different languages or culture, you can find two countries with similar culture but calling particular meat cut different names. For example, the farmers in the United States and Canada refer to meat cuts from the hind section of animals with different names. In Canada, it is called the hip while farmers in the U.S. call it the round. To avoid confusion, it helps to know the many names your favorite meat cuts are called.
Confusing Name Games For Meats
In this post, I will be discussing some of the different names of meat cuts, how you can recognize them and tips to make the best choices when you go shopping for meats.
Confusing labels on meat cuts sold in markets
I can confirm that some retailers now label meat cuts using elaborate or fancy names in a bid to sell higher. The truth is the meat cut sold is known by simpler names you may easily recognize, but since the label is different, you may believe the meats displayed are of a higher quality.
Here is a good example; the regular beef meat cut from the flank or rounds are a favorite and highly demanded. This has made retailers label this meat cut as the London broil. Such an elaborate name for one of the popular meat cuts we all know. Seeing a label with the name – London broil, which is actually the name of a recipe, can convince you to spend much more than your budget.
However, if you knew about this recipe, you can avoid spending more money than necessary because different parts of beef such as the flank and rounds can be used, and you can simply ask for these basic names at the meat shop instead of paying higher for the meat cut labeled with a fancy name.
Different features of meat cuts
Depending on what you want, you also need to be certain about the particular features of the meat cut you want to buy. Meat cuts from one particular section may have different features. A good example is a chuck in beef. The chuck region includes the neck, shoulders, and upper arms in cattle. The different sections that make up the chuck are a source of a variety of meat cuts, divided into the shoulder region and upper arms. So you can’t buy a meat cut labeled ‘chuck’ because you may be purchasing any part of the sections. The meat cut from chuck is not as tender as the loins in cattle, but you can cook it to become tender in a pressure cooker. The connective tissues also add to the flavor when they melt during cooking.
So, if you need to buy meat with a tough or tender texture, you can consider the cuts from the chuck or loins, among other parts. The next thing to do is know the common names these meat cuts are called in the market.
Common meat cuts and their names
The 7-bone roast is also called the Blade roast it is also the source of the 7 bone steak cuts. The name 7-bone roast was adopted after observing the shape of the meat cut, which looked like the number 7. It is one of the highly demanded meat cuts cooked by pot roasting.
You may be familiar with the 7-bone roast but under another name. This meat cut is also called the center cut pot roast, chuck roast, center cut, or pot roast. If you see meat cuts labeled with any of these names in the market, it is the same thing.
The meat cuts called arm roasts are from the upper parts of the cow. It is another common meat cut sold in the market due to high demand. Here are some other names arm roast is called in different markets; arm chuck roast, arm pot roast, and round pot roast.
Next time you are in the meat market to buy arm roast, look out for any of the names above.
Boneless Shoulder Roast
The areas behind the arm consist of tough meat because the tissues are used frequently by the animal. It is where the boneless shoulder roast can be cut. It is also called the English roast, so if you mention boneless shoulder roast and the seller does not seem to know what you are requesting, say English roast.
The chuck eye is commonly mistaken for the rib eye. The difference between these meat cuts is that the chuck eye is cut from the chuck primal ribs 1 and 5, after the rib eye. It is a tough meat cut. On the other hand, the rib eye is tender and can be found at the rib primal 6 and 12. The chuck eye meat cut is also called the following names; boneless chuck roll, scotch tender, boneless bottom chuck, and chuck tender.
The parts of the ribs 3 and 5 which are notably fleshy are where the cross-rib roast is cut. This meat cut is also known by other names such as shoulder clod, English cut, bread, and butter cut, and Boston cut,
Ground chuck and Ground Beef
These two meat products sound similar, but they are different. The main distinguishing feature is that the ground chuck contains fat less than 30%, which is a standard. Moreover, ground beef should not be less than 70% lean meat. In the market, it is quite difficult to tell the product when it has been ground. So you may need to rely on the label and its information.
In the market, ground chuck packages are also labeled as ground sirloin and ground round, so don’t get confused.
However, if you need a particular part of the beef, there is a way to ensure your ground meat is exactly what you want. You can buy the meat cut and then ask the seller to grind it, or you can grind the meat cut by yourself.
Mock Tender Roast
This is actually another tough meat cut; it is located by the upper part of the shoulder blade. The mock tender cuts are also packaged and labeled as medallion pot roast, fillet roast or fish muscle.
Top Blade Roast
This is the boneless upper part of the shoulder blade. It is also quite tough but can be cooked to become tender using a pressure cooker. The top blade roast is also labeled as any of the following; top chuck roast, chuck roast first cut, flatiron roast, triangle roast, or blade roast.
Neck Pot Roast
The neck pot roast is also commonly mistaken for the stew meat. They are two different meat cuts from the same part of the animal. The difference is that the stew meat has been cut into cubes and clearly labeled as stew meat in the stores. The neck pot roast is cut from the vertebrae region 7.
One of the reasons for the high demand for stew meat is its flavor. It can also be cooked to reach different textures of tenderness depending on what you want. Here’s a tip to help you find the best stew meat in the market, look out for the already packaged stew meat that still has some of the connective tissues attached.
The tissues help to improve the flavor when stew meat is cooked. This tissue dissolves during the cooking process to make the meat tender.
Mock Tender Steak
The mock tender steak is also tagged with the following names in the meat market; chuck tender steak, chuck fillet steak, and the fish steak. It is mainly used as steak because of the texture of the cuts and other features.
Arm steaks are cut from the arm roast. This is another common meat cut you will find in the market. It is also called and labeled as the Arm Swiss steak, chuck steak, round bone steak, and the Swiss steak.
The chuck eye steak can also be found packaged and labeled as boneless chuck fillet steak or boneless chuck slices.
The shoulder steak is boneless. Here are some alternative names you can find in the market for this meat cut; London broil, English steak, shoulder steak half cut, or the clod steak.
Top Blade Steak
The top blade steak has the shape of a flatiron when it is cut; this is why the name flatiron steak was formed. It is cut from the top shoulder blade into two flat pieces. Other names of the top blade steak are lifter steak, blade steak, butler steak, and the top boneless chuck steak.
Under Blade Steak
As the name implies, this cut is from below the shoulder blades. You may find the meat cut labeled as steak too, so ask some questions for clarity if necessary.
Meat Cuts From the Loin
The loin is made up of the short loin and sirloin.
The short loin is the source of highly demanded steak cuts such as the porterhouse. It includes the rib 13 and parts of the animals lower back. If you need tender parts for your steak, you should consider buying meat cuts from the short loin; however, the high demand and desirable features make cuts from the short loin quite expensive. The lean meat cuts from the short loin also make them perfect for different cooking methods such as grilling and roasting. When cooking meat cuts from the short loin, extra care should be taken to avoid overcooking which can make the meat very tough.
Here’s a compilation of the common meat cuts from the loin and other names they can be labeled in the market;
Top Loin Roast
The top loin roast is also called the shell roast, New York strip roast, or the strip loin roast. These names can appear on the labels, but they refer to meat cuts from the top loin.
The tenderloin roast gets its name from the particularly tender texture it has when it is cooked by roasting. The meat cuts are from the inner muscles that make up the short loin. The tender texture makes it desirable and in high demand. So don’t be shocked when you see the price, but I am certain it is worth the value. Some of the parts from which the tenderloin is cut actually belong to the sirloin, such as the fleshy parts near the rump. This is known as the large end; the small end is at the opposite side; it is presented for sale folded beneath the middle parts of the tenderloin as a roast.
Some of the other names used to label tenderloins are; whole fillet, filet mignon roast, tenderloin tip roast.
Boneless Top Loin Steak
The boneless top loin steak is also known as New York strip steak, Ambassador Steak, veiny steak, boneless club steak, strip loin steak, Kansas City steak, and the Hotel style steak. The meat is cut from the top loin; it is also in high demand because of the tender texture of the meat.
Bone-in Top Loin Steak
This meat cut is from the top loin. It is also tender and very rich in oils that improve the flavor. The bone-in top loin steak is also called club steak, Delmonico steak, strip loin steak, chip club steak, shell steak, or the country club steak.
Tenderloins can be trimmed before packaging for sale. They are then cut into steaks and sold to the public.
This meat cut is from the small end of the tenderloin; it is commonly referred to as the fillet steak which is one of the general names used to identify steak cuts from the tenderloin. Other steak cuts you should know include
The Bifteck– This steak cut is from the sirloin close to the animal’s rump.
Chateaubriand- This is steak cut from the middle parts of the tenderloin.
Porterhouse Steak – This cut is from a region that takes part of the tenderloin and the top loin. It is quite thick and has more of the tenderloin.
One feature that distinguishes the porterhouse steak is the thickness of its diameter. The porterhouse steak consistently measures about 1 ¼ inch in the center part of the steak.
The T-bone steak has a smaller portion of the tenderloin when compared to the porterhouse steak. These two steaks are easily confused. But the differences I have mentioned can be used to tell them apart.
Meat Cuts From the Rib
In the slaughtered beef, we find 13 pairs of ribs. Majority of them are in the primal rib cut region; however, if you need chuck cuts, you should buy meat cuts from the rib 1 -5, the loin starts from rib 13, and the primal ribs are from 6 – 12. The beef from the animal’s loin (the primal rib) is called middle meat.
The meat cuts from primal rib regions are known to be very tender and excellent for use as steaks or roasts. If you want rib roasts, you should ask for meat cuts from the rib 9-12, which are also quite tender.
The rib can also be cut into smaller parts and sold when this is done; the smaller portions are called short ribs. They can be found in meat markets and suitable for consumers who want a little bit of many meat cuts.
Cooking meat cuts from the rib can be done by grilling, roasting or broiling, which is generally classified as dry heat cooking. This cooking method helps to enhance the flavor and preserve the tenderness of the meat.
Some common names of cuts from the ribs are as follows;
Rib cuts made from the roast after it has been boned is called back ribs. These cuts are from the 6-12 ribs at the back region.
The rib eye roast is cuts from the 6 -12 ribs. These cuts are made in a way that leaves the rib eye muscle untouched. The rib eye roast cuts are tender and also rich in flavor. They are in high demand, which is the reason for the high cost of these rib cuts.
Rib-Eye Steak – This meat cut is from the rib eye roast, cut as a steak. It is also called names such as beauty steak, Spencer steak, market steak or the Delmonico steak- named after the NYC restaurant.
In the markets, it is common to find this eat cut into two parts which are both rib roasts, but the first part has some of the small ends of the rib roast (the ribs 9 -12), it is cut from the region close to the loin primal. The second part is from the large end, from rib 6-9, referred to as the chuck primal.
Don’t be confused in the market when buying rib roasts; it is also called the rib eye roast. What you should note is if the bones have been left in the meat cut, then it is called a standing rib roast. On the other hand, if the rib roast has no bones, it is called a rolled rib roast; the meat cut is usually rolled and tied before the sale.
Rib Steak – The steak cut from a rib roast is called a rib steak, the bones are not removed. Another name for the rib steak is the rib eye.
Meat Cuts From the Brisket
The brisket can also be called breast meat. This is the name you may find on meat cut labels in the market. It is the lower parts of the animal beneath the chuck primal. The meat cuts from the brisket also include the ribs 1-5 and breast bone, the foreshank, and foreleg. When cut in sections, we usually get the brisket, breastplates and the flanks sold together or separately.
The meat cuts from the brisket are known to be tender, and the most preferred cooking method for this meat cut is braising. You can also decide to stew, steam or pot roast this meat cut.
Here are some names of the common brisket meat cuts found in the market;
The brisket is found between the fore shank and the plate, just beneath the chuck primal, it has a tough texture but highly desirable because of its rich flavor. The meat cuts are usually sold without the bones.
Meat cuts from the brisket are used to make corned beef, canned and sold commercially. The first half is predominantly thin cut; it contains more fat when compared with the other half at the rear end which is thicker. The brisket meat cuts are also used as stew meat.
The meat cut from the fore shank is called cross cut shank or shank knuckle. It is used for stews, cooked to become tender with a pressure cooker.
Meat Cuts From the Plate
The plates are the parts beneath the rib primal. This region has meat with varying texture. Some meat cuts from the plate can be tough, while other parts retain some fats and are tender. The meat cuts from the plate can be cooked by braising, steaming, stewing or pot roasting. Meat cuts from the plates are also used to make Pastrami, sold in many markets.
Here are some meat cuts from the plate and the common names you can find on the labels in the market;
The short ribs are cut from the flat ends of the ribs 6-9. They measure only a few inches have minimal meat. The short ribs are also called English style short ribs when they are cut in parallel with the bone, which may be removed or not. You may see labels named flanken; this is when the short ribs have been cut across the bones.
The skirt steaks are also cut across the bone, but they retain more juice and are very delicious. The skirt steaks are also called the inside skirt steak, Philadelphia steak or the outside skirt steaks.
The hanger steak, also called the hanging tenderloin is found between the loin and the last rib. The meat is thick and quite tender. It is also labeled as hanging tenderloin or the butcher’s steak.
Meat Cuts From the Flank
On the animal, the flank is the region beneath the loin primal. The meat cuts from this part are also highly demanded because of the rich flavor, and the meat is also lean.
In the market, you can find the following labels for meat cuts from the flank;
The general name is flank steak, but you can find labels named jiffy steak, stir fry meat, London broil, flank steak rolls, flank steak fillet, or fajita meat.
Meat Cuts From The Round
The round refers to the fleshy part of the animal at the rear end, such as the upper parts of the leg, hind shank, and the rump. The meat cuts from the round are lean with varying tenderness. You can find some of this meat cut with traces of fat and marbling. The best method of cooking rounds is slow cooking, to ensure the meat becomes tender. You can also cook meat cuts from the round by braising or roasting in an oven.
The top round is mostly tender. The cuts from this part can be grilled; this is mostly why many consumers buy the London broil, for grilling. The lower part of the round – the eye – are best cooked using moist heat cooking methods such as steaming.
Some common names you can find on meat cut packages from the round are as follows;
Ground Round/Ground Beef
Parts of the round are cut and ground for different cooking needs. The best outcome from ground rounds is when the meat is at least 70% lean. In the market, the labels read ground beef or ground round.
Bottom Round Roast
This meat cut is from the upper parts of the animal’s leg. The bottom round should not be overcooked, or it can become too tough. It will be best if you cook it by roasting in an oven or braising. In the market, this meat cut is also called the eye of round roast.
Round Tip Roast
This is meat cut from the foreleg and hips as high as the animal’s knees. The round tip roast meat cut is tender and rich in flavor. You can find the packaged cuts also labeled as Kabob meat; the tenderness makes the meat suitable for use as kabob meat.
Top Round Roast
The top round roast is cut from the inner muscles of the animal’s leg. The name top round roast has been adopted by many people and commonly used in the market.
Standing Rump Roast
The standing rump roast, as the name implies, is cut with the bones in the meat. However, you can find the boneless meat cuts which have been rolled and tied, without the bones; it is labeled boneless rump roast. The meat has a tough texture, which means you can consider cooking by pot roasting or using an oven.
Eye Round Roast
The eye muscles located beneath the round is called the eye round; it is boneless and quite tough. The eye round is best cooked by braising to make the meat tender. Braising also helps to retain most of its flavor. This meat cut is also labelled as the beef eye of round roast.
Eye Round Steak – This is steak cut from the eye round roast. It also goes by many names such as cubed steak, stew meat, minute steak, or the beef eye of round steak.
Top Round Steak
This meat cut is quite thick because it is from the top round roast. In cases where particular care is taken to make the cut thinner, you can find it labeled and sold as round steak. This only means it is thinned in thickness. Other names you can find in the market include Top Round London Broil, Round Steak, and Eye of Round Steak.
Bottom Round Steak
In the market you may see meat cuts labeled as Swiss steak, full cut round steak or the cube steak, these are the same product as the bottom round steak.
Round Tip Steak the round tip steak is also called trimmed steak, ball tip steak, sirloin steak, breakfast steak, or the sandwich steak. It is cut from the round tip roast and mostly presented for sale without trimming.
Meat Cuts From the Sirloin
The sirloin is one of the primal cuts obtained when the loin is separated into two parts named the short loin and sirloin. The sirloin is the region between the short loin and the rounds. Its parts include the hips and sockets at the pelvic region.
Meat cuts from the sirloin are in high demand because of their rich flavor and tenderness. The meat cuts are usually labeled as sirloin in the market so you shouldn’t find it difficult to find them. They are sold at quite higher prices because of the demand and tender texture. The sirloin can be prepared using different excellent recipes. Some of the common cooking methods recommended for the sirloin include broiling, roasting, grilling or frying. The meat cuts are boneless and can also be trimmed depending on the thickness you need for your recipe. In the market, you will need to ensure the meat cut is labeled accordingly, because some roughened labels may mislead you to pick the short loins instead since the names are similar.