During butchering, beef is first divided into primal cuts, pieces of meat initially separated from the carcass. These are basic sections from which steaks and other subdivisions are cut. The term "primal cut" is quite different from "prime cut", used to characterize cuts considered to be of higher quality. Since the animal's legs and neck muscles do the most work, they are the toughest; the meat becomes more tender as distance from hoof and horn increases. Different countries and cuisines have different cuts and names, and sometimes use the same name for a different cut; e.g., the cut described as "brisket" in the US is from a significantly different part of the carcass than British "brisket". "Cut" often refers narrowly to skeletal muscle (sometimes attached to bones), but can also include other edible flesh, such as offal (organ meat) or bones without significant muscles attached.

American cutsEdit

Flank steakShankRibPlateBrisketShankChuckRoundSirloinTop sirloinTenderloinShort loin 
American cuts of beef

The following is a list of the American primal cuts, and cuts derived from them. Beef carcasses are split along the axis of symmetry into "halves", then across into front and back "quarters" (forequarters and hindquarters). Canada uses identical cut names (and numbering) as the U.S, with the exception of the "round" which is called the "hip".[1]

Forequarter cutsEdit

  • The chuck is the source of bone-in chuck steaks and roasts (arm or blade), and boneless clod steaks and roasts, most commonly. The trimmings and some whole boneless chucks are ground for ground beef.
  • The rib contains part of the short ribs, the prime rib and rib eye steaks[2].
  • Brisket, primarily used for barbecue, corned beef or pastrami.
  • The foreshank or shank is used primarily for stews and soups; it is not usually served any other way because it is the toughest of the cuts.
  • The plate is the other source of short ribs, used for pot roasting, and the outside skirt steak, which is used for fajitas. The navel is the ventral part of the plate, and is commonly used to make pastrami. The remainder is usually ground, as it is typically a tough and fatty meat.

Hindquarter cutsEdit

  • The loin has two subprimals
  • The round contains lean, moderately tough, lower fat (less marbling) cuts, which require moist or rare cooking. Some representative cuts are round steak, eye of round, top round, and bottom round steaks and roasts.
  • The flank is used mostly for grinding, except for the long and flat flank steak, best known for use in London broil, and the inside skirt steak, also used for fajitas. Flank steaks were once one of the most affordable steaks, because they are substantially tougher than the more desirable loin and rib steaks. Many modern recipes for flank steak use marinades or moist cooking methods, such as braising, to improve the tenderness and flavor. This, combined with a new interest in these cuts' natural leanness, has increased the price of the flank steak.[citation needed]

Argentine cutsEdit

The most important cuts of beef in the Argentine cuisine are:[3]

the large section of the rib cage including short ribs and spare ribs
Asado de tira
often translated as short ribs, but also sold as long, thin strips of ribs. Chuck ribs, flanken style (cross-cut).
Bife de costilla
T-bone or porterhouse steaks
Bife de chorizo
strip steak, called NY strip in US
Ojo de bife
ribeye steak
Bola de lomo
eye of the round
upper portion of small intestines
Colita de cuadril
tri-tip, or the tail of the rump roast
skirt steak
a long thin cut that lies just under the skin and runs from the lower part of the ribs to belly–or flank area
sweetbreads (thymus gland)
Tapa de asado
rib cap
Tapa de nalga
top of round roast
flank, though it may contain the muscles of other near cuts

Brazilian cutsEdit

Brazilian beef cuts

The most important cuts of beef in the Brazilian cuisine are:[4]

neck (2)
top/bottom sirloin (9)
tenderloin (7)
Coxão duro
round (upper)
Coxão mole
round (lower)
Filé Mignon
part of the tenderloin (6)
round (outer) (10)
bottom sirloin/flank (15)
confluence of flank, bottom sirloin and rear shank (16)
rump cover or rump cap
hump (zebu cattle only)
confluence of short loin, flank and bottom sirloin
chuck/brisket (3)

British cuts (also used in New Zealand)Edit

Flank steakSirloinThin ribFore ribLegThick flankRumpBrisketShinNeck & ClodBlade steakChuck steakThick ribSilversideTopsideRump 
British cuts of beef

Colombian cutsEdit

  • Posta (top round)
  • Muchacho (heel)
  • Huevo de Aldana (bottom round)
  • Entretabla
  • Tabla (bottom round)
  • Solomo or lomo
  • Solomito extranjero
  • Solomito Redondo (sirloin)
  • Solomito Largo (tri-tip)
  • Punta de Anca (sirloin tip center)

Dutch cutsEdit

TongueNeckBrisketBrisketChuckShankleRibFlankSirloinTenderloinTop sirloinRoundShankle 
Dutch cuts of beef

French cutsEdit

Brighter colors show more expensive cuts

$$$ indicates more expensive cuts; $ indicates less expensive cuts; $$ indicates in between.

  1. Basses côtes $$$
  2. Côtes, entrecôtes $$$
  3. Faux-filet $$$
  4. Filet $$$
  5. Rumsteck $$$
  6. Rond de gîte $$$
  7. Tende de tranche; poire, merlan $$$
  8. Gîte à la noix $$$
  9. Araignée $$$
  10. Plat de tranche, rond de tranche, mouvant $$$
  11. Bavette d'aloyau $$$
  12. Hampe $$$
  13. Onglet $$$
  14. Aiguillette baronne $$$
  15. Bavette de flanchet $$
  16. Plat de côtes $$
  17. Macreuse à bifteck $$
  18. Paleron $$
  19. Jumeau à bifteck $$
  20. Jumeau à pot-au-feu $$
  21. Macreuse à pot-au-feu $$
  22. Queue $
  23. Gîte $
  24. Flanchet $
  25. Tendron, milieu de poitrine $
  26. Gros bout de poitrine $
  27. Collier $
  28. Joue $
  29. Langue $

German cutsEdit

German cuts of beef
  1. Rinderhals, Kamm or Nacken (Chuck steak)
  2. Querrippe (Short ribs)
  3. Rinderbrust (Brisket)
  4. Hochrippe or Fehlrippe (Standing rib roast)
  5. Vorderrippe or hohes Roastbeef
  6. Rostbraten or flaches Roastbeef
    5. & 6. together are the Roastbeef or Zwischenrippenstück
  7. Filet (Fillet)
  8. Spannrippe or Knochendünnung
  9. Dünnung or Bauchlappen (flank steak)
  10. Falsches Filet, Schulter, Bug or Schaufel (shoulder)
  11. Oberschale, Unterschale and Nuss
  12. Flanke, Schliem or Rindfleisch
  13. Hüfte mit Hüftsteak and Schwanzstück or Tafelspitz (Top sirloin))
  14. Hesse or Wade (Beef shank)
  15. Fricandeau
  16. Schwanz or Ochsenschwanz (Oxtail)

Croatian cutsEdit

Croatian cuts of beef
  1. Vratina
  2. Hrskavi zapećak
  3. Rebra
  4. Pržolica (ramstek)
  5. Hrbat (rozbif)
  6. Hrbat (rozbif)
  7. Pisana pečenka (biftek)
  8. Rebra, mekana (srednja) rebra, potrbušina
  9. Masna potrbušina, slabina
  10. Rame (ribica), plećka (lopatica)
  11. But
  12. Vrh kuka
  13. Zdjelica
  14. Stražnja goljenica

Italian cutsEdit

Italian cuts of beef
Leg subcuts[5]
Scanello, noce or fesa (bottom sirloin or thick flank)
Sottofesa or fetta di mezzo or codino or controfesa or contronoce
Fianchetto (flank)
Rosa, fesa interna, punta d'anca (eye of the silverside)
Magatello or girello
Spinacino or tasca
Sirloin (lombata) subcuts[5]
Filetto (beef tenderloin)
Controfiletto or roast beef (sirloin)
Veal Carré (spare ribs)
Loin (schiena)[5]
Costata (T-bone steak)
Coste della croce (short ribs)
Collo (Chuck steak)
Reale or tenerone
Head subcuts[5]
Lingua (Beef tongue)
Testina (flesh from the head of a calf)
Shoulder subcuts[5]
Fesone di spalla
Fusello or girello di spalla
Cappello del prete or spalla
Hocks subcuts[5]
anterior and posterior Ossibuchi
Pesce, piccione, campanello, muscolo, gamba
Petto (chest) subcuts[5]
Punta di petto (Brisket)
Pancia di vitello, pancetta or fianchetto
Lower ribs subcuts[5]
Biancostato di reale or spuntatura
Taglio reale, polpa reale (Pony 6 Ribs, Square Cut, Chuck, Middle Rib, Steak Meat)
Pancia (belly) subcuts[5]
Biancostato di pancia
Scalfo (armhole)

Polish cutsEdit

Polish cuts of beef
  1. karkówka
  2. szponder
  3. mostek
  4. rozbratel
  5. antrykot
  6. rostbef
  7. polędwica
  8. szponder i mostek
  9. łata
  10. łopatka
  11. udziec (zrazowa górna i zrazowa dolna)
  12. skrzydło
  13. krzyżowa
  14. pręga
  15. ligawa
  16. ogon

Portuguese cutsEdit

Portuguese cuts of beef
  1. Cachaço
  2. Coberta do acém, acém comprido
  3. Pá, peito alto
  4. Maçã do peito
  5. Peito
  6. Chambão
  7. Mão
  8. Lombo
  9. Rosbife, acém redondo, vazia, entrecôte
  10. Prego do peito
  11. Aba grossa
  12. Alcatra
  13. Chã de fora
  14. Rabadilha
  15. Pojadouro

Russian cutsEdit

Russian beef cuts
Illustration from Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (1890–1907). Scheme of sorting meat carcasses.
  1. Шея/Sheya (neck)
  2. Рёбра/rjobra (ribs)
  3. Челышко/Chelyshko, грудинка/grudinka (brisket)
  4. Толстый край/Tolstyy kray (thick edge), рибай/ribay (rib eye), корейка на кости/koreyka na kosti (loin on the bone)
  5. Тонкий край/Tonkiy kray (thin edge), короткое филе/korotkoye file (short filet)
  6. Оковалок/Okovalok (sirloin)
  7. Вырезка/Vyrezka (tenderloin)
  8. Покромка/Pokromka (shortloin)
  9. Брюшина/Bryushina (peritoneum), фланк/flank
  10. Лопатка/Lopatka (shoulder)
  11. Oguzok (rump), bedro (hip)
  12. Пашина/Pashina (flank)
  13. Кострец/Kostrets (leg)
  14. Голяшка/Golyashka (shank)

ГОВЯДО ср. церк. крупная рогатая скотина, бык, вол или корова. Говяжий, от быка, говяда взятый, из мяса его приспетый. Говядина ж. говяжье мясо. Части говядины, у мясников, называются: 1) голова, 2) шея, зарез, 3) оковалок, 4) челышко, 5) толстый край, 6) средина лопатки, 7) тонкая лопатка, рулька, 8) тонкий край, 9) от края покромка, 10) грудина, 11) тонкий филей, 12) подпашек, 13) завиток, 14) толстый филей, 15) бочок, 16) английский филей, 17) огузок, 18) средина бедра, 19) кострец, 20) ссек, подбедерок; окосток, часть ссека, с вертлюжной костью, 21) голяшка. Зачисток, от краев, от шеи, тонкие остатки, оборыши. Голяшки и морда, студень. Легкие, сердце и печень, гусак, ливер, осердье. Желудок с кишками, требуха, требушина. У мясников иностранных говядина делится иначе. Были бы быки, а говядина будет. По барыне говядина, по харчевне едок. Говядарь гуртовщик, прогонщик, нагульщик скота и скотопромышленик.

Turkish cutsEdit

Turkish cuts of beef
neck,chuck (1)
rib steak, ribeye(2)
Steak, striploin(3)
rump (4)
fillet Steak,tenderloin(5)
the upper left side of nuar, inside round, top round(6)
round of beef, eye of round (7)
the lower left side of nuar, flat, gooseneck(with eye of round), (8)
front and rear leg (9, 14)
sirloin tip, the section between kontrnuar and pençata (10)
flank (11)
brisket, plate, short ribs(12)
Kürek, kol
shoulder, shank (13)

UNECE standard for bovine meat carcasses and cutsEdit

The UNECE standard formalizes internationally agreed upon specifications written in a consistent, detailed and accurate manner using anatomical names to identify cutting lines.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Beef Cuts by Chart". Clovegarden.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  2. ^ "What's the Difference Between Beef Back Ribs and Short Ribs?". LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  3. ^ Instituto de Promoción de la Carne Vacuna Argentina. "Principales Cortes Vacunos". Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "Cuts of Beef Served in Brazilian Steakhouses « « RodizioDirectory.Com RodizioDirectory.Com". Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Scheda sui tagli di carne bovina Archived 2011-04-23 at the Wayback Machine di Alimentipedia.it
  6. ^ United Nations. Economic Commission for Europe (2004). Bovine meat : carcases and cuts : UNECE standard (PDF). United Nations. Economic Commission for Europe. Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards (Ed. 2004 ed.). New York: United Nations. ISBN 92-1-116885-6. OCLC 56597200.

External linksEdit