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Guide to 

Buying Beef

Do you stand at the meat counter knowing you want to cook a roast but unsure which cut of beef to buy? Are you remembering that often, you roast a good-looking piece of beef but find it tough or chewy?  If that’s you – and don’t feel bad, a lot of us are in the same boat – this guide is for you!


There are so many different cuts of beef, and so many ways to cook them, that sometimes the taste and tenderness of a certain piece is lost because of the way it’s prepared. Cooking the various beef cuts isn’t at all hard, once you know the proper cooking methods. Follow these hints for the best beef dinner, every time!

First, let’s show you the parts of the beet where the various cuts come from: Primal beef cuts are defined as the first part that the cow is broken up into: it’s a base beef cut. These primal beef cuts are then broken down further into the subprimal cuts you find in the grocery store. We’ll describe each primal and the preferred cooking method associated with each. 


The primal cuts are, chuck, rib, loin, sirloin, round, brisket, plate, flank. Refer to the above drawing to show you just where on the animal it's located!

Flat Iron Steak.png


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You can refer to this guide for the recommended cooking methods, as shown on the illustrations of the cuts of beet below:

Chunk Primal

The chuck can be found in the front quarter of a side of beef. This primal cut is the most prolific, as it offers the most amounts of cuts by far. Many of the cooking methods for this primal of beef tend to be moist-heat, as the marbling is sparse and the muscling is very well developed. Toward the rear of the section, there are cuts that will do well with some dry-heat cooking methods.


  • Ground chuck (hamburger)

  • Flat-iron steak

  • Chuck short ribs

  • Shoulder tender medallions

  • Chuck pot roast

  • Blade roast

  • Boneless chuck short ribs

  • Stew meat 

  • Country style ribs

  • Top blade steak

  • Chuck eye roast

  • Arm post roast

  • Shoulder pot roast

  • Mock tender roast

  • Under blade roast

  • 7-bone pot roast

  • Flanken-style ribs

  • Cross rib roast

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