Know your Cuts of Meats

Know your cuts of Meat

cuts chart

Whether you purchase a whole, half, or quarter portion it is important to know where the meat is located on the animal. The location of the cut helps to identify the best type of cooking for that cut. Butchers refer to these areas as primals. Remember, when reading and cooking from a recipe reduce the cooking time by half for grass fed beef. If the meat isn’t done enough, add time back in at 5 minute intervals. Overcooking grass fed beef leads to tough meat, no matter the cut!

Chuck: this is from the neck and shoulder region of the animal. These cuts can be tough and do best when braised: cooked in liquid at low temperature over a long period of time. This includes chuck roasts, chuck steaks, o-bone roasts and clod roasts.

Rib: this meat is from the back, over the mid section of the body. This is best as steaks and roasts. This includes rib roast, rib-eye steaks and rib steaks.

Loin: this meat tends to be the most tender of all of the animal. Familiar cuts are filets, t-bone, porterhouse, and sirloin. Other cuts include tri-tip and top sirloin.

Round: these cuts are from the hind quarters and tend to be leaner and tougher than the loin. This meat will do well roasted, especially as pot roasts. Be careful not to overcook them. One note here, on London Broil. London Broil is not a cut, but a finished dish. Items marked London Broil include flank steak, top round steak, or top blade steak.

Flank: this cut can be quite tender and flavorful. It does well when marinated and grilled, then cut into thin slices against the grain.

Short Plate:this area produces short ribs, which are sometimes termed flanken. These cuts are best braised. Another cut from this area is the skirt steak, which does well when marinated and grilled.

Brisket and Shank: these cuts come from the breast area of the animal. Brisket is often made into corned beef or cured for pastrami. Shanks do best when braised and are an excellent choice for soups.

Beef Choices

Learning to read meat packages and understand what they mean has become an art form in itself. There are many different ways that producers market their meat. Listed below are the general classifications about how the animal is raised. This will help you make well informed decisions, even if you are purchasing your meat at the market. Shown above are Templeton Hills Beef T-bone steaks topped by filet.

Grass Fed: Cattle spend their entire life grazing on pasture, but may be fed hay. Animals have free access to salt or mineral supplements. They have enough acreage to roam so that they condition themselves, thus limiting the amount of fat on the animal. Animals always have access to fresh water.

Grass Fed/Grain Finished: Cattle spend most of their life on pasture, but then spend the last 4-6 months in a feedlot. They may be fed supplements, including antibiotics and growth promoting hormones. Animals have room to move around and always have access to clean water.

Naturally Raised: Cattle can be grain finished or grass finished, make sure to read the package closely for more details. They have never received antibiotics or growth hormones. Ranches and farms must be certified by USDA and will have that statement visible on all packaging.

Certified Organic: Cattle can be grain finished or grass finished, as long as feed is certified 100% organic. Animals have never received antibiotics or growth hormones, but may be given salt or vitamin supplements. Ranches and farms must be certified by USDA and all packaging must bear the official label.

Templeton Hills Beef’s cattle are Grass Fed and Grass Finished. Our cattle are raised from birth on native pastures and never receive antibiotics or growth promoting hormones. Traceable- We know where our animals have been every day of their lives, and they have never seen a feedlot. We take great pride in our animals and the land they graze. Our goal is to offer you a consistent, healthy product whose flavor reflects the native grasses they eat.