Beef is one of the most popular meats in the United States. Incredibly versatile, there are different cuts of beef that show the true repertoire of the possibilities of the meat. But how much do you know about these individual cuts of meat?
10 Versatile Cuts Of Beef, Ranked By Price
The fresh meat counter is probably the most daunting area in any grocery store. There are hundreds of white trays of plastic-wrapped red meat lined up for the taking. Sirloin, chuck roast, porterhouse, what do they all mean?!
If you want to learn more about these popular cuts of meat, taken straight from the cow's mouth so to speak, read on. We lined up these cuts of beef from the most economic to swanky, letting you know which cut will give you the most bang for your buck. The prices indicated were taken from my local grocery store and may differ depending on where you live and shop.
3. Chuck Roast ~ $5 a pound
One of our favorite primal cuts is the boneless chuck roast, also called a shoulder roast! It's a rectangular cut of beef that comes from the chuck. It has a good balance of meat and fat, making it an excellent choice for ground beef. This economical cut of meat is also well-known for the fact that it makes the perfect pot roast. Other cuts from the chuck roast include the flat iron steak, top blade steak, and ranch steak. The chuck roast has a large amount of connective tissue, which makes it good for slow-roasting methods.
2. Round Roast ~ $7 a pound
This might be cheating because a round roast or a round steak is like three amazing cuts of meat at once: top round, eye of round, and bottom round. This lean cut is moderately tough, and benefits from braising and other slow cooking methods in order to keep it moist. Round roasts are also often sliced thinly and turned into jerky. They also make great stew meat!
7. Sirloin Steak ~ $7 a pound
Ah, yes -- there's a reason people love a tender sirloin steak. That's because it makes some of our favorite subprimal cuts of beef: top sirloin and bottom sirloin, which connects to the sirloin tip roast. In other countries, what Americans call the sirloin is called the rump roast. This tastes great with almost any fast-cooking method, but especially pan-frying and grilling.
10. Tri-Tip Steak ~ $9 a pound
The center cut tri-tip steak is technically taken from the sirloin steak, but it deserves its own entry because of how unique this cut of beef is. The term "tri-tip" only entered the American lexicon in the 20th century and became known as either a Newport steak or a Santa Maria steak. It's a local cut that is either roasted or grilled or used in chili con carne.
9. Brisket $10 a pound
Brisket is taken from the lower chest of the cow, contains a lot of connective tissue, and must be cooked correctly in order to tenderize it. You have to baste it and marinate it! Popular ways to consume brisket include smoking it Texas-style, as a pot roast, especially in Jewish cultures, and of course -- turning it into pastrami.
4. Short Ribs ~ $10 a pound
Short ribs can be taken from four different cuts of beef: brisket, chuck, short plate, and rib areas of the cattle. Only a portion of the long ribs are taken with this cub, differentiating them from back ribs. The ribs can be used to make stock to flavor soups. Short ribs are popular in many types of international cuisine, and they taste great with a good marinade.
6. Flank Steak ~ $13 a pound
Not to be confused with the similar skirt steaks or hanger steaks, the flank steak has recently shot to popularity for its use in tacos. One of the toughest cuts of beef, it takes well to marinating and low and slow cooking. It's also extremely versatile, being used in London broils, stir-fry, and fajitas. Chefs also often love to cross-cut flank steak thanks to its significant graining.
1. T-Bone Steak ~ $13 a pound
Also called the porterhouse steak, the T-Bone steak is what you get when you want the best of both worlds. On one side of the most famous bone-in steak, you've got the delicate filet mignon, aka the tenderloin steak. On the other side, you've got a delicious strip steak. This T-Bone steak comes from both the short loin and the tenderloin, which are two of the most prized cuts of beef. T-Bone steaks cook well with dry and high heat and a fast cooking time -- great for grilling.
5. Strip Steak ~ $14 a pound
The strip steak, also referred to as the New York strip, is taken from the short loin of the cow and is one of the most tender cuts of meat, good for grilling and broiling. In Canada, it's more often referred to as a strip loin. This cut is extremely versatile and can be used in place of a ribeye steak
8. Prime Rib ~ $15 a pound
There's a reason it's called "prime." Also called a standing rib roast, the beloved prime rib contains ribeye steaks and ribeye roasts. The prime ribs are often cooked "standing" on the bones so that the meat doesn't directly touch the pan, making it exceptionally tender. It has the best marbling of any other cut of beef, and tastes better when rare or medium-rare.