Standing in front of the meat counter at the grocery store looking at all the different types of meat can make you feel like you don't actually know anything about cooking or grilling. What's the difference between chuck and flank steak? Exactly what is a tenderloin, really? What's the best meat for stew or for pan-frying? What's a good value? What are the best cooking methods?
The folks at RS Components have created an interactive online tool to help you out. Their Ultimate Meat Eaters' Guide walks you through beef, pork, lamb, and chicken to look at all the different parts of the animal, the various cuts of meat that come from those parts, and how each is best cooked.
Easy to follow, the comprehensive tool is good for beginners and experienced home cooks alike. It clearly lays out the different kinds of animals used for meat consumption and then offers tips and advice for each.
The guide walks you through the four types of meat, showing the different areas of the animal. You can click on the individual cuts and the guide outlines the different cuts and the best way to cut them. It also gives you a good recipe idea to get started with that particular cut.
With all the different cuts of beef, it's good to know what you're using the meat for. Some cuts, like flank steak, need to be marinated to help break down the connective tissue and create a tender and tasty piece of meat. Other cuts, like topside roasts, is tough so it needs to be cooked for a long time. A classic roast beef is a great recipe for a topside cut. There's also ground beef, ribeye, t-bone steak, beef jerky, brisket, sirloin, and so much more when it comes to meat products that use beef.
Beef has health benefits along with being a tasty meat. It has high amounts of iron and zinc, helping to support the immune system, heal damaged tissue and support blood health. The protein in beef is also important for muscle health and allows you to stay full for longer.
One of the leanest cuts on a pig is the leg, which makes it great for roasts. Bacon comes from the belly, as do spare ribs. Pork chops are one of the most popular types, coming from the loin. Really, there's no bad-tasting part of a pig, so you might want to try interesting different cuts like the Scotch fillet steak.
Pork is full of health benefits that make it more than worth your while. It's a great source of iron, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, iron, and zinc, along with having a high level of protein. Pork helps with blood cell formation and brain function, and is easily digestible.
While adult sheep in the form of mutton lamb meat is delicious, and not many people know about the health benefits of lamb. It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as high-quality protein and large amounts of vitamin B12. Lamb is considered a "red meat" because it contains myoglobin, but it tends to have a lower fat content than beef. The neck and chump are some of the most economical parts.
Lamb also has other vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc. Because of these, eating it regularly can help with muscle growth and preventing anemia.
Chicken cuts are fairly well-known and everyone has their own preference for white meat versus dark meat. Some of the most popular dishes of this lean meat involve chicken breast and chicken wings, but the guide points out some good ways to use the less popular parts of the chicken meat for things like making your own chicken stock. Chicken is versatile, to be enjoyed in curries, soups, pastas, and barbecue dishes.
Chicken has a number of impressive health benefits, like high protein level, reduced cholesterol, and many vitamins and nutrients. Chicken is also shown to help with weight loss and contain anticancer properties. Plus, it's a natural anti-depressant.
Of course, there are also game meat like venison and buffalo meat, along with odder choices like pheasant, duck meat and wild boar meat, but those are the main animal products when it comes to different kinds of meat. There's also processed meat like salami, and hot dogs that can have all sorts of meat in it.
Check out the full infographic below and find the interactive tool here.
This post was originally published on August 5, 2021.