CUTS OF BEEF & HOW TO COOK THEM

Views:0     Author:Amy A.     Publish Time: 26-01-2021      Origin:Site

While you can gauge the relative tenderness of your beef or steak by the USDA and Canadian grading system, it doesn’t guarantee a perfect meal. Each cut needs to be combined with the ideal technique for cooking said meat if you want to reach epic levels of deliciousness. Find out about the different cuts of beef and how to cook them here.


TENDERNESS SCALE

Okay well, it’s not really a scale, more like an area. On the cow, or any other animal that we consume for food for that matter, the more use the muscle gets the more collagen is in those muscles, and the tougher the cut can get. Meat that is from the back and top of the cow will be the most tender, while anything that moves a lot or spends time holding the cow up for long periods will be less so. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good meal from those cuts.


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WHAT DIFFERENT KINDS OF CUTS ARE THERE? AND HOW DO YOU GRILL/COOK THEM?


BRISKET

Brisket is popular around the world but you are likely more familiar with the cut thanks to the slow-smoked delicacy of a Southern Style Smoked Brisket. It is a sign of prestige to be able to perfectly cook one of these cuts. They are a larger cut and, thanks to their popularity, a more expensive cut. This cut is located in the lower breast of a cow. When shopping, look for one that has a nice fat layer and, when poked, has a little give. A stiff Brisket will produce tough results.


CHUCK

The Chuck is cut from the shoulder/neck area of a cow. It is fantastic to use when grinding beef for hamburgers because it is incredibly flavorful. You can get a few things from the Chuck area; the Chuck Eye is a steak known as the poor man’s Rib Eye. You also get Pot Roasts and the Top Blade cut from the Chuck as well. For the most part, Chuck should be slow-cooked, whether it is braised, reverse-seared, or slow-roasted. With the exception of hamburgers, which prefer a more hot and direct cooking method. Be careful in the supermarket and talk to the butcher counter to ensure you have the right cut for your preparation method when buying Chuck.


FLANK

This large flat cut comes from the underside of the abdomen of a cow. It can be made into London Broil, sliced for stir-frys, and fantastic for fajitas. The thing about the Flank steak is that it can get very tough when not cooked properly. Marinate it whole. Its slenderness and loose muscle fibers accept marinades well. Cook it to medium (at the most) quickly over direct, high heat. Finish using a gentle, indirect heat or through resting. For serving slice it thin, against the grain.


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FLAT IRON

Flat Iron Steaks come from the Chuck area of the cow, near the shoulder. They’re another great cut of beef for marinating. When cooked properly this well-marbled cut is second only to the tenderloin when it comes to tenderness, however, it still needs the proper preparation. You may find the Flat Iron under other names like the Boneless Top Chuck Steak, Butler Steak, or Oyster Blade Steak. Sear this steak directly over high heat, but never cook it past medium. Slice it thin, against the grain when serving or if you plan to use it in stir-frys or fajitas.


PORTERHOUSE / T-BONES

You probably know these names. They are steaks that come on a t-shaped bone that contains the Strip and some Tenderloin. T-Bones and Porterhouse Steaks are ideal for grilling, in fact when you think of a big juicy steak on the barbecue that’s the cut that comes to mind. They are slightly different. The T-Bone has less tenderloin on it, making up only half to one and a quarter inches of meat on the bone. The Porterhouse features much more tenderloin, one and a quarter-inch or more meat, making it more expensive. These steaks require a little more finesse when cooking, you are preparing two different kinds of steak on one bone after all. Use the direct sear or reverse sear, but aside from the searing, keep the tenderloin directed away from the heat source when possible.


RIB EYE

Possibly the most coveted cut of steak available. The Rib Eye is delightful in flavor and tenderness. This is due to the extensive marbling and beautiful fat cap creating big flavor. There are a few cuts that have the Rib Eye in it. They include the bone-in Cowboy, the boneless Delmonico, and the caveman-esque Tomahawk. Whatever you get, the Rib Eye is possibly the best steak you will get. Season well with salt and pepper, that’s all you need, then give it a really good sear. Finish it gently using low, indirect heat. Make sure to rest this steak properly after cooking too. If you get the Rib Eye cut to a custom thickness, thicker than an inch, try using the reverse sear technique to cook it. These steaks are a little bit forgiving thanks to the fat in them, but medium is your finished temperature for maximum enjoyment.






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