Cooking with Beef: Are you Using the Right Cut ?

My mother made a traditional Sunday dinner every week, promptly served at 12:00. At least half of those dinners were a chuck roast, with all the fixin’s (potatoes, gravy, vegetables). The other weeks varied between roast chicken, pork roast, meat loaf, etc.

When I started dating mon mari he was a newly divorced single dad with a 10 yr old son. We started dating in the summer. Since he had to make dinner for his son our dates often started with him cooking dinner for the 3 of us. At least 90% of those dinners were a grilled chuck steak – same cut as the chuck roast but not quite as thick.

As a roast, the long, slow oven cooking made it tender.

As a steak, he marinated it in Italian Salad Dressing mixed with a packaged meat tenderizer to make it edible. (It was all new to him.)

I have fond memories of both.

Since moving here it’s been a challenge to know what cuts to buy for what purpose. It’s not just that the names are different – some of the cuts are just done differently.

If you have ever pondered the choices at the meat counter here are a few tips:

Cooking with Beef: Are you Using the Wrong or Right Cuts ?

There are thousands of different recipes that you can try out that contain beef. It is probably the most popular meat with people all over the world, and can be prepared and cooked in a variety of ways. Whether you are cooking a meal for the family or are entertaining guests over the weekend, there are so many tasty recipes that you can try if you like beef, with some of them being very easy to follow.

From grilled burgers and steaks to stir fries and pasta, beef is a meat that combines perfectly with a variety of different dishes and flavors.

There are lots of different cuts of beef, so it’s a good idea to be aware of them and know which ones are suitable  for different ways of cooking. This article will take you through the different cuts of beef and how best to cook them.

Beef for Roasting in the Oven

The Sunday roast is a staple all over the world and is a delicious way to spend time with family. Roasting beef in the oven is probably the simplest and easiest way of cooking the meat. All you need to do is to add some seasoning and you are good to go.

If you are looking for a cut of beef that is tender and lean, then the tenderloin roast is what you need. It’s an exquisite cut of beef that is easy to serve and very succulent and tasty. Another you can use is the shoulder petite tender, which is similar to the tenderloin roast, but slightly cheaper in cost.

If you want to prepare a slow roast in the oven then you will most likely want to go for the top round roast cut, which is a large piece of meat that is very tender when cooked slowly, and can be thinly carved for serving. Another good cut for the oven is the sirloin tip roast, which is very tender and lean, and is a cut of beef that can be cut into very fine slices.

Photo by mali maeder from Pexels

Beef for Grilling

Everyone loves to get the barbecue out when the weather is good, and nothing can beat the smell of some tender beef cooking nicely on the grill. There are a number of different beef cuts that are perfect for the grill.

You’ll find a choice of different steaks such as the strip steak which is a thick tender cut of beef that is perfect for the grill. If you are looking for some beef that you can marinate before grilling, then consider picking up a few pieces of flank steak, which is a very lean piece of boneless meat. It’s great for grilling and if marinated, is packed full of delicious tastes and flavor.

One of the most popular steaks for the grill is the T-Bone steak, which is a sturdy lean steak perfect for summer grilling. Another favorite is rib-eye steak which is a very juicy and tender cut and has fantastic taste.

If you are looking for something slightly larger then you should go for the porterhouse steak, which is packed with flavor and usually large enough to serve two people, though if you have a big enough appetite, then you could finish this one all by yourself.

If you want to make your own burgers, then pick up a kilo or two of fresh ground beef. You can shape it however you want, thin or thick, and pop them on the grill. They will be ready in no time at all, and are perfect for burgers or wraps.

Beef for Stir Frying

Nothing beats a stir fry for a quick and delicious meal anytime of the year. The meat can be cooked quickly and served with a variety of fried vegetables, such as mushrooms and peppers. It can be served with noodles, rice or by itself.

There are a variety of beef cuts that are ideal for stir fry such as sirloin steak that is very juicy and easy to cut into smaller pieces. Another popular option is either an inside or outside skirt steak, which is perfect for marinating before cooking, and packed with flavor. (Both are also ideal for grilling, but if you want to BBQ one, then it’s advisable to go for the inside skirt steak, as this one cooks better with smoke.)

A couple other cuts that are great for stir fry include the Denver steak, which is a juicy chunky piece of beef with great marbling and flavor, and also the ranch steak that is lean, juicy and perfect for the grill or broiling.

Photo by yvonne lee harijanto on Unsplash

Beef for Slow Cooking

A lot of people prefer to slow cook their food to lock in the flavors and aromas and to keep the meat very tender, soft and juicy. There are a number of cuts of beef that are ideal for the slow cooker, or an Instant Pot if you are fortunate enough to own one.

The Chuck roast cut is a popular choice with many people. The cross rib chuck roast is a cut that is perfect for the slow cooker and results in a delicious and tender meat when cooked. The 7-bone chuck roast is another that is rich in flavor and taste.

If you are looking for a cut that will be extremely tender then you’ll want to consider going for the chuck tender roast, which is a cut that will gradually start to tenderize when being cooked slowly. You can throw in a variety of vegetables along with the beef when cooking such as onions, carrots, mushrooms and season with garlic if you are looking for something that is extra tasty.

Whatever type of beef dishes you enjoy, you’ll always be able to try out new recipes and different ways of cooking. Beef is such a versatile meat and the variety of cuts means that you are not going to be restricted in how you have to cook it. Light up the grill, heat up the oven or pull out your wok. The options are endless, and with the number of different beef recipes you can find online, you can be serving up new and unique meals every night of the week.

2 thoughts on “Cooking with Beef: Are you Using the Right Cut ?”

  1. I do chuck steaks occasionally, on the grill. I salt them heavily with kosher salt for a couple hours prior to grilling and brush off anything that’s still there before tossing them on the grill. Best tenderizer ever. But we really only have maybe four cuts of beef around here unless we go to an actual butcher and those aren’t very common in my area.

    • I’ll have to try that…. Most of what is sold here for the ‘grill’ is tough – which is probably why it’s also not very thick lol

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