What meat do you get when you cut up a cow?

Updated July 17, 2018

Eight parts of a butchered cow produce different cuts of beef. Some parts produce tender cuts, such as prime rib and tenderloin, while other parts produce tougher cuts like chuck and round steak.


Chuck meat is beef that comes from the area towards the front of the cow. Chuck has a strong flavour and is often sold ground.


Rib meat is one of the most prized cuts of meat. Ribeye, prime rib and short ribs come from the cow's rib area.


Loin meat comes from the area just behind the ribs. Porterhouse, T-bone and tenderloin steaks all come from this part of the cow.


Round steak comes from the rear of the cow. Round steak is a leaner cut, which makes it tough to chew, but lower in fat content. Generally speaking, round cuts can be braised or cooked slowly.


Brisket is the meat that comes from a cow's chest area. Brisket is tougher and can be cooked or braised slowly.


Shank meat comes from the leg area of the cow. Shank is known for its tough texture and flavour. The meat can be used in stews or soups.

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About the Author

Stacy Zogheib's writing has been published in various online publications. She is a teacher and developmental specialist with experience teaching first grade, special education and working with children ages 0 to 3. She has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary and special education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University.