For majority of people, beef is a significant part of a standard diet. This is why most restaurants and food service operations often include beef in their menu. 


Knowing the type of beef cuts available in the market is advantageous to every chef and cook. This is because each type of meat has features that serve a dish in terms of flavour and cost. 

There are nine beef cuts done by butchers considered “primal beef cuts”, The term Primal Cut refers to the initial cuts of meat to the animal carcass. After the Primal Cut has been done, it is then divided into subsequent cuts called “Sub-Primal Cuts”, which are the secondary & tertiary cuts of meat. 




Square cut chuck primal is also known as Chuck Flat and Chuck Meat Square. It is a sizeable primal cut taken from a cow’s front chest and top, including the neck and shoulder, where the muscles get worked the most. 

About half of the beef chuck is cut into roasts. The rest will be made into stew meat or ground for hamburgers. Nowadays, butchers and chefs have many more options for ordering and cutting beef chuck. 

Cuts from these parts make for tough meat quality due to the worked muscle fibres. This is why chuck meat is typically cheaper than premium tender meat cuts. They are considered “value cuts.” 

But chefs and cooks know that the gristle and fat that make these cuts chewier, actually make them full of beefy flavour. 

Generally, beef chuck tenderises well and releases its flavour when cooked low and slow such as by braising, stewing, or slow cooking in a crock pot. 


An important thing to remember:


You may encounter the terms “roast” and “steak” throughout this post. It is essential to know that they both come from the same beef part but differ in thickness. Steak cuts are thinner than roasts.

These cuts are called roasts as a reference to the fact that it’s a big thick cut of meat. They really don’t respond well to roasting. They turn our chewy and tough. 


Subprimal Cuts


Of the nine primal cuts of beef, the chuck has the most variety in different types of beef cuts that can be butchered, such as: From this primal cut, the following sub-primal cuts are done:


7 Bone Chuck Roast


It also goes by:

  • Chuck Roll Roast
  • Chuck Pot Roast

The 7-bone roast is a tough slab of beef. Thick vertical cuts are done straight through a square-cut beef chuck. – from the centre of the chuck’s blade portion. It is cut more than 2 inches thick in a cylindrical or elliptical shape in which the grain runs in the same direction as the long side of the meat.  

It is named as such because the cross-section of the shoulder blade bone resembled the number seven. 


Cooking Recommendations: 

  • Roasting


If you have a pot roast in mind, then this is the cut to go. Chuck roast is the classic choice for this dish. Braising tenderises this cut beautifully. As it gets tenderised, it becomes more flavourful. It is also ideal for the slow cooker as simmering it in low heat makes it rich and flavourful. 


7 Bone Chuck Steak


They are also referred to as “poor man’s prime rib”.

This cut is taken from the centre of the blade portion of the chuck. It is similar to 7 bone roast aside from the thickness. This chuck steak is cut less than 2 inches thick (usually cut 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-inch thick.) It has more than five different muscles and has much fat and connective tissue between muscles.


Cooking Recommendations: 


The cooking methods that work best for this cut are Moist or Dry. 


Chuck Eye Roast 


The largest of the big muscles is the eye of the chuck and is often sold as a chuck eye roast.

It can be cut into steaks or cubes for stew meat. It is another option for the classic pot roast because it becomes moist, tender, and flavoured when braised.


Cooking Recommendations: 


  • Roasting


Flat Iron Steak


Also goes by:

  • Top Blade Steak
  • Top Blade Filet
  • Shoulder Top Blade Steak

Flat iron steak is not a classic steak. It’s a reasonably new cut because this part of the steer was previously considered unusable as a steak due to the ligament connected to it. The techniques to cut flat iron steaks were developed by researchers at the University of Nebraska and the University of Florida.

However, because it is tender, flavourful due to its characteristic marbling, and cheap, it has gained popularity for grilling. Despite that, it has the quality of a costly cut of meat.

Second in tenderness to the tenderloin steak, the flat iron is well-marbled, richly flavoured and juicy. Best when cooked to medium doneness.


Cooking Recommendations:


As chuck meat, it can absorb flavour from varying cooking methods. 

  • Slow cooking
  • Pan fry
  • Stir fry 
  • Broil
  • Smoke
  • Grill

This cut holds seasoning exceptionally well. It can handle seasonings, but simple seasoning is best if it is intended to serve as a traditional steak. Seasoning the steak with salt and pepper before grilling can showcase its best flavour profile. 


Chuck Short Ribs


It also goes by:

  • Chuck Ribs
  • Short Ribs
  • Boneless Short Ribs
  • Korean Short Ribs
  • Flanken Style Short Ribs

Short ribs are cut thinly across the bones. Marinate before grilling to maximise tenderness. Available bone-in and boneless.


Cooking Recommendations:


  • Grilling
  • Braising


Blade Steak 


It also goes by Top Blade Steak.

Similar to Flat Iron Steak, except that the connective tissue is intact, making it slightly tougher. This is why blade steaks have a distinct rigid strip of gristle in the middle.  

If it’s cooked properly, it can be a delicious and tender piece of meat.


Cooking recommendations:


  • Braising will break down the tough cartilage in the middle of the blade steak. 
  • Grilling is not recommended. The strip of gristle in the middle will tighten like a thick rubber band when grilled. 
  • A more straightforward approach is to remove the strip of gristle to remove it. You can cut the steak in half to remove that line of cartilage and slice the meat. As a result, you can get meat, like flat iron steaks. The good thing here is that blade steaks are cheaper than flat iron steaks, so the additional butchering effort to remove the cartilage can be worth it. 


Chuck Eye Steak


It also goes by:

  • Chuck Delmonico
  • Also referred to as “poor man’s rib-eye.”

This is cut from the area right next to the rib-eye steak. So it is often considered similar to a rib-eye steak but cheaper. These are richly marbled and flavourful. Chuck eye steaks are all too frequently marketed as “Delmonico” steaks.


Cooking recommendations 

  • Grilling
  • Braising
  • Slow cooking
  • Roasting


Chuck Arm Roast


It also goes by:

  • Beef Arm Roast 
  • Arm Pot Roast
  • Arm Roast
  • English Roast
  • Chuck Arm
  • Chuck Shoulder Roast
  • Clod Heart Roast
  • Clod Roast
  • Cross Cut Arm Roast

Roast cut more than 2 inches thick, except bones have been removed. It will have more than five different muscles. This cut has intramuscular fat (marbling fat within the muscles) and intermuscular fat (fat between the muscles). This versatile cut has less fat than another, so it’s ideal for losing weight. 


Cooking recommendations:


  • Roasting
  • An ideal candidate for slow cooking. 
  • Add extra fat, such as olive oil, to get a pleasant texture.


Mock Tender Roast


It also goes by:

  • Shoulder Tender
  • Shoulder Roast
  • Scotch Tender Roast
  • Chuck Tender Roast


The Mock Tender is named since it is not a tender meat in terms of quality. Lean, economical roast; best sliced thin.


Cooking recommendations:


  • Stewing
  • Braising
  • Roasting


Mock Tender Steak


It also goes by :

  • Shoulder petite tender
  • Petite fillet
  • Petite Filet Mignon,
  • Beef Petite Steak,
  • Chuck fillet steak
  • Chuck clod tender
  • Shoulder tender
  • Petite Tender
  • Bistro Filet
  • Chuck Tender Steak
  • Tender Medallions
  • Scotch Tender

Mock tender steak is a tough steak that is part of the chuck section. It is ironically named as such only because its shape is long and narrow and has a pointy tip at one end. It has the same shape as a beef tenderloin hence the name.

Interestingly, this cut came about as a result of butchers breaking down a traditional chuck roast since making traditional pot roast dinners has declined. 


Cooking recommendations:


  • Slow cooking 
  • Many chefs recommend using wine or any other acidic substance to help produce some breakdown of the fibrous tissue in this beef cut.
  • Grilling
  • Braising


RELATED READ:   Turn Budget Cut Meats Into Tender Steaks


Shoulder Clod Roast


It also goes by:

  • Arm Roast
  • Clod Heart Roast
  • Clod Roast,
  • Cross-Rib Roast
  • English Roast
  • Shoulder Center Roast
  • Shoulder Pot Roast
  • Shoulder Roast

This cut is leaner and more tender than a chuck roast, making it easier to carve into slices. This is a boneless cut found behind the shoulder area.


Cooking recommendations:


  • Roasting
  • Braising
  • Slow Cooking
  • Pressure cooking


Ranch Steak


Also goes by 

  • Shoulder Center.
  • Pub Steak
  • Shoulder Steak
  • Arm Steak

Ranch steak is a thinner, tender steak with less fat than other chuck steaks. In this regard, its flavour is light, and it would be best to watch it closely to prevent overcooking.


Cooking recommendations:


  • Grilling 
  • Stir Fry / Saute


Petite Tender (Teres Major)


Also goes by 

  • Bistro Tender
  • Petite Tender
  • Petite Tender Roast
  • Shoulder Tender

This is one of the most versatile, juicy, flavorful, and tender cuts.


Cooking recommendations:


  • Grilling 
  • Roasting


Petite Tender Medallions


It also goes by:

  • Bistro Medallion
  • Petite Shoulder Tender Medallions
  • Shoulder Medallions
  • Shoulder Tender Medallions
  • Teres Major Medallions


This is one of the most tender cuts of a chuck. It is lean and juicy with excellent flavour. Cut into medallions before or after cooking.


Cooking recommendations:


  • Grilling
  • Braising


Sierra Cut


Flavourful but tough. Requires tenderising marinade before cooking


Cooking recommendations:


  • Grilling


Chuck Flap


This cut is well-marbled, rich in flavour and can be braised in the classic style of short ribs. It may also be cut into Denver Steaks for grilling when aged a minimum of 28 days.


Cooking recommendations:


  • Grilling


Denver Cut 


It also goes by:

  • Denver Cut
  • Under blade Steak


Denver steaks are ranked the fourth most tender cut of beef as they are relatively tender, with a nice beefy flavour and usually have significant marbling. When these cuts are trimmed and sliced correctly, they can be great for cooking on the grill.

The serratus ventralis is extracted in one piece to produce a Denver steak. The term “Denver” is irrelevant and was chosen for marketing purposes only. 


Cooking recommendations:


  • Grilling – Avoid overcooking them, as this will make them even more rigid. You can cook Denver steaks on the grill, stovetop, or stovetop-oven combination. Either way, searing is essential.


Country Style Chuck Ribs


Less expensive alternative to traditional ribs as they are cut from the chuck eye. Juicy and flavorful becomes highly tender when simmered at a low temperature.


Ground Chuck


Economical, versatile and flavorful. It holds its shape well for cooking and is ideal for burgers, meatloaf and meatballs.


Cooking recommendations:


  • Skillet


In Summary:


From one main primal cut, Butchers create different cuts of beef. And while all these cuts are beef from the same cow, they can differ dramatically – in flavour, tenderness and cost.

Knowing how to cook each cut of meat to get the most tenderness and flavour is a skill that chefs have .

And if you are looking for skilled chefs and kitchen staff based in Perth and Western Australia for your staffing needs, give us a call at Anytime Staff.

We have a roster of professional chefs and kitchen staff that are available as short-term hires for :

  • peak periods
  • events/private parties and celebrations/pizza chefs
  • fill in for an emergency or annual leaves
  • start-up team for opening venues  

As part of our team, we have polite, professional Kitchen Stewards to assist you in cleaning and organising your kitchens. 

Anytime Staff can also assist you in looking for permanent hires by facilitating your recruitment process.

We also offer a Consulting Service to assist you in opening or running the cafe or restaurant of your dreams. 


That’s it for this week.

As always, professional chefs are on call at Anytime Staff!

Ciao for now,


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