Crave Guide to The Best Cuts of Meat

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The barbecue season might be winding down but Crave wants to keep the party going by talking about some of the best cuts of meat that money can buy – or – at least the cheap cuts of meat that are mostly edible.

While we might only be a few months away from Jingle Bells and tidings of good cheer and we might have to soon switch our meat cooking efforts to the inside of the house, it’s important to know what’s what in terms of deciding what cut of meat works best for your intended use.

So, let’s get started.

Best Cuts of Meat

Short Loin

The short loin is the area where you’ll find some of the best steaks, such as the t-bone and the porterhouse. So, it stands to reason that if you’re buying short loin, the best use is probably in steak format. They’re rather expensive, and anything less would be a bit of a waste.

Chuck 

The chuck is a cut slightly above the brisket in the front of the cow. The meat on its own isn’t super appetizing due to a ton of connective tissue and fat, but it makes a great ground beef for hamburgers or meatloaf.

Plate

The plate is the front belly below the ribs and contains two great cuts, the skirt and hanger steaks. Both are great for grilling, but are actually more expensive than rib cuts which makes it a hard pass if you’re looking for an affordable option to throw on the grill.

Rib 

This is arguably the best cut of the cow and it’s where the prized cuts such as short ribs, prime rib and the best steak of them all – the ribeye – comes from. This is a premium cut and you should expect to pay a premium price to obtain such deliciousness.

Sirloin

This is one of the best cuts for steak on a budget. The sirloin is juicy and flavorful when cooked correctly, but since it comes sans bone, it can dry out quickly if you cook it too long.

Round

A round steak is from the cow’s backside and it’s a lean cut with very little fat, which makes it rather chewy. Braising, slow cooking or tenderizing and using for stew is generally the best plan of attack for anything from the round.

Brisket

Barbecue lovers rejoice. The brisket is one of the best options on the cow for slow cooking in a smoker. If you love barbecue, brisket is a great option, and it’s not all that expensive at around $5 a pound.

Shank

The shank is a cut on the leg of the cow and it’s quite tough due to the muscle and connective tissue contained within it. It’s mainly used in soup or stews because it has to be cooked for hours to make it tender enough to attempt to eat.

Flank

The flank steak is a tough cut of meat from the belly. Flank steaks are perfect for carne asada tacos assuming it’s been tenderized first and cut into small strips.