Texas BBQ is all about the meat–beef to be exact. To BBQ like a true Texan, it helps to understand all of the different cuts of beef available. Here’s a breakdown of the parts of the cow:
The brisket is the breast area of the cow; all cuts of brisket come from this section. Stubb was famous for his brisket and we’ve got some tips that he passed onto his grandson on how to barbecue the perfect brisket right here.
The lower neck and upper shoulder of the cow is called “chuck.” Both roasts and steak can come from this area of the meat. Examples are chuck roast, shoulder roast, flat iron steak, Denver cut and shoulder tender medallions.
The cow’s entire hind leg (which includes the butt, ham, and thigh) is known as the beef round. Round roasts, steaks and the London broil all come from this area, as do sirloin tip roast and sirloin tip center steak. Marinating before cooking helps tenderize round cuts of beef.
Running from the backbone to midway down the stomach, the sirloin is an eight-inch strip of meat. The center cut and sirloin steak come from the sirloin.
The meat in the center of the back is called the “short loin.” This is where the tenderloin comes from, as well as bone-in strip steak, porterhouse and T-bone steaks. The tenderloin also gives us the filet mignon. Using a rub, like our Steak Spice Rub, on any of these cuts will leave them with a crust like you’d find at a premium steakhouse. Apply the rub15- 30 minutes before cooking and let it rest at room temperature.
The flank is the section of the short loin and sirloin that covers the stomach. Flank steak and ground beef often come from the flank.
Between the chuck and the loin are the ribs. From this part of the cow come the short ribs, back-ribs, as well as rib eye steak, prime rib and short ribs. Use our Steak Spice Rub on rib eye steaks, but use our Beef Spice Rub on short ribs and back-rib. Apply the rub 15-30 minutes before cooking for optimum flavor.
The lower portion of the cow between the brisket and flank area, the plate is a source for short ribs and skirt steak.
The upper portion of the front leg is known as the “shank.” Shank steaks are the most common cut of beef that come from this area. This is a very tough cut of beef that is generally used in soups and stews.
You can find lots of great recipes using beef in our recipe section.