You’ve decided you want to purchase some delicious and nutritious grass-fed beef. However, you quickly feel over your head. What are the differences among all the many cuts of beef? How do you know what to do with each one? Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch is here to help cut through the confusion. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us today. 

Let’s start with the term “primal,” one that may be a little unfamiliar. Primals refer to large sections of the whole beef side and are grouped according to their location on the animal’s body. They can be further broken down into sub-primals, then into muscle cuts you may remember seeing in a grocery store. 

It’s helpful to know what primal a cut comes from as it can help you determine how to cook it. For example, a cut that comes from a harder working or high-use area, such as the round primal, will have a leaner and tougher consistency. Types like this will do best in a slow, moist cooking environment. Lower-use areas, such as the tenderloin, are ideal for cooking in high-temperature, dry environments (like grilling). For more tips like this, check out the rest of our blog

“Marbling” is a term used to describe the intramuscular fat found within a cut of beef. This gives the meat a “marbled” look and provides it with a juicy flavor and tenderness. The ribeye cut is recognized for its marbling. 

While we don’t have room here to go through every cut, we’ll outline some favorites. 

  • “Flat iron steak” is perfect for grilling or searing. It tends to be a bit more tender than its neighboring cuts and is perfect for tacos. Cut against the grain before serving to remove any connective tissue. 
  • “Prime rib” is also known as a “ribeye roast” because it comes from the same region. One side of this cut will probably be covered in fat; score it lightly with a knife and cook with the fat side up to encourage self-basting. 
  • “New York strip” is not from the Big Apple; in fact, in some areas you may know it as the “Kansas City strip steak.” This cut is delicious, boneless and lean, so be careful of overcooking.

Ready to try it? Check out our website to order some delicious beef for yourself today!