Learn Your Cuts

Roll over the primal cut diagram for a list of sub-primal cuts and their recommended cooking methods.

Ribs

This primal is the source, as you might expect, for ribs. Although there are 13 pairs of ribs, only ribs six through 12 fall into the rib primal. (One through five are part of the chuck cut and the 13th rib is part of the loin.) Rib roasts and rib eye steaks are from the rib primal. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Short Ribs, Back Ribs, Standing Rib Roasts (3 Rib, 4 Rib, and 7 Rib), Ribeye Steak and Ribeye Primal.

Chuck

This primal is rich in meat and marbling, which helps add flavor and tenderize the surrounding meat. Although rich in flavor, chuck cuts are not as tender as the elegant middle steak primals; consequently, they are perfectly suited to pot roasts and braising cooking. This primal cut is also the most popular source for ground beef, thanks to its rich flavor and its balance of meat and fat. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Terres Major Steak, Flat Iron Steak, Chuck Roast, Center Cut Shoulder Roast, Heart of Clod Roast, Minute Steak and Ground Beef.

Plate

The plate primal is located under the rib primal. The cuts from the plate are slightly tough and therefore better used in moist cooking methods. Short ribs, skirt steak, and beef bacon all come from this primal. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Beef Bacon, Hanger Steak, Skirt Steak, Inside Skirt Steak and Ground Beef.

Brisket

The brisket primal is from the front of the animal beneath the chuck primal. Because cuts from the brisket are among the less tender, they are best suited for moist cooking methods like braising, stewing and steaming. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Brisket.

Front Shank

Meat from the shank primal is some of the toughest; as a result, we do not offer cuts from this primal.  We do use the shank for ground beef and our marrow bones. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Marrow Bones and Ground Beef

Shortloin

Because this primal is from some of the least-used muscles, meat from this cut is particularly tender. As a result, these cuts do not require long cooking times and are the most expensive. The Delmonico steak, T-bone steak, and tenderloin (the source of filet mignon) are all from this primal. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: T-Bone Steak, Delmonico Steak, NY Strip Steak and Striploin Primal.

Flank

The flank is the primal cut just below the loin primal. The primary cut from this primal is the flank steak. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Flank Steak.

Top Sirloin

Cuts from the top sirloin primal are tender, though not quite as tender as those from the shortloin. Sub-primal cuts of the top sirloin are the tri-tip steak and the sirloin steak. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Top Sirloin Steak, Petit Sirloin Steak and Ground Sirloin.

Tenderloin

The tenderest muscle in the animal, tenderloin is a superior center-of-the-plate gourmet treat for any gathering. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Tenderloin Filets.

Sirloin

This is a cut of meat from the loin of a steer or heifer. Sirloin steaks differ from shortloin steaks in that the bone and the tenderloin have been removed. Some American butchers call a thick sirloin tip steak a chateaubriand, although the French reserve that term for a much better cut from the tenderloin. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Sirloin Tip Steak, Sandwich Steaks, Knuckle Bone and Ground Beef.

Bottom Sirloin

This is a boneless sub-primal of the loin with elegantly tender meat requiring minimal preparation. It is cut from the second most tender muscle group in the beef animal. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Bottom Round Roast, Eye of the Round Roast and Ground Beef.

Round

The round is cut from the rear of the animal, including the hind shank and the rump. Meat from the round tends to be very lean but not as tender and is therefore best suited to moist cooking. There are exceptions to this: London broil is delicious when grilled. Sirloin tips and sirloin sandwich steaks are light, healthy meats that require minimum preparation times. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: London Broil, Tri-Tip Roast, Tri-Tip Steak, Inside Round Roast, Beef Jerky and Ground Beef.

Rear Shank

Meat from the shank primal is some of the toughest; as a result, we do not offer cuts from this primal.  We do use the shank for ground beef and our marrow bones. U.S. Wellness Meats Products: Marrow Bones and Ground Beef