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Beef Glossary

Types of Cuts


Beef Tenderloin Steak

Beef Tenderloin is the most tender beef cut. Lean yet succulent, boneless tenderloin steaks are both elegant and convenient with a fine buttery texture, subtle flavor and compact shape. Quick cooking, waste-free and versatile, they are well suited for grilling, skillet cooking, broiling, and cutting into pieces for kabobs or strips for a stir-fry.

Ribeye Steak

A Ribeye Steak is a Rib Steak, minus the bone. This fine-grained steak is rich, juicy and full-flavored with generous marbling throughout. One of the most tender beef cuts, its combination of flavor and tenderness is unrivaled. Convenient and ready-to-cook, this year-round favorite is great when grilled, broiled or skillet-cooked. The ribeye steak is available with both the "cap" on or off.

Strip Loin (also called New York Strip Steak / Top Loin)

This exceptional steak is lean, tender and full-flavored, making it a popular choice. Available boneless, it's quick cooking and ideal for grilling, broiling and skillet cooking. Fine-grained but with a sturdy texture, boneless Strip Loin Steak is virtually waste-free and convenient.



Beef Ribeye Roast

A Rib Roast minus the bone, Beef Ribeye Roast is rich, juicy and full-flavored. One of the most tender beef cuts, it’s fine-grained with generous marbling throughout. With a sharp knife, anyone can easily carve this boneless roast.

Tenderloin Roast

Lean, elegant and dazzling, Beef Tenderloin Roast is the highest quality beef roast. Cut from the least exercised, and therefore the tenderest muscle on the beef carcass, Beef Tenderloin has a fine texture and mild yet succulent flavor. Boneless and waste-free, the traditional tenderloin has a cylindrical shape with a tapering end. The center cut tenderloin is hand cut; the perfect choice for those who prefer to serve even portion sizes.


Unique Cuts

Cowboy Chops

This flavorful bone-in rib "steak" is thick cut and serves at least 2. It is extremely well marbled and its size, coupled with the frenched bone, creates an impressive presentation.

Cap of Ribeye

Known in the beef world as the Spinalis Dorsi, this is the favorite cut of many beef aficionados. Sometimes referred to as "beef butter", it is located on the exterior of the ribeye and is exquisitely marbled and tender with a deep rich flavor.



Moist vs. Dry Heat Cooking

Moist Heat Hooking

A process of using slow, gentle, moist heat in a tightly covered pan with liquid to cook less tender beef cuts until fork-tender. Moist heat cooking methods are braising/pot roasting (little liquid added) and stewing (more liquid added).

Dry Heat Cooking

Dry heat cooking methods are broiling, grilling, roasting, skillet cooking and stir-frying. Best used for tender beef cuts.



Roasting / Roast

This cooking method usually involves cooking on a rack in a roasting pan, uncovered, without added liquid, in an oven.

Stand Time / Resting (for roasts)

Because the internal temperature of a roast continues to rise after cooking, it’s best to remove the roast from the oven when the thermometer registers 5°F to 10°F below the desired doneness. If a roast is carved immediately after removing it from the oven a substantial amount of its juices will be lost. But when the roast is allowed to stand for 15 to 20 minutes, the juices are reabsorbed, producing a firmer, more flavorful roast that’s easier to carve.


Skillet Cooking


Pan-broiling is faster and more appropriate than oven-broiling for thinner, tender cuts of beef.  It’s sometimes referred to "frying without fat".  In pan-broiling, no water or fat is added to the pan, and drippings from beef should be removed if and when they accumulate.


Pan-frying or sautéing is similar to pan-broiling except a small amount of oil is added to the pan when cooking.



Direct Heat

Direct heat grilling is cooking food directly over the heat source throughout the entire cooking process.

Indirect Heat

Indirect heat uses the heat and the smoke of the grill to cook low and slow; creating an oven-like atmosphere.


Steakhouse Style Cooking (also called two-step skillet-to-oven)

This method uses an ovenproof skillet to quickly brown thicker steaks and petite roasts to a light golden brown on the stovetop. The beef is then finished in the oven to the perfect medium rare or medium doneness.


Types of Beef

Grain-Fed Beef

Grain-fed beef is the most widely produced beef in the United States. Grain-fed cattle spend most of their lives eating grass in pasture before moving to a feedlot where they are fed a high-energy, grain-based diet for four to six months. Feeding cattle a grain-based ration for a small period of time helps improve meat quality and provide a more tender and juicy product for consumers.

Natural Beef or Naturally Raised

By government definition, most beef is natural. According to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), "natural" may be used on a label for meat if it does not contain any artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient, and the product and its ingredients are not more than minimally processed.

This definition only applies to how the meat was processed after the cattle were harvested and does not apply to how the animals were raised.

A portion of this information is courtesy of National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
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