Wholesale and Retail Cuts of Beef
There are certain standard cuts of beef which are known in practically all parts of the United States. Beef rounds, loins and ribs may be considered standard names. There is, however, such a variety of names as they apply to retail cuts to be too numerous to mention. Quite frequently progressive retailers invent names for certain cuts of meat which may be known only in their particular locality.
Therefore, the knowledge of various names for the same retail cut of beef or any other meat is really of no benefit to the retailer. A Swiss steak, oyster steak, or a Princess steak may be considered a name of value to a retailer in a certain locality, but the knowledge of such locally used names is of no particular benefit to the retail meat industry in general.
The standard definitions for wholesale cuts of beef are contained in Circular No. 300 of the United States Department of Agriculture, which divides the carcass into the following wholesale cuts :
Full LoinThe standard full loin from a No. 2 or good steer beef carcass equals 20.5% of the carcass weight. The cut extends from the round and rump to the point of severance of the hindquarter from the forequarter and includes one rib. It also includes the kidney knob (kidney and surrounding fat), but not the flank. Full loins are subdivided into loin ends and short loins. The loin end is the rump end of the full loin and comprises about one-third the length of the latter cut. The short loin extends from the loin end to the rib and comprises about two-thirds the length of the full loin. The kidney and most of the surrounding suet is trimmed off the short loin by the wholesaler.
FlankFlank from a No. 2 or good steer beef carcass represents 3.5% of the carcass weight, when cut according to the Chicago method.
Round and RumpIn the Chicago method of cutting, the standard round and rump, including the shank, of a No. 2 or good steer beef carcass represents 24% of the carcass weight.
RibThe rib from a No. 2 or good steer beef carcass constitutes 9.5% of the carcass weight. The cut includes parts of seven ribs, from the twelfth to the sixth, inclusive.
ChuckThe chuck of a No. 2 or good steer beef carcass rep-resents 22% of the carcass weight. The cut includes parts of five ribs, and the neck.
PlateThe plate of a No. 2 or good steer beef carcass represents 8.5% of the carcass weight. The cut includes parts of seven ribs.
BrisketThe brisket of a No. 2 or good steer beef carcass represents 6.5% of the carcass weight. The cut includes the breast bone and the tip ends of five ribs.
ForeshankThe fore shank is removed from the forequarter at the shoulder joint. The cut constitutes 5.5% of the carcass weight.
Wholesale cuts of beef which are not recognized by the Chicago method of cutting, but which are common in some markets, are “rattles”, “cross cuts”, “fans”, and “backs”. These are all parts of the forequarter. A “rattle” ordinarily includes the chuck, plate, brisket and shank, and comprises all of the forequarter except the rib. “Triangle” is another term used to designate the same thing. In Boston, however, the term “rattle” includes only the plate, brisket, and shank, excluding the chuck and rib. A “cross cut” includes the chuck, brisket and shank.
It differs from the ordinary rattle only in that the plate is not included. A “fan” includes the rib and the plate in one piece. A “back” consists of the chuck and rib in one piece.
In addition to the above wholesale cuts there are a great many other beef cuts and products handled which are sold by the meat packer:
TenderloinThe part which lies against the chine bone on the inside of the loin. It constitutes about 12% of the weight of the loin, is a very tender, choice piece of meat and high in selling value.
Sirloin ButtIs the loin end boned.
Sirloin StripIs produced from the short loin by leaving all the bone in except a small portion of the chine bone.
Spencer Roll(Beef ribs). Is made by raising the blade bone and removing the top covering or fell from that end of the roll.
Regular RollIs produced from the lighter ribs by removing the blade bone and the entire top covering.
Beef FlanksMake up about 17% of the whole flank.
Beef BacksIs the square cut chuck and a 7 bone rib in one piece.
Boneless ChuckIs the square cut chuck, and is usually used for sausage.
Beef ClodsIs the choice, meaty part of the chuck taken from directly under the shoulder blade.
Short RibIs made by cutting about 4 inches from the rib side of the navel end.
Rump ButtIs the rump taken from the round, and contains a small percentage of the tail bone.
Beef HamsInsides, outsides and knucklesare made by boning the rump and shank.
Hind ShanksMay be sold on the round, but when sold separately are also used for soup stock.
Beef SkirtsAre the fleshy part of the diaphragm, and are used for steaks.
Hanging TendersThese are cut about 6 inches long, and average about two pounds in weight. While somewhat fibrous, are good for trade desiring relatively cheap, lean meat.
Beef NecksAre the part down to the third cervical vertebrae, and make fine stew meat.
Bull MeatConsists of entire carcass boned out, excepting the tenderloin and suet. Used for sausage.
Cow MeatIs the entire carcass boned, excepting tenderloin and suet. Used for sausage.
Beef Cheek MeatThis is classed as trimmed, or No. 1 stock, and untrimmed, or No. 2 stock, and is used for sausage purposes.
Weasand Meat(Beef and Pork). Trimmings from the weasands, and used for sausage.
Beef Shank MeatIs the part taken from fore and hind shanks. It is used for sausage and canning purposes.
Beef TrimmingsAre the small bits made while making up the choice cuts of beefand are used for sausage and hamburger steak.
Beef MeltsAre used for food purposesalso quite extensively by sausage manufacturers and fish hatcheries.
Beef HeartsOrdinarily come split and with fat removed. Are used by retailers and sausage and mince meat manufacturers.
Ox TailsAre used extensively by large soup manufacturers, hotels, and restaurants, as well as the retail trade.
Beef TripeIs used for food purposes, as well as in the manufacture of sausage.
Beef Tripe (honeycomb)Same as regular tripe, except is of a honeycomb texture.
Brisket FatTaken off brisket and off plate. Used for sausage.
Beef Suet (with kidney)Consists of the entire kidney fat from the dressed carcass, containing the kidney, and weighs from 5 to 8 pounds.
Beef Suet (without kidney)Same as above, with kidney re-moved.
Beef CaulsAre the fine, lacey fats which cover the viscera, and are used same as regular suet.