When shopping at Croftburn Market, you are always welcome to ask us for advice on the appropriate cuts. If you do not see something in our meat case or the freezers, just let us know: we can always custom-cut our meats for you. The guide below will help you learn the difference between various cuts and cooking techniques for tender and leaner meat, and will help you match appropriate cuts to your recipes.

Beef Cuts

Underappreciated cut: hanger steak.
This is an unused muscle in the animal.

Hanger stake is tender, with wonderful nutty beef flavor.

Croftburn favorite easy weeknight recipe: remove hanger steak from the refregirator, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and sprinkle on both sides with the juice of 1/2 of freshly squeezed lemon. Let it rest until the meat comes to room temperature (no less than 30 minutes). Sear it on a well-heated skillet or grill, but do not cook it beyond medium rare (130 F). Serve with a side of ginger-glazed baby carrots or a fresh garden salad. Enjoy with a glass of delicious full-bodied red wine from Croftburn Cellar at Croftburn Market.

A professional processing facility divides the beef carcass into 9 primal cuts: chuck, rib, short loin, sirloin, round, flank, plate, brisket and shank. The larger sections are then broken down into retail cuts.  The most tender cuts come from those muscles on the animal that do not get a lot of excerise (rib, short loin and sirloin). Conversely, frequently excersiced muscles yield leaner meat, which requires a different cooking technique. Leaner cuts come from chuck, round, brisket, plate, flank or shank.

Tender Meat: Dry Heat Techniques

Dry heat cooking exposes the meat directly to the heat souce, without mediation of stock or water. Cuts from rib, short loin, sirloin are best when coked using one of the dry heat techniques: roasting, pan frying, stir frying, sauteeing, grilling and broiling. These techniques help procude nutty, caramelized flavors and a delightfully crispy surface.

Leaner Cuts: Moist Heat is Your Friend

If you have a cut from chuck, round, brisket, plate, flank or shank, we sugget using moist heat techniques. Liquid and long cooking time tenderize these leaner cuts, transforming them into moutwatering treats. You can braise, stew, poach and steam your leaner meat.

Cooking tip:
For dry-heat cooking, first bring the meat to room temperature prior to cooking.
This technique will allow the meat to cook more evenly, instead of burning on the outside.


Natural tenderness level

Primal cut

Retail cuts

Favorite dry-heat Cooking Technique

Favorite moist-heat cooking technique

Cuts come from most exercised parts of an animal. Most cuts are leaner but flavorful. Chuck meat is fatty and wonderful for making ground beef.

Chuck (Shoulder)





Chuck Roast


Braising and stewing


Flatiron steak

Panfrying and sautéing






Slow, moist-heat cooking


Ground Beef


Grilling, burgers

Slow, moist-heat cooking


Skirt Steak


Panfrying and sautéing; stir-frying, grilling



Chuck Steak






Chuck short-ribs


Braising and stewing

Muscles along the back and not much excersiced and yield the most tender, sough-after cuts: Rib, Short Loin, Sirloin






Prime rib roast

Roasting, broiling



Rib-eye steak

Panfrying and sautéing, grilling, broiling



Bone-in rib-eye steak

Grilling, broiling



Back ribs

Slow-roasting, grilling




Short ribs


Braising and stewing


Short Loin (Loin)





New York Strip

Roasting, grilling, broiling



New York steak

Grilling, broiling



Featherbone steak

Grilling, broiling



Porterhouse steak

Grilling, broiling



Hanger steak

Panfrying and sautéing, grilling



T-bone steak

Grilling, broiling



Whole tenderloin

Roasting, broiling. Smaller end of tenderloin is used for carpaccio and beef tartar



Filet mignon

Panfrying and sautéing, grilling, broiling









Grilling, broiling



Top sirloin roast

Roasting (rolled and tied), broiling



Bavette steak

Stir-frying, grilling




Roasting, grilling, broiling



Center-cut top sirloin steak

Panfrying and sautéing, grilling, broiling


Retail cuts from this part of the animal vary considerably in tenderness. All cuts are highly flavorful, but some are leaner.






London broil




Top round




Eye of round

Roasting, slow-roasting



Rump roast (Flat bottom round)


Most suited for roasts and other braises


Sirloin tip


Braising and stewing

Retail cuts from Brisket, Plate and Flank come from most exercised parts of an animal. Most cuts will be highly flavorful and lean.






Cross rib roast


Braising and stewing




Braising and stewing, poaching. Great for corned beef and barbecue.






Slow, moist-heat cooking. Typically used to make pastrami and not frequently sold at retail level.

Cuts come from most exercised parts of an animal. Expect most cuts to be highly flavorful but relatively lean.






Flank Steak

Stir-frying, marinating and grilling


Cuts come from most exercised parts of an animal. Expect most cuts to be highly flavorful.






Hind shank



Poaching, braising and stewing, making stock


Fore shank: Meaty bones, Ossobucco


Braising and stewing, Poaching, Making stock