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Cooking Time For Beef - Overview

Beef cooking times are going to vary depending on the cut of beef and the method of preparation. "Wet cooking" methods use liquid and include techniques such as braising, steaming, stewing, or boiling.  "Dry cooking" methods  include techniques such as oven roasting, frying, and grilling..  
Select the cut of beef from the Navigation Bar to the left for more specific information.



Beef comes from cattle. In the United States most beef comes from steers and heifers. A steer is a bovine animal that was castrated as a calf, a heifer is a cow that has never calved. Beef cattle are usually slaughtered between 15 months and 2 years of age.

There are many different cuts of beef coming from the primal sections, but there are two different characteristics of beef, tough or tender. Tough cuts come from muscles that do a lot of work like walking, tender cuts come from muscles that get less exercise.

Beef Cuts

Chuck: Meat from this portion has a lot of connective tissue. It is flavorful but is tough, so the best cooking time for this beef is long and slow. The best cooking method is wet, unless the meat has been ground. Cuts from this area include: ground chuck, seven-bone chuck, pot roast, blade chuck roast, center cut chuck roast, and boneless shoulder roast.

Brisket: Meat from this area can be cooked by wet or dry beef cooking methods but will remain chewy even after cooking. It is used for soup stew meat, Texas BBQ, corned beef, pastrami, and all types of briskets.

Shank: The top joint of the leg. The meat from this section is often used to make lean ground beef. Foreshank bones can be cross cut for Osso Buco. The meat can be left on the bone and braised, or removed from the bone for stews.

Ribs: Consisting of rib 6 through 12, meat from this section is usually best cooked with a dry method. The cuts include: standing rib roast, prime rib, rib-eye steak, and Delmonico rib steaks.

Plate: This is tough chewy meat similar to the brisket. Cooking can be done by wet or dry methods but the result will not be tender. It includes: short ribs, skirt steak, stew meat.

Short Loin: Cuts from this section are usually prepared using a dry cooking method. In the picture above you see that part of the tenderloin intrudes into the short loin. When this tenderloin is removed, what is left is called shell or strip steak or roast.When the tenderloin is incorporated into steaks it is part of T-Bone and Porterhouse steaks.

Sirloin: Cuts from this section are usually prepared using a dry cooking method. This section contains the rear of the "shell." Steaks from this section may just be labeled as sirloin or more precisely as: pin-bone, flat bone, round bone, or wedge bone sirloin. Top sirloin is more tender than bottom sirloin.

On the diagram above the sirloin is divided to show the tenderloin, the top sirloin and the bottom sirloin.

Tenderloin: The tenderloin can be divided starting at the small end (toward the front) into tenderloin tips, tournedos tips, filet mignon, chateaubriand, and tips.

Flank: The flank is the belly. It is similar to the plate, but the flank has no bones.It can be cut into flank steaks or thinly cut flap steaks (bavette). These are usually cooked using a dry method.

Round: The round is a large area with varying cuts that need different cooking techniques. The top round roast and the eye round roast, are usually oven roasted or braised. The top round steak can be grilled, oven roasted or braised. The eye round steak is braised. The beef cutlets pan seared, or braised. The sandwich steak is pan seared. And, the round cube steak is pan seared grilled or braised.

 

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