Cows are big animals. Big delicious animals. How big? Say you’ve got a 1,200-pound steer that’s going to be processed. From that, after all is said and done, you’re looking at around 500 pounds of meat that is salable. As we know, all that meat isn’t just one type of beef — there are many different cuts of meat that come from a cow. And depending on where you are in the world, the cow is going to be utilized differently.
Here in the United States, our cuts are divided into forequarter and hindquarter cuts, from which we get the heavy hitters we know and love: the briskets and the sirloins and the tenderloins (where filet mignon comes from) and the list goes on.
For every cut we see on a menu, though, chances are there are at least one or two that are overlooked. We here at The Manual think these lesser-known cuts should not be going unnoticed; they should be celebrated and eaten after being cooked over fire. That’s why we asked Porter Road co-founders Chris Carter and James Peisker for their thoughts on some underappreciated, but still delicious beef cuts that are perfect for grilling.
Check out their recommendations below, then head over to Port Road’s online meat delivery shop (and make room in the freezer).
“Denver comes from the chuck, which is the shoulder of the beef. It lives underneath the chuck roll and it is just a very large, marbled piece of meat that has a nice chew, incredible flavor, and grills up incredibly well. It’s also very versatile — in fact, at the Atlanta Food & Wine show, we are showcasing five different ways you can prepare the Denver cut.”
“If the rib eye is the king of the grill, then chuck eye is the prince. A pro, super-secret inside tip: the chuck will taste just as amazing, but for a smaller price.”
“Teres major is an incredible substitute for filet mignon, and at a price that is a bit easier to swallow. It’s an ultra-lean steak that sits under the shoulder muscle, and because of its difficult to reach and cut precisely, it’s a cut that you don’t see often. If you’re able to find it at the store or local butcher shop, we would recommend grabbing it before it’s gone and experimenting with this delicious cut at home.”
“Tri-tip steak is cut from a tri-tip roast, which is a small, triangular cut from the sirloin. Popularized in the town of Santa Maria, California —and still a bit of a mystery outside of the state — tri-tip is a pretty lean cut, devoid of sizable fat caps.”
“Picanha is one of the most prized cuts of meat in Brazil, but it still has yet to catch on here in the U.S., which is a shame, if you ask us. Our meat-loving customers gravitate towards this cut from the top of the rump, so much so that it’s often sold out — and that’s because the meat is tender with a ton of flavor.” (Editor’s note: We can confirm picanha goes great with Brazilian sparkling wine.)