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Lesser-Known Cuts of Beef That Are Perfect for Grilling

Cows are large animal. Large, utterly delicious animals. How big? Well, if you have a 1,200-pound steer that’s going to be processed for consumption. After processing, you’re looking at about 500 pounds of meat to sell, eat, et cetera. All that meat, though, isn’t just one cut of beef, either. Depending on where you are in the world, different parts of the cow are going to be used in different ways.

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 click the link at the bottom to be taken right to their shop.

Denver

porter road cuts of meat denver
Porter Road

“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.”

Chuck Eye

porter road cuts of meat chuck eye
Porter Road

“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

porter road cuts of meat teres major
Porter Road

“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

porter road cuts of meat tri tip

“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

porter road cuts of meat picahna
Porter Road

“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.)

You can find these cuts and more at Porter Road.

If you’re looking to experiment more on the grill, why not try oysters or octopus?

Last updated July 2020.

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