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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
Cutting the Beef Carcass
Robert L. Reddish*
The three grades of beef most desirable for the
family meat supply are U. S. Choice, U. S. Good,
and U. S. Standard. U. S. Good grade beef is a
practical and popular grade because there is not
much waste fat, yet there is enough fat for flavor,
tenderness and juiciness. Calf carcasses in the
same grades will usually have less finish and more
tenderness because they are from younger ani-
Chilling and Aging
Beef carcasses should be held in refrigerator
storage for at least six or seven days.
Any areas that are bloody, slick, or contami-
nated with soil or manure should be trimmed.
Separate the forequarter from the hindquarter
by cutting between the 12th and 13th ribs and fol-
lowing the natural curve of the 12th rib.
To cut the forequarter, follow this procedure:
1. Place the forequarter on the meat block skin
side up, with the neck toward cutter.
2. Square the forequarter by removing the fore-
shank at the elbow and removing the neck parallel
with the rib.
3. Cut the arm muscle into pot roasts. This is
done by cutting through the flesh and elbow bone
to the brisket.
4. Remove the beef plate by cutting the fore-
quarter approximately in half across the ribs or on
a line about 10" from the spinal column.
5. Remove the socket joint to facilitate cross-
grain cutting of the chuck.
*Extension Meats Specialist
6. Cut the wholesale rib into roasts or steaks by
cutting parallel with the ribs.
7. Shank meat, neck meat and trimmings can be
made into stew or boned for ground beef. Plate
beef can be boned and rolled for a pot roast or
made into ground beef.
To cut the hindquarter, follow these steps:
1. Remove the flank by starting at the top of
the round and following the curve of the leg down
to the front. This cut is continued along the edge
of the kidney fat to the end of the flank parallel
with the eye muscle and six inches away from the
eye muscle at the rib end of the flank.
2. Remove the kidney and kidney fat from the
loin and leave about 1/4 inch fat covering the loin.
3. Cut the round from the rump about an inch
below the aitch bone (pelvic bone) and at right
angles to the length of the leg.
4. Separate the rump from the loin by cutting
11/2 inches in front of the aitch bone. This cut is
approximately parallel with the cut made in sepa-
rating the hindquarter from the forequarter. Re-
move the aitch bone and hip joint and roll and tie
the rump for oven roasts.
5. Cut the loin into steaks approximately one
6. Remove the sirloin tip from the round by
cutting from the stifle joint along the midline of
the long, round bone (femur). Turn the leg over
and make a similar cut on the other side. Cut
through the joint membranes and pull the sirloin
tip from the round bone. Sirloin tip makes good
tip steaks or roasts.
7. Slice the round into round steak approxi-
mately % inch thick.
8. Cut the shank into soup bone or ground beef.
Chuck (5 ribs) 26
Rib (7 ribs) 9
Short Plate 8
Short Loin 8
Kidney, Suet and
Hanging Tender 3
*No allowance for cutting shrink
Source: National Livestock & Meat Board "Lessons on
Meat," Page 46.
This public document was promulgated at an
annual cost of $157.00, or 3.1 cents per copy
to inform interested persons on how to cut
the beef carcass.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMIICS
(AI, of Naf ~d J.-, 30. 1914)
Coopoaivr E~,1n,,on S- v,, IFAS. UL ,,-r y if Fldo,
-d U-rd Sta-o Deprtm-nt foi Ag r-ItoCoope,,tg
Jo-N B-by. D2n
Single copies free to residents of Florida. Bulk rates
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