When it comes time to purchase and process your beef, having a printable beef cut sheet is an invaluable tool. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating your own printable beef cut sheet, ensuring that you get exactly what you want from your beef.
Whether you’re a seasoned chef, a backyard barbecue enthusiast, or just someone who wants to be more informed about the cuts of beef, a customizable cut sheet is an invaluable tool. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating your own printable beef cut sheet, ensuring that you get exactly what you want from your butcher.
What is a cut sheet?
A cut sheet is just a form filled out that tells the butcher how to process the animal. Each butcher shop will have their own version of a cut sheet depending on what services they provide. Therefore, everyone looks a little bit different.
Printable Beef Cut Sheet
Whether you are a butcher, a small rancher, a seasoned chef, or a backyard barbecuer, understanding the different cuts of beef and how you want to cook them is vital for a great eating experience. A printable beef cut sheet allows you to communicate exactly what you want and how you want it to the butcher. It ensures that you receive the right cuts, thicknesses, and quantities, tailored to your cooking style and preferences.
Benefits of Using a Printable Beef Cut Sheet
- Customization: Tailoring the beef order to specific needs and preferences
- Communicaiton: Reduces the risk of any misunderstandings
- Efficiency: Saves the butcher time by providing detailed information
How to Create Your Own Printable Beef Cut Sheet
If you are interested in creating your own printable beef cut sheet, here are some things you may want to include:
Put the customers personal details at the top. Be sure to include name, phone number, email address, and the date. This helps the butcher get ahold of the customer for a variety of reasons, including letting them know when the beef is finished. It is also a good idea to include whether the customer got a whole cow or a half beef as well as a place to write down the cattle’s weight and tag number.
Include areas for preferred cutting style, thickness of steaks, roast preferences, and any other special instructions the customer may have. Sometimes the customer doesn’t want a standard cut of something and having a note section allows you a place to put that. It also allows the customer to let the butcher know if they prefer certain cuts for grilling, roasting, smoking, or stewing.
Beef Cut Chart
Having a picture of where the beef cuts come from helps understand the beef processing a bit more easily.
If you wish, include things such as a storage fee after 20 days, a fillable field for questions they may have, and signature fields.
Terms to Know
Before figuring out what cuts of beef you want, there are a few things that you need to understand first.
Hanging weight: This is the weight the butcher gives after the animal has been killed, the blood has been drained, and organs have been removed. This is what you would see hanging in the butcher’s freezer. Typically the hanging weight is 60% of the live weight (which is how much the animal weighs when alive.)
This means a 1000 lb. steer will have a hanging weight of 600 pounds.
We sell our beef by the hanging weight, as do a lot of ranchers. Prices vary depending on the size of the animal. However, just because a steer may have a 600 pound hanging weight, that does not mean that is how much meat you will come home with.
Final weight: Depending on the cuts you choose, (bone-in or deboned and how much fat is trimmed) the final weight (or take home weight) is going to be less than the hanging weight. This is going to be approximately 60 to 65% of the hanging weight. So, with our example of a 600 lb. hanging weight, that means if you ordered a full beef, you will be coming home with around 360 pounds of beef.
Different Cuts of Beef
Knowing the different cuts of meat and what they are best used for can help expand your cooking options while also help to avoid mistakes (like using tough cuts for slow cooking). Going through these cuts will help you make an informed decision on what to tell the butcher shop when it’s time to place your order.
There are eight main cuts of beef, known as the primal cuts, which then are divided into subprimal cuts. The primal area cuts are:
- Short Plate
The chuck comes from near the cow’s shoulder and chest and is typically a more firmer cut of beef. Chuck is great for any kind of cooking and can be ground up or made into roasts. It has an even distribution of fat content and meat content. Chuck can be cut into roasts, steaks, stew meat, or ground beef.
The rib cut comes from the middle of the cow’s back. It is the cow’s ribs and backbone, but only the last 6 pairs of ribs. (The other 7 are grouped with the chuck and short plate). The ribs have good marbling and are tender, resulting in being rich in flavor and fat. When buying rib cuts at the grocery store, these will be more pricey than other cuts. When ordering through the butcher, you can get prime rib, rib steaks or rib roasts, or back ribs. These are best cooked slow.
The loin is located behind the ribs, near the lower back of the cow, right before the rump. It is not a heavily used muscle, therefore, makes very tender beef. This results in the loin having the most expensive cuts of beef. These cuts are great for grilling. The loin has two parts, sirloin and short loin. Cuts from this area include filet minion, aka tenderloin, T-bone steak, New York Strip Steak, Sirloin, Tri-tip, and Porterhouse steak.
The sirloin is best for grilling as it dries out fast. Common cuts include sirloin steaks, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, tri-tip roast and tri-tip steak.
Short loin is more tender than sirloin. Grill or fry short loin cuts. Common short loin cuts include NY strip, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Tenderloin Filet (Filet Mignon), and Strip Loin. *If your beef is over 30 months, you can’t get T-bones and Porterhouses because of mad cow disease. They have to remove the bones from the spine which is part of ribeye and porterhouse. You have to go with NY strips and filet instead.*
The round meat is near the cow’s butt and hind legs and is a tougher cut of beef. It can be cut into sirloin tip roasts, top round (steak or roast), bottom round, eye of round steak, and rump (roasts or steaks). If getting steaks, they need to be tenderized as this is not a “grilling steak.” Oxtail also comes from this area. Oxtail is the tail bones.
Typical cuts you would see in the grocery store from this region are top round roast, bottom round roast, eye of round, tip roast, tip steak, and round steak.
Be sure to look up each individual cut of the round primal region before cooking. They will be cooked differently. For instance: Top, bottom, and eye round cuts need high heat, while the best way to cook rump and eye of round roast is slow cooking. If unsure, cook round cuts slowly with moist heat and you will end up with something delicious.
The flank is located just below the loin, towards the back of the cow’s belly. It is a boneless area and tough, although has plenty of flavor if kept untrimmed. Usually you will find one of two flank cuts, flank steak or skirt steak, both of which use best cooking methods of grilled or broiled at high heat. These are sliced thin against the grain for tenderness. This is a great cut for recipes like fajitas or corned beef.
Short plate cuts are found in the center, near the cow’s stomach, just underneath the rib. These cuts tend to be tough and fatty. These cuts need long, slow cooking.
The short plate is where you will find more ribs, aka short ribs. Typical grocery store cuts from the short plate that you will see are skirt steak, hanger steak, beef bacon, pastrami, and ground beef.
The brisket is located near the breast or lower chest. It is one of the most used muscle regions and because of this, it is leaner and can be tough if not cooked correctly. However, it does have a deep, rich flavor. The brisket is best known for corned beef or texas barbecue. When cooked long and slow, and tenderized with a marinade or rub, the brisket becomes tender and scrumptious.
Most places will leave brisket untrimmed. However, if you wanna smoke it, be sure to tell butcher to leave it untrimmed and you can trim it yourself, just to be safe.
The shank is a muscle near the lower abdomen or chest region of the cow, in front of the brisket. These muscles are used a lot, so they are very lean. Generally, the shank is a cheaper cut in grocery stores. Meat from the shank is cut into roasts, stew meat, or ground.
Creating a printable beef cut sheet empowers both the consumer and the butcher, ensuring that the cuts of beef that suit culinary needs. Therefore, by following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a personalized and delicious beef experience. Take control of your beef order and savor the satisfaction of knowing exactly what’s on your plate.