Before you choose and begin cooking roast beef, it helps to understand the different beef cuts and which part of the animal it came from. The cow is divided into eight primal cuts (see illustration ).
The tenderness or toughness of beef really depends on how much the animal has had to use the muscle. Cuts from the front shoulder area (chuck) and back hip area (round) are used for movement, is going to be tougher than cuts from the loin and rib section, which lies in the upper back section.
We have rated each roast for flavor and tenderness based on experience, research and feedback from others. The rating system is out of 5, the best being 5/5 and the lowest 1/5. All beef can be tender and can be an easy roast recipe if you know how to cook a roast properly, meat from different parts of the animal must be cooked in different ways to maximize flavor and roast beef cooking time to maximize tenderness.
The chuck starts from the neck and includes ribs 1 to 5. Beef roast from this area commonly called pot roast are very tasteful and fatty. The chuck happens to be a heavily exercised muscle and contains a great deal of connective tissue including collagen. Collagen melts during cooking, making the meat intensely flavorful. Cooking roast beef from the shoulder benefit from slow, wet cooking methods.
|Blade Roast (Oven)||Cross Rib Roast(Beef Shoulder Roast) (Oven)|
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The next primal cut is the rib, it reaches from the 6th rib, adjoining the chuck, through the 12th rib adjoining the loin. Rib cuts have excellent beefy flavor and are quite tender.
|Prime Rib Roast (Oven)||Prime Rib Roast (Grill)|
|Rib Eye Roast (Oven)||Beef Back Ribs (Barbecue)|
|Rib Eye Roast (Grill)|
The short loin extends from the last rib back through to the sirloin. Roast beef from this section will receive rave reviews for their superb flavor and extreme tenderness.
|Strip Loin Roast (Top Loin) (Oven)||Tenderloin Roast (Oven)|
|Strip Loin Roast (Top Loin) (Grill)||Tenderloin Roast (Grill)|
The sirloin lies between the short loin and the round/hip. Though not as tender as the adjoining short loin, cuts from the sirloin are appreciated for their full-bodied flavor and firm satisfying texture.
|Top Sirloin Roast (Oven)||Tri Tip Roast (Oven)|
The back of the cow called the round or hip, is the entire upper leg. Cooking roast beef from the round is lean and less tender. Round cuts are best suited for moist-heating .
|Top Round Roast (Inside Round)(Oven)||Sirloin Tip Roast (Round Tip Roast)(Oven)|
|Bottom Round Roast (Outside Round)(Oven)||Eye of Round Roast (Oven)|
|Rump Roast (Oven)|
The underside of the animal is divided into the brisket/shank, the plate and the flank. The brisket is the front portion of the beef breast that lies between the front legs and takes well to smoking, braising, or poaching. The plate is rarely sold at store level and the flank is usually sold as steak.
|Brisket (Oven)||Brisket (Barbecue)|
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