what is a tender cut of beef

The most tender of all cuts of beef, tenderloin steaks are lean and known for their delicate, butter-like texture and thick cut. These mouthwatering steaks are so tender they can be “cut with a butter knife.” Tenderloin steaks are commonly known as filets or filet mignon.

When it comes to tender cuts of steak, every meat-eater has their preference. Whether it’s their preferred cut, sauce, or side dishes, there are so many options and expert opinions. With meat, the cut matters as much as how you cook it. Inside this guide we look at the tender and tough cuts.

What the Research Says: The Shear Test

The top seven steaks that came out on top are as follows:

This steak is crowned for topping the list of most tender steaks. It’s also known as the tenderloin steak and is frequently the go-to steak for everyday and special occasions.

The flat iron steak is a relatively new cut that’s quickly gained popularity among steak lovers. This cut was discovered in a study to find under-utilized steaks. It’s well known for Steak and Frites.

what is a tender cut of beef

How Did Researchers Pick the Top 7 Most Tender Steaks?

The study that ranked the top 7 most tender steaks is based on 60 years of research and 22 published papers in the field of beef science. They looked at all sorts of things like how tender, juicy, and tasty the steaks were, and they used both force equipment and human taste testers to figure it out.

One of the tests they used is called the Warner-Bratzler Shear Force Test, which is basically a way of measuring how much muscle power (sheer force) it takes to cut through a steak. It’s been used by the beef industry for a while now to figure out which steaks are the easiest to chew.

But the researchers didn’t stop at just measuring how much force it takes to cut through a steak. They also had a group of food testers to try the steaks and rate them based on how juicy and tender they are.

I can’t help but feel a little jealous of the trained tasters who got to participate in the sensory evaluations for this study. Best. Job. Ever.

I’m still waiting for the call to join the tasting panel…

They then used the data from these various methods of evaluation to compile a list of the most tender cuts.

what is a tender cut of beef

The Anatomy of Tough and Tender

Knowing which cuts are tough and which are tender requires learning a little bovine anatomy. Meat is mainly muscle. When you are trying to figure out whether it will be succulent or leave your jaw muscles in spasm, you should consider what those particular muscles did when the animal was alive.

For example, beef cheeks are hardworking as they spend all day chewing the cud. That would make the cheek tough. On the other hand, the back muscles of bovines are relatively lazy, which is why the most melt-in-the-mouth cut – the tenderloin – comes from that region.

Basically, a cut’s tenderness can be ascertained by measuring its distance from the spot in the middle of the animal’s back. As you move lower and outward, the meat will become tougher.

With the cow, the short loin, rib, and sirloin are more tender than cuts from the belly. The chuck, round, brisket, and shank are tougher yet.

The most tender of all cuts of beef, tenderloin steaks are lean and known for their delicate, butter-like texture and thick cut. These mouthwatering steaks are so tender they can be “cut with a butter knife.” Tenderloin steaks are commonly known as filets or filet mignon.

FAQ

Which cuts of beef are the most tender?

The Filet Mignon is the most tender cut of beef – known for its buttery-rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture and mild flavor. It is a highly sought-after cut of steak.

What are tender vs tough cuts of beef?

As you move lower and outward, the meat will become tougher. With the cow, the short loin, rib, and sirloin are more tender than cuts from the belly. The chuck, round, brisket, and shank are tougher yet.

What is tender cut meat?

In general, there are a few cuts you should look for if you want the tenderest cuts of meat. The main cuts to look for come from the short loin, tenderloin, and rib of the animal. There are also other cuts you want to avoid if you’re looking for meat that’s already tender.

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