Primal cut

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A primal cut or cut of meat is a piece of meat initially separated from the carcass of an animal during butchering. Magrets, chicken legs, frog legs, rump steaks, rib eye steaks, filet mignon and pork ribs are only a few examples of primal cuts.

Different countries and cultures make these cuts in different ways, and primal cuts also differ between type of carcass. The British, American and French primal cuts all differ in some respects. For example in the British and Commonwealth English, the "rump steak" is commonly called the "sirloin" in American English. On the other hand, British "sirloin" is called "porterhouse" by Americans.[1] Another notable example is fatback, which in Europe is an important primal cut of pork, but in North America is regarded as trimmings to be used in sausage or rendered into lard. The primal cuts may be sold complete or cut further.

The quite distinct term "prime cut" is sometimes used to describe cuts considered to be of better quality; for example the USDA uses a beef grading system ranging from "prime" to "canner".[2]

Primal cuts of beef[edit]

French British American
Beef cuts France.svg British Beef Cuts.svg US Beef cuts.svg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Food and Cooking in American and British English", by Susan Stempleski, Medical Magazine, Macmillan Dictionaries, February 2004
  2. ^ USDA beef grading system