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A guide to steak cuts: How to tell your rump from your brisket

By: Eline Jeanne

Looking to impress guests with the best barbecue in town, or not sure what to choose at your neighbourhood steakhouse? Our list of some popular cuts of beef will help you tell your rump from your brisket.

Sirloin (rear back portion)

What the Americans call sirloin, the Brits and Aussies call rump. Either way, if you’ve got a healthy appetite, then this steak could suit you. This tender cut of beef is big, and can be perfect for sharing. It has just a little bit of fat and is usually one of the less expensive choices.

Rib eye (rib section)

If you like a good marbled steak, go for the rib eye. It’s a juicy and tender cut, and having quite a lot of fat means it tastes amazing. This cut is perfect for an indulgent meal out.



Brisket (breast or lower chest)

Brisket is great for the barbecue. It has a good layer of fat on it, delivering excellent taste. If cooked right, this cut should deliver a melt-in-your-mouth meal, and it won’t make too big a dent in your wallet.

T-Bone (short loin)

The name of this cut is based on how it looks: two pieces of beef separated by bone running through the middle and across the top. If you prefer lean and tender beef, then order the T-bone – but it’s usually a big portion, so be sure to have a good appetite.

Short Ribs (rib and plate primals)

Ribs are a great choice, if potentially messy. Being juicy but rather tough, short ribs have a fairly high fat content and are usually slow-cooked for tenderness. If you’re cutlery-averse and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, ribs are for you.



Fillet (smaller end of the tenderloin)

If you prefer your steak rare or blue, then fillet steak is a good choice. Having little connective tissue makes this cut more tender than most, and it tastes best seared quickly on the outside, and still pink or red in the middle.


A type of beef rather than specific cut, wagyu deserves a mention. It comes from a breed of Japanese cattle predisposed to concentrated marbling. The result is a delicious piece of melting, flavourful beef. This meat doesn’t come cheap, but many say it’s worth the extra money.

This article was first published in the October 2015 issue of the magazine.