The Essential Steak Dictionary
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Scott Suchman / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Between regional and international name differences and marketing gimmicks, the menu at a steakhouse can read like gibberish. To navigate what each cut is, where it comes from, and, most important, what the hell to do with it, we've recruited butcher Sam Casner from The Meat Hook in Brooklyn to help us out.

But first, a brief overview: There are seven primary cuts that each correspond with a specific part of the animal that are standardized across the U.S.: chuck (shoulder), arm (breast and front leg), rib (mid-back and ribs), plate (ribs near the stomach), loin (rear back), flank (haunches), and round (leg). From there, you get the individual cuts, and how they show up on your butcher's chalkboard. Below you’ll find explanations of the beef cuts and terms most commonly found stateside, plus a few international inclusions for when you find yourself overseas.