Learning about cuts of beef

Ray Riley demonstrating beef cutout

Ray Riley demonstrating beef cutout

Learning about Texas Barbecue also requires that you learn about cuts of meat. In Texas Barbecue, we emphasize the importance of knowing about the names of cuts, where they are located on the carcass, and their potential uses as items to barbecue or other cookery applications. Because these are freshmen, we do not go into as much detail as we would for ANSC 307 “Meats,” but it clear that our students just love seeing the carcasses and cuts since this is so foreign for most of them.

Ray Riley led this discussion and used a side of beef that had been cut up for a demonstration in ANSC 437, “Marketing and Grading of Livestock and Meat” on beef carcass yields and value as the resources for this presentation. Having a beef carcass, “Bossy,” the cow skeleton, and the wholesale cuts available to show the students really makes a difference in them better understanding where the cuts come from and their use.

We smoked both tri-tips and prime rib for class using Weber Smokey Mountain Smokers. Crystal Waters, who is from California, helped in the tri-tip preparation and serving including a description of why this cut is so popular in California. For the prime rib, we cooked it until it reached 142°F and held it for 8 minutes (appropriate time and temperature necessary to control Salmonella) and showed the students that it was acceptable to have a pink-colored slice of beef that would be safe to eat.

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