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The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional's Guide to Butchering and Merchandising Hardcover-spiral – August 16, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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  • The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional's Guide to Butchering and Merchandising
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This immensely practical guide explains all the fundamentals of beef cutting—from the tools of the trade to the latest cuts to advice on merchandising and butchering for profit. A complete training reference for any and every butcher's workspace, it includes step-by-step cutting techniques, detailed descriptions and photos of the cuts from each subprimal, information on specialty and ethnic cuts, and easy-to-reference charts highlighting the NAMP/IMPS numbers, URMIS UPC codes, muscle names, and ideal cooking methods for each cut. Offering a full, professional-level education on the subject, The Art of Beef Cutting is a must-have resource for professional and aspiring butchers, chefs, meat buyers, grocery store executives, and foodservice operators, as well as for culinary students and even food enthusiasts.

"An invaluable addition to any cook's library."
David Varley, Corporate Chef, Michael Mina Group

"A significant contribution to beef butchery where there is currently almost no complete guide for chefs, meat cutters, or culinary students to use as a resource."
Bruce Aidells, Coauthor, The Complete Meat Cookbook

"What a rich treasure of clear photos, easy instructions, and creative tips . . . a superb resource for meat enthusiasts of all abilities. It's like having an entire college course at your fingertips!"
Chris R. Calkins, PhD, Nebraska Beef Industry Professor of Animal Science

"Beautifully shows the passion and finesse behind something that is so often overlooked in our modern world . . . inspires anyone who reads it to become his or her own butcher."
Kevin Gillespie, Executive Chef and Co-owner, Woodfire Grill

"A straightforward, comprehensive manual suitable for amateurs and professionals alike. Kari's style is easy to read and extremely instructive."
Michael Strauss, Past President, North American Meat Processors Association

"Takes the mystery out of beef cutting . . . a book that all culinary students and professionals should add to their libraries."
—Christopher Koetke, Vice President, Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts; Executive Director, School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College

"The Art of Beef Cutting should be mandatory reading in all professional cooking schools . . . a must for any chef or butcher."
—Ariane Daguin, Owner, D'Artagnan

"A very encompassing, well written, in-depth training tool."
Phil Plummer, Director of Meat and Seafood, Martin's Super Markets

About the Author

As a third-generation butcher, KARI UNDERLY witnessed the art of beef cutting at a very young age. With her own passion for the craft ignited, Kari became a journeyman meat cutter, and after gaining experience at the retail level, she moved on to meat education, merchandising, and muscle research. As a consultant to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Kari helped create the Flat Iron steak and Denver cut. She is the founder of Range, Inc., a consultancy dedicated to helping companies in the perishable marketplace develop merchandising tools and new market strategies. Kari speaks frequently on the topic of retail meat marketing and conducts training seminars on meat merchandising for chefs and students.
For more information on Kari and Range, Inc., visit www.rangepartners.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover-spiral: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118029577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118029572
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1 x 11.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
I was very excited when I ordered this book so this had been a disappointment.

I thought "Whole Best Butchery" by Ryan Farr was better but the photographic style in that book although nice is distracting and in the beef section it focused on primals instead of sub primals. I could learn how to get the major cuts but not enough info on breaking it up into individual cuts in sequential order and the nuances of each cut.

That is the reason I got the art of beef cutting in hopes of bridging these gaps.

It didn't. Little by little I found this book to be unusable. For example take the chuck section. You will not understand head from toe for that cut. Step 1 is Bone in Chuck, tells you that it contains the top blade and mock tender. How is a beginner supposed to visualize what and where is that? Then it moves to step 2 which shows you a slice of the blade bone/steak !!! How did you get there? What is this sequence of events? The whole book is like this. I was just confused throughout, I could not build a sequential mindmap on how to extract these cuts.

I'll be honest with you, there are better free books and free videos than these fancy resources.

I would recommend "Beef Retail Fabrication" Video on youtube from "UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment" than all of this.

I would couple it with a free pdf/webpage that can be found by googling: CFIA MEAT CUTS MANUAL beef

I use the "whole best butchery" for the lamb section. Since lamb is much smaller, there are not so many sub cuts so there is enough detail levels for me.That book is my go to source for lamb.

This one is just sitting on the shelf. Real disappointment.
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By matt f. on February 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
I raise cattle and sell frezzer beef and beef at farmers markets. I was looking for a book to give me knowledge on how the beef is cut after I deliver it to the butcher. This book is very well writen and (more importatly) has good pictures to dicribe the cuts. it breaks down the primals into subprimals and then into individual cuts. I would have liked to have average weights of primals and individual cuts included in this book. it didn't waste my time with how to cook all these cuts (although it did give some basic cooking instructions). I agree with the reviewer that said a video would be great with this book. I have read, reread and made notes all over this book and will use it for reference for years.
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Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book to teach me about beef and how to cut the different types of subprimals, I ended up getting a crash course in butchery. The Art of Beef Cutting is written like a textbook and builds on the information in each subsequent chapter. It is an easy read and written in a style that is easy to digest. If you brought me into a grocery store I could tell you the type of cut, what part of the cow it came from, and the different muscle names in each of the cuts, well the ones I like at least. This book gives you that information and more depending on how much you want to take away from it. Did you know there are 8 USDA grades and within that 4 levels of Prime and 3 levels of choice?

There is no filler in this book. I purchased a copy of Whole Beast Butchery, that book is half recipes and you have pictures of the author breaking down an entire steer/pig/goat FYI.

If you want to learn to break down the 10-20lb subprimals and roasts from Costco or the grocery store, get The Art of Beef Cutting. The books is a large hardcover, and is beautiful.

I recommended you try breaking down a sirloin tip after the first read. It's an inexpensive cut and you can apply almost all of the techniques. Have fun!
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Format: Hardcover-spiral
this book is definitely the way to go if your just starting with the complicated world of meat and packaging. having been cutting meat for quite some time, this opened my eyes to my errors and I am 100 percent more efficient!
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Format: Hardcover-spiral
As a birthday gift for an old meat cutter I know, I thought he would say thanks, look at the book, and place it on the shelf. He has called me to thank me twice because ha can now show and tell people about cutting meat better than before.
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Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
Not really sure on this book. My husband is the chef here and he has only looked at it a few times. He has hundreds of books and usually knows if he likes a one or not. Possibly due to the technical part of this book it is a bit of a turn off. For someone else it may be gold. Hate to discourage anyone, try it to see for yourself.
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Format: Hardcover-spiral Verified Purchase
This is the best.. you can not go wrong with this one!
There is more INFO in the book that you will find in any other book out there.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone who enjoys cooking quite a bit, I've always been somewhat ignorant in the ways of beef cuts. Whenever I go to the grocery store I usually find myself referring to a website on my iPhone when trying to select my next cut for dinner, and it always seemed like the cuts I was seeing in the cooler never matched up with what I needed and/or wanted. Enter The Art of Beef Cutting.

Admittedly this book is probably a bit much for most home cooks. This truly is a textbook for butchers, but if you're interested in learning exactly where each cut of beef comes from, this is the book for you. This is not just a show and tell of the different cuts. This is an instructional manual of how to break down a cow from a full carcass to every individual cut of beef you would find in the supermarket. Each set of directions is clear and simple, and the accompanying pictures are spot on. Now all I need is a bandsaw and a few subprimals and I'll be ready to go!
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