Cuts By Colour - Canadian Beef | Canada Beef

Cuts by Colour

Follow our colour-coding to learn more about where the main beef cuts are located and their descriptions.

Some Beef Basics


Canada’s inspection system helps to ensure Canadians have a safe and wholesome food supply.

The Canadian meat inspection stamp means the meat has met both Canadian and international standards for food safety. Inspection is mandatory.


Grading is a quality designation based on several characteristics, including marbling.

The top Canadian Grade with the most marbling is Canada Prime, found mainly at fine restaurants. Canada AAA is generally the premium grade followed by Canada AA and Canada A. Grading is not mandatory.


Marbling can enhance beef juiciness and flavour. It refers to the fine white flecks of fat that you see running through the lean beef.

The amount of marbling helps determine the grade of beef.


Aging can dramatically improve beef tenderness and flavour. It is a carefully controlled process where beef is held at specific temperature and humidity
for a set period of time.

Beef is best aged at least 10 to 14 days.

Beef CANNOT be safely aged in a home refrigerator.

Buying Guide

There is a lot to choose from when buying Canadian beef, with cuts that slow-simmer or others that are ready in minutes. Whatever your schedule, beef’s got a cut to fit!

Buying simplified: Ideally, each cut is organized by cooking method and has the Method as its middle name. For example, a Sirloin Tip Marinating Steak, should be marinated. This makes it easy to know how to cook and also how to swap one cut for another: Can’t find a Strip Loin Grilling Steak – then buy a Rib Eye Grilling Steak instead.

Tenderness Rule Of Thumb

The farther a cut is from hoof, horn and hip the more tender the meat. BUT less tender cuts often have more flavour!


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