Beef Plate Primal: Cuts, Location, and More

By Dylan Clay
Last Updated 
November 3, 2022

In a similar vein to the shank and flank primals, the beef plate is an under-appreciated primal cut. The beef plate primal contains a number of cuts that many people around the world enjoy - whether it's skirt steak or short ribs.

Where is the Beef Plate on the Cow?

The Beef plate primal is found below the rib primal in the forequarter of the cow - behind the brisket and in front of the flank. The plate primal is also called "Short Plate" because it does not contain the Brisket.

Most cuts from the short plate are known to have a great quality-price ratio and are easy to smoke or grill.

short plate primal location
Location of the Plate Primal

What are the Sub-primal Cuts from the Plate Primal?

The short plate produces five sub-primal cuts (secondary or portion cuts):

  • Hanger steak - There is only one hanger steak per steer. Traditionally, this cut was taken home by the Butcher and is typically not found in grocery stores.
  • Inside skirt steak - Sourced from the inner wall of the steer's chest, running parallel to the belly. The inside skirt steak is smaller and typically found in grocery stores.
  • Outside skirt steak - Sourced from the outer wall of the steer's chest. The outside skirt steak is larger and more uniform and is typically found in restaurants and steakhouses - it's more desirable because it's more tender.
  • Plate short ribs - Sourced from ribs 6, 7, and 8 and are cut just below the ribeye. Plate short ribs are found both in grocery stores and at restaurants. Short ribs can be 3-5 inches thick and contains lots of interspersed fat.
  • Flanken-style short ribs - "Flanken" means "flank" in German and describes the ribs that span the back toward the belly of the cow. The ribs are then cut across the bones as apposed to between them.

Note: Restaurants and retailers use a number of different names for these cuts. For example, Plate Short ribs can go by: short ribs, chuck short ribs, English short ribs, etc.

The rest of the meat is then used to make ground beef.

Dylan Clay
I've grilled and smoked meat for roughly half my life. While i'm not a professional Pitmaster, I've worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands on guide to teach them BBQ. It's my hope that Barbecue FAQ can be that helping hand.

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