How Many Steaks In A Cow? The Most Complete Answer!

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If you are a meat enthusiast, you probably wonder how many steaks you can get from a single cow. The answer to this question is not straightforward because it depends on various factors like the size of the cow, the cutting method, and the desired steak thickness.

In this article, let’s delve into beef cuts and help you understand how many steaks you can expect from a cow.

How Many Steaks In A Cow?

The number of steaks obtained from a cow can vary, typically from 100 to 150, and it largely depends on factors such as the cow’s size and the specific cuts of meat selected. Since cows offer diverse cuts, including tenderloin and sirloin steak, the choice of cuts significantly influences the total steak yield.

How Is The Number Of Steaks Determined?

how is the number of steaks determined
Different cuts of meat in a cow

Before we count the number of steaks, let’s first understand how the number of steaks is determined. Different cuts of steak yield varying amounts of steak from a single cow. Here are several primary cuts of meat in a cow:

  • Chuck: This front section of the cow includes cuts like chuck roast and chuck steak. While flavorful, they can be tougher due to the muscle’s frequent use.
  • Rib: The rib section features some of the most sought-after cuts, such as ribeye steaks and prime rib. Known for their marbling, these cuts are exceptionally tender and flavorful.  
  • Short loin: It’s located in the upper-middle part of the cow’s back, just behind the rib section and before the sirloin. The short loin is responsible for cuts like T-bone, porterhouse, and New York strip.
  • Sirloin: The sirloin section provides various cuts, including top sirloin, bottom sirloin, sirloin tip, and sirloin steak. These cuts offer a pleasing combination of flavor and tenderness.
  • Tenderloin: Tenderloin, often referred to as beef tenderloin or filet, is one of the most prized and tender cuts of beef. It comes from the loin section of the cow, specifically from the psoas major muscle, which is situated beneath the spine. Common cuts derived from the beef tenderloin include filet mignon, Chateaubriand, and Tournedos.
  • Round: The round section encompasses cuts like eye round, top round, and bottom round. These are lean cuts that are less tender compared to others.
  • Brisket: Brisket is famous for its use in barbecue. It’s a flavorful but tough cut that becomes tender and succulent when slow-cooked, making it perfect for smoking, braising, or slow-roasting. 
  • Plate: The short plate is located just below the cow’s ribcage and is part of the lower belly area. It includes the lower ribs and the muscles between them. The short plate can yield other cuts like skirt steak and hanger steak.
  • Flank: Flank steak is a thin, flat cut with a robust beefy flavor. Due to its texture and flavor, it’s often marinated and grilled or broiled for fajitas, stir-fries, or carne asada.
  • Shank: The shank provides meat suitable for dishes like osso buco. These tough cuts become tender and flavorful when slowly cooked in stews or braised dishes. 

How Many Steaks Can You Get From One Cow?

Now, it’s time to answer the burning question: How many steaks are in a cow? The answer depends on various factors and can vary depending on the specific circumstances.

How many steaks in a beef chuck?

how many steaks in a beef chuck
Beef chuck

A beef chuck, which is a large and flavorful primal cut of beef, can yield a variety of steaks depending on how it’s divided and butchered. Some common steaks that can be obtained from the beef chuck include:

  • Chuck eye steak: Typically, only one can be obtained from each chuck.
  • Denver steak: This type of steak also known as the under-blade steak, is another option sourced from the chuck. 2 Denver steaks can be obtained from each chuck, one from each side.
  • Blade steak: Blade steak is cut from the shoulder blade region within the chuck. On average, you might obtain several blade steaks from a single cow, often 4 or more, but this can vary.
  • Flat iron steak: Although it’s not always considered part of the chuck, it is sometimes sourced from the upper shoulder blade area adjacent to the chuck. There are typically two flat iron steaks available per animal. 

How many steaks in a beef rib?

how many steaks in a beef rib
Beef rib

When it comes to breaking down a beef rib primal cut, you will discover a variety of steaks that can be obtained. This large and flavorful beef section offers numerous opportunities for creating delicious meals.

  • Bone-in ribeye steaks: From a single beef rib primal, which encompasses the rib bones, you can typically yield around 13-14.
  • Boneless ribeye steaks: You can also create boneless ribeye steaks from the beef rib primal. Generally, you can expect approximately 7 to 8 boneless ribeye steaks from a single primal cut.

How many steaks in a beef short loin?

how many steaks in a beef short loin
Beef short loin

Here are some of the well-known steak cuts that come from the beef short loin:

  • T-bone steak: You can usually get around 2 to 3 T-bone steaks from a short loin.
  • Porterhouse steak: Similar to the T-bone, the porterhouse steak is a larger version with a more significant portion of tenderloin. You can typically obtain 1 to 2 porterhouse steaks from a short loin.
  • New York strip steak: The New York strip steak, also known simply as strip steak, is a boneless cut that offers a robust, beefy flavor. You can get approximately 3 to 4 New York strip steaks from a single short loin (see how to cook NY strip steak in the oven).

How many steaks in a beef sirloin?

how many steaks in a cow beef sirloin
Beef sirloin

On average, you can expect to get approximately 10 to 12 steaks from a whole beef sirloin. These steaks can include:

  • Top Sirloin Steak: This is a popular steak cut from the top portion of the sirloin. You can usually obtain 3 to 4 top sirloin steaks from a whole sirloin.
  • Bottom Sirloin Steak: The bottom sirloin yields cuts like tri-tip, ball tip, and flap steak. The exact number of these cuts can vary based on the specific butchering preferences, but you can typically get 2 to 3 steaks.
  • Sirloin Tip Steak: Sirloin tip steaks are another option, and you can often obtain 2 to 3 of them from a whole sirloin.
  • Sirloin Steak: Some butchers may also cut sirloin steaks from the sirloin primal, and you can generally get around 2 to 3 sirloin steaks.

How many steaks in a beef tenderloin?

how many steaks in a cow beef tenderloin
Beef tenderloin

Generally, a whole beef tenderloin weighs between 4 to 6 pounds and is a long, cylindrical muscle. From a single cow, you can expect to get several whole tenderloins, depending on the size of the cow.

Here’s a simple guideline for the number of steaks you can expect from a beef tenderloin:

  • Filet Mignon: This highly regarded and tender steak is often cut thick, usually around 1.5 to 2 inches thick. You can anticipate obtaining approximately 4 to 6 filet mignon steaks from an average-sized tenderloin.
  • Chateaubriand: This is a substantial center-cut steak from the tenderloin, often intended for sharing. A Chateaubriand steak typically weighs around 16 to 24 ounces, and you usually get one such steak from a single tenderloin.
  • Tournedos: Tournedos are smaller, circular steaks typically sliced from the narrower end of the beef tenderloin. Depending on the desired thickness, you can usually obtain multiple tournedos from one tenderloin, often around 6 to 8.

How many steaks in a beef round?

how many steaks in a beef round
Beef round

The precise quantity of steaks attainable from a beef round hinges on several variables, encompassing the chosen cuts and the butcher’s technique. On average, you can anticipate obtaining roughly 12 to 16 steaks when processing a whole beef round. Among the steak cuts that can be derived from the beef round are:

  • Round steak: Typically lean, these cuts can be sliced into varying thicknesses, yielding about 4 to 6 steaks.
  • Eye of round steak: This boneless, lean cut generally results in 2 to 3 steaks.
  • Top round steak: Another lean option that typically produces around 3 to 4 steaks.
  • Bottom round steak: Often utilized for dishes like London broil or Swiss steak, it typically yields 3 to 4 steaks.
  • Round tip steak: Also known as sirloin tip or knuckle, this cut can provide 2 to 3 steaks.
  • Rump steak: While less common, you can occasionally obtain a couple of rump steaks from the beef round. 

How many steaks in a beef brisket?

how many steaks in a beef brisket
Beef brisket

A beef brisket is not typically known for producing individual steaks, as it’s a unique cut used primarily for slow-cooking methods like smoking or braising. However, when you prepare a brisket, it can be sliced into portions, but these portions are usually not considered steaks in the traditional sense.

A standard whole beef brisket, which includes both the flat and the point, is generally divided into two parts for serving: the flat and the point. These portions are typically separated along a natural fat line.

How many steaks in a beef plate?

how many steaks in a beef plate
Beef plate

There are typically about 2 to 3 steaks that can be obtained from a beef plate, depending on how it’s cut. These steaks include:

  • Skirt Steak: The beef plate is where the skirt steak is located. You can typically get one skirt steak from this part of the cow.
  • Short Plate: The short plate is another section of the beef plate that can yield one or two steaks, depending on how it’s divided.

How many steaks in a beef flank?

how many steaks in a beef flank
Beef flank

From a beef flank, you can typically obtain one large steak known as the “flank steak.” The flank steak is a long, flat cut of beef that is prized for its flavor but is also known for its lean and slightly tougher texture compared to other steaks. While you can technically cut the flank steak into smaller portions if desired, it is commonly prepared as a single, large steak and then sliced thinly against the grain when serving to maximize tenderness. So, from a beef flank, you usually get one flank steak.

How many steaks in a beef shank?

how many steaks in a beef shank
Beef shank

A beef shank, found in the leg of the animal, is not typically used for creating conventional steaks due to its tough and sinewy nature

Instead, beef shanks are well-suited for slow-cooking techniques such as braising or making rich stocks and broths. These methods are essential for breaking down the tough connective tissues in the shank, resulting in tender and flavorful dishes like the Italian classic Osso Buco. 

In summary, beef shanks are not associated with steak cuts; they serve a distinct culinary purpose in slow-cooked and broth-based recipes.

What Are Factors Affecting The Number Of Steaks From A Cow?

The quantity of steaks derived from a cow is contingent upon various factors, including the size of the cow, the butchering process, portion size, and more.

  • Cow size: The overall size of the cow can influence the number of steaks it can yield. Larger cows generally provide more meat, including a higher number of steaks.
  • Butchering process: The expertise of the butcher and the techniques employed during the butchering process can affect the number of steaks derived from each cut of meat.
  • Portion sizes: The desired size of individual steaks can influence the total number produced. Some steaks may be cut thicker or thinner to cater to customer preferences.
  • Bone-in vs. boneless: The choice between bone-in and boneless steaks impacts the amount of meat available for steaks. Bone-in cuts, such as T-bone or ribeye, contain bones that reduce the usable meat compared to boneless options.
  • Trimming: The extent of trimming, including removing excess fat and connective tissue, can affect the final count and quality of steaks.
  • Cutting styles: Different cutting styles, such as butterfly cuts or filet mignon, can result in variations in the number of steaks generated from a particular meat section.


How many Delmonico steaks in a cow?

The number of Delmonico steaks that can be obtained from a cow depends on several factors, including the cow’s size, the cuts of meat, and the thickness of the steaks. Delmonico steaks are typically cut from the cow’s rib or chuck section, including cuts like ribeye and chuck eye. On average, you can expect approximately 10 to 12 Delmonico steaks from a whole cow, assuming the steaks are cut to a typical thickness of about 1.5 to 2 inches.

How many ribeye steaks in a cow?

Depending on the specific cuts and thickness, a cow typically yields approximately 14 to 16 ribeye steaks.

How many rump steaks in a cow?

In a beef round, you can typically obtain 2 rump steaks, depending on the size and how they are cut. The total number of rump steaks in a cow can vary based on the size and butchering preferences, but it’s generally 4.


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