A Smaller Building Block of the Butcher's Trade.
What is Sub Primal Cut of Meat
Resources > References > What is Sub Primal Cut of Meat

Are you a Smart Kitchen™ Chef?

Try it FREE or take a TOUR to explore Smart Kitchen!
+ -


A Sub-Primal Cut (also used as “Subprimal”) is a cut of meat that is an intermediate step between a Primal Cut and a Portion Cut. The term is used loosely and can refer to cuts of meat from many species of animals.

Sub-Primals can be sold whole in the meat case as larger cuts for home consumption, which knowledgeable and thrifty home chefs can make into multiple meals, or they can be carved into individual Portion Cuts for which the retailer charges higher prices per pound. 

Chart Courtesy of the Cattlemens' Beef Board


Common Sub-Primals in Beef, for example, might be the Chuck Blade, Plate Short Ribs or the Tenderloin; all of which come from within a larger Primal Cut but are often “Broken Down” into a smaller sub-part or Sub-Primal for easier handling.