Once you select the cut of beef, it's time to get cooking. While almost any meat can be prepared with any cooking method, cooks will find the results more satisfying when the method is used that best matches the tenderness of the beef cut.

Tender cuts are better prepared by dry heat methods such as roasting, broiling, outdoor grilling, pan-broiling, pan-frying and stir-frying.

These methods are suggested for tender cuts of meat from the rib, loin, round and flank regions of the animal. Examples are rib roasts, rib eye steaks, T-bone steaks, tenderloin and top loin steaks, sirloin steaks and top round steaks.

On the other hand, less tender cuts are better prepared by moist heat methods such as braising and cooking in liquid. Slowing cooking the meat with steam or hot liquid softens the connective tissues for a more tender product.

These methods are recommended for less tender cuts of meat from the chuck, round, brisket, plate and flank regions. Examples are arm steaks, blade pot roasts, short ribs, stew meat and brisket.

Some cuts from the same part of the animal, such as the round and flank, can be prepared different ways. For example, round and flank steak can be braised (a common cooking method) or pan-fried (a dry heat cooking method) with good results.