Difference between Meat and Beef

Key difference: Meat is the general term used for all animal flesh, whereas beef is the culinary name for meat derived from bovines such as cows and other cattle.  

Humans love their meat, be it different parts of the same animal or the same part of different animals. Whatever be the case, in terms of food people simply devour their meat like there is no tomorrow!

Meat is a generalized term used for all animal flesh. This category consists of flesh from animals such as pigs, cattle, lambs, etc; however, it does not include fish and other seafood, poultry, and other animals. Mostly, the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues are referred to when using the term meat.

Meat, being high in water and proteins, is considered edible raw. However, it is normally cooked, processed and seasoned before eating. It is said to be a part of the meal. Usually, the juicer and richer parts of an animal, which is considered to be the meat, are are used for consumption.  However, the prime cuts of an animal meat are the T-bone, sirloin and fillet. To enhance the taste even more, meat can be cooked in a variety of ways. Meat can be cooked as steaks, in stews, and fondues. It can be grounded or be used in the forms of patties, loaves, sausages, or sauces. Also, depending on the pallet, meat can be smoked or cured; they are generally marinated and barbecued, or simply boiled, roasted, or fried.

In spite of the many different cooking methods, there are some traditional meat recipes that require raw beef, veal or tartare. At times, meat is also spiced or seasoned with other meat products such as sausages, etc. and is widely used in sandwiches such as ham, pork, salami, pepperoni, pastrami, etc. However, before enjoying theses dishes, one should make sure that the meat is fresh, processed and safe to eat. Unprocessed meat is a major reason for concern as it is easily spoilt, and if not cleaned thoroughly it can cause infection through bacteria and fungi present on the meat. Though, a common additive for both preservation and procession is adding sodium nitrite to the meat, it is also a source of health concern, because it may form carcinogenic nitrosamines when heated.

Now, beef is another form of meat. Beef is the meat derived from bovines such as cattle, cows, heifers, bulls or steers.

Beef is the third most widely consumed and popular meat after pork and poultry. There are many different varieties of beef dishes available and that are popular all over the world. Beefs can be cut and used as steak, roasts or short ribs. Some cuts of beef are processed and trimmed, and are then mixed with other meat from older or leaner cattle, and then the mix is grounded and minced together to make sausages. Also, the blood is made into a blood sausage, which is then used in variety of other dishes. The other edible parts of a cow are the oxtail, liver, tongue, tripe from the reticulum or rumen, glands, the heart, the brain, liver, the kidneys, and the tender testicles of the bull.

Beef is harvested from cows. Although, many people simply enjoy their meat, some others consider cow meat offensive, such as in Hinduism, cow is said to be pure and it is a sin to kill them to eat their meat.

Comparison between Meat and Beef:





Meat is the general term used for all animal flesh. 

Beef is the culinary name for meat derived from bovines such as cows and cattle, etc.  

Derived from

Pigs, cattle, lambs, etc.

Cows, bulls, and other cattle.

Prime meat

The prime cuts of an animal meat are the T-bone, sirloin and fillet.

The prime cut of an animal meat is the beef muscle.


It can be cooked as steaks, in stews, and fondues.

It can be cooked as roasts, short ribs, and sausages.

Image Courtesy: thyroiddietcoach.com, codicotebutchers.com

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