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Mar 5, 2011 08:21 AM

Cutting Oxtail

Hi all --

I just picked up an uncooked oxtail that I had ordered from the farm and upon taking it home realized that they hadn't sliced it as per my request.

Any tips on how I can cut up my uncooked oxtail at home?



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  1. Remove the fat, cut between the boney joints (through the gristle)

    7 Replies
    1. re: todao

      ... but just remember to save the fat for later use.

      1. re: todao

        Thanks for the link. What if I want thinner segments? Would I need a cleaver or something?


        1. re: wontonfm

          more likely a bone saw. Segments of a tail are like the backbone vertebrae. I have never seen a tail with the bone cut.

          1. re: paulj

            We typically get it cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces. The topmost parts of the tail are usually 2-3 inches I think...


            1. re: paulj

              Watching at the Chinese markets, they're using an electric band saw.

              1. re: monku

                I've never seen oxtail cut with a bandsaw but I can imagine it being done. A lot of the meat products in Asian (Chinese and Korean) are cut like that, often while still frozen. Westerners aren't as happy about fishing out odd bits of bone from their braised or grilled meat.

                I once bought an inexpensive pack of 'button bone pork'. It turned out to have lots of button size pieces of bone (as implied by the name), apparently the result of sawing off the ends of some larger bones, probably the backbone for ribs or chops. It was good meat for making stock, less pleasurable for a stew.

                1. re: paulj

                  You can't cut the large section of the oxtail with a cleaver, it will splinter the bone. Some places I've bought oxtail when it isn't pre-packaged they ask you how thick you want it cut, then put it on the band saw.

                  You don't get "odd bits" of bone when they cut it on the band saw. When I ask for spare ribs "cross cut" they put it on the band saw and there are no "odd bits".

        2. I grew up with oxtail that was hand-cut at the joints, and at least in Korean markets I've never seen saw cut tail.

          Having said that, at the local Mexican market the default is to take whole tail and saw it into about 1 inch thick pieces. At first I thought this was odd but I now prefer my oxtail sawed into smaller pieces like this.

          If you have a whole tail with no saw, you're going to have to cut it at the joints..