Interactive Butcher Counter
How to Choose Cuts
Your dinner table experience starts at the meat case. Find quick and easy tips for selecting the right cut of beef for any occasion, on any budget. Use the Interactive Butcher Counter to get better acquainted with more beef cuts.
Shopping for Beef
What to look for in the supermarket when shopping for beef?
- Select beef with a bright-cherry red color. Beef in a sealed bag typically has a darker purplish-red color. When exposed to the air, it will turn bright red.
- Choose beef that is firm to the touch.
- Make sure the package is cold with no holes or tears.
- Choose packages without excessive liquid.
- Purchase beef on or before the sell-by date.
Marbling is the fine threads of fat inside of the muscle. Marbling is what gives beef its flavor, juiciness and tenderness. While super-lean cuts provide a great option for those individuals requiring a low-fat diet regimen, it's also important to recognize that marbling greatly affects flavor. That is why the degree of marbling is one of the primary determinants in quality grade.
The USDA employs federal inspectors to grade beef on expected palatability (tenderness, juiciness, and flavor). Grades are evaluated on factors such as degree of marbling.
Prime is the top-tier for expected palatability because it has the most marbling. You will mainly find Prime Beef in restaurants, but if it sold in the supermarket it will be labeled PRIME. Choice Beef is most commonly sold in supermarkets. It is the second highest quality grade; and Select is the third quality grade and a leaner option because it will have less marbling.
Types of Beef
Decoding the Label: Know Your Beef Choices
Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished, Certified Organic... Like the farmers and ranchers who choose how best to raise their cattle for beef, you have choices when it comes to the beef you buy.