How To Buy Beef
Once you learn how to buy beef you can obtain the health benefits associated with beef besides enjoying its taste. While buying beef you should consider two things- its grade and cut. Read on to know the basics about how to buy beef.
- Beef grading is done based on various factors such as color, texture, age of the animal and amount of marbling found in the cut.
- Considering these factors USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) grades beef as USDA Prime, USDA choice and USDA select.
- Highest rating goes to the beef that is young, tender with lots of marbling while low rated beef are usually older with less marbling.
- USDA Prime is the highest grade among the three as it has more marbling fat and the beef is tender and juicier. But it is expensive than other grades
- Second place goes to USDA Choice that has less marbling than Prime but taste good.
- Lastly you can find USDA Select grade which is used for braising and stewing.
How to buy beef
- If you can afford, go for USDA Prime, however you won’t get this at grocery stores as only 2% of the meat produced is graded as prime.
- In most of the grocery stores you can see Choice grade that is quite good and less expensive than Prime.
- The beef should be light red color and not deep red or gray.
- Buy beef with fine texture and should be firm when you touch.
- While buying beef online, look out for reputed sites as you would not get the opportunity to touch and see.
- Select is the least preferred as it needs more chewing. This lean meat is less expensive, however it is good for stewing
- Look for dry aging than wet aging; it determines the taste of the meat. But do not go for no aging and the one that is too fresh.
- While buying packaged meat avoid packs with excessive moisture and that passed its selling date.
The label “Prime” and “USDA Prime” are not the same, so be careful while buying. Also don’t get carried away by the catchy name like “Angus beef” it is not the “black angus beef”. It is not trickier anymore as you have learnt how to buy beef. Make your dishes tastier by adding the flavorful and juicier beef.
Image credits: organicpacificgourmet.com