How To Buy Steak
Learning how to buy steak is an important skill for all meat lovers to master. Few things in life taste as good as a juicy, properly cooked steak. Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing your meat.
- Find a local butcher. You can purchase pre-packaged steaks from the grocery store, but there's something better about steak from the butcher. It's customizable, and your butcher can recommend a good steak for you. You can ask questions on how to cook it, what's a good deal today, etc.
- Look for the top grade. The highest grade of beef is USDA Prime. What makes it so special is the marbling. Marbling is fat that gives the meat a soft, rich texture. It also boosts the flavor. Look for thin marbling. Thick streaks of fat and connective tissue may mean that the steak will be tough. The lower the grade, the leaner the meat. Always choose Prime or Choice. The Select grade is lean, and will be rubbery or chewy.
- Check out the color and texture. A good steak will be a bright red color, not dark and dull. It should be firm, not super squishy, when you press it. The best beef is dry-aged, so make sure to ask your butcher if they have any dry-aged beef. Aging brings out the best flavor a steak has to offer.
- Decide which cut to purchase. You have many choices such as tenderloin, rib-eye, T-bone, New York Strip, and sirloin. These are common cuts, and all vary in texture and taste. The most tender steak is from the tenderloin. The sirloin is the least tender, and the others are in between. Depending on how you want to cook it, you can ask the butcher the best way to prepare your cut of beef.