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Understanding USDA Beef Grades: A Quick Guide by Premier Food Choice

When buying steak, it's important to understand what truly makes a good steak. This allows you to purchase juicy, tender, and flavorful steak while getting the most bang for your buck.


For the novice, steak grades might be a little confusing at first. But, with our quick guide, you can be sure that you're getting the best steak possible.


WHAT CRITERIA IS USED TO DETERMINE USDA STEAK GRADES?


There are 2 main factors that determine the grade of beef.

  • Marbling Marbling is an important criteria in determining steak grade and perhaps the most prized feature in steaks. Also known as intra-muscular fat, it is characterized by thin streaks of fat between muscle tissue. Upon cooking, this fat melts, giving the meat a rich, buttery flavor.

  • Age Age is another significant factor in steak quality as younger steaks tend to be more tender and flavorful than older ones. It is usually determined through the color of the meat, with older steaks having a deeper, darker color. Most Prime and Choice steaks are 1 to 3 years in age.


THERE ARE 8 USDA STEAK GRADES. WHAT ARE THE BEST ONES?


Among the 8 USDA steak grades, only 3 are usually found being sold in stores.

  • USDA Prime A grade given to the best beef cuts (only 2% of steaks), Prime cuts are usually younger in age and are abundant in marbling and reddish-pink in color. These cuts are considered to be the most tender, juicy, and flavorful steaks.

  • USDA Choice These beef cuts are usually the ones found in stores and restaurants. Choice cuts usually have the same reddish-pink color similar to Prime cuts, but their marbling widely varies.

  • USDA Select A grade given to the lower end of quality cuts, Select cuts have a low level of marbling and thus, may not be as tender. Marination or longer cooking times at low temperatures are usually done to help break down tough tissue and bring out the flavor in these cuts.


WHERE DO I GET QUALITY BEEF?


At Premier Food Choice, we offer premier quality beef.


SHOP NOW ON OUR WEBSITE: Premier Beef Ribeye Angus Boneless (Prime) SHOP NOW ON OUR WEBSITE: Premier Beef Ribeye Angus Boneless (Choice) SHOP NOW ON OUR WEBSITE: Premier Beef Top Blade (Choice) SHOP NOW ON OUR WEBSITE: Premier Beef Prime Rib Bone-In (Choice)


Head over to our website to shop our catalogue and have your meats delivered right to your doorstep!