When you come to The Meating Place, you come face to face with so much meat. So much! And if you aren’t already a pro when it comes to it, shopping for your dinner can be intimidating. There seem to be infinite cuts and sizes, and the fact that you can choose any steak you want can be a bit much unless you know what to look for. But please don’t be intimidated, because we’re here to help you select YOUR ideal cuts! Here’s your guide to selecting the perfect steak for your occasion.

Know Your Grades

Most steak sold at your butcher or the grocery store is inspected and graded for quality. Standard beef is the cheapest you’ll want to buy, Select beef is slightly better and more expensive, but Choice and Prime steaks blow the other two out of the water. But at The Meating Place, we sell Certified Angus Beef (CAB) steaks that are inspected by the USDA to be considered Choice or Prime and then pass CAB’s additional set of 10 science-backed quality standards.

Look for Marbled Texture

Many soon-to-be steak connoisseurs make the mistake of thinking that the leaner the steak the better it will be – because who wants a mouth full of fat, right? WRONG! A steak with a marbled texture (visible fat marbling running throughout) will be your best friend. It’ll be juicier, more tender, and just better. Sure, you might not eat the fat that runs along the edge of your cut, but the fat marbling your steak will melt away when it’s cooked and cause the meat to simply melt in your mouth.

Choose the Right Size

If you’ve ever accidentally cooked a steak too much, you probably bought it too thin. Especially if you’re new to preparing steaks, you’ll want to choose one that’s at least one inch thick. The thinner the steak, the easier it is too cook too thoroughly before you’ve even realized it.

Color Matters

The freshest cuts are a pale red color, but letting your steak age a few extra hours and deepen in color will often make for a more tender steak. And while any color that’s not bright red can SEEM scary, the color that should actually make you stop in your tracks is gray – it means your meat is spoiling. But if you see that lovely marbling, a deeper red, or some browning of the meat, don’t worry. Those are all natural processes of quality beef. In fact, a bit of brown on the meat just means it’s touched oxygen, and marbling (as we said) means a juicier result.

Now that you know the basics of picking your cut of beef, come visit us. We can give you even more information to answer your specific questions, and even advise on how to prepare your selections to get the most of your meal.

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