What You Should Know About Steaks

A survey by Meats by Liz reveals the degree to which Americans love steak. Of those surveyed, 70% say that steak is one of their favorite foods. Love of steak transcends gender, with 75% of males saying it is one of their favorite foods, and 65% of women saying the same. When asked what their last meal would be, 64% chose steak. The respondents so love steak that 47% said they loved steak so much they would eat it more than thrice a week if they could. From Bavette to Ribeye, Americans love all sorts of different cuts of steak. Yet, for all their love of steak, 53% of Americans do not know much about the different USDA beef grades. You can learn about various dishes that are full of nutrition, on this website: http://www.al-thai.com

What is the USDA Beef Grade?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has various grades of beef that reflect the quality of the beef and the marbling, or the amount of fat streaking within a cut of meat.

The USDA’s beef grading process was developed as a way of helping Americans determine what the safest, highest quality beef is. Having transparency about how beef is graded helps to promote high quality beef, and our bonds with rural America. The idea is that, by having a transparent grading process, people will get the beef they want, and producers will have incentives to provide people with the best types of beef that they can. Clarity about grading also prevents producers from falsely claiming to have higher grades of beef than they actually have.

The beef is evaluated by the USDA’s meat grades, using a combination of their subjective judgment, and objective electronic measurements. There are three main USDA grades: USDA Prime, USDA Choice, USDA Select.

The quality is assessed based on tenderness; juiciness and flavor. Yield grades are given to express the degree of marbling of the beef.

The USDA Prime grade is given to beef from young, well-fed cattle, with lots of marbling. Prime beef is typically sold in the best steak restaurants and hotels. Prime beef is usually cooked using dry heat methods.

The USDA Choice grade has less marbling compared to Prime. They are also cooked using dry-heat methods, and are characterized by being “very tender, juicy, and flavorful”. The less tender Choice cuts can also be dry-heat cooked. If you braise them, roast them, or simmer them with a bit of liquid in a covered pan, you can get them to be really tender.

The USDA Select grade is typically leaner than higher USDA grades and has a very unifor, quality. Select beef is tender, but, because it is leaner than higher grades, it can be less juicy and flavorful. You can only really cook the most tender cuts using dry heat methods, otherwise, you want to marinate or braise the beef in order to bring out its tenderness and flavor.

Other USDA Grades

Select and Commercial grade beef is often sold as ungraded or store brand. Ground beef and processed products are made with Utility, Cutter and Canner grades of beef. These grades are not usually sold retail.

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