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Old 03-03-2011, 05:50 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I buy cheap steaks to always have some in the freezer. Not as cheap as you, Rush, but pretty darn cheap for my area. It's so cheap there isn't even a grade stamped on it. A couple years ago I think I payed 2.99/lb for strip and last year 3.99/lb for ribeye. I buy the whole loin and cut them myself (although the grocery store offers free cutting). The trick is to buy one with the most marbling. If none of them look good, I wait until they set some new ones out. I would rather buy a cheap ribeye than an expensive sirloin, but that's my taste. My preference is for rare and that's how I cook them. They are always tender and juicy. Sometimes I will treat myself to a better grade from behind the counter. There is an appreciable difference, but since I like to eat steak a lot the cheaper grade suits me fine, as long as there is some decent marbling. Without that marbling you might as well grind it up into lean hamburger.
Totally agree with ya. Cheap ribeye > Expensive top sirloin

I mean, how bad can ribeye be, right?

If marbling is what dictates the grade of a meat, even select grade Ribeyes are very dense with fat.

Then again, my experience with steak is nowhere near the level of a lot of the connoisseurs here, so what do I know...

For now, I'll take your word for it.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:54 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by powerplantop View Post
Ranchers Reserve is a brand not a grade.

For more info on grades go to the source.
Inspection & Grading of Meat and Poultry: What Are the Differences?

A good chart for cuts of beef can be found here.
http://consumer.certifiedangusbeef.c...oster_4047.pdf
Good sources. Thanks!

And I know Rancher's Reserve is a brand. Apparently, they claim to sell Prime grade.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:55 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Your bad experience with steak is because you are buying a very cheap grade of beef. If you want to enjoy steak, maybe save up and buy better quality meat. I honestly have never seen steak for sale fir $2 pound in probably 20 years.

A TBone and Porterhouse are basically the same thing. A filet mignon on one side and a NY strip on the other side. Tbones usually have a bigger filet. They are good steaks, but for your purposes probably not worth the extra money if its low quality meat.

You can't brine beef and get the same results as you get with poultry or shrimp.

One idea would buy some round steak of a higher quality, marinate it, grill it to medium rare, and slice it thinly against the grain: London Broil.
Thanks for the tip.

How do I know what's against the grain? Do you just mean to slice the steak at an angle?
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:04 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Rush, with the quality, or lack thereof, of the cuts you are purchasing, your best bet is to treat them like chuck. Trying to compare the grades you are purchasing with prime grade or better is not worth discussing.

Craig
I don't think anybody is comparing Prime grade with Select grade, but if discussing sub-prime graded steak is not worth discussing, I don't know why nobody on mainstream TV ever mentions "quality" as a necessary component to a steak.

I always thought that the differences in taste, was dictated by the cut. Just never heard a TV chef (or anybody else in mainstream media, at least) tell the viewers/readers/listeners/what-have-you not to bother with anything below Prime or even Choice.

They always just say, "Make sure it's at least an inch thick."

But now that I'm on these forums, I'm kinda surprised at how everybody considers the defining characteristic of meat to be quality, more than anything. And this topic is being treated like basic, common sense knowledge.

I feel like I've been living under a rock. Food Network didn't prepare for this.
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:06 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Bolas De Fraile View Post
Rush what I tried to convey is if you cannot afford or get quality steak of any cut dont bother with cheap junk, the cheaper cut like skirt or shin will taste better after in shins case long slow cooking than a poor piece of steak.
Gah, I'm not really a slow cooker. Thanks, though.
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:08 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post

Grades are preceded by USDA and choice and prime are IMO the only steak grades. ..
Not sure if you were being literal, or speaking more from a personal standpoint, but USDA also features "Select" grade. That's the stuff I'm getting... and Rancher's Reserve.
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:11 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
Aging is important. Most supermarket steak has little, if any age. There are two reasons, cost, and the fact that aged meat loses the bright red color that some buyers favor. The choices with the consumer concerning aging are to pay the price for dry aged restuarant quality staek, somewhere in the $12 +/lb range, or purchase sub primal cuts in Cryovac and age it wet yourself. Prime grade ribeyes here are about $8/pound. Around 45 - 60 days works for me, from packing date. The date of packing is stamped on the box, and the butcher should be able to get it for you. Just store the unbroken package in the referigerator..
Why is it people always tell you to store the meat in the freezer, within 3 days? Isn't it susceptible to bacterial infections, if you don't eat it fresh?
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:13 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by 4meandthem View Post
They leave the T-shaped bone and the smell of the filet on it!
That's terrible. I guess nobody complains in your neighborhood?
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:25 AM   #39
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Thanks guys, for all your feedback!

Everytime I come on these boards, I feel even more overwhelmed by how little I know about food.

It's an educational experience for me, and I really appreciate it. I'm so glad I can always come to you guys for expert advice.

Anyway, I got the USDA Select T-bone to give it a try.

I also saw porterhouse steaks for just 20 cents more (4.19/lb), so I picked up a couple of those, 'cause I couldn't help it.

The thickness was about an inch, I'd say. I wish they were thicker.

Haven't tried the porterhouse yet, but I was pleasantly surprised by the t-bone, actually.

The NY strip side, tasted a little better than my previous experience, so I'm assuming the quality was slightly higher. Plus, a lot of the meat was next to the t-bone, so it was very tender.

The filet side didn't disappoint.

I think I'll definitely get more T-bones, porterhouses, and ribeyes in the future, and I'll reserve $2 top sirloin for burgers.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:28 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by rush
And I know Rancher's Reserve is a brand. Apparently, they claim to sell Prime grade.
The brand, found in Safeway stores (maybe others) used to be "No Roll" beef....Meaning it's not USDA graded. Unlike the mandatory USDA safety inspection paid for by the government, grading of beef is optional and is paid for by the processor. The greatest majority of No Roll is Select Beef...

Suggest you shop for USDA graded Choice Beef...Learn to choose the best steak(s) in the grocer's display.

The 'secret' to Top Sirloin is thickness....11/2 in. minimum...2 in. is better cooking only to medium rare. HTH
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