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Old 03-03-2011, 07:46 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rush View Post

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

Marbling in no way dictates the grade of meat.

The point was that if you are buying a lower grade of meat where a subpar eating experience is to be expected one thing you can do is to buy a fatty steak, as a well-marbled steak wont dry out and toughen as much thanks to the fat.

Another suggestion someone made is to only cook the meat to rare (bright red) because barely cooking the interior keeps it soft.

Yet another suggestion for a relatively poor grade of steak (which is also good for cheaper cuts of higher grade meat) is to cut it across the grain. This means cutting it against and not with the visible muscle fibers.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:09 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Marbling in no way dictates the grade of meat.

The point was that if you are buying a lower grade of meat where a subpar eating experience is to be expected one thing you can do is to buy a fatty steak, as a well-marbled steak wont dry out and toughen as much thanks to the fat.

Another suggestion someone made is to only cook the meat to rare (bright red) because barely cooking the interior keeps it soft.

Yet another suggestion for a relatively poor grade of steak (which is also good for cheaper cuts of higher grade meat) is to cut it across the grain. This means cutting it against and not with the visible muscle fibers.
Thanks for the tips!

As for marbling dictating the grade...

Quote:
Grades are based on the amount of marbling in the meat and the age of the animal. Marbling is the flecks and streaks of white fat you find distributed throughout the meat. In general, the higher the degree of marbling, the more tender, juicy, and flavorable the meat will be. Consequently, higher grade meats come at a higher cost. Age also plays in an important part. Beef is best in flavor and texture when cattle is between 18 and 24 months old, so the grading favors younger animals. There are eight distinct grades of beef recognized by the USDA. In order of descending quality they are:
  • Prime
  • Choice
  • Select
  • Standard
  • Commercial
  • Utility
  • Cutter
  • Canner
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:10 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
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
Thanks, will keep in mind.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:36 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by rush View Post
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.
I wasn't being literal. Prime and Choice are the only two grades I would consider for steak. I generally buy Prime. For me it is worth the slightly increased price.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:46 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by rush View Post
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?
Cryovac is the commercial version of the home food saver. The subprimal cut (that is the whole ribeye, filet, or strip, etc) is placed in a bag,the air is drawn out, and the package is heat shrunk. This process enables the meat to age for a long time without going bad as long as the vacuium seal is not broken. Pre cut steaks have too much surface area to age well, so once they are cut, you are done, and so storage in the freezer is recommended. I buy subprimals in Cryovac and age them in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:11 AM   #46
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Jennyema pretty much summed it up, with the exception of her phrase "...subpar eating experience is to be expected". I don't go into any meal that I cook expecting a subpar eating experience. Maybe I have learned to make due or just enjoy eating too much, lol.
The whole trick is in; 1) preparation and 2) knowing what you are getting going in. I don't expect a $5 steak to have the taste and texture of a $13 steak, but that doesn't mean I'm going to enjoy it any less. I plan on having one of those $5 steaks that are in my freezer tonight and I'm going to enjoy the heck out of it
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