Tips for Buying the Best Beef

If you’re a beef lover, you want the best cuts of red meat you can buy. When cooking sous vide with your VacMaster SV1, using the best cuts of beef will also help ensure that your beef remains juicy and tender throughout the cooking process.

But how do you know you are getting the best cuts of meat? Do you have to spend a lot of money to guarantee your beef is top of the line? Here are some tips on how to pick out the best beef from the supermarket or your local butcher shop.

Retail Beef Cuts

  • Grading. Grading of beef is determined by the marbling, or the small white specks of fat within the muscles. The more marbling, the higher the grade (and the higher the fat). Beef is sold to consumers in three grades. Prime grade beef is the most sought after by top steak houses and butcher shops. Choice grade is moderately marbled and most often found in grocery stores. The remainder of the beef is graded as Select.
  • Fat content. Lean beef has less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or less saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per 3-oz serving. Naturally lean cuts of beef come in 29 different cuts including tenderloin, flank steak, sirloin, ribeye and chuck roast, all containing different amounts of fat. Look for round or loin cuts for the leanest beef.
  • Aged beef. Do you love a steak with an intense flavor? Dry aging beef in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room for 10 days to 6 weeks will give it a robust flavor and make it more tender.

When choosing beef, if you want less fat, buy Choice or Select cuts. Prime beef usually has more fat. You can also make the decision by selecting the beef with the least amount of visible marbling.

Beef is also an excellent source of protein. A 3.5-oz serving of beef provides 27-30 g of protein, which is more than half the recommended allowance based on a normal diet. Beef also contains iron, zinc and phosphorus.

Once you have determined the cut of meat that is right for you, you are ready to make a delicious meal.

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