If you are not used to buying meat, a deli counter can be more than intimidating for you. There are a lot of options to choose from and the majority of people don’t really know what to be looking for when buying meat. Luckily, there are some tips that you could use to buy the meat that you really want.


USDA grading system

The first thing that you have to know about is the USDA grading system. According to this system, there are three kinds of beef: prime, choice, and select. Prime is the most expensive kind of beef that you can find. Usually it is made of younger cows and it comes with marbling.


This is one of the most important aspects of beef. When a cut of meat is marbled it means that there are small amounts of fat throughout the meat that make it tender and desirable for the people who know a little something about meat. The truth is that it might be difficult to find prime beef outside of restaurants and specialty butchers.

Choice and select

This is the kind of beef that is the easiest to find on the market. It comes with less marbling than prime, but it is still desirable. Select is the lowest grade when it comes to beef; it comes with limited marbling which means that it is tough meat and it isn’t really juicy.

The cut

This is another aspect of beef that you should consider before buying. In the majority of the cases beef is cut as filet mignon. This is one of the most tender cuts available. They have a round appearance and you can expect them to be quite expensive. This is something you would find at a high-end butchery, like Country Valley Foods.

New York Strip Steaks and other cuts

This is another kind of cut that you could try. It comes with a long marbled cut and it has a strip of fat on the side. Porterhouses and T-Bones are bigger pieces of steak, usually of about 20 pounds. They come with a bone in the center and they have a lot of tender and marbled meat around.

Other considerations

You should always buy steak that has a bright red color which suggests that the meat is fresh. The package of the meat is supposed to be cold and there shouldn’t be any liquid around the meat.



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