You may be planning a romantic date night for two or hosting a barbecue to treat your friends to a special evening. If steak is on the menu, choosing the perfect cut of meat can be daunting. Knowing your beef can help you out when shopping for that special home-cooked meal. Check out these tips for finding a cut of meat that will impress your guests and let them know how special they are to you.

11. Beef Quality Grades

Beef Quality

According to Beef2Live, there are eight grades of beef quality. The quality grade of beef is based on the amount of marbling within the meat and the age of the cow. Of the eight categories, there are three you will find at the supermarket. U.S. Prime grade is a cut of beef that has the most marbling and is of the best quality. U.S. Choice grade is also of high quality, but this cut of meat has less fat marbling. U.S. Select grade is leaner than the other two categories of meat, making it tougher and less juicy.

10. Color

Steak Color

Bright red steaks look more appealing in the display case. However, meat that has turned slightly gray hasn’t necessarily gone bad. Fresh beef is usually purplish in color. According to Steak University, myoglobin in meat interacts with oxygen in the air. When this happens, the beef turns the bright red color we tend to associate with raw meat. Don’t bypass a high-quality cut of meat in favor of a cheaper cut just based on color alone. If you are wondering how to tell if meat has gone bad, give it a sniff. A rancid odor indicates spoilage, as does a tacky or sticky feeling when you touch the meat.


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