Knowing The Difference Between Prime, Choice And Select Beef

When you go to buy beef in the market for your home or for your restaurant make sure that you choose the right type of beef. Surprised? Yes, there are significant difference between the types of beef sold in the market. This grading is usually done by the Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program Grading and Verification Division. This is a specific department of the Food and Nutrition department. These gradings let the buyers know the quality of the beef. These grading standards not only help the consumers to buy the best beef but also the people involved in marketing of agricultural products ensuring greater efficiency.

The grading process followed

Typically, there are three different types of USDA beef grades. Only highly-skilled USDA meat graders use a subjective characteristic assessment process along with a few advanced electronic instruments. The meat characteristics are evaluated and the official grade standards are created, maintained and interpreted by the Agricultural Marketing Service of USDA. Ideally, beef is graded in two specific ways. The first one is the quality grade that indicates the tenderness, flavor and juiciness of the meat, and, two, the yield grades that indicates the amount of usable lean meat available on the carcass.

Prime and choice beef

From the point of view of the consumers, the quality beef grades may seem to be difficult to understand. It is therefore, easy to know that there are these three types are graded as prime beef, choice beef and select beef. Prime beef is obtained from young and well-fed cattle. It has a lot of fat intermingled with lean meat called marbling and sold in hotels and restaurants. Check out for availability. It is best for roasts, steaks, and dry-heat cooking such as grilling and broiling. Choice beef has less marbling than Prime but are high quality meat from the loin and rib. It is tender, flavorful and juicy and is suited for dry-heat cooking.

The select beef

Select beef is typically is leaner than the above two grades but is uniform in quality. Since it has less marbling, it is fairly tender but may have less juice and flavor than the higher grades. The ideal way of cooking this meat is over dry heat if it is a tender cut. All other cuts need to be marinated or braised before cooking to get the maximum flavor and tenderness. Now, knowing the differences, you will surely not go for any standard meat.

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