The Best and Worst Cuts of Meat To Buy, According to Butchers
										These tips will help you feel more confident when choosing your next steak.

The Best and Worst Cuts of Meat To Buy, According to Butchers These tips will help you feel more confident when choosing your next steak.

There’s nothing quite like a tender, juicy, freshly-cooked steak with a glass of red wine. You can certainly satisfy this craving at your favorite steakhouse, but this option doesn’t always fit into the weekly budget.

Buying and cooking your own meat at home is a more affordable option. However, it can be intimidating to try and find the right cut of meat if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. To help you feel more confident next time you walk into a butcher shop or grocery store, we talked with a couple of expert butchers.

Read on to learn more about what a butcher considers to be the best and worst cuts of meat to buy. Then, for more shopping tips check out We Tasted 6 Barbecue Sauces & This Is the Best.

The best cuts

According to Daniel Barclay, Silver Fern Farms’ Resident Butchery Expert, “it always depends on a few factors: what you’re looking to spend, if there’s a specific occasion, the season, if there’s a particular cooking method in mind, and what experience you’re looking to have,” he says. “Flavor, tenderness, texture, and value are all important when selecting a cut and there’s nothing like the satisfaction you get from selecting the right cut for the right occasion.”

“High-end cuts like New York Strip Steak, Rib-eye, Tenderloin, and Top Sirloin are often considered to be the top-tier meat cuts and are known for being tender and more flavorful,” says Barclay.

Although some cuts are considered to be higher end, when other cuts of meat are prepared properly, they can also deliver the same quality standard. “We also have cuts that require a different cooking method like short ribs, brisket, chuck roast, and London Broil, which cook low and slow, but deliver well on flavor and tenderness.”

The worst cuts

According to Ray Rastelli, Jr., Butcher and President of Rastelli Foods Group based in Swedesboro, New Jersey, a classic sirloin steak is a great-quality cut.

“This cut is versatile, lean, and economical, and I call it the “everything steak” because it has so many great benefits and uses. If you cut from the center of a sirloin, it is lean but tender, and loaded with flavor. A sirloin is considered a great value steak because it delivers a nice balance of satisfying flavor and tenderness, while remaining less expensive than ribeye, strips, or filets. As I mentioned before, they are incredibly versatile and work well for every meal, from the centerpiece of your plate paired with your favorite vegetable, to thinly sliced over a salad, or even paired with eggs for steak and eggs! No matter how you slice it, the sirloin steak is a great choice,” says Rastelli.

When you’re watching your health or trying to cut back on red meat, Rastelli suggests ground beef as an option. “If you’re looking for an overall ‘better for you’ option, I’d suggest grass-fed beef. In a 100% grass-fed product, the cattle spend their entire lives grazing exclusively on nutrient-rich grass and the end product is a rich and tender beef that is leaner than its grain-finished counterpart and high in omega-3 fatty acids,” says Rastelli. “For example, our Rastelli’s grass-fed beef sirloin contains up to 5 times the omega-3s, as compared to its grain-fed counterpart.”

“The ribeye is a classic go-to for steak lovers and is also one of my personal favorites! Ribeyes are known for being well-marbled, tender, and juicy. What makes a ribeye so special is those beautiful white flecks throughout the steak. That’s called marbling, which is intramuscular fat that breaks down while cooking and infuses the meat with unreal flavor. I like to call it ‘Butcher Candy’ and you’ll find that a USDA Prime Black Angus Ribeye is even more intensely marbled compared to a choice or select ribeye steak,” says Rastelli.

If you’re worried about the worst cuts to buy, Rastelli wants you to know that in reality, you can’t go wrong with meat, and it truly depends on your own individual needs.

“In my opinion, there is no such thing as a ‘bad cut.’ Knowledge is power and it’s all about understanding how to prepare the product, especially as we focus on humanely raised animals. We want to make sure that the whole carcass is utilized. For example, a tough cut of meat is excellent when it’s marinated overnight. Every cut of an animal has a purpose and a use, if you learn how to handle, prepare and cook it properly,” says Rastelli.

With that being said, there are a few types of meat cuts and a few different factors that you’ll want to take into consideration when shopping for a particular cut of meat. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to the “worst cuts.”

Eye of round is not a bad cut of steak. However, Barclay says that it may not be as good as some other choices because it is, “perhaps less flavorful and tender as the high-end cuts I previously mentioned is the eye of round.”

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