What Is The Difference Between Choice Beef And Prime Beef

Recently, USDA collaborated with the United States Meat Export Federation and Colorado State University to develop an educational video about the beef grading process. This video provides a comprehensive overview of the beef grading system – from farm to table.

Prime beef is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It is typically served in dining establishments and lodging facilities and has a lot of marbling, or the quantity of fat dotted with lean meat. Prime roasts and steaks work well when roasted, broiled, or grilled over low heat.

You will therefore be better equipped to respond to the question, “What’s your beef?” the next time you are at a restaurant or grocery store if you look for the USDA grade shield.

Although choice beef is of superior quality, it is less marbled than prime. Dry-heat cooking is best for choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib because they are juicy, flavorful, and incredibly tender. If not overdone, many of the less tender cuts can also be prepared using dry heat. When braised, roasted, or simmered in a pan with a tight lid and a small amount of liquid, these cuts will be at their most tender.

There are two ways to grade beef: yield grades, which indicate how much usable lean meat is left on the carcass, and quality grades, which indicate tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. What do these quality beef grades mean in terms of consumers?

What are the grading levels in prime vs. choice meat?

The best cuts of meat are USDA Prime cuts, which have an abundance of flavor and marbling. Or, depending on the cut, shape the degree of tenderness. An attractive shape is also a consideration.

USDA Prime beef is more frequently produced by young, well-fed cows than by older, poorly-fed cows. Though grass-fed beef is popular right now, very little of it makes it to USDA prime status. The majority of premium USDA prime steaks are produced by cows that are fed corn.

Mr. Steak only sells 28-day wet-aged USDA Prime beef. We also sell wagyu beef, which is graded differently and is produced by Japanese cows rather than American ones.

USDA Choice cuts, which are the next tier down, have a nice harmony between flavor and tenderness. USDA Choice beef has less marbling than Prime. It is a good middle ground between quality and price. You can continue to use your preferred cooking techniques just like with prime.

The least amount of intramuscular fat, or marbling, is found in select beef. It won’t taste, feel, or be as juicy as meat of a higher caliber. When cooking these lower USDA beef grades, different techniques must be used. Steak sauces and marinades work wonders to enhance its flavor.

Even though they are leaner, select cuts lack the richness and succulence of the higher grades. You will find Select cuts of beef at the grocery. Alternatively from businesses that call their steak “Premium” and employ their own branding system Do not be misled by this; USDA grading is the only option.

USDA Prime vs. Choice – Why is it important to know the grade of your meat?

You cannot know for sure what you are paying for unless you are aware of your USDA beef grades. Transparency is something you should anticipate from your butcher, grocery store, restaurant, and online meat supplier. Knowing whether the beef is USDA prime or choice is crucial for this reason. Don’t spend top dollar on a pick or select cut of meat.

Always ask the USDA grading of beef if its unlabelled. We do not advise doing business with a company if, for whatever reason, they are unable to disclose the USDA grade. “Premium” is not a USDA grade.

They might not disclose their USDA grading to customers ordering steak at a restaurant. If not, ask what grade the steak is. If the item isn’t USDA prime and the price is extremely high, Mr. Steak doesn’t recommend ordering it.