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Walmart steak,not that I would but has anyone tried? [Moved from General Chowhounding board]

I saw a Walmart commercial for the first time the other day advertising steak that they sell in the store? I'm not a Walmart shopper but has anyone tried steak from Walmart?

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  1. It's Select beef...I avoid it. ~~ Never tried it.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Uncle Bob

      According to the commercials now, they are carrying choice. Seems like a change from the past.

      Not sure if it is all their steaks or not, since I don't get my meat from Walmart .

      I know I would be quite put off if I hired a babysitter and took the time to go out for steaks to be fed Walmart steak, like they did in the commercial. The price of the meal is only a small part of the equation to me.

      1. re: PenskeFan

        News to me....Next time I'm in one...I'll look see...........

        1. re: PenskeFan

          if it doesn't say USDA CHOICE it's not really choice. It would just be walmarts "choice" product.

          1. re: Jbond1007

            Is that true? There are pretty stringent labeling requirements for meat, which I've looked at but haven't definitively been able to say one way or the other, but from what I was able to piece together it looks to me that if you use the word choice on a retail package of meat that isn't USDA choice grade you are out of compliance.

            If you have definitive evidence to the contrary, I'd appreciate knowing where to find it.

            1. re: johnb

              I think the new way is they don't have to put the grade on at all, but not that they can make up their own grades.

              1. re: johnb


                That url is insane and I hope it works, but the eventual quote is:

                "The grade symbol and wording are no longer copyrighted; however, according to the Truth in Labeling Law, it is illegal to mislead or misrepresent the shield or wording."

                I can't find the other place where I found this discussed, but essentially you can use words like prime, choice, etc, just not to claim that the USDA says so. "Larry's Certified Choice" would be ok but probably not inside the USDA shield.

                1. re: ennuisans

                  Someone posted this the other day from the Washington Post

                  1. re: coll

                    Yeah I don't know for sure but it seems that if you use the USDA shield or make mention of the product being USDA graded you then have to declare the actual grade itself.

                    1. re: Tom34

                      No they don't.They can't declare a fraudulent grade but can declare any marketing gimmick they desire short of fraud.
                      Some states may step in with regulations regarding the issue,similar to open declarations on fish.

                      1. re: lcool

                        There was an article attached to a Chow post 10/13/14 that indicated the Giant Supermarket chain got into trouble with the USDA for doing just that...... Labeling beef as "USDA Graded" and not listing the actual grade.

                        1. re: Tom34

                          Not quite the complete story regarding Giant Food.I live in the heart of their small territory.

                          They stepped on the federal line with USDA graded in instead of USDA inspected or grade with info(border line,maybe even grey if they fight or ignore it),and used a big,bold in your face sticker.In so doing they crossed over three lines in Maryland where some of the regulations are more stringent.(there are several transparency,labeling etc issues pending).

                          Maryland was able to dump this one on the Fed and did so quickly.According to my sister in law the labels were still on in Virginia this AM,with a "we're gonna soon" response,same in Delaware.I won't know in Maryland until later today.

                          I shop Giant ?twice a month for non perishable on sale only and target the meat and fish cases for questionable sanitation and other violations.I always find several and never leave without a documented violation purchase.

                          1. re: lcool

                            Yeah I don't know all the particulars with the Giant story, just what was in the article. Big difference between mandated USDA Inspected and voluntary USDA Graded and Giant's beef executives knew it. They also know that on average there is a good dollar or more spread between Select & choice when bidding on beef.

                        2. re: lcool

                          This is straight from the UDSA rules and regulations:

                          Maintaining Grade Identity and Certified Schedule Program (CSP) Identity:

                          "As long as an officially graded product is marketed using grade references, the grade identity of the product must be accurately maintained. Each link in the market infrastructure must take appropriate measures to ensure that grading terms used on labels are accurate, and that grade and other certified marketing claims can be substantiated using routine audit methods."

                          My interpretation of this along with what happened in the recent Giant beef labeling matter is that if you use a label claiming "USDA Graded" , the grade must be declared.

                          1. re: Tom34

                            That part is true, ie if it says anywhere on the label that the meat is USDA graded then it must state the grade that was assigned. Interestingly, this even precludes a downgrade -- for example, if a package contained prime beef, it would be a violation to label it as choice (presumably a theoretical point since I have no idea why anyone would ever do that). There is an exception for "prime rib" where it doesn't have to be prime grade, due to the common use of that term to identify that cut rather than say anything about the quality of the meat.

                            But I'm still not sure what happens if the label makes no mention of USDA or has the shield and so on. If I affix a label that contains no reference to USDA at all, and says the meat is johnb's choice wonderful juicy great beef, am I breaking the law or not? I know I won't get in trouble for the "wonderful, juicy......" part, but can I use the word "choice" if the contents are not actually choice grade, graded by USDA?

                            Another variation on the question would be the following: if the meat was USDA inspected but not graded, and is labeled "inspected," then what words about quality could I use on the label? I guess it ought to be noted that nearly all beef for sale is USDA inspected (only exception is if it never crossed a state line). However inspection and grade are of course different things, and I'm not clear whether to begin with meat has to mention it was inspected on the label.

                            1. re: johnb

                              I don't know for sure but I think if you make "no" reference to the USDA grading program you can call it what ever you like.

                              On another note I stopped in a Bottom Dollar the other day for a loaf of bread and saw individually cryovaced Select Grade steaks and the label said something like "up to 12% solution added". I knew they were doing this with chicken and pork but that was the first time I saw it with high value "cuts" of beef. Maybe I am just sheltered.

          2. I've used it as steak and it was okay flavour wise but not very tender. I will buy their steak and grind or cube and use for other things.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Davwud

              My local Walmart has select grade in the center of the beef case and choice grades of beef placed at the end of the case. Compared to other stores, I think Walmart is higher priced on the Choice beef. I wait for other supermarkets to put beef on sale.

            2. I've purchased some lovely flavorful tender steak cuts from Walmart. Also great lamb chops (both loin & rib), & country-style pork ribs. Perfectly tender wonderful meat at terrific prices. Don't diss it until you've tried it.

              1. I just think it's really cheesy that they opted to go for the old Folgers trick: "We replaced the coffee in a top restaurant with...".

                16 Replies
                1. re: pdxgastro

                  Have never seen the commercial. But as I said, have been buying their meat for many years now & have never been disappointed. If you don't shop at Walmart for your own ethical reasons, that's fine, but it doesn't have any bearing whatsoever as to the quality of their meat.

                    1. re: pdxgastro

                      Thanks! I did just catch part of it last night on tv. Granted, they're taking license along with everyone else who does those "switcharoo" commercials. But really, they're one of dozens of companies that have done that. And frankly, Walmart is one company I don't take issue with for doing it, since so many folks automatically equate "Walmart" with "low quality". As far as their meat offerings go - that just ain't true.

                      In fact, last night I made a lovely meal of homemade turkey meatballs using a package of Walmart's own brand of ground turkey - clearly marked "organic, fed a 100% vegetarian diet, no hormones or antibiotics, & certifed humanely raised. And it only cost $3.50. What more would someone really want? (Oh, & it was delicious - no extraneous fat, no sinew, etc., etc.)

                      And like I said before - their other meat products are equally excellent.

                      1. re: Bacardi1

                        Just so ya know, a vegetarian diet actually isn't good for birds. They're omnivores and need some animal protein for maximum health.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Some birds are omnivores, some are carnivores and some are "vegetarian". I only know after rescuing a few different species and finding out the hard way. I was feeding a baby robin bread and whatnot, turns out it's meat only. No wonder he was pooping it all out, good thing I didn't kill him!

                          1. re: coll

                            Robins are known for eating earthworms. However, we have robins coming and eating the grape jelly we put out for the Baltimore orioles. Early last spring we had a foot of snow in April and there were a lot of robins around. I put out blueberries (from the freezer) and they ate them.

                            1. re: John E.

                              Good to know! Not that that I'm picking up any more baby birds off the ground ever again, that was hard work. We used to feed him filet mignon mostly, that seemed to do the trick. My husband would take him to work so he could be fed every two hours, as recommended to us.

                              But if he was starving, I could see him eating anything. That was some hungry little bird we had.

                              1. re: coll

                                We were always taught that the momma robin was probably nearby and would take care of her little one, if it's already feathered out that is. If a crow or some other bird raided the nest before the baby robins have feathers, then they need some help because the parents would have then abandoned the nest.

                                I once raised a pigeon from a baby with barely pin feathers to a pet as an adult, the pigeon that is. I was 14 and I really had fun with that bird. Of course, I felt a little guilty because I had shot the baby pigeon's mother. (There was a 'pigeon shoot' in town where wild pigeons are shot early on a Sunday morning to attempt to control the population. This wasn't one of those pigeon shoots where they are released purposely just to shoot.)

                                Anyway, I saw the nest on the roof of the building we were on, and rescued the little guy. I fed him corn and gave him water with an eye dropper. When he got big enough, I taught him to fly (I threw him up in the air and he flapped his wings. He softly fell to the grass a few times before he got the hang of it.

                                That bird hung around all summer. He stood on my dad's head and shoulders while he was working in the garden. My mother's friends would not go into our backyard because 'Bird' would land on anyone who walked back there. (What a clever name...my dad thought I should name him Walter, but I had an uncle named Walter.)

                                In October, I began to think about building him a box to stay warm in during the winter. (I'm in Minnesota.) His perch was just outside my bedroom window under a patio roof.

                                I never got the chance to build that little pigeon house. The mailman ran over him and squished him flat.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  What the heck kind of an ending is that?! I want my emotional investment back.

                                  1. re: Rilke

                                    That's not fiction. I don't know if I have the imagination to come up with a story like that. My oldest brother found him and buried him before I got home.

                                    1. re: John E.

                                      I know. You are a good storyteller though.

                                  2. re: John E.

                                    Yeah unfortunately my robin didn't any feathers to speak of either. And he was just laying on the lawn, with the nest a hundred feet above, and lots of cats in the neighborhood. The mother did come by and looked at us and him, and hopefully was satisfied with the new arrangement. He did grow up and learned to fly on his own and all that jazz. Pretty amazing experience! And yeah, that sitting on strangers' heads was weird, the lady behind us cancelled all her plans one day because she thought God had sent her some kind of sign.

                                    Now the baby squirrel that my husband brought home from the beach, that little guy begged to come home with him. Ran right up his sleeve and snuggled in there the second day he saw him. Obviously his mama met a fate similar to your pigeons. He ate a MUCH more varied diet. What a little piggy.

                        2. re: pdxgastro

                          I would be kind of pissed if they came to my table and told me that, lol. Especially if I was paying like $50 for an $8 Walmart steak...

                          1. re: Atomic76

                            If he came to my table and said, "We replaced the steak with steak from Walmart," I would say, "Nice of you to buy me dinner," and walk out. If I'm paying for a restaurant meal, that is what I expect, not a Walmart bait and switch promotion. The only decent explanation is that the people were treated to a free meal. Otherwise, the restaurant would lose credibility.

                            1. re: RainyDayInOregon

                              I would expect that the people in the ads knew when they went there that they were taking part in some sort of test marketing, were getting a free meal, and signed releases agreeing to be filmed.
                              It was also probably done when the restaurant was closed for regular business.

                        3. I don't buy that type of good from the WalMarchy.
                          But the commercial caught my attention.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: iL Divo

                            bought some great lamb from there last week. They are also now doing a hormone free kinder to chickens chicken whole and cut. have not tried their steaks.

                            1. re: smartie

                              All chicken raised in the US is hormone free. That crap is pure marketing.

                            2. re: iL Divo

                              I understand that "WalMarchy" is a pejorative term, but I don't know why. I'm not attempting to be a smart-alec like I usually am, I just don't get it. Is the some pop culture reference that I'm mssing?

                              1. re: John E.

                                A variation of "Wal-marche," a name designed to make the WalMart shopping experience sound more upscale than it really is. See "Tar-jay" for Target.

                            3. I know enough about meat that when I see it, no matter what the cut, I can tell if it's good. I was at WM the other day and bought a 2 pack of boneless ribeyes, they were about 12oz each, well marbled and marked down from $12 to $9, took them home threw them on the grill, they were great. You WM snobs are something else.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                I don't buy meat at WM because I don't know where it's from or how the cows were treated.

                                1. re: Rilke

                                  But you run that risk at every supermarket, not just at a Walmart. Not all supermarkets carry humanely-raised certifed meat.

                                  In fact, Walmart does carry humane-certified & organically-fed poultry products, but I've never checked re: other meats.

                                  1. re: Bacardi1

                                    And I don't buy meat at supermarkets.

                                    WM's business practices, however, are reprehensible; I buy *nothing* there if I can help it. I have only purchased two items from WM, ever, because I literally could not find them anywhere else, for any price. I simply cannot support the company with a clean conscience.

                                    1. re: Rilke

                                      "because I could not find them anywhere else, for any price."
                                      Inquiring minds want to know.

                                      1. re: Samalicious

                                        One was a very specific mini fridge. Danby, I think the brand was. It had to fit in a small space and I didn't want a freezer (defrost is annoying). Had to order it from WM's website and pick it up.

                                        The other was a particular dog toy that I used to buy at a local farmer's market. They stopped carrying the toy and it was nowhere else to be found. My dog chewed through his last one and was heartbroken. His desires > my purchasing politics.

                                        1. re: Rilke

                                          I bought 2 premium choice rib eyes last night and cooked them on the Q and they were better then most steak houses! I think anyone who doesn't like them may need to learn how to grill a steak!

                                      2. re: Rilke

                                        I'm a disabled vet and living on a fixed income and when I can save a couple of bucks on an item I'm going to do it.....

                                    2. re: Rilke

                                      I raised young "Lorelei" on kisses and organic clover. I drove her over in my pickup truck to the Tyson Plant in Joslin, Illinois, wished her good luck, and she was later re-purposed into the choice steaks, hamburger, roasts, etc. for sale at your local WM ....

                                  2. I bought 3 rib steaks that looked wonderful, and big....... but it didn't taste like Rib steaks, and wasn't as tender as rib steaks.

                                    1. We've had WalMart meats in the past and they've been pretty good. London Broil and flatiron steaks have been very good in th epast. As with all meats in all stores, you need to make sure it looks fresh and not starting to dry out or turn color. I know locavores and anti-all-things-corporate types pooh-pooh WM for everything and there are some Walmart stores in smaller cities or larger urbqan environments that have run down and are fair game to deride. But for the most part, the larger WMs and newer Super WMs do carry a good line of fresh foodstuffs and meats at reasonable prices to shopping at local stores and certainly more affordable for the 98%ers (1% wealthy/1%previously mentioned Locos) than Whole Foods/Earth Fare, et.al.

                                      2 Replies
                                        1. re: crewsweeper

                                          This is a bit OT, but FWIW I recently had to visit my hometown and stay in my mother's empty house -- It's pretty much WM or nothing there, and we picked up a roasted WM chicken (lemon pepper I believe it was) on the way in to have something to eat that evening. We ate about half of it, so the next day I threw the rest into a pot with water and made a stock. After cleaning the meat off the bones and chopping I added some veggies and herbs, and it turned out to be a pretty good home-made tasting soup. Easy to make and it kept us going for a few days.

                                        2. haven't tried it yet but attempted to Fathers Day early in the morning when WalMarchay was not very crowded. problem I ran into was a WM associate working meat dept. when I asked which one was the one spoken about in commercials, 'he pointed'. I followed his point which lead me to [???] so I walked to other food section in WM and never did return to the steak dept.

                                          1. Wally world has a place in my shopping regimen, just not for beef steak based on experience. Tried a new to me butcher this week that had grain fed midwestern porterhouse for $5.99 a pound. Also had $8.99 Wally select, as a test. The edge went to the private butcher, but not by much. Both were well marbled and had a good flavor. Both were much better than a local butcher that uses local steers and are grass fed.


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                              "local steers and are grass fed" Your tastebuds are correct. Corn fed beef tastes Much better than grass fed.

                                            2. Walmart steaks, Rip off!!! They are terrible after you cut off all the fat they hide on bottom you have almost nothing left for you 10.00 filet. And am I going to take that back and ask for my money please, just don't do it go to fare way watch them cut it show it to you and enjoy!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Bsmom1

                                                well I'm gonna agree about about this seeming like a lesser steak.
                                                and the price at WalMarchay, well let's just say it ain't cheap.

                                                1. re: Bsmom1

                                                  Thats the biggest problem I have with Walmart Filet Mignon. They wrap the cut with a a great marbled side facing up but when you get it home and open the package, you find gristle and fat throughout the bottom of the steak where you can't see it in the package. Not funny when you are paying $16.00 lb and getting less than one bite of edible steak. Major ripoff!

                                                2. On MasterChef tonight, they had a t-bone steak in the first challenge, with a big Walmart sign next to it :-(.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: MisterBill2

                                                    Just about every food program has product placement, to cook in the GE kitchen & haul in a Toyota. Why are you upset with this one?

                                                    1. re: beteez

                                                      It was a little funny. Turned into about a half hour Walmart meat commercial.
                                                      I would guess that none of the judges have ever bought meat at Walmart. Probably why even though it was the main ingredient in the challenge, they chose a dish that didn't use any of it.

                                                      1. re: beteez

                                                        I don't think they make it as obvious as in this case, with a big Walmart sign next to the steak. However WM did buy a lot of commercials during the rest of the show so I guess they paid their way in. Also, as Bobfrmia said, one of the top 3 didn't even use the steak in their dish, and none of the judges really said anything about the steak itself during their comments, it was more the presentation and taste of the overall dish.

                                                      2. re: MisterBill2

                                                        Walmart is their food sponsor for the show < at least they said so last night, so not surprised the judges spoke of the wonderment's regarding the food products at the WalMarchay.

                                                      3. Again - I hate to chime in again tooting Walmart's horn, but I bought a package of 2 nice-size loin lamb chops the other day that I grilled up, & they were melt-in-your-mouth tender with wonderful lamb flavor. For $6, I got more than my money's worth.

                                                        17 Replies
                                                        1. re: Bacardi1

                                                          I believe Sam's Club is owned by Walmart and the Sam's Club in my area sells a branded product from National Beef called "Black Canyon" Angus beef. It is a bottom choice product with a marbling score of Small 00 or higher which is typical of supermarket bottom choice. My guess is that Walmart is selling similar quality. You can find a nice steak from time to time in the bottom choice grade but generally speaking the consistency is not there which is why most GOOD restaurants serve "top choice" which is very close to low prime and is considerably more expensive.

                                                          Usually producers & retailers of a TOP choice beef product like Certified Angus Beef or Excel Sterling Silver go out of their way to advertise 1. Animal age 2. Marbling score 3. Minimum days aged ..........HAS WALMART DONE SO?

                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                            Their steaks are labeled either USDA Choice or Select. They don't seem to be making any other claims.

                                                            1. re: Samalicious

                                                              I just pulled up their written beef ad and their internet video commercial. They use a lot of NON USDA terms to describe quality such as " Premium Beef " , " Perfect Marbling " and "Highest Quality Choice Cuts" (cuts has nothing to do with grade).

                                                              Google " Certified Angus Beef or Sterling Silver Beef ". Their sites will go into great detail about all the quality attributes of their products using USDA terminology. These Attributes can then be confirmed by going to "USDA Certified Beef Programs".

                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                Walmart has convinced me that I need to stop buying meat at my local supermarkets and give some of the specialty shops a try.

                                                                I bought some steaks at Walmart from their "USDA Choice" counter (about 4 feet of space in the meat counter, at the opposite end from the regular beef, past the pork and chicken)--a package of thin cut ribeye and a package of NY strip.

                                                                I had the ribeye last night. The meat was fine, but I had an interesting experience while cooking it. While searing the meat, I suddenly thought, "Hey, that smells GOOD!"

                                                                If choice grade beef at Walmart can stand that far above what passes for steak at the places I usually shop, obviously I need to find better places to buy meat. ;)

                                                                1. re: fogeylv

                                                                  The 3 grades of beef generally available to the public are: Prime, Choice & Select. Within each grade there are 3 distinct quality levels often referred to as: Top, Middle & Bottom and there is a huge quality difference between the top of the grade and the bottom of the grade.

                                                                  Walmart has spent a fortune advertising their beef program but has not identified their beef as "top choice" using USDA terminology which leads me to believe it is bottom choice.

                                                                  Any good butcher shop will have top choice which is often just as good as bottom prime and it will probably be wet aged for at least 3 weeks. They may also have dry aged top choice but that will be MUCH more expensive.

                                                                  I buy top choice whole primals and age them myself and prefer the steaks I grill over the average steakhouse.

                                                                  I think you would really love top choice beef and its not really that expensive. Costco sells top choice and most people on this site rave about it.

                                                                  What were you buying at the grocery store that made the Walmart steak taste great?

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    None of the local supermarkets identify the grade of their beef any more (other than the store's own label), so I assume standard.

                                                                    1. re: fogeylv

                                                                      I think your right for their run of the mill steak but some stores offer top choice steaks at a premium price. In addition to the cheap store label bottom choice, our local Shoprite offers Certified Angus Beef & ACME offers Chairman's Reserve which I believe is from Tyson. In both cases they have extensive advertising using USDA terminology to describe the superior qualities that make them top choice.

                                                                      GOOGLE: USDA Certified Beef Programs. Pretty interesting read.

                                                                  2. re: fogeylv

                                                                    "thin cut ribeye' I'm glad you had a decent experience with that, but if you want a "good" ribeye, personally, after 40+ years of grilling, I would recommend an inch or inch and a quarter. Look for thinner marbeling running Through the steak itself, as when grilling, the thicker fat will pull away from the meat and it'll get overdone.

                                                              2. re: Tom34

                                                                i have always been puzzled by the names that markets assign their beef. i have never received an explanation from the meat cutters at the various safeways, albertsons, etc. when i ask what is angus beef? what does certified angue beef mean? what grade does this compare to?

                                                                  1. re: ritabwh

                                                                    Angus is a type of cattle. Byrd's link is a pretty thorough description of Certified Angus Beef.

                                                                    IMHO, the fact that its from an Angus steer doesn't really matter. To me what does matter is there is a huge difference in quality within a grade and Certified Angus Beef and the other branded products that grade top choice are generally much better than products that grade bottom choice.

                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                      thank you. i've always relied on usda grading rather than the store's brand name. a meat cutter at safeway told me that their rancher's reserve is choice or better. but he could not show me the actual usda grade.
                                                                      how does one tell top choice grade vs. bottom choice?

                                                                      1. re: ritabwh

                                                                        Probably the easiest and most reliable way is comparing marbling.

                                                                        Generally, there is noticeably more marbling (specks of fat) dispersed throughout the steak in high choice vs low choice.

                                                                        I have found that branded products such as CAB, Sterling Silver & Chairman's Reserve are consistently high choice which is how they are marketed. Many also have a minimum 21 days age.

                                                                        There are a lot of good reads on branded beef products on the net as well as pictures of different marbling scores.

                                                                    2. re: ritabwh

                                                                      Certified Angus is a brand, but it makes it sound like so much more. Marketing 101.

                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                        yes, as i suspected. marketing ploy. thank you.

                                                                1. The fact that Wal-Mart is attempting to get into the higher quality meat world is excellent. The consumer will then start asking for even higher quality, and that which is humanely and naturally raised. The mere fact that Wal-Mart feels it has had to feature higher quality meat is a sign of a trend.

                                                                  Though Whole Foods and other big chains are way ahead in this regard, they still aren't big enough to have made a sizeable change in the meat farming industry, and the humanely raised meat is much more expensive because of it. But imagine Wal-Mart starting to feature humanely and naturally raised meats? That reverberates through the entire meat industry.

                                                                  1. Walmart's steak is premium choice grade. We buy it at Sams Club (same beef). The beef is corn fed and not frozen.. The NY Strip sirloin and Ribeyes are as good as any found in any steakhouse. I was surprised. Also the price per pound is 30% less than Publix price where we live. Try it and judge for yourself.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Sigmonde

                                                                      Ask to see the whole primal cut and get back with the brand on the cryovac. Sams in South Jersey sells Black Canyon Angus Beef, a product of National Beef. Its USDA Certified Beef Schedule number is G-63 and its marbling score starts at (small 00) which is the lowest marbling score in the choice grade (Bottom Choice).

                                                                      I asked the Sam's Club MGR how their beef is ordered and she said thats its based on a long term contract which corporate negotiates nationwide. (An answer I already knew but wanted confirmed).

                                                                      Bottom line is if Walmart was selling TOP choice (Modest 00 marbling or higher) they would be including this "USDA Terminology " in their adds which they are NOT. Walmart's terminology "Premium Beef "....."Premium Choice"...."Perfect marbling" ......"Perfect Choice Cuts".....are not USDA terms and have nothing what so ever to do with the grade the USDA inspectors assign to a beef carcass.

                                                                      I would also point out that 2 of the largest restaurant purveyors in the country (US FOODS) & (SYSCO) are 2 of the largest purchasers of restaurant grade beef in North America. Walmart can't sell the same product for less that US Foods & Sysco pay for it.

                                                                      Walmart choice beef is probably much better than Select beef, but I seriously doubt it is restaurant quality TOP CHOICE. When Walmart Meat V/P Scott Neal steps forward using USDA terminology identifying his beef as TOP Choice, then I will take everything I have written on this thread back.

                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                        So, please define "restaurant grade" & "restaurant quality"

                                                                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                          Most good restaurants purchase the top end of the Choice Grade.

                                                                          The break down of USDA beef grades and the tiers within the grades are readily available on the net. Google "Beef Quality & Yield Grade" and a Texas A& M article will come up which provides a comprehensive breakdown. After reading that, Google USDA Certified Beef Programs and read that. On the list of beef programs you will see Certified Angus Beef (G-1) & Excel Sterling Silver (G-2). Go to their web sites and read them. The reason I chose them is because they are 2 commonly purchased brands by high end restaurants.

                                                                          US Foods & Sysco are two of the largest restaurant purveyors in North America and you can also go to their sites.

                                                                          For the last couple years the Sam's Club in my area has been selling National Beef's "Black Canyon Angus Beef" (g-63) which has a marbling score of SM 00
                                                                          or better which is bottom choice. The MGR told me this is a corporate decision. Walmart is Sam's Parent Company. I see no reason to believe Walmart is selling beef of a higher quality that Sam's and their advertising campaign is devoid of USDA terminology claiming their products are top choice.

                                                                      2. re: Sigmonde

                                                                        If you don't have an educated palate this might work for you. Tried it. Judged it even against local supermarkets. Totally disagree with you. Price doesn't matter if the flavor is not there. Yuk.

                                                                      3. I have seen several posts that are pro Walmart meats. Some even call those of us who do not purchase the products snobs. I have no idea what quality of meats are sold at everyone else's Walmarts, but after having more than my fair share of bad experiences with the product I have sworn to never purchase it again. I have had the meat go bad within 24 hours of purchase. The few times it made it to the table, the meat was tough and extremely bland. It was wonderful when someone opened a local butcher shop. He grades his beef, and his prices are lower than Walmarts. It may just be the stores around here, but no commercial is going to convince me that all Walmarts have the skills needed to sell safe and edible meats.

                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Utsusieq

                                                                          Corporations like Walmart & Sam's Club monitor this site as well as others. In several posts I have stated they are both selling BOTTOM choice. Nobody from either has disputed what I have posted. In the case of Sam's Club its National Beef's "Black Canyon Angus Beef" which is Bottom Choice according to the USDA Certified Beef Schedule.

                                                                          In order for an independent butcher to stand out and keep customers coming back they usually have to offer TOP choice or better with some wet age or in some cases dry age. Most of the time they are a little more expensive but worth every penny.

                                                                          I can never figure people out when it comes to steak. They drop $45.00 or more plus drinks, tax and tip for a steak at a restaurant without blinking an eye but balk at an extra $3.00 p/lb when they go to the market. Then they say you just can't duplicate that great steakhouse flavor. DUH! Not only can you duplicate it, you can do it better but you have to start off with a good quality piece of meat and bottom choice AIN'T IT !

                                                                          1. re: Utsusieq

                                                                            I am not attempting to change your mind, but Walmarts' meat is not cut at the store. There are no butchers cutting steaks at any Walmart. All of the meat in the refrigerated or freezer cases at Walmart were cut and packaged at some central location, not at each store.

                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                              Seconded. They didn't want to pay the wages expected by the meatcutters union and this is their way around that. Personally when I buy meat I want it to be from someone who has cut into it and can look me in the eye when they sell it to me. (And personally I've worked both at a grocery store meat counter as well as at Walmart.)

                                                                              On the other hand, my brother brought some enormous Sam's Club ribeyes over and they came out pretty good. For the lower price you lose one level of quality control in exchange, but that doesn't mean the meat will be bad.

                                                                              1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                Sam's Club does employ actual meatcutters in their stores.

                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                  Your right. I am a member, Mid Atlantic region. 2 yrs ago they were cutting Excel Beef's Sterling Silver top choice. Now they are cutting National Beef's Black Canyon Angus beef BOTTOM choice. Very, Very sad!!!!!!!!!! Better off skipping the membership fee and going to Walmart and getting the same thing!!!!!

                                                                            2. re: Utsusieq

                                                                              Maybe it DOES have to do with the individual stores. I've been in Walmarts that have given me the skeevies & that I'd never buy food from, but my local one is quite a nice store & I've never had a problem with their meats/poultry. They also carry many food products & brands that other local supermarkets in our area do not.

                                                                              As far as snobbery, if you've tried your local Walmart's meats/poultry & haven't liked them, that's fine. Where snobbery comes in is when folks pooh-pooh the very idea of Walmart meats possibly being both delicious & good value when they haven't even purchased them. Like I said, I've purchased steaks, lamb (both chops & ground), & pork (both chops & country-style spare ribs), & have yet to be disappointed in any way.

                                                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                Sam's Club uses Black Canyon angus beef which is a branded product from National Beef. It has a marbling score of small 00 or better which is BOTTOM CHOICE. While certainly better than select grade, in the restaurant trade bottom choice is NOT high quality meat and very few reputable restaurants would serve it.

                                                                                Walmart is the parent company of Sam's Club and I don't believe it makes sense to split the purchase bid. My GUESS is that what Sam's is selling is what Walmart is selling.

                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                  So what? Again - if you purchase meat from Walmart & find - as I have - that it's delicious & good value - all the more power to you. And vice versa. But if instead you prefer to get all fussy-mussy over grades, brands, yadayadayada without even tasting any of the products, then frankly you're a snob.

                                                                                  1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                    It has nothing to do with snobbery or Walmart. It has to do with misleading advertising. If Walmart had top choice restaurant quality steak at a reasonable price I would buy it, but they DON'T. Neither does Sam's Club!

                                                                                    As for the grading, it is what it is and they don't give the good stuff away at Walmart prices which is why Walmart doesn't sell it. Your paying about 25% less than a good restaurant that buys hundreds or thousands of LBS a week. ....CLUE!!!!

                                                                                    You get what you pay for. Ever go to a cheap chain restaurant and get a tender sirloin for a really cheap price and then you were unusually thirsty for several hours after you ate it? .....Thats another CLUE.

                                                                                    If I gave you a Top Choice 28 day aged NY strip and you ate it side by side with an identically cooked Walmart bottom choice steak you would notice a huge difference.....whether that difference is worth a couple dollars more a LBp

                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                      When did Walmart indicate in their advertising that they were selling Top Choice 28 day aged NY strip?

                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                        Well, probably the most common practice in the restaurant industry is to buy top choice whole primals by the case and let them sit for 3 to 4 weeks from the date on the case. Inferences are a big part of advertising. In Walmart's adds they claim their steak is restaurant quality and even go so far as to claim it was served in fine restaurants so the inference is there.

                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                          I guess I have not noticed their ads yet. I suppose they could legally make such a claim because not all restaurants serve top choice, 28 day aged steaks.

                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                            Your right, not all restaurants do but most good ones that have been around a while plate top choice or better. In many cases a lot of the branded products Sysco & US Foods sell to restaurants all ready have 20 or more days of age on them before they leave the pack house.

                                                                                            You can google Walmart steak and their you tube add comes up with the VP of their beef division discussing the virtues of their steak clearly claiming it is restaurant quality and going as far as showing it being served in fine restaurants and then telling the patrons after their meal.

                                                                                            IMHO, paying an extra 25% or so for top choice at Costco or a butcher is worth it if you are a steak lover and can afford it.

                                                                                          2. re: Tom34

                                                                                            I do what the restaurants do, Buy strips or ribeyes in Cryovac and leave in the beer reefer for around a month. Costco sells prime, and a little knowledge allows you to pick the best one in the case. (If none suit you, ask.)

                                                                                            The bottom line is that you cannot produce a restaurant quality steak unless you start with a restaurant quality steak.

                                                                                            1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                              Your last line is 100% correct.

                                                                                              I sear in a BGE with lump at frightening temps and get results as good as any steak house I have been to but I start with high quality steaks aged whole for min 28 days..

                                                                                              Years ago in a last minute pinch I used low choice from the supermarket shelf cooked identically on the BGE to the good stuff. No comparison.

                                                                                      2. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                        CORRECTION: Last sentence.........is a matter of personal choice.

                                                                                2. Ok. I purchased a box of 6oz rib eyes and thawed them in refridge overnight. THESE ARE NOT STEAK. They cut with a fork, taste like a ground up, re shaped meat by product! It says tenderized with ficin and bromeline so maybe that's it but my friends and I thought they were disgusting. Soft yes, but like processed chicken fingers are to chicken. Don't buy the rib eyes.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: drdeb

                                                                                    Buying beef from a reputable butcher who's livelihood depends on "consistently" offering a good quality product only costs a few dollars more per plate. Good quality beef can be had at some big box chains and supermarkets but you have to know what to look for and in many cases it is hit or miss.

                                                                                    High quality beef, pork, chicken & seafood does not need to be injected with tenderizers, liquid fat and other products. Also look out for multi directional grain, especially with beef fillets & scallops. These are made by gluing scraps/trimmings together.

                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                      Chances of finding butchers in many towns are as good as finding a 4 leaf clover

                                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                        I know that can be a problem. I am spoiled in that regard. In most metropolitan areas one can usually be found within an hour trip. Buying a whole "high quality" boneless sub primal, wet aging 28 days from the box date, cutting it into steaks, vacuum sealing them and freezing them may be the best option. Yes it will cost around 25% more $$ but for that 25% extra cost your getting fine dining quality steak at a fraction of the cost of going to a fine dining restaurant.

                                                                                  2. Last weekend, my boyfriend bought a package of 2 porterhouse steaks. They were $35. He was very disappointed in how much they shrunk when he cooked them (he likes his well done, I like them medium rare). They were so incredibly tough to cut and to chew and really had very little flavor. He has also bought NY striips in the recent months and they are also very tasteless (but not as tough).

                                                                                    I could have gotten 2 Outback Specials at Outback Steakhouse for that $35.

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                      I avoid it as a 'steak' however I occasionally get their sirloin or what have you for beef strip type dishes..etc NEVER buy a eating 'steak' there

                                                                                      1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                        I was just talking to a SYSCO Foods rep today. Certified Angus Beef (CAB) Whole boneless 0x1 striploin about $6.79 Lb. CAB is high choice and the best they carry in the choice line. Figure 15 Lbs @ 6.79 = $102.00. Should yield 13 nice 1 3/8 thick steaks @ about $8.00 p/steak. We are talking much better quality than "Outback". Any small butcher shop can bring one in for a little premium over the $6.79 LB as there is no labor cutting it. Wet age it in cryovac for 3 weeks from the box date, cut it up, double wrap it and freeze it. Best steak house will be your house!!!!

                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                          Just reading through this thread and a couple of things I want to point out based on your post.

                                                                                          WET aging is ok to try at home, but as pointed out you need to use a WHOLE primal cuts, do not attempt with individual steaks.

                                                                                          You need to ask the butcher what the BOX DATE is, this is NOT the "use by" date on the label. They need to tell you the box date of when the received it, if you cannot establish this date, do not attempt to age this meat, go somewhere else.

                                                                                          Wet aging is a "doable" practice at home, and you will produce a better quality product than just grilling a piece of meat straight off the self. However, if you are a big steakhouse person, such as myself, or Tom34 it seems, this will most likely fall short of your expectations because most top steakhouses DRY age their meat. Dry aging is NOT a practice to attempt at home.

                                                                                          Check the meat daily, if you notice a leak of fluids or the cryovac get's puffy, you have a leak, cut and use the steak immediately.

                                                                                          Dry aging produces the superior (in my opinion) product. Wet aging is certainly better than steak off the shelf, however it will fall short of most true steakhouses, it's a happy compromise, again in my opinion.

                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                            I love both wet and dry aged steak and have been buying sub primals and aging them both ways for years. I will admit that in recent years I do mostly wet aging as I have a friend who will hang bone in sub primals in his shop for me.

                                                                                            My wife and kids prefer the wet aged which is fine with me :-)

                                                                                            BOX DATE is critical. Most wholesale clubs put a sticker on the sub primals with a Julian date on it, which is the day they removed it from the case and printed the sticker, not the date on the case. Must see the box date!!!!!!

                                                                                            TIGHT CRYOVAC is a must. Many things can cause puffiness, air leaks, old meat and extended periods of above 40 degree storage. Best to avoid it.

                                                                                            WET AGING sub primals can be done in any refrigerator but if you have a big family and the door on the primary refrigerator gets opened non stop allowing all the cold air to fall out I would recommend a using a 2nd refrig. Most residential refrigerators have small compressors and can only cycle a given # of minutes an hour and can hold temps of 50 or higher during heavy use. I use the downstairs one which only gets opened once a day if that.

                                                                                            DRY AGING: This is where the controversy seems to be. Many professional butcher sites say you can do it at home, many say you can't. I have repeatedly done it with great success, but ALWAYS in a small commercial glass door refrigerator which has a built in fan to move the air. There is a "dry bag" system out there now that many folks rave about but I have never used it.

                                                                                            My advice to a steak lover who is fed up with supermarket beef is to consult a good private butcher. Because there is no labor, they will usually bring in a really nicely marbled top choice cryovaced sub primal at 20% markup or less and they will know the box date. Throw it on the bottom shelf of the downstairs refrig for a total of 28 days from the box date. That will give you a great steak. Then if you want to try dry aging, do your homework and see if its right for you.

                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                I think so. I just get frustrated when people think a good restaurant has some magical cooking device that can't be duplicated at home. Nothing is further from the truth. Its all about starting with top quality ingredients, which is especially the case with steak.

                                                                                      2. My husband is insisting on trying the new choice beef. He should be the guinea pig but he is not discriminatory where food is concerned so relying on others. I will say, select cuts are garbage. I could not eat it so never tried it again.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: porter99

                                                                                          Folks are reporting Costco's choice beef, including expensive cuts like strips & ribs are needled. When you get the Walmart choice, try bending / twisting it and see if it has little 1/8 inch wide knife slits running through it.

                                                                                          If you want to do a little experiment, stop at a local butcher and buy a real nicely marbled top choice steak of the same cut & thickness. Season & cook them identically and try them and see if the extra 25% cost for the good stuff is worth it.

                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                            Tom, this is some very good and simple advice. Thank you!

                                                                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                              Your welcome. My pet peeve is that many meals do not require professional skill or extremely high end appliances to prep & steak is one of then. If one enjoys cooking at home, spending the extra 25% for top quality ingredients produces a night and day difference in the final product. I love going out to eat and do it often, but I also love showing guests that basic cooking skills combined with top quality ingredients produce 5 star dining at 1/5 the cost. They can also spend the night if they spend time at my bar :-)

                                                                                        2. I have been trying all types of Walmart beef steaks for a few years and every single time their steaks are tough and I know how to marinate and cook them. Walmart is the only grocery near where I live.

                                                                                          1. I was in the MILs home town where all of the grocery stores were closed on Sunday except Walmart. I purchased four ribeyes. They were about $80- even there! The flavor was bland but what was worse was the texture. It was like chewing on a balloon. It even made sounds. It wasn't just tough - it was weird. They were literally inedible. We thew them away.

                                                                                            The next day I took my receipt back to the store and initially they would not refund my money without the steaks. I told them we threw them away and it would have been unsanitary to bring them back. The response was -"Well, how do I know you didn't eat them?" I ended up talking to a supervisor and the store manager who finally gave me a gift card for the full amount.

                                                                                            Now I pre-plan if I am cooking.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: SparkleKristy

                                                                                              "It even made sounds" ............You know I have to ask :-)

                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                Reading that, I imagined the sound of my dog chewing on his rubber Kong toy. Squeak squeak.

                                                                                              2. re: SparkleKristy

                                                                                                I thought if the meat made sounds, that was how you knew that it was fresh? Oh wait, different sounds :-(.

                                                                                                1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                                                  If it was injected with solution I wonder if it was a popping/crackling type sound from the pressure created by chewing which forced the solution to move through the meat fibers causing them to expand?

                                                                                              3. its not that the stakes are any better its just the setting. take a look at this study done by Cornell University food & brand lab. http://youtu.be/u-cA2FKalKc

                                                                                                1. Somehow I'd never taken the time to look at the WM meat section until a year after this was posted. What I found:

                                                                                                  Beef did not have any indication on the packaging whether select or choice. There may have been a store sign somewhere but I missed it.

                                                                                                  The label however did say the ingredients were "beef and natural flavorings". I don't know what to make of that.

                                                                                                  The pork chops and country ribs I checked included water and ascorbic acid in the ingredients list "to improve tenderness".

                                                                                                  All the in-house meats were produced under the Tyson umbrella with some Farmland sprinkled around.

                                                                                                  19 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                    All the big chain supermarkets buy their boxed beef in the same manner as Walmart and pay about the same price.

                                                                                                    From time to time, a big chain will advertise a sale and sell a particular cut of beef near cost to get people in the store.

                                                                                                    Overall though, their non sale prices for the same cuts of the same quality are very close.

                                                                                                    If a company like Walmart is consistently beating other companies prices by a significant amount, there is a reason.

                                                                                                    Its more than likely a lower grade beef and or its pumped with solution and your paying steak price per LB for up to 15% solution which is essentially water.

                                                                                                    Another thing to look out for are little slits in the meat indicating it was needled. Hounds are saying Costco is doing this.

                                                                                                    Bottom line: Good quality meat does not need to be pumped or needled. Good quality meat also cost more than lessor quality meat, thats a FACT and Walmart is not giving it away on a daily basis.

                                                                                                    In addition to commodity beef, most of the big chain supermarkets offer branded beef products such as Certified Angus Beef, Excel Sterling Silver or IBP Chairman's Reserve.

                                                                                                    These branded products grade modest marbling or better and usually have at least 21 days age. This is the quality most good steak houses serve. It costs about 20% more but IMHO worth every penny.

                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                      They are requiring blade tenderized meats to be labeled as such now. Costco puts labels on theirs so you know they have to be fully cooked.


                                                                                                      1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                        I haven't been in a Costco in a while. Do they offer both needled and non needled for the same cuts? Are even the high value cuts such as ribs & strips labeled as needled?

                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                          In Seattle all the steaks are labled blade tenderized and they don't seem to have non-blade tenderized. At some stores they sell short ribs that are vacuum packed and whole strips and aren't blade tenderized.

                                                                                                          1. re: knowspicker

                                                                                                            My family eats beef med rare to rare. I wouldn't do that with needled meat. Some pretty knowledgeable folks on here touched on the potential problems.

                                                                                                            Buy the whole strip, age 2 to 3 weeks, vacuum seal or triple wrap what you don't use right away. Slow thaw in the fridge followed by open air 24 hr drying over a wire rack in the fridge with some sea salt and your in store for some good eats.

                                                                                                            1. re: knowspicker

                                                                                                              Interestingly, we're in the Seattle area and I've never seen "blade tenderized" at our Costco. But to be fair, we buy almost exclusively whole subprimals in cryos and only buy steaks when I don't have a whole sub dry-aging handy, and then only prime. So I may have missed this.

                                                                                                              What a horrible thing to do to a steak. I mean, a skirt steak, maybe, but a rib-eye?

                                                                                                              Will have to look for this today.

                                                                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                Wow. Sure enough, every cut and packaged steak except for the tenderloin and, curiously, the flank steak (which is one of the few steaks I would consider doing this to) was labeled this way. Even the roasts that had been cut to smaller sizes from the cryo subs were so labeled. I wonder if I just missed this because I rarely buy the cut steaks or I just lazily hadn't thought to check the labels.

                                                                                                                I'm usually a pathological label-reader but this was in like four-point type and I'm a little irritated.

                                                                                                                But now more than ever, it's the whole subprimals for me, or shifting more of my buying to Restaurant Depot.

                                                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                  I don't understand it AC. A good quality high value cut of meat doesn't need to be needled, so why do it. Makes one wonder what the specs for Kirkland beef really are.

                                                                                                                  If you own a restaurant and have an account with Sysco I would order CAB from Buckhead Beef. If you have an account with US Foods I would order Rastelli Elite.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                    Sysco bought out/"merged" with US Foods a few months ago. So probably not much difference anymore. The dumbing down of the wholesale food world is still in progress!

                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                      I had heard about the merge but wasn't sure if they meshed their product lines. I wonder if the lack of competition will effect prices and quality?

                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                        Probably a lot of people in sales who spent years developing a good customer base got hurt.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                          Comes with the territory (haha!) But there will NEVER be a lack of competition either way, at least not here in the Metro NY area....the little people are all still hanging in there with their specialty stuff, and raising their price and services to make up for it. Customer loyalty hasn't disappeared completely. Yet!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                            Both Sysco and US Foods have been pitching me relentlessly lately. I've vowed never to have a Sysco truck parked outside my place and while the US Foods guys promised they would operate separately, I asked them if they could promise that if a US Foods truck broke down, a Sysco truck wouldn't be swapped in to replace it at the last minute. They couldn't make that promise. Also, they wanted me to sign a three-year deal to buy 80% of my stuff from them. So I told them thanks but no thanks.

                                                                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                              I'm pretty sure that in three years you won't be seeing any US Foods (or whatever their current name is) pulling up anywhere.

                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                Despite their protestations that DoJ won't let it go through, my money's on you.

                                                                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                  I think with the merger they will still have less than 30% of the market, but don't quote me!

                                                                                                                        2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                          Just got a whole Upper Choice SAB Ribeye from Depot for $7.79/lb. Sale ended yesterday -- D'oh! ($7.19/lb unit $6.79/lb cs). Nicely marbled. We'll have some tonight and dry-age the rest. They have Select at $6.29. At that price it'd be pretty good if you aged it.

                                                                                                                          Costco Choice was $6.59 today whole un-bladed in the cryo. I wasn't blown away by any of them so I didn't buy any.

                                                                                                                          I agree about this needling thing. I'm going to talk to our Costco rep tomorrow and try to learn who decided this needed to be done. Makes no sense at all and is anti-good eats.

                                                                                                                          1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                            Let us know what the Costco rep says.

                                                                                                                            R.D. choice $7.79 (vs) Costco choice $6.59..........that kind of price difference makes one wonder whats in that Kirkland bag.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                              They appeared to have very little marbling, but they did say Choice. But I have to say I've never had any complaints or issues with Costco ribeyes, especially after aging them. I like them a lot. I think they're IBP.

                                                                                                                              I just now know never to touch one not in the original cryo.

                                                                                                          2. I have tried it its pretty good. As good as any other choice beef. Its the same supplier sold in Sams. Also those people that say Walmart is lower quality because its significantly cheaper don't make sense. I mean look at their buying power compared to local and regional chains. Plus, they deal in much greater volume then local and regional stores which also keeps them cheaper.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: txnsc88

                                                                                                              I am no expert on Walmart but from what I have seen and read they have 2 grades......one is pumped cryovaced select grade and the other is commodity choice.

                                                                                                              IMHO, branded choice products such as CAB are well worth the extra $1.50 lb.

                                                                                                            2. I've tried both their Choice and regular. I wouldn't go with the regular again, but the Choice was just fine - as good as or better than regular supermarket meat. Not as good as our independent butcher perhaps, but heads and tails over the garbage selling at our farmer's market.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                Your independent butcher probably hand selects sub primals from branded products with a modest marbling score or better and adds a little age. Many farmer's markets are selling ungraded beef and non-steer beef. Some are also trying to fill the grass finished niche which is not easy from a quality standpoint.

                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                  True dat. Local butcher also knows how to cut and trim, which can make a huge difference over grocery stores, which sometimes produce shaggy and uneven chunks that do not resemble steaks. Farmers market guys rely too much on the grass-fed/local/organic aspect. None of those words automatically equal "good".

                                                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                    I am a big fan of supporting the small guy. My buddy is old school, cherry picks a heavily marbled whole bone-in sub primal strip loin off a "hanging side of beef" and then dry ages it on the bone for me for 3 to 4 weeks. Add a few small lobster tails & its a $150.00 meal for under $50.00.

                                                                                                                    The grass finished beef is great, (stands out like a perfect diamond) when everything is perfect but unfortunately that is not the case better than 50% of the time.

                                                                                                              2. Could someone please just help me find out if WM steaks are made from meat glue????? This could be a health nightmare, if raw strips are glued into the middle of a steak that I want to cook to med. rare. If You want to eat that, be my guest! I just cannot find a reliable source of info for this, and have no local butcher to buy grass fed from, or I would.

                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: fishiewoo

                                                                                                                  I don't buy steaks at WM but they are regular steaks. No meat glue

                                                                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                    Oh that's GREAT ! Would you mind giving me your source for that so I can post it? A LOT of Moms are saying the only way they could make the steaks so inexpensive is by injection and glue, I would like a source to show them. THANK YOU :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: fishiewoo

                                                                                                                      What source? How can you look at a steak and not know if its been glued together? You see muscle groups and fascia between them just like every other steak you see in a grocery store or butcher shop.

                                                                                                                      1. re: fishiewoo

                                                                                                                        Steaks are as expensive or inexpensive as the market will bear. You buy in at the bottom price, which is somewhat predictable. If you are a big company like Walmart, you will get the cheapest prices anyway, without resorting to trickery.

                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                          wm is known for trickery :/ On the newscast we watched, they said there is no way to tell by looking at them what steaks are glued and which are not. I e-mailed wm corporate but have not received an answer yet.If I had a butcher or local source I would gladly use it exclusively. My Stop n sHop and ShopRite both say they do NOT sell any beef that has been glued, but they go for 2-3$ lb more than wm. No matter how large wm is, that large a price difference isn't due to size. I guess we all would just like to know what we are eating, and cannot seem to get a firm yea or nay.

                                                                                                                          1. re: fishiewoo

                                                                                                                            The fancier grocery stores (IE not ethnic) charge whatever they can get.

                                                                                                                            Without having any proof on hand, but knowing meat buying pretty well, Walmart is bound to get the lowest price, being a much bigger customer than any of your local chains, and will also mark it up much less due to their clientele's expectations. And are we comparing choice, or select, or a lower grade, rather than meat that is supposedly glued? Lots of variables, the answer isn't cut and dried.

                                                                                                                            Also, some stores will charge more just to make customers think their product is better, when in fact almost all meat in this country comes from two or three factories in the mid west. At least what you can get in grocery stores or big chains.

                                                                                                                            1. re: fishiewoo

                                                                                                                              Certain packaging products may conceal glued meat but it is readily detectable out of the packaging by pulling and tugging at it a little and looking at the multi directional grain.

                                                                                                                              Glue has been used for years binding processed pollock fish into imitation crab meat.

                                                                                                                              Same for needling. Once out of the package, bend and twist the steak and the slits become readily apparent.

                                                                                                                              Many "fine dining" proteins are seasonal and their prices fluctuate but overall they are not cheap. In most cases if a store price or a menu price is extremely low so is the quality. Restaurant aren't dimly lit just to conserve energy.

                                                                                                                          2. re: fishiewoo

                                                                                                                            Just tell them they are so cheap b/c they deal in an unimaginable volume. No need for a source. But just look at the USDA rating on them. Should be source enough....m

                                                                                                                        2. re: fishiewoo

                                                                                                                          I do not believe their steaks are a meat glue product. To the best of my knowledge their cryovaced select grade are injected with solution and many have said their choice grade is needled which is becoming pretty common.

                                                                                                                          Filet steaks are sometimes a meat glue product as their are a lot of trimmings that come off a whole filet that glue together very nicely. If a price seems to good to be true anywhere I would be cautious.

                                                                                                                        3. Call me old fashioned or silly, however I tend to not buy my steaks at the same location I can get my tires changed, buy a flat panel TV, purchase baby diapers or a pet hamster.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                              They don't sell hamsters! (At least not in Jersey)

                                                                                                                              1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                I used to think the club stores were the way to go. Sam's had Excel's branded high choice "Sterling Silver" with modest or better marbling which compared to CAB. They switched to National Beef's Black Canyon low choice with small or better marbling.

                                                                                                                                Lot of talk recently about Costco needling their steaks. BJ's using hit or miss commodity choice.

                                                                                                                                If possible, order a CAB or Sterling Silver sub primal from a butcher, give it a little age, cut & trim, vacuum seal and freeze the steaks you don't cook that night. Slow thaw in the refrigerator in the future. Consistently great fine dining experience for about 25% additional costs which comes out to a total of about $30.00 more for 12 nice thick 20 to 24 oz steaks.

                                                                                                                            2. I was impressed with Walmart's commercials regarding their steaks and produce. I looked around our local Walmart's produce section, tried to find produce that looked as good as the produce in their commercial. I dug through bins of rotten and half rotten produce. I found a few peices that were mostly good, but not anything near as great as in their commercial. It was such a disgusting experience, I didn't continue on to the meat dept. Rotten vegetables are disgusting. The thought of their meat being rotten was more than I could handle, so I left. Just to be safe, I wouldn't buy any so-called "fresh" produce or meat at Walmart - ever.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: RainyDayInOregon

                                                                                                                                I was recently at a Walmart in Hilton Head, SC. Beautiful exterior with nice stone work, palm trees and landscaping. As I was walking from the car to the entrance I thought WOW, a nice Walmart, wish we had one of these. Didn't even move my wallet from my back pocket to my front pocket. Well, then we went in. Wallet quickly moved up front, ran straight for the item we needed and out the door we went. Dressing up a pig comes to mind.

                                                                                                                              2. Went to a BBQ over Labor Day where they served charcoal grilled Walmart steaks. I was very hungry and they sure smelled good. I tried to chew them for a few minutes but made little progress; it was very rubbery and had very little flavor. I guess what I was smelling was the charcoal. I would have been better off eating the charcoal.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: RainyDayInOregon

                                                                                                                                    Up front I will state I do not shop Walmart. From what I have read they have vacuum sealed select grade and commodity choice grade. Many claim the select grade is pumped & many claim the choice grade is needled.

                                                                                                                                    My feeling is when I cook steak, I am putting a lot of time / effort / money into sides & beverages and someone usually brings a really nice desert. I am just not ruining all of that to save a few bucks on the main ingredient, "steak". Its either high choice branded products which I age or cut from hanging beef from a friend.

                                                                                                                                  2. I have given Walmart's steaks THREE tries..every time..tough as shoe leather. Not wasting my money another time!

                                                                                                                                    1. We bought 2 ribsteaks a few years ago at Walmart. They were a good price and looked good. However after we cooked them up on the grill they tasted like HAM. Horrible....and we like ham. Seems they were injected with some preservative, mmm ,brine it said on the label after closer scrutiny... never again will I buy meat from Walmart.
                                                                                                                                      We returned the partially eaten cooked steaks BTW... No hassles !!!
                                                                                                                                      We try to avoid Walmart like the plague...but they have strangled all other businesses...

                                                                                                                                      1. The T-bone and Porterhouse can't be beat.

                                                                                                                                        1. fred meyer has select grade meat and i have been happy with it. i have tried walmart meat and it has not been good, the quality or price. possibly a local problem?
                                                                                                                                          lately beef has been substantially higher everywhere

                                                                                                                                          1. I buy the T-bone and or porterhouse. I think they are very good cuts. I use either a home made dry rub or Montreal steak seasoning w/ a light coating of xtra virgin olive oil. I always cook them on the grill. I can't speak for meat cooked beyond med. to med well. If you find their prices a bit high Walmart does price match your local grocers, and they guarantee ALL of their products. If you don't like it, take it back. What could be better than that? Their baby back ribs are also very good. I really think some of the negativity is based on cooking methods. I believe you are missing out if you don't give these cuts a try.

                                                                                                                                            1. After my spouse threatening to smother me for getting meat at Walmart their pricing has finally beat me to my knee's. Yesterday my wife pointed out that (once again)
                                                                                                                                              Walmart had stuck it to me. After checking the price tag.. (enough), to find the price had been jacked up $3.00 a pound for rib eye from $7.97 to $10.98 has ENDED my shopping ENTIRELY at Walmart.
                                                                                                                                              Pardon my frankness but SCREW Walmart. pc

                                                                                                                                              1. I have had the Walmart "Premium Choice" steaks many times. Rib Eyes and Strip. They are as good as any you will find. They are particularly well marbled and properly thick. Anyone who claims otherwise is either not buying their "P.C." ones or have a perpetual hard-on about Walmart. These steaks are great!

                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ritabwh

                                                                                                                                                    The Porterhouse and T-bone differ slightly in price, but approximately $11.50 per pound is the average. They do have a regular cut and a premium choice cut. The premium choice is a bit higher in quality than the regular cut, but when prepared and cooked properly I have never been disappointed. Walmart also price matches, so if you have a local ad for let's say $8.99 per pound Walmart will match that price. Additionally, Walmart has a guarantee. If you don't like the product they will refund your money. I don't see how you can go wrong.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: CEO77

                                                                                                                                                    I have purchased the regular cuts as well as the Premium Choice. I find there is a slight quality difference, but with proper preparation, meaning a good dry rub, and proper cooking I don't have an issue. I think you are right about the hard-on for Walmart. You just can't please everyone.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CEO77

                                                                                                                                                      "They are as good as any you will find."

                                                                                                                                                      No, by the Company's own admission, they are not. The steaks are graded "Choice". They buy in such volume that they cannot provide only the highest end of the spectrum at that grade. Better quality can readily be found.

                                                                                                                                                      It's great that WalMart has a couple of fans loyal enough to join this Site only to defend its steaks, but, facts are facts. No Viagra necessary.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                        "They are as good as any you will find"

                                                                                                                                                        I agree with you MGZ, the above statement is false.

                                                                                                                                                        To the best of my knowledge from the few times I have been to one, Walmart has historically sold USDA Select & now also offers USDA Choice. I would expect Folks who were used to their Select grade to rave about their Choice grade. This would be especially true if Walmart was the only source of beef within a reasonable commute which is probably the case with many people.

                                                                                                                                                        As you pointed out though, there is a huge variation in quality within the grades. Branded products such as Certified Angus Beef, Excel Beef's Sterling Silver & Tyson's Chairman's Reserve are from the upper end of the Choice Grade and on average have much more marbling than run of the mill commodity choice. Often they would fall into the low prime grade.

                                                                                                                                                        In my neck of the woods, Mid Atlantic, these high end branded products are available at just about all the regular supermarkets & local butcher shops. They cost about 20% more but IMHO worth every penny & then some. Taste is an individual thing but Walmart's Commodity Choice on average is not of the same quality as these branded products.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                          "Look, Mom, I got a 90 on my Trig midterm!"

                                                                                                                                                          "Isn't that a B?"

                                                                                                                                                          "Yeah, but it's a really high B."

                                                                                                                                                          "Indeed, but you 'could' have done better. . . ."

                                                                                                                                                          (By the way - Would Cialis have been funnier?)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                            Cialis does have a certain ring to it.

                                                                                                                                                            As for my local Walmart, I can't get past the sour vomit smell that greets one at the front door. Even my kids picked up on it. Bad ventilation, old nasty mop heads I don't know but we venture in there only as a last resort. Its not a snobbery thing either, our Target store has a similar product line/price point but its always clean with no off odors.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                              We had a perfectly fine Walmart here but people used to say it was smelly/dirty, so they moved down the block to a brand new building a few months ago. Doesn't look any different to me!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                I don't know what it is with Walmart. We have one that was built new for Walmart in the late 1990's. Its filthy dirty, spent chewing gum EVERYWHERE and a foul sour smell.

                                                                                                                                                                Down the road is a Target in a building that dates to the early 1970's with multiple stores prior to Target & its impeccably clean and actually has a clean smell consistent with cleaning agents. Oh, and no spent gum!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                  We have four (four!) Walmarts in our town. Two nice, clean ones and two fairly gross older ones. Unfortunately I live closest to the grossest.

                                                                                                                                                    2. I have only purchased Walmart Chopped Beef Steak.It was good for making Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches.I don't think those Steaks were a good seller.The Steaks were to small.They coasted $5.00 a box.They were really good.As for those other Steaks I prefer bone in.Safeway Ranchers Reserve meats do the trick for me.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Here's my report.

                                                                                                                                                        I've been following this thread for a long while out of general interest. However, I was recently in our local WM (buying a toaster) and needed milk too, so as I passed the meat case I noticed some marked down, close to pull date rib steaks. They were select not choice, but one package had pretty good marbling so I thought, at the price, what the hell! Well, turned out they weren't bad. Certainly not great but fairly tender and good flavor, tho not so juicy. If I stumbled into the same thing again at the price I'd probably go for it again.

                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                          To be fair I should go to my WM and see for myself but there are so many alternatives in my area. The other day I was in Restaurant Depot and scored a beautiful 0x1 IBP choice striploin that easily had a mid prime marbling score. Its in the spare fridge now working on a 28 day dry age. It was $7.20 lb which isn't bad this year.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                              Looks like I'll be coming by in about 25 days!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                That would be great......I am sure we could put a big dent in it.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                Every time I'm in RD I pause at the meat case and look. But these days it's only the two of us, and since we don't eat so much any more one 12-14oz. steak is enough to feed us both. It would take us weeks or months to go through one of those huge pieces from RD, so I guess I'll have to continue just looking.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                  I know both BJ's and Costco whole sale clubs offer individualy cut and trimmed prime steaks.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                    I am the same way, I always look whether at RD or one of the club stores. Years ago RD stocked more branded beef products from certified programs and scoring a high choice or low prime sub-primal was consistently easy.

                                                                                                                                                                    Quite a few years back RD cut a deal with Nebraska Beef LTD who now supplies most of their beef under the "Superior Angus Beef" brand and it is not USDA graded. The cases say "choice or higher" but IMHO mid choice is more the average. Areal nice piece can be had but not as consistently as before.

                                                                                                                                                                    A good vacuum sealer really helps hold product in the freezer. A year is no problem with wet aged steaks & even longer with dry aged.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                      Just to clarify, the SAB at RD is all USDA Choice. It's all stamped with the USDA seal. I think it's a felony to put the seal on a piece of meat that hasn't been USDA graded, as the big 60 Minutes expose of many years ago showed.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                                        My bad on that AC. I had spoken to a Nebraska Beef Rep quite a few years ago when RD first switched to NB's SAB and he told me they did not participate.

                                                                                                                                                                        Turns out they are USDA inspected for yield grade Choice. What the rep must have been talking about was they do not participate in a USDA Certified Program (G Schedule) like CAB where the USDA requires additional quality measures to determine its ranking within the grade.

                                                                                                                                                                        RD & NB do have a video add out there where NB claims their "in house company" inspectors ensure additional quality measures for the product to qualify in the upper 2/3 choice grade.

                                                                                                                                                              3. Just want to let you know that walmart has been selling groceries since the 80's including steaks , they sell the same food anywhere else does

                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ladyjez

                                                                                                                                                                  "they sell the same food anywhere else does"

                                                                                                                                                                  Simply reading the posts before yours would have taught you that your statement is false. (Though you're correct that some of it's the fundamentally the same as what's at other chain supermarkets.) Walmart simply doesn't cater to a customer base that is routinely seeking (or aware of) better quality and grades of beef.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                    Have you tried Walmart's USDA Choice Premium Beef? I have and it is now my go to for really great beef. Their USDA Choice Premium, not their standard beef selection.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CEO77

                                                                                                                                                                      Quality varies greatly in the Choice grade IE: Bottom Choice that has a small marbling score that is barely better than Select Grade (vs) Top Choice that has a Moderate marbling score and is often as good as Bottom Prime.

                                                                                                                                                                      Sam's Club which is owned by Walmart, used to sell Excel Beefs "Sterling Silver" which is top choice. To save a buck, Sam's switched to National Beef's Black Canyon which is a Bottom Choice product with a small marbling score.

                                                                                                                                                                      Given Walmart's customer base and its strict adherence to price point, bottom choice is what your seeing and for bid purposes its probably the same brand as what Sam's is selling.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                        Walmart's Choice is very well marbled. Would not buy it if it were not. What ever the term applied, it is good.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CEO77

                                                                                                                                                                          If it works for you thats all that counts. When Sam's switched from top choice to bottom choice I immediately recognized the difference it was so obvious. Every time after that is was the same thing. Canceled the membership within a year.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: CEO77

                                                                                                                                                                        "Have you tried Walmart's USDA Choice Premium Beef?"

                                                                                                                                                                        Not knowingly. I don't shop at Walmart for anything, and, considering that there are four butchers within a two or three mile radius of my home, don't see any reason to make an exception for factory beef. Hence, I have not offered my opinions about either the
                                                                                                                                                                        stores or the meats - and I will continue to bite my tongue.

                                                                                                                                                                        Nevertheless, as I have admitted a few times over the years on these Boards, I have a severe ignorance allergy. Factual inaccuracies, particularly those proffered by folks who have neither established credibility on any subject nor opined on any other matter, make my eyes watery, my skin itchy. So, in instances where there are objective measures available to counter the histamines of their fallacies, I'll point them out.

                                                                                                                                                                        Argue good and bad. Revel in the joy of subjective considerations. Tout whatever sources, products, brand loyalties, and beliefs you possess. But, please, when you do, don't insult the intelligence or knowledge of the rest of us.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                          Hey MGZ,

                                                                                                                                                                          The quality of meat is certainly subjective from many points of view especially when companies don't want to pay for it to be quality graded by a USDA Grader & unfortunately a lot of beef falls into this "No Roll" category.

                                                                                                                                                                          For those that do and are part of a "USDA Certified Program" the industry quality criteria are listed in a spread sheet manner by brand (G - Schedule). Easy interesting read.

                                                                                                                                                                          The 3 upper Choice grade branded products most people will see in the Mid Atlantic area are (G-1 CAB) (G-2 Sterling Sivler) (G-35 Chairman's Reserve).....They all have a minimum marbling score of Modest 00 and they command about a 20% premium $ and are representative of the quality served in most fine dining restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                          Sam's Club sells (G-63 Black Canyon) which has a marbling score of Small 00. Given the subjectivity of the grading system a real nice Sub Primal may occasionally come out of a case but not consistently to say the least.

                                                                                                                                                                          Sam's Club still cuts in house so the brand specific cases and cryovacs are plain to see. Walmart seems to prefer pre-cut case ready so its hard to know exactly which brand it is. The lengthy TV add where the Corporate Beef VP rambles on using "non" USDA grading language fails to specify the USDA marbling score. Accidental omission that is not.