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How to select meat

As a cooking newbie, I do know that the quality of meat makes a big difference. However, how do you determine the quality? What criteria do you use? How do you make your meat and fish selections in a general grocery store?

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  1. Check the thread on meat and fish in general topics.
    My selections are based upon what dish I am making....Specific reciepes have evolved on the past several thousand years given the avalaibility of the ingredients.

    1. For beef, I will buy USDA Choice at the supermarket. Sometimes, I will go to a specialty butcher and buy Prime steaks when I want to splurge. I usually avoid USDA Select and "name brand" beef because they do not have to disclose if it is Prime, Choice, or Select.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Philly Ray

        What about chicken breasts? How do you determine which chicken breasts are of good quality?

      2. Can you but good quality meat from Costco?

        1 Reply
        1. re: kdlalib

          You sure can. They have some of the best. We've never had a bad piece of meat from Costco. The only thing I don't like is that they don't carry a particular cut that I like and they won't cut meat to order.

        2. I don't have any good way to do it but to try each source and prepare the meat. For example, I can get chuck eye steak from three stores within a reasonable distance, all three are supposedly choice grade. Only two are acceptable. I figured that out by trial and error, although in one place the cuts do look more even, which is why that place is better. The steaks cook evenly and brown well because they are the right thickness. In the unacceptable store, the meat is absurdly chewy.

          I get choice grade. I haven't noticed any benefit to beef with some special name, like Angus. I have noticed that lower grades are less tasty.

          1. NUMBER ONE: Meat is not supposed to have ingredients. There should not be any "solution"s or preservatives listed on the label.

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