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Can't believe it has come to this

Prepackaged 100 calorie "steaks". One of the nastier processed diet things I have ever seen.

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  1. Ew that is gross. And, I know from experience that 100 calories of an actual steak is nowhere near that size, so it makes me shudder to think of what that actually is.

    1. Where on earth did you see this travesty?

      3 Replies
        1. re: foodieX2

          Well, that explains it. Stop and Shop is the worst grocery store chain in Massachusetts. Their prices at the location near me (Lexington) are ridiculous and their produce is so dreadful the produce manager should not only be fired, but shot. I only shop there when I need some boring staple like milk or paper towels.

          1. re: foodieX2

            They have them at Shop and Stop in Middletown, NJ, also. (That's where I saw the label that I quote elsewhere in this thread.)

        2. Those "Chef's Requested" steaks do look revolting, squished into their plastic containers. But I think they're only small-portioned vacuum-packed trimmed pieces of intact steak, rather than being excessively processed.

          2 Replies
          1. re: drongo

            I also think that's the idea. But they look gross in the picture.

            1. re: drongo

              I retract what I wrote about them not being excessively processed. Here's the way the company describes them:
              "Made from an extremely lean, tender cut of Choice beef and mechanically enhanced for high palatability. Lean USDA Choice steaks marinated for flavor and portioned to contain 100 or 200 calories with zero waste." http://www.chefsrequested.com/wp-cont...

              "Mechanically enhanced" and "marinated for flavor" suggest excessively processed to me.

            2. I think the idea is, if your on a diet you keep that in the freezer and look at it every time your hungry to suppress your appetite.

              'Oh Im really hungry for a steak, lets see what I got in the freezer.....eh no, I'll just have an apple.' :p

              1 Reply
              1. re: NekoNekoFancyPants


                I think they took the notion that a serving size should be no more than a deck of cards a little too literally. Thhat stuff looks like a deck of meat.

              2. It looks to me like another use of meat glue. Think McRibs.

                2 Replies
                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                  That's exactly what I thought of - a combination of meat scraps and pink slime.

                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                    Exactly... I had a close look at these things at the supermarket, and it looks precisely like a glued/formed product.

                  2. It does put a new slant on the term "cube steak".

                    No thanks, I'll pass.

                      1. I'm willing to bet you that it's water-added, and loaded with sodium. Add a little flavor, and there ya go a "100 calorie" meal.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: liza219

                          nitrates, nitrites, phosphorus, chemicals that we can't pronounce. ... . .

                        2. Some of you folks are going way over the top on this, they are not as bad as you think.

                          3 Replies
                            1. re: sunshine842

                              I've used them at a place I worked for small breakfast steaks, no complaints.

                              1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                "used" is not the same as "eaten"
                                "no complaints" is not the same as "good"

                          1. I just saw these in the "special meats" at Stop & Shop Sunday night. Really turned me off.

                            Easier to buy a kitchen scale and learn how to portion your own food don't you think?!

                            1. I made the mistake of buying this brand of steaks once at Walmart (they were in a box instead). They're disgusting. They're soaked in some sort of salt solution with caramel color and other junk.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: Atomic76

                                Here's what the label says: "Lean Boneless U.S.D.A. Choice Beef Seasoned With Up To Twenty Percent Of Water, Seasoning (Salt, Dehydrated Garlic And Onion, Spices And Chili Pepper, Modified Tapioca Starch, Rice Flour, Citric Acid, Soy Lecithin), Potassium Lactate, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Acetate And Natural Flavor. Allergen: Soy"

                                Btw, the 100 calorie claim does seem to make sense. The label on a pack of 3 says the weight is 11.25 oz, so that's 3.75 oz each. If it's 20% water, then the weight of the meat itself is 3.0 oz. Flat iron steak is 35 calories/oz (according to http://www.sparkpeople.com/calories-i... ) so 3.0 oz is 105 calories (assuming the calories in the 20% liquid are negligible). So I think there's nothing magic going on here -- you could do as well by using 3 oz of an unprocessed lean steak such as flank, skirt, or flat iron.

                                1. re: drongo

                                  Yes, We would do well using good meats but it is not marketed to us. It is marketed to the same people who buy those pre portioned bags of everything from chips, crackers to popcorn and candy.

                                  Unfortunately we have a society, here is the US at least, that has lost ability to self regulate and practice portion control. And many who don't even know what a proper portion size is for their needs because they have grown up with "super size", "Hungry Man", "Big Gulps" combined with every day foods getting bigger and bigger. Just compare a bagel from the '70's to now.

                                  God knows I am guilty of it myself. There is one snack my son loves that I am addicted to. I finally broke down and bought the small bags because I would eat half of a family size bag when portioning them out for his lunches <hangs head in shame>

                                  1. re: drongo


                                    That's even worse than I thought.

                                    20%?! Yike.

                                    1. re: drongo

                                      I am so using that now.

                                      "It seems a bit bland. What did you season it with?"

                                      1. re: Nudibranch

                                        Actually, I'm sure it's not bland because in addition to 20% water they include: "Seasoning (Salt, Dehydrated Garlic And Onion, Spices And Chili Pepper, Modified Tapioca Starch, Rice Flour, Citric Acid, Soy Lecithin), Potassium Lactate, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Acetate And Natural Flavor. Allergen: Soy". '

                                        Actually, my local supermarket has lots of pre-marinated meats. I don't buy them. But I think they're not very different from this product (except for portion weight).

                                      2. re: drongo

                                        How do you cook a steak that's 20% water?

                                        1. re: DoobieWah

                                          kinda becomes a braise by default, doesn't it?

                                          1. re: DoobieWah

                                            Regular, "unprocessed" steak is about 70% water. With 20% _added_ water, this goes up to 76%.

                                            Steak that's 20% water is called beef jerky.

                                            1. re: DeppityDawg

                                              OK. How do you cook a steak with 20% ADDED water?

                                              Feel better?

                                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                                I feel fine, thanks. To answer your question, I guess I would broil it or cook it in a frying pan. There are probably more detailed instructions on the package.

                                      3. Ack! That looks absolutely repulsive. Now I know what thread to visit when I find myself craving a snack at my desk...that right there is an appetite killer!

                                        1. I am not fond of lean meat nor on a diet, but if I was I would buy a lean cut of meat, portion it to the desired calorie count, needle it with my Jaccard tool and marinade it in something I could pronounce.

                                          Sooner or later there is going to be a major issue with pumped proteins.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Tom34

                                            and why pay for 20% of the weight to be *water*?

                                            that's a pretty serious premium for no benefit.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              Around our parts a gallon of water from the utility costs less then 2 cents. A gallon weighs about 8 lbs. so paying "protein" prices for what is essentially water has to be one of the biggest scams of all time.

                                          2. They look like they would come out gelatinous. I shudder to think what mystery additives are in that..

                                            1. Anyone eating this is doing it all wrong. Just go low-carb, and you can eat all the (real) steak you want.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: magdeline687

                                                You should have stopped at the first period.

                                                This is just wrong -- no matter what diet you are following. 20% water plus a bunch of gunk is NOT eating healthily by any standard.

                                                1. re: magdeline687

                                                  I'm a calorie counter and even I wouldn't eat that.

                                                2. Oh, I wish I hadn't seen that...

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                      "Better Living Through Chemistry"?? :)

                                                      1. re: drongo

                                                        These steak blocks could taste good. Don't forget that many people love Filet-O-Fish. :)

                                                    2. I have not had this particular product, but I have tried the Chef's Requested Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon. (My ex was doing the shopping and they were on sale!) Individually portioned and sealed in that clamshell plastic container. My one time experience with it was that the fillet actually seemed to be at least two scrap pieces of filet held and pressed together to appear as one steak with the bacon. Despite the additional fluids I was able to get a decent sear on it (on an outdoor grill). Was it the worst steak I've ever had? No. Was it cheap as hell? yes. Would I ever buy it again? No. If someone served it to me would I eat it? Yes.

                                                      20 Replies
                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                        They are indeed cheap. $3.28 for a package of two bacon-wrapped filets of beef (10 oz total) and there are reports on the web of a $3 coupon that brings the price to 28 cents per package -- or 14 cents per 5 oz steak! Can't complain at that price, even if Fido or Fluffy ends up eating it!

                                                        1. re: drongo

                                                          Holy crap that IS cheap. I may need to revise my answer on would I buy it again if I ran across a $3 coupon.

                                                        2. re: Firegoat

                                                          They are beef scraps glued together. The same thing is done with scraps of scallop meat to make big jumbo scallops. Imitation crab meat has been made that way for years.

                                                          The clue is the differing grain patterns running through the product.

                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                            ??? Scraps of scallop meat to make jumbo scallops? Where the heck do you get your shellfish?

                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                              As long as you're not in New Jersey or Los Angeles you're prolly ok. :-)

                                                              1. re: drongo

                                                                Um, I am in LA. And at least where I shop, there is no wrapping of scallop scraps around each other to form one scallop. And if I bought some and brought them home and realized what they were, I would bring them back and complain. Very loudly. That's why I end up paying like $25 /lb for them.....

                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                  Same is true for the "meat glue" fillets. Why do you think most restaurants have low lighting :-)

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    I guess lucky for me I'm smart enough to not order filets when I go out...... Thanks for the heads up....

                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                      I think your OK if you go to a good reputable restaurant and pay a fair price for a meal.

                                                                      Same is true for buying raw seafood from a monger. You usually get a good product when you pay a fair price.

                                                                      I only know about the glued/pressed products because a friend who owns a restaurant was given samples from his purveyor US Foods.

                                                                      From what I saw upon "close" inspection there were noticeable changes in the grain pattern.

                                                                      Chains probably use the glued scallops for things like fried seafood platters where the breading conceals the product.

                                                                      If you Google "Meat Glue" & "glued scallop scraps" something should come up covering the process and the products involved.

                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                        I agree it definitely depends on where you purchase the product, and how its prepared.....

                                                                        Just bought 8 jumbo sea scallops from my grocery store that has the best fish counter and they were $20.99 a pound. I am simply searing them, so I will certainly be able to tell if they are "glued" together with scraps, and if they are, I will get my money back!! But I highly doubt it, they are a very reputable chain here in LA.

                                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                          $20.99 a lb is not cheap & I think you got the real deal :)

                                                                        2. re: Tom34

                                                                          >>>If you Google "Meat Glue" & "glued scallop scraps" something should come up covering the process and the products involved.<<<

                                                                          I Googled exactly that and nothing definitive about scallops came up. A few general remarks was all, mostly about how you could do combos of, say, scallops and salmon. This thread was what came up first of course. Frankly I'm skeptical that glued fish pieces being sold as scallops is common. But then again, it was stated on the internet, so it must be true :)

                                                                          1. re: johnb

                                                                            Yeah, some of the videos have been removed. The process is the same though for seafood as beef. The scallop product is carried by big purveyors like Sysco & US Foods. I have not seen it in supermarkets.

                                                                2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                  Both US Foods & Sysco Foods have been selling them to restaurants for some time.

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    I guess that is better than stamping them out of skates wings.

                                                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                      I have heard the skate rumors but never actually saw a scallop product made from them.

                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                        If you've ever worked with both in the raw state, you'd find it pretty hard to believe

                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                          Threw back hundreds of lbs of skates the size of a car hood back in the day. Wish I knew!

                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                            oh, skate wings are divine eaten as skate wings.

                                                                            I love me some scallops, but I'll take skate (or stingray) wings any day if given the option.

                                                                            They're a total pita to clean, but oh, cooked gently in brown butter....heaven.

                                                            2. Now I need to go bleach my eyes......

                                                              1. uh oh .. a designer hybrid gmo steak .. creative indeed
                                                                I'm curious what price tag it has and if there's expiry date

                                                                1. Even made this dirty old 'hound shudder. Think I'll stick to table scraps and what I can find in the neighbors' trash cans.

                                                                  1. How timely to listen to a series on NPR about "shmeat" also known as "in vitro" meat that is grown in lab.


                                                                    1. Aaaahhh nooooo. Prefab steak in tiny plastic coffins.

                                                                      Sadly, my husband can't walk away from a package that promises "100 calories" ("Dog turds! Individually wrapped and ONLY 100 CALORIES EACH!!") so I fear these Frankensteaks may turn up in the fridge one day.

                                                                      Nutritional info:

                                                                      Compare with USDA data for a steak (I chose chuck here):

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                        300 mg sodium for the coffin steak; 62 for the real steak.