Choosing Meat Cuts the Right Way
Unfortunately, selecting meat can be a difficult task for most consumers. You can’t know for certain that the meat you buy in store comes from a high-quality source. That is, unless you know what to look for! When trying to find a quality meat selection, adhere to the following:
- Look for signs of fat, or “marbling”. These add to taste.
- Cold meat should be firm to the touch.
- Make sure your meat cuts received good treatment.
- Ask your butcher for advice, and establish a repertoire with them.
- “Less but more” makes sense.
With that in mind, we’ve have laid out the basics of choosing meat for quality.
Selecting Meat via Fat Level
Marbling is an important aspect when selecting meat. Marbling refers to the traces of fat that give the meat a deeper, more satisfying taste. When checking your meat selection, feel and squeeze it in the display. Cold fat is hard, so it should feel firm to touch.
Meat cuts with a fatty coating help the meat keep its juices contained. This contributes to improved taste. Older animals will have more yellow fat. They can be less tender, but are often deeper and more mature in taste.
Your Meat Cuts Need Tenderising
You consume meat from veal, lamb, pork, and poultry directly. Beef, though, needs to tenderise of the course of a week or two. When choosing meat, tenderisation is an important factor. It helps to develop an excellent taste, and loses considerable liquid. This is one reason why tenderised meat is more expensive.
Keep this liquid in mind, because when you are selecting meat, pricing can be deceptive! The difference in price is actually worth the money, since you’re not paying for the water. Water which would disappear anyway when cooking the meat.
How Was Your Meat Selection Fed?
Animals that graze properly grow meat and fat in natural proportions. Animals that have eaten green grass usually have tastier meat, with a lot of marbling! Do what you can to find out the feed given to your meat selection.
The feed given to animals can significantly affect their taste and texture. For example, cows fed off grain straw and those fed off green grass will have very different tasting meat cuts.
Were the Animals Well Treated?
Leaving taste, texture, price, and all that aside, every animal deserves a decent life. Luckily for the meat lovers, there is a strong connection between happy animals and good quality meat. Keep this in mind when choosing meat.
Quality and Quantity are not Mutually Exclusive
Just because you buy cheaper meat, doesn’t mean you’re getting more of it! More than likely, you’re just paying for the added saltwater. You’re better off selecting meat that is smaller, but nicer and tastier. You’ll also avoid losing the weight of those meat cuts into the pool of liquid on the pan!
When it comes to chicken, learn that your meat selection should be the whole chicken! You will get value for money, better pieces, and more meat!