How to Choose Cuts From a Half Beef


In choosing meat cuts, the amount of storage available, the kind of meat cuts served most often, the amount of meat a family consumes in a certain period and the community facilities for cutting should be considered. You must know how much fat is in the meat as this affects the amount of product in the package. All beef must be purchased from dependable suppliers and must have been inspected. The establishment must also be clean. The United States Department of Agriculture grades beef for packaging, using marbling as the key criteria.

  • Go to a clean and dependable butcher shop or meat supplier. Ensure that the meat is inspected by checking the inspection stamp on the outer skin of the hung piece. A certificate from the state department of health should be displayed.

  • Select the part of the beef that you would like to pick a cut from. A beef carcass is usually divided into eight parts. The chunk, the brisket and shank are at the anterior part. The rib and short plate are on the middle anterior part. The flank, short loin and sirloin parts are on the middle posterior part while the round is at the posterior part. Other parts may be available, so talk to the butcher about it and other processing and packaging options.

  • Look at the color of the beef. White connective tissues of the front parts will be tough to cook as this part of the animal contains shoulder working muscles. The brisket and shank on the lower part of anterior are softer and more ideal for moist-heat cooking.

  • Check the marbling on cuts from the middle section. Ribs, for instance should have large marblings ideal for full-flavored roasts and steaks. The bones can be removed from these cuts to have a boneless rib that can also be stewed.

  • Check for browning or graying, especially in the steaks and sirloins. Browning means that the beef is expiring and graying indicates oxidizing that takes place when the meat has been stored for lengthy periods.

  • Check for thin streaks of fats. In most short plates, flanks and sirloins, thin streaks of fat indicate the beef is fleshy and flavored. Thick streaks of fat and white tissue indicates connective tissues that may take long to cook and are hard to chew.

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