USDA Prime Beef

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Most people don’t realize there’s a grading system for beef regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture. Highly-skilled USDA meat graders evaluate beef to measure meat characteristics. These characteristics follow the official grade standards developed, maintained, and interpreted by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

grilled steak

Beef is graded in two ways: quality grades for tenderness, juiciness, and flavor; and yield grades for the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass. From a consumer standpoint, what do these quality beef grades mean?

USDA Prime beef is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It has abundant marbling (the amount of fat interspersed with lean meat) and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking such as broiling, roasting, or grilling.

USDA Choice beef is high quality but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are suited for dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts can also be cooked with dry heat if not overcooked. Such cuts will be most tender if braised, roasted, or simmered with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.

Prime “N” Tender Meats carries only these top two grades of beef and nothing less:

  • USDA Prime Beef Tenderloin
  • USDA Prime New York Strip
  • USDA Prime Ribeye
  • USDA Prime Porterhouse
  • USDA Prime Sirloin
  • USDA Choice Beef Tenderloin
  • USDA Choice New York Strip
  • USDA Choice Ribeye
  • USDA Choice Porterhouse
  • Teriyaki Beef Kabobs
  • Italian Marinated Skirt Steak
  • Italian Marinated London Broil
  • Boneless Seasoned Sirloin Tip Roast
  • Beef Fajita
  • Pub Burgers
  • Half Pound Sirloin Burgers
  • Ground Sirloin & Chuck

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