#4. Buy the best grade of meat you can afford
Most of us rarely have the opportunity to buy and taste Prime beef. That's because only 1 - 2.5% of all beef processed in this country is good enough to be graded by the USDA as Prime. The inspector takes in all sorts of things when grading for Prime, but as a consumer, we mainly look at marbling, that network of fat traversing throughout the meat.
Given a choice at the market between a perfectly lean piece of meat and a Prime cut with lines of fat running through it, many of us would pick the lean steak. But the marbling gives a Prime cut the incredibly rich, juicy, tender flavor and texture we seek.
Just because Prime isn't that readily available or in a price range we can afford, there is nothing wrong with Choice. There are different Choice grades, so you may want to shop where they consistently buy beef at the higher end of the Choice grade. How will you know? By getting to know your butcher and asking.