#5. When possible, buy your steaks from the butcher’s counter instead of pre-packaged section
Supermarkets typically have both a case where they sell unpackaged meat and a refrigerated section where they sell pre-packaged selections. From my experience, the case holds the premium grades and the private labels or store brands.
The big advantage of buying from the case is you’ll be working with a butcher or sales people who can help you select your steaks. If you are not familiar with cuts of beef, grades or the best way to prepare a particular steak, hopefully they will be informed enough to give you the right answers.
You can also ask them to take a piece meat out of the case so you can take a look at both sides, give it a smell, check for moisture, look at the grain and make sure there are no brown spots. You can’t do this when it’s sitting on a piece of Styrofoam under a layer of plastic wrap.
The pre-packaged steak may look great on the side you see but you never know what’s on the other side until you get it home and open it up. And then it might be too late.
Premium steaks are expensive and getting more expensive every day so don’t be afraid to ask your butcher to check out the meat you are purchasing. This not only goes for steaks but is just as important with any fish you buy.
Select has the least amount of marbling making of the three so not as tender or tasty. More importantly, you are not going to pay that much more for Choice than you are for Select, so if you can, spend the extra dollars on Choice. In my opinion, there’s nothing worse then chewing and chewing and chewing through a tough, flavorless piece of meat.