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Tips for Picking Out the Best Steaks

It’s grilling season and you’re going to want to impress your friends and family with the finest steak you can get your hands on. Here are some top tips for choosing the best steak.

1. Select the Right Steak for Your Meal

Porter, shirt, flank, or prime? Depending on what you’re serving, your choice of cut will make a big difference.

2. Be on a First-Name Basis With Your Butcher

Your local butcher knows which cuts come from the best farms, how long they have been in the freezer, and which are lean and which are nicely marbled. Getting to know him will help ensure you get the best steak.

3. Know Your Cuts

Some parts of the cow make better cuts than others. By learning the difference, you will be able to buy smarter while possibly earning your butcher’s respect.

4. Know Your Labels

USDA Prime may be expensive, but the difference between Prime and USDA Choice is definitely noticeable. You may buy second-rate cuts for everyday meals, but if you are grilling for a special occasion- you probably want to go for the best.

5. Buy From the Butcher’s Counter

In most butcher shops, the freshest cuts are up front under the refrigerated glass-front counter. These are almost always going to be superior to the packaged cuts in the back. That’s why it’s up front for everyone to see.

6. Look, Smell, Touch

Like a tomato in the produce section, your steak can be judged by the way it feels, smells, and its color. Look for the lighter red cuts that smell fresh, and avoid the ones that feel sticky if you can.

7. Examine the Package

If you can’t get butcher-counter cuts, you’ll have to buy prepackaged. Avoid those with cracked Styrofoam and torn plastic, and make sure the sell by date isn’t some time last week.

8. Why Marbling Matters

Marbling is what gives a steak its flavor and tenderness. As you cook the meat, the marbled fat melts away leaving your cut juicy and succulent. Non-marbled cuts will just dry out.

For some of the best cuts from master butchers in the Nogales, AZ area, stop by Villa's Market today.

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