How to Choose Meat at the Grocery Store

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When it comes to choosing a cut of meat, the options can be overwhelming. Perhaps you want to treat a loved one to a homemade steak dinner. Did you know there are 16 primary cuts of steak, and even more variations on those cuts? Even pork chops, which are the pork equivalent of a steak, come in various cuts. Depending on the cut you choose, there are different methods of preparing and cooking the meat for optimal flavor. With the right preparation, any cut can be turned into a delicious meal.

But finding a good cut is another matter. No one wants to waste money on so-so (or even bad) meat, but if you’re not a livestock producer or a butcher, you may not know exactly what to look for…until now! 

Here are the top three things to be on the lookout for when choosing meat at the grocery store.

3 Tips for Buying Meat

1. Consider color.

Beef should be bright red in color — after all, it is red meat. Avoid any beef that has brown spots, since this is a sign of improper storage or spoiled meat. Even though pork is known as “the other white meat,” it also should have a pinkish-red hue. Pale pork is poor pork.

2. Fat is your friend.

When it comes to choosing a cut of pork or beef, look for fat around the outside of the cut. Beef should also have marbling — fat running throughout the meat. Fat gives the meat more flavor.

3. Leave the liquid.

Avoid any meat that has excess liquid in the package. A small amount is fine, which is why containers typically have an absorbent layer under the meat. But an excessive amount can be a sign that the meat has not been stored properly or that it has been stored too long. 

As you plan your next steak or chop meal, check out these articles to help make your choice even easier:

Now that you know what to look for when buying meat at the grocery store, it’s time to plan a mouth-watering meal! Check out our beef and pork recipes for inspiration!

Get Beef and Pork Recipes

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