Understanding Beef Quality Grades

Quality grades help consumers decide which beef cut to buy. One of the factors in quality grading is marbling. Marbling is the small flecks of fat within the lean meat. The more marbling a cut has, the more likely it will be tender, juicy and flavorful.

 

PRIME This grade contains the most marbling. It is produced in limited quantities and usually sold to finer restaurants and some meat markets.  
CHOICE This grade is often found in grocery stores. It has enough marbling for taste and tenderness, but usually costs less than prime.
SELECT This grade has the least amount of marbling, making it leaner - but it may not be as tender, juicy or flavorful as the other two grades.



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