There are many types of beef, which are different from their breeds, origin, or grades.
When it comes to the quality of beef, many of us must have heard about Prime, Choice, and Select.
Prime beef is known as the highest grade of beef, so what exactly Prime beef and where to buy this type of beef?
There must be plenty of questions that come to your mind about Prime beef now, so let’s figure it out in this article.
What is Prime beef?
Prime beef comes from cows that have been specially bred and raised to produce meat with a high percentage of desirable qualities.
It is considered the best type of meat because it has more marbling fat than other cuts, which means it will be more tender and flavorful.
Certified beef can be either “Prime” or “Choice” by USDA as these two high grades of beef are superior to the Select counterpart, but the Prime is of a little higher quality than the Choice beef.
An average supermarket steak would fall in the Choice category while a dry-aged steak at an upscale restaurant might be labeled as Prime grade.
Prime beef can refer to any beef cut, as long as it meets the USDA requirements to be labeled as a Prime beef cut.
However, in fact, only a small percentage of the beef (about less than two percent of U.S.
meat) sold as “Prime.”
How many calories are in Prime beef?
It will actually depend on what cut you are working with.
However, since Prime beef has more marbling fat than regular beef, it will contain more calories, especially the calories from fat.
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For example, a serving size of four ounces of ribeye steak Prime beef will provide us with 380 calories, and 78.2 percent are from fat (297 calories).
In addition, Prime beef is also a rich source of protein, calcium, and iron, which are usually lacking in many people’s diets.
How to choose the best Prime beef?
Due to the less popularity of Prime beef on the market, you need to be careful when selecting this type of beef.
Otherwise, you may buy regular beef but at the Prime beef’s price because of the trick from immoral sellers.
So here are what to look for to choose the best Prime beef:
1. Buy Prime beef from a reputable butcher with the word “USDA Prime” on the label
The first thing you need to do before purchasing Prime beef is looking for a reliable store that sells the true Prime beef.
You can get advice from other people, famous chefs, or anyone who has experience in shopping for this high-quality ingredient.
2. Consider the Prime beef tenderloin or ribeye steak because they are the most flavorful and tender
So as already mentioned, any beef cut can be labeled “Prime” as long as it meets the USDA designation.
However, it seems that the tenderloin and ribeye steak cuts are the most favorite among many other cuts.
They are likely to be a bit more tender with a richer taste than other parts.
These two cuts are also versatile to be cooked in different ways.
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3. Not all Prime beef cuts are perfect so take a closer look at them when choosing
When you are sure that this store offers authentic Prime beef, it’s time to check the individual cut.
We all know that Prime beef is the best thing ever, however, its quality doesn’t only depend on the beef itself but also on how the sellers store it.
Therefore, you better check if there is any sign of stale beef or liquid in the package to avoid buying it.
Where to buy Prime beef?
Prime beef is not widely sold on the market, which doesn’t mean that you cannot find this kind of top-quality beef in three or four stores in your city.
There are many places selling USDA Prime beef, but with just a small quantity.
Reach out to the following places to find the best Prime beef before it is out of stock:
1. Local butcher/ farm market
You can purchase USDA Prime beef at a local butcher or farm market.
The Prime cut is usually sold at a more affordable price in these places rather than in big supermarkets.
If it is unfortunately sold out, don’t forget to ask the butcher ahead to contact you when they have Prime beef again.
2. Grocery store or supermarket
The second place to buy Prime beef is at a grocery store or supermarket.
Normally, large chain supermarkets like Costco or Walmart will provide more cuts of Prime beef than in small convenience stores.
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You can even get an online order of Prime beef via many eCommerce websites.
Amazon, eBay, Whole Foods, or Walmart are some typical names of sites that have Prime beef available.
It can be whole fresh cuts, ground beef, or processed meat products that are made from Prime beef for you to choose from.
Prime beef is the highest grade of all beef, and it’s because of its quality that many people prefer to buy this type.
Some benefits are more tenderness in every bite, better flavor from marbling (fat content), and higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your health.
Prime beef is not widely sold with a large quantity like regular beef, but it doesn’t mean you cannot buy it.
Keep your eyes on the promotion programs of many local farm markets, butcher shops, or supermarkets to be able to purchase the best Prime beef at a reasonable price.
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