How to choose high quality meat?

To tell whether meat is of high quality is not an easy thing to do, especially in supermarkets, where it is sold pre-packed. And the butcher shops where skilled butchers care about the quality of his or her products are fading out. Here are some tips. High quality meat as a rule has a tender texture. The cuts of meat should also be smooth with no ragged edges, or uneven sections. The grain of the meat must look tight or uniform. If the fibers are broken, very loose, take care, these can be signs of poor quality meat. Fresh meat should have a rich, vibrant, eye-catching color, delicate flavor. Strong flavor is a sign of old meat.

Meat Category. Don’t confuse meat type and its category! Category stands for cuts made from various parts of an animal carcasses. Category dictates the way of cooking different cuts of meat. Cuts of the first category are made from the least used muscles in the animal so cuts are the most tender. Meat is tender, flavorful and muscle free. As a rule, cuts are made from hindquarter and loin and are known as fillet steak, sirloin, rump steak, loin wafers, short ribs and cube roll, steak, round etc. First category meat cuts are commonly used for roasting and present very well on a carving table, doesn’t require much time to be cooked.

Meat cuts of the second and third categories (forequarter and brisket) are tougher, because this section comprises of a number of different muscles. Sections include the shoulder ribs known as the chuck short rib, brisket, flank and skirt, short ribs, etc. Most of the cuts in this section are used for slower cooking and also for mincing to make burger patties.