Know Your Steak

cooked steak picture
It’s a hot summer day. You are about to enjoy it at one of the best pastimes of America, the cookout. So, what do you bring? Everyone is tired of those burgers and hotdogs, and you are feeling fancy. You decide to go with the steak. But what do you look for when buying one? Do you want the filet mignon, the king of cuts, at a premium price? Should you go cheaper because it may be tough to grill the filet perfectly? Do you wrap it in bacon? These can be a few of the questions a typical person might ask if they do not know much about cuts. Hopefully this guide will help you choose the right steak in the confusing world of beef cuts.

Buy Responsibly

Steak can range from $4.00/lb. to $30.00/lb. in any given grocery store based on the cut and grade. Grade is important because you can easily tell the quality based on what the USDA has labeled the cut without really handling it. At the top of the grades is prime. Prime beef is of the highest quality, which means better color, and flavor. About 3% of today’s cattle can be classified as prime. Next up is choice. Choice is still very good quality for a cut. It is generally slightly leaner than Prime, which may taste slightly less tender. Select is last up, with less fat and less flavor. This is still considered a “good” quality cut. There are several other grades after select, but for your sake, let’s just say if you don’t see any of these three grades, you should probably go elsewhere to grill a steak. Generally, the more you pay, the more tender the steak.

Know Your Cut

With grades out of the way, there is also many different varieties of steak based on the cut. The cut refers to what part of the body the cut came from. The cow can be segmented into sections, leaving distinct characteristics to each one. This video can give a better demonstration.

The Perfect Low Carb Plate

Letting your steak have the throne on your plate, you need to find a good low carb side to go with it. Naturally vegetables are a great choice over the baked potato. Try grilled asparagus, or a medley with a little butter and seasonings. Remember, you don’t want to out do your steak. If you have a lower quality cut, try making a sauce to add some flavor. A simple one consists of butter, worcestershire sauce, and a little whiskey melted together.


If you have ever heard Kobe used in a non-sport related conversation, they are talking about the holy grail of beef. Kobe beef is one of the more intriguing techniques to harvesting meat. A Japanese cattle rancher will put the cows through the most luxurious of lifestyles. The cow will drink beer, and get a daily message, all while relaxing in the field. The cows are so pampered, their fat content increases, and like we learned before, the more fat, the more flavor.

While you may have had Kobe beef in America, the true Kobe beef is only available in Japan, and a few other Eastern cities. American Kobe beef is from the same breed as the Japanese Kobe, typically bread with Angus. While these are not the true Kobe, they still have similar marbling and flavor. See for yourself.

2 Comments to “Know Your Steak”

  1. Rocky says:

    In your section on beef grade, you use “choice” twice. Prime, Choice, then Choice again. A correction would be very helpful. Thanks.

  2. megamark says:

    Thanks for the correction. The editor must be sick…

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2012 and is filed under Low Carb Life. Written by: . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.