Beef Grades

We Know Beef and Think You Should Too

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), its beef grading system is based on two factors: meat maturity and fat marbling, or fat streaking through the cut of meat. These factors indicate the beef's tenderness. Beef that is given a higher grade is usually from younger cattle and has more fat marbling. There are eight grades of meat designated by the USDA. At ButcherHouse Cuts, we only sell the top two – U.S. Prime and U.S. Choice.

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Butcherhouse Cuts is a USDA-approved manufacturer, meaning our beef's grades are displayed right on the packaging.


U.S. Prime

Typically served by high-end dining establishments, Prime is the highest grade of beef with the most marbling. Prime meat is very tender and only accounts for around 2.9 percent of all graded beef. Because this grade of beef has such a high level of fat marbling, it is excellent for dry-heat cooking methods, including roasting, grilling, frying, broiling and baking.


U.S. Choice

U.S. Choice accounts for roughly 50 percent of all graded beef. This beef has a good amount of fat marbling but less than U.S. Prime. It can typically be cooked with either dry or moist heat methods without causing excessive dryness. U.S. Choice is an excellent economic alternative to U.S. Prime. You can grill, fry, roast, or bake this beef as well as stew it or braise it.

 

"What's Your Beef" infographic courtesy of USDA.gov.