We get it. USDA Prime beef tends to be more expensive and at the end of the day, a ribeye is a ribeye… right? Not necessarily. At Meatworks we’re on a mission to provide the best-tasting steaks at an unbeatable value. We’ll let you know why beef with the ‘Prime’ designation is tastier than other steaks along with why it’s so hard to find. USDA Prime is considered the best of the best, and for good reason.
What is USDA Prime Meat?
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) grades beef based on factors such as marbling, age and muscle development. USDA Prime is the highest grade of beef, representing less than 3% of all beef produced in the United States. To earn the USDA Prime label, beef must meet strict standards for marbling, texture, and color. The beef must also come from the United States. Since so few cuts are awarded the USDA Prime designation, many grocery stores do not sell beef rated as USDA Prime and instead you’ll see USDA Choice cuts. Beef produced in the United States is graded on the following scale:
- USDA Prime The highest quality grade given by the USDA. It's characterized by abundant marbling that's harder to find at grocery stores. Marbling refers to the intramuscular fat content that allows the steak to be buttery and tender.
- USDA Choice Choice meat is still of high quality, but with less marbling than Prime. It is much more common to find Choice cuts at restaurants and grocery stores.
- USDA Select Generally Select is more lean than Prime or Choice, but less expensive. For Select cuts, you may need to spend more time preparing the meat in a marinade or with other flavor enhancers since there’s less flavor due to the lower fat content.
- USDA Standard Standard grade meat is rarely sold at grocery stores, but may be used in more processed meat products.
The Importance of Marbling
One of the biggest advantages of USDA Prime meat is that it simply tastes better than other grades of beef. The marbling in Prime beef helps to enhance the flavor, making each bite juicy and delicious. Marbling refers to the streaks of fat in the beef. This fat provides flavor and tenderness, and its distribution through the muscle of the meat determines the quality of the steak. This meat is incredibly tender thanks to its high-quality muscle development.
Not only does USDA Prime meat taste better, but it has more nutrition benefits than other grades of beef. The marbling in USDA Prime beef contains healthy fats that are beneficial to your overall health. These fats help to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of chronic diseases. So not only will you enjoy the taste of USDA Prime meat, but you'll also be doing your body a favor.
Long Shelf Life
Another advantage of USDA Prime meat is its long shelf life. This high-quality meat is well-aged, which makes it easier to preserve and maintain its flavor and texture. With proper storage, Meatworks meat can last for up to a year in your freezer, making it a great option for those who want to stock up on high-quality meat. Here at Meatworks, we also age the meat for at least 28 days to further enhance the flavor.
Meatworks Brings Value
While historically USDA Prime meat may be more expensive than other grades of beef, our goal is to provide USDA Prime cuts at unbeatable prices. We often beat out our competitors on price such as ButcherBox, Crowd Cow, Good Chop and Omaha Steaks, most of which don’t even offer USDA Prime cuts. We also often beat out Costco’s prices!
Purchasing from Meatworks is a great choice for anyone who wants the best of the best. With its exceptional taste, nutrition, and long shelf life, you can't go wrong with Prime. So look to Meatworks and treat yourself to amazing steaks all the time.