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View Full Version : Lets discuss Choice vs Select


gotribe28
05-19-2013, 08:20 PM
So I cooked one of each side by side, quality very close, both were very juicy and tender. Has anyone else done this and can they tell the difference?

Jon David
05-19-2013, 08:32 PM
What is the difference? I still don't know

thirdeye
05-19-2013, 08:32 PM
I try to get choice when possible, but I root through the meat case for the ones with the nicest marbling. There are actually several grades of Choice, but they all get stamped "Choice".... It's possible the one you had in your experiment was medium choice which is the closest to select.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v377/thirdeye2/Cooking/marblingcopy.jpg

hnd
05-19-2013, 08:44 PM
3rdeye has it covered. an entire side of beef is graded soly by the the marbling in between the 13th and 14th rib (not sure the numbers) i think. many times the ribeyes will be spot on but other cuts can at times will have more marbling than the select grade usually has and vice versa.

meanwhile there are still different versions of choice. high yield choice many times goes to your medium $ steakhouses, lower yields for the supermarket.

Moose
05-19-2013, 08:58 PM
Call me a snob, but given the option of either having select beef vs a vegetarian meal, I'll take the vegetarian meal every time.

That said, there are pretty wide variances in quality at the choice and prime grade. I've seen meat labeled choice that was on the higher end of prime, and I've seen prime that was not impressive at all. Therefore, It's hard to make the comparison you are talking about as there's no real way to level the playing field, really.

Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. This is USDA choice skirt steak I got from Costco a few years back:

http://i980.photobucket.com/albums/ae286/Pashn8one/IMG_0583.jpg

It was so well marbled, it reminded me of Kobe beef.

I inspect visually, and am looking for the maximum amount of marbling. Using that as my guide, I've never gone wrong.

aawa
05-19-2013, 09:01 PM
As the people above said, I don't look for a choice/select labling at the store. I look at the steaks at the marbling on it. If I dont like how anything is marbled, I don't buy any steaks.

Corky
05-19-2013, 09:18 PM
Just don't ask about this at Safeway. I tried a couple of eyars ago when I was looking for some meat to grill. I went into the store here in Liberty Lake (where we never shop) and found "Rancher's Reserve" meat with no labeling as to grade. I asked the butcher guy whether the steaks I was looking at were choice or select and he replied, "they are Rancher's Reserve!" I then asked, "so are these steaks choice or select?" He came back with, "they aren't choice or select. They are Rancher's Reserve." I asked, "doesn't all meat have a grade given to it?" He told me "we have a special process so that grade doesn't matter." He then claimed he had gone to a special training for this beef and learned that it is all guaranteed. I was afraid to ask what it was guaranteed as, answer might have ranged from "guaranteed to come from a cow" to "guaranteed to be Rancher's Reserve!"

I bought nothing from him and haven't since. I don't suffer dullards very well.

Moose
05-19-2013, 09:26 PM
I concur. I won't touch that Rancher's Reserve crap. It seems to be pretty consistently middle of the road select...


Just don't ask about this at Safeway. I tried a couple of eyars ago when I was looking for some meat to grill. I went into the store here in Liberty Lake (where we never shop) and found "Rancher's Reserve" meat with no labeling as to grade. I asked the butcher guy whether the steaks I was looking at were choice or select and he replied, "they are Rancher's Reserve!" I then asked, "so are these steaks choice or select?" He came back with, "they aren't choice or select. They are Rancher's Reserve." I asked, "doesn't all meat have a grade given to it?" He told me "we have a special process so that grade doesn't matter." He then claimed he had gone to a special training for this beef and learned that it is all guaranteed. I was afraid to ask what it was guaranteed as, answer might have ranged from "guaranteed to come from a cow" to "guaranteed to be Rancher's Reserve!"

I bought nothing from him and haven't since. I don't suffer dullards very well.

thirdeye
05-19-2013, 09:44 PM
Just don't ask about this at Safeway. I tried a couple of eyars ago when I was looking for some meat to grill. I went into the store here in Liberty Lake (where we never shop) and found "Rancher's Reserve" meat with no labeling as to grade. I asked the butcher guy whether the steaks I was looking at were choice or select and he replied, "they are Rancher's Reserve!" I then asked, "so are these steaks choice or select?" He came back with, "they aren't choice or select. They are Rancher's Reserve." I asked, "doesn't all meat have a grade given to it?" He told me "we have a special process so that grade doesn't matter." He then claimed he had gone to a special training for this beef and learned that it is all guaranteed. I was afraid to ask what it was guaranteed as, answer might have ranged from "guaranteed to come from a cow" to "guaranteed to be Rancher's Reserve!"

I bought nothing from him and haven't since. I don't suffer dullards very well.

I concur. I won't touch that Rancher's Reserve crap. It seems to be pretty consistently middle of the road select...

Boy a little education could have gone a long way at the meat counter. Here is the deal... Rancher's Reserve is a beef brand owned by Safeway and supplied exclusively by Cargill Meat. Of course it is graded, but it generally is a high select/low choice kind of product. I use caution and my eyes when I buy it. There are many branded meats out there, but when they grade choice, they make sure to put that on the label along with their brand name.

"Angus" can also be misleading when it's on the label. Producers can call it angus or choice angus, but only certified angus can be called "certified" or CAB. Some brands of good quality angus even use the same color scheme as CAB beef to fool the consumer. Here is what I'm talking about... and don't get me wrong, the Members Mark brand from Sam's is good beef., and so is Black Canyon. They just can't be called CAB because they are not.

http://i.imgur.com/to4IapY.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/bQEIB3T.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/k51alp4.jpg

BrisketBill
05-19-2013, 10:04 PM
I brought this up several weeks ago and am still kicking it around. You have to discuss the issue of marbling of the flat and point separately. The unctuous taste of the flat comes mainly from collagen breakdown. So shouldn't we be trying to measure/maximize somehow the amount of collagen in the flat instead? The fat in the point takes care of that part of the brisket.

lantern
05-20-2013, 05:10 AM
As far as CAB goes. one needs to understand that it is simply a brand not a grade. If you go by their words it SHOULD be at least USDA choice(they say choice and prime). But they also market a CAB USDA prime brand as well so I doubt very much if any beef that is graded prime goes to their non premium label.


That being said. If there was a brand that I could send somebody besides me to go to the store and buy meat without my own eyeball test it would be CAB I reckon.

bigticket1
05-20-2013, 07:35 AM
Just don't ask about this at Safeway. I tried a couple of eyars ago when I was looking for some meat to grill. I went into the store here in Liberty Lake (where we never shop) and found "Rancher's Reserve" meat with no labeling as to grade. I asked the butcher guy whether the steaks I was looking at were choice or select and he replied, "they are Rancher's Reserve!" I then asked, "so are these steaks choice or select?" He came back with, "they aren't choice or select. They are Rancher's Reserve." I asked, "doesn't all meat have a grade given to it?" He told me "we have a special process so that grade doesn't matter." He then claimed he had gone to a special training for this beef and learned that it is all guaranteed. I was afraid to ask what it was guaranteed as, answer might have ranged from "guaranteed to come from a cow" to "guaranteed to be Rancher's Reserve!"

I bought nothing from him and haven't since. I don't suffer dullards very well. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if a house brand doesn't include the word Choice,it more than likely isn't. Hyvee has a new house brand with Angus in the name, but from what I have seen , it definitely is not Choice.

thirdeye
05-20-2013, 08:28 AM
As far as CAB goes. one needs to understand that it is simply a brand not a grade. If you go by their words it SHOULD be at least USDA choice(they say choice and prime). But they also market a CAB USDA prime brand as well so I doubt very much if any beef that is graded prime goes to their non premium label.


That being said. If there was a brand that I could send somebody besides me to go to the store and buy meat without my own eyeball test it would be CAB I reckon.

I also look at CAB as a brand,... but a brand with certain criteria, some of which is beyond the USDA minimum criteria.

hnd
05-20-2013, 09:11 AM
Just don't ask about this at Safeway. I tried a couple of eyars ago when I was looking for some meat to grill. I went into the store here in Liberty Lake (where we never shop) and found "Rancher's Reserve" meat with no labeling as to grade. I asked the butcher guy whether the steaks I was looking at were choice or select and he replied, "they are Rancher's Reserve!" I then asked, "so are these steaks choice or select?" He came back with, "they aren't choice or select. They are Rancher's Reserve." I asked, "doesn't all meat have a grade given to it?" He told me "we have a special process so that grade doesn't matter." He then claimed he had gone to a special training for this beef and learned that it is all guaranteed. I was afraid to ask what it was guaranteed as, answer might have ranged from "guaranteed to come from a cow" to "guaranteed to be Rancher's Reserve!"

I bought nothing from him and haven't since. I don't suffer dullards very well.

we have a meat market locally that i called one to see if they had high yield choice. he said very loudly "THERE IS NO SUCH THING. ITS EITHER CHOICE OR ITS NOT"....i replied, "so you are telling me you don't....thanks!"

deguerre
05-20-2013, 09:21 AM
I always look for the best marbling I can find. Usually it's always choice. But I've found some very good cuts in the Mom and Pop I frequent, and they do lable their house cuts as select. But, I really love it when they get in some ungraded rib roasts - I've found some killer ones on the cheap at times.

Ole Man Dan
05-20-2013, 09:48 AM
As the people above said, I don't look for a choice/select labling at the store. I look at the steaks at the marbling on it. If I dont like how anything is marbled, I don't buy any steaks.

YOUR DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY.

Look at the Steak. If it's not marbled, pass on it...

I've seen to much meat that was mis-labeled.
(The meats only have to please me)