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How to Guide 2017

How To

choose a butcher

Finding and enjoying the best cuts

of meat can be a pleasure. The taste

of a delicious cut of meat, cooked to

perfection, is magnificent.

But it can be a challenge. Finding

the best cuts of meat isn’t a straight-

forward task. It involves a detailed

and intricate body pf knowledge.

There’s a great variety of choices

and grades of meat — including USDA

prime, choice and select grades.

The choices and options can be

overwhelming. Is there a way to be

sure you are getting exactly what ap-

peals to you?

Fortunately, there, is. Cooking a

great meal, with meat as the center-

piece, doesn't have to be an impossible


Equipped with the right informa-

tion, you can always find what you

need to make your event a success —

whether you’re creating a meal for a

dinner party or simply preparing for

an informal and intimate dinner.

One of the best ways to put your

doubts to rest is to talk to an expert.

Look for a store with friendly, knowl-

edgeable staff. They can help you

narrow your choices, whether it’s beef,

pork, poultry, lamb or even something

more exotic. Many shops have a spe-

cialist on staff who can help guide you

to the best decision.

Even the meat departments at most

supermarkets or butcher shops have

staff who are happy to help, giving

advice and educating you about the

many different cuts available, and

how to prepare each one.

Once you leave the store with your

food, you’ll have one opportunity to

prepare it the right way. These help-

ful staff members can help you avoid

making a costly mistake.

A good cook knows that a good

recipe needs a tender, delicious piece

of meat with perfect texture. And cus-

tom cuts of meat often deliver better

results than off-the-shelf items.

At quality shops, you will be able

to have your meat custom cut to your


Here are some more tips to guide

you through the process of selecting

the best cut of meat.

1. Choose the right cut of meat

for your recipe.

Consider how you are cooking the

meat and what you want your result to

be. Traditional barbecue uses cheap,

tough cuts and cooks them slowly until

they become soft and tender.

On the other hand, a barbecue

brisket is chewy and tough because it

is cooked quickly over a full blast of

heat. But that same meat can become

delicious and smooth if you smoke it

slowly over low heat for hours.

Other cuts of meat will become

tough and flavorless if you grill them

too slowly. For example, Porterhouse

or T-bone are best cooked over high,

direct heat for a short time.

2. Consider the density or

toughness of the meat and its fat


Density can be hard to ascertain, so

usually the cut indicates the density or

toughness. Meats culled from different

areas of an animal tend to be more or

less tender.

Marbling - small streaks of fat run-

ning through the cut - can sometimes

tell you about the fat content. Many

people think marbling gives meat its

best flavor.

However, the quality of the mar-

bling is important. Big veins of fat

don't cook very easily, so thick and

consistent cuts of marbled meat would

need to be slow-cooked to release the

flavor. Small, thin ribbons of fat are

usually excellent for a traditional

steak cooked over high heat.

3. Examine the color of themeat

and askwhether carbonmonoxide

is used to keep it looking red.

Meat browns quickly when exposed

to air. If you find bright-red meat

without additives used to preserve

that vivid color, then it is an ultra-

fresh cut.

Novice cooks might start with a

cheaper cut of meat, such as sirloin

steak for grilling. Once you have prac-

ticed your grilling skills, work your

way up to expensive meats such as

New York strips, T-bones, filet mignon

and Porterhouse.

Ultimately, it is the quality of your

cooking skills coupled with your selec-

tion of meat that will make a great


Wise Choice Custom Meats at 203

N. U.S. Highway 287 in Decatur can

provide all your meat needs.

If you need a special cut for a holi-

day occasion stop by and talk with the

professional staff. Call 817-752-8452

or email

with questions.