Meat Evaluation

How do you choose cuts of meat? What should you look for? In this poster you'll find out how to choose different types of  poultry, swine and beef.

Beef:

  • Grades - Prime is the best grade, it is the most tender
  • Marbling - More marbling=more tender, juicy, and flavorful meat
  • Visible Hints - Bright red color, maroon if in a vacuum package, firm to the touch.
  • Packaging -  Cool with no tears or punctures in the package, check the "sell by" date, and little to no excess liquid in the package.
  • Fat Content - Less fat=less calories, but there's a chance it might not be tender, juicy, or flavorful.

When choosing meat, the main thing you want to check is the date. Color is another important factor in choosing beef. You also want to look for the grade. Prime is the best grade of beef. The packaging is important too. you don't want a lot of excess liquid in the package you also don't want any holes in it either.

Swine:

  • Color - Reddish pink to a purplish red.
  • Marbling - Marbling makes the meat more tender, juicy and flavorful.
  • Scores - Coloring/at least a 4 marbling/4-6
  • Fat Content - more fat=more flavor, tenderness and juiciness
  • Packaging - No holes or punctures in the packaging
When looking for pork stay away from brownish coloring. You also might want to look at the fat content, less fat is easily overcooked. Punctures in the packaging is another thing you want to watch out for.In any meat temperature and dates are important factors in good quality.
Poultry:
  • Fleshing - Well fleshed or muscled is best
  • Fat Covering - Well covered is best
  • Confirmations - Normal breastbone, back, leg, and wings
  • Exposed Flesh - Breast and leg can't have over 1/4 inch, other parts can have a maximum of 1 and 1/2 inches for grade A
  • Grade - A is best, sold in stores

Looking for missing parts is very important in picking poultry. Discoloration is another thing you want to look for when choosing poultry meat. You especially don't want more than 2 disjointed or broken bones.

Grades-

Quality-

      Prime/Choice/Select/Standard/Commercial/Utility/Cutter/Canner

      U.S. No.1, U.S. No.2, U.S. No.3, U.S. No.4, U.S. Utility

      Grade A(sold in store), Grade B(often not a grade sold in                 stores), Grade C(usually used for processing into other food           products)

Yield grades- 1-5

      yield 1- best muscling with least amount of fat

      yield 5- worst grade with the less muscle and more fat waste

Maternity Grades-      

  • A - 9 to 30 Months
  • B - 30 to 42 Months
  • C - 42 to 72 Months
  • D - 72 to 96 Months
  • E - More Than 96 Months

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