Picking the Perfect Steak

What is the “perfect steak”? How do you know which steak is better then others? Earlier, I talked about cooking a juicy steak to perfection, but what I didn’t talk about is steak selection. If you make the wrong choice when it comes to selecting your steak, you could be missing out on a whole world of steak goodness.

In my fantasy world, all steaks would be created equally – they would all be the most tender, succulent, juiciest, best cuts of beef you could imagine. They would explode with flavor and they would melt away in my mouth… but that’s not always the case. Steaks aren’t created equally. So that’s why I’ve prepared a quick guide to teach you what to look for when you’re picking your perfect steak.

Juicy Steak Marbling

Time and time again, steak lovers assume that colour is the only indication of a quality steak. This is not true. Beef is a dark reddish-purplish colour when it is first cut, but once it’s exposed to oxygen, the meet quickly turns into a bright red. As the beef ages, it starts to turn into a darker, brownish red – but even with all this colour change, this doesn’t give us a good indication of how well the meat has aged. The longer the meat is aged, the more tender the steak – and the more costly. The important thing to know is this – colour and age mean nothing in as steak if it doesn’t have the following characteristics.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the different steak grades: Canada A, Canada AA, Canada AAA, and Canada Prime (which is the best by the way). These are all beef grades that classify the meat based on eating quality. The higher the grade means you have a better chance on getting a quality steak.

Knife Work
The better the cut of meet – the better the steak. Period. Poorly cut, lopsided steaks do not cook evenly which results in some parts of the steak being more under or over-cooked then others.

When it comes to steak flavor its real simple – fat gives it the flavour. The important thing to know though, is that its not the amount of fat, but it’s how that fat is distributed. Notice those fine white wisps of fat that are running through the steak pictured above? That’s what is known as Marbling. A good amount of fat, evenly distributed, will melt into the meat with its cooking and that’s what will add all the flavour and juiciness.

Enjoy your steak!

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