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8 Things Your Butcher Wants to Tell You
Woman's Day via Yahoo ^ | 22 Dec 2011 | By Woman's Day

Posted on 12/23/2011 5:21:22 AM PST by US Navy Vet

You probably visit the meat counter every time you go to the grocery store, but have you ever wondered about what goes on behind it? To learn the tricks of the butchery trade, we spoke with butchers from grocery-store chains, gourmet supermarkets and specialty shops. Read on to get the inside scoop on freezing, preparing, shopping and saving money on meats so you can carve out some savings next time you hit the counter.

(Excerpt) Read more at shine.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: butchers; information; meat
Definite "food" for thought here.
1 posted on 12/23/2011 5:21:27 AM PST by US Navy Vet
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To: US Navy Vet

Industry pitch for the unknowledgeable.


2 posted on 12/23/2011 5:54:51 AM PST by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves.)
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To: US Navy Vet

Numbers 1 and 7 are kind of at odds with each other.


3 posted on 12/23/2011 5:59:01 AM PST by discostu (How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today)
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To: US Navy Vet
A woman behind the beef counter at Wegman's told me something interesting:

If you want to buy ... say ... strip steaks, it's better to buy the multi-packs in their general counter than to buy individual steaks from behind the glass in butcher service area. The reason being that the steaks displayed in the service area have been sitting out for hours while the packaged steaks were sealed up as soon as they came in the store. Keep in mind that both options are exactly the same price.

4 posted on 12/23/2011 6:01:50 AM PST by LoveUSA (God employs Man's strength; Satan exploits Man's weakness.)
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To: US Navy Vet
The more marbling (i.e., fat) meat has, the more succulent it is...

For me, that is everything about a cut of beef or pork. I'm forever searching for a nice marbleized cut. They're increasingly hard to find. If I do find a nice marbleized pork or beef roast, I'm never disappointed. That fat self-bastes the roast, keeping it moist and it ads great flavor.

5 posted on 12/23/2011 6:05:40 AM PST by 6SJ7 (Meh.)
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To: US Navy Vet
My tip on buying meat in a grocery store with a meat/butcher dept...

When it comes to buying the stuff in the ‘discount for quick sale’ items, avoid any type of ground beef or pork cuts. Pork is never aged for sale and ground beef is more likely to contain bacteria, so fresher is better.

I stick to the better cuts of steak, rib eye, sirloin etc.
They are actually better if they are slightly dark and you often get a $1-$2 per pound discount.

I seldom pay more than $3.99 a pound for choice steak, so tender you can cut it with a fork.

6 posted on 12/23/2011 6:19:27 AM PST by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: US Navy Vet
I agree that beef does freeze well, but all the better so if, after you wrap it properly, you place it in the coldest part of your refrigerator to get the temperature as low as possible before sticking it in the freezer. (This is true for anything you freeze, actually.)

The closer it is to the freezing point before you put it into freezing temperatures, the fewer ice crystals will form inside the product. Ice crystals cause problems because they tear/puncture cell membranes, which gives frozen items "freezer burn".

Removing air is also a good idea -- if you can vacuum seal it instead of just plastic wrapping, all the better.

7 posted on 12/23/2011 6:49:48 AM PST by kevkrom (Note to self: proofread, then post. It's better that way.)
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To: US Navy Vet
First rule when visiting the meat counter, DON'T call them a butcher. They are meat cutters.

I know this because my father was a meat cutterfor 40 years and he always reminded me of the differences between the two.

8 posted on 12/23/2011 6:50:48 AM PST by Wilum (Never loaded a nuke I didn't like)
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To: Beagle8U

Whenever chuck roast is on sale, I buy the largest piece and have it ground at the counter. No extra charge for the most delicious hamburger meat.


9 posted on 12/23/2011 6:54:35 AM PST by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: US Navy Vet
"Skirt steak is a fabulous piece of meat. It's super flavorful and economical..."

Yes, it's delicious when marinated properly, but economical?

No way. It costs $8.00 a pound in these parts.

10 posted on 12/23/2011 6:56:07 AM PST by Peter W. Kessler (Dirt is for racing... asphalt is for getting there.)
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To: kevkrom

I’m a maniac about using meat immediately or wrapping it well & freezing immediately. Plus it is so nice when I come home from school tired & I can just pull something from the freezer.
I take the meat & roll it up in saran wrap (the rolling takes the air out nicely) & then I wrap that tightly in foil & then put the wrapped meat in a gallon freezer bag that is labeled.

Now I am getting hungry.


11 posted on 12/23/2011 7:07:17 AM PST by leaning conservative (snow coming, school cancelled, yayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Wilum
“I know this because my father was a meat cutterfor 40 years and he always reminded me of the differences between the two.”

The difference was mostly brought about by government regulations.

In years past butchers did both the ‘kill’ and the meat cutting. Today the places that can do the whole job are regulated so much that even the specialty meat markets have to send the animals to a kill market and get back the animal dressed, ready for aging and cutting/wrapping.

The majority of Journeyman meat cutters could do the entire job if allowed by the government.

12 posted on 12/23/2011 7:10:27 AM PST by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: Wilum
"I know this because my father was a meat cutterfor 40 years and he always reminded me of the differences between the two. "

Off topic: What do you think you did to make the little:



show up?

13 posted on 12/23/2011 7:14:07 AM PST by GreenAccord (Bacon Akbar)
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To: Sgt_Schultze
I have my own grinder and a commercial meat wrapper, just like the butcher shops use to custom freezer wrap beef.

We process all out own meat.

14 posted on 12/23/2011 7:14:37 AM PST by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: US Navy Vet

Interesting that the skirt steak is the recommended cheap cut. The woman I purchase beef from at the local farmer’s market told me that she prices it at $18 lb, because that’s what she can get for it since there are two per head and it’s become trendy with foodies. Her sirloins, tri tips, bones, etc. are competitive with the counters that sell prime meats.


15 posted on 12/23/2011 7:20:48 AM PST by PrincessB (Drill Baby Drill.)
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To: LoveUSA
it's better to buy the multi-packs in their general counter than to buy individual steaks from behind the glass in butcher service area.

Double that with fish.

16 posted on 12/23/2011 7:23:18 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati)
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To: US Navy Vet

Here’s a couple more buying tips:

1. If flies won’t land on it, ask for a discount.
2. If the butcher wears gloves, it’s for your health. If he wears a bio-hazard suit, it’s for his health.
3. Never buy meat from a butcher shop that shares a building with a dog pound.


17 posted on 12/23/2011 7:23:45 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: US Navy Vet

Bump for later.


18 posted on 12/23/2011 7:24:19 AM PST by Springman (Rest In Peace YaYa123 and Bahbah.)
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To: leaning conservative

I’m also a big fan of mixing a marinade in a gallon ziploc freezer bag, adding meat (particularly chicken) to it, squeezing the air out, and freezing like that. That way, it marinates as it defrosts — killing two birds (no pun intended) with one stone.


19 posted on 12/23/2011 7:24:31 AM PST by kevkrom (Note to self: proofread, then post. It's better that way.)
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To: kevkrom

We have been using a vacuum sealer for 3 years now and it has preserved the taste and texture better than just a wrap. With bacon, I can re-vacuum it 4 times and the bacon maintains it red color. And thanks for the tip on getting your food cold before freezing.


20 posted on 12/23/2011 7:28:41 AM PST by Pharmboy (She turned me into a Newt! 2012)
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To: US Navy Vet

meat ping


21 posted on 12/23/2011 8:12:46 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Congress: Looting the future to bribe the present.)
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To: Pharmboy

The other option is blast freezing, of course, which is what is done commercially. Temperatures so low that the food freezes nearly instantly; using liquid nitrogen would also do the trick.

Neither option is particularly practical for household use, though.


22 posted on 12/23/2011 8:15:30 AM PST by kevkrom (Note to self: proofread, then post. It's better that way.)
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To: Beagle8U
The majority of Journeyman meat cutters could do the entire job

So true. Dad started out that way but by the late 50's meat plants supplied plucked chickens, beef and pork sides. The meat cutters took over from there making all the cuts in-store.

I remember my Dad's last working night (1972) when I went to pick him up. He showed me all the boxes the meat was coming in now, no more hanging sides in the walk-in freezer, just boxes. He said to me, "I'm getting out just in time, they've taken the art away".

23 posted on 12/23/2011 8:27:45 AM PST by Wilum (Never loaded a nuke I didn't like)
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To: LoveUSA

The best place to buy steaks in our town is at Restaurant/store combo. They have an old fashioned meat market, with meat cutter on site. You can choose your steak whether you are eating out or taking it home. They also have various roasts and ground meats. If you want a special cut you can get that too.

They serve so many steaks in the restaurant, that everything is super fresh.


24 posted on 12/23/2011 9:09:29 AM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Beagle8U

Very smart. No chance of contamination.


25 posted on 12/23/2011 10:32:43 AM PST by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: Wilum; Beagle8U
I remember my Dad's last working night (1972) when I went to pick him up. He showed me all the boxes the meat was coming in now, no more hanging sides in the walk-in freezer, just boxes. He said to me, "I'm getting out just in time, they've taken the art away".

In the olden days, the meat counter at the grocery store had a diagram of the beef with the cuts all marked out, head to rump. I don't see that in modern grocery stores, for the most part.

26 posted on 12/23/2011 10:41:25 AM PST by thecodont
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To: thecodont
In the olden days, the meat counter at the grocery store had a diagram of the beef with the cuts all marked out

Ha! You just gave me a memory flash. Dad and his fellow meat cutters use to use one of those like a dart board with old boning knives in the walk-in (out of sight of customers). But you are right about the poster not seen anymore. I remember him saying something about allot of the cuts being changed for cost and the convenience of the box meats.

27 posted on 12/23/2011 11:59:40 AM PST by Wilum (Never loaded a nuke I didn't like)
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To: thecodont
In the olden days, the meat counter at the grocery store had a diagram of the beef with the cuts all marked out

Ha! You just gave me a memory flash. Dad and his fellow meat cutters use to use one of those like a dart board with old boning knives in the walk-in (out of sight of customers). But you are right about the poster not seen anymore. I remember him saying something about allot of the cuts being changed for cost and the convenience of the box meats.

28 posted on 12/23/2011 12:01:05 PM PST by Wilum (Never loaded a nuke I didn't like)
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To: thecodont
In the olden days, the meat counter at the grocery store had a diagram of the beef with the cuts all marked out

Ha! You just gave me a memory flash. Dad and his fellow meat cutters use to use one of those like a dart board with old boning knives in the walk-in (out of sight of customers). But you are right about the poster not seen anymore. I remember him saying something about allot of the cuts being changed for cost and the convenience of the box meats.

29 posted on 12/23/2011 12:01:22 PM PST by Wilum (Never loaded a nuke I didn't like)
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To: Wilum

OOPS! I’m stuttering!


30 posted on 12/23/2011 12:03:04 PM PST by Wilum (Never loaded a nuke I didn't like)
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To: Sgt_Schultze

Hmmm...I love good burgers. I will try that. Thanks.


31 posted on 12/23/2011 2:03:46 PM PST by Pharmboy (She turned me into a Newt! 2012)
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To: Sgt_Schultze

Hmmm...I love good burgers. I will try that. Thanks.


32 posted on 12/23/2011 2:03:46 PM PST by Pharmboy (She turned me into a Newt! 2012)
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To: US Navy Vet

Bump for later


33 posted on 12/23/2011 2:21:18 PM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin (The democratic party is the greatest cargo cult in history.)
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To: kevkrom

Thanks for the great idea. I use gallon bags to marinate too, but I had never thought to freeze the meat w/ the marinade. I love getting new ideas!

Have a Merry Christmas!


34 posted on 12/23/2011 3:15:53 PM PST by leaning conservative (snow coming, school cancelled, yayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Beagle8U
I stick to the better cuts of steak, rib eye, sirloin etc. They are actually better if they are slightly dark and you often get a $1-$2 per pound discount.

Absolutely. My folks owned a smallish grocery store when I was growing up with a meat market. We always took home the stuff that had turned dark because most folks wouldn't buy it. I prefer steaks that have aged a bit. Like you said, you can often get it on sale. If there is something on the couter that has naturally aged a bit, ask for a discount. Many butchers will give it.

35 posted on 12/23/2011 10:51:59 PM PST by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: zeugma
The store where I buy most of my meat has a big 2 day meat sale every month. People come to that from 3 different states.

They sell only select, choice, or prime beef. I wait until 2-3 days after the sale and buy the premo steaks for about half the sale price. They know me by name and make it a point to cut steaks extra thick, just the way I like them.

Nothing better than well aged 20 oz prime sirlion, 1 1/2” thick grilled over a hickory fire.

36 posted on 12/24/2011 5:28:46 AM PST by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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