Warmer weather means more people will be headed outside to fire up the grille and throw on a few of their favorite steaks.

May is National Beef Month and it's a great time to stock up on steaks at your local grocery store.  Keep your eyes pealed for coupons all month long as well as for in store discounts as stores stock up on your favorite delicious meats.

But when shopping for steak - do you know which cuts are best?

The the US Department of Agriculture grades meats based on several factors, including the age of the animal at the time of butchering, the part of the animal the steaks come from and the amount of marbling in the meat.

When shopping for meat here are the cuts you should look for:

Prime Beef - Produced from young well fed beef cattle.  Abundant marbling throughout the cut.  Typically found in steak houses and fine restaurants.  Prime Roasts are excellent for roasting or grilling.

Choice Beef - High quality meat with less marbling than Prime. Choice cuts are typically from the loin and rib cuts.  Choice beef is flavorful and juicy.  Less tender cuts are perfect for braising and simmering.

Select Beef - Uniform in quality and normally leaner than Prime or Choice. Because it has less marbling it might not be as juicy as other cuts.  Select beef is great for marinating or braising.

When it comes to cooking your steak, many people prefer theirs cooked more on the rare side than well done.  Here's the difference:

Rare - Center is red and cool

Medium Rare - Center is red and warm

Medium - Pink in the center

Medium Well - Slightly pink in the center

Well Done - Cooked throughout the cut

Now is the time to head to the store and grab some steaks and fire up the grille!  Hope you enjoy National Beef Month!!



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