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What's Your Beef?

Fancy or frugal, there’s a beef cut for everybody and every budget, from pricy tenderloins and prime rib to versatile, inexpensive cuts such as chuck and round.

There are three grades of beef: 

  • Prime beef—the ultimate in tenderness, juiciness and flavor—has the greatest degree of marbling.
  • Choice beef contains less marbling than prime grade, but it is still tender and juicy.
  • Select beef is the leanest of all three grades. Because it contains less marbling, it is the most affordable grade.

When you’re splurging on a great steak, consider taking its deliciousness to a whole new level with a savory sauce--from a classic steakhouse herb butter to Argentina’s beloved chimichurri.

Buying, Prep & Storage

Beef normally has a purple-red color, but when exposed to oxygen it takes on a cherry-red hue known as the “bloom.” While the exterior is bright red, the interior of the meat retains the darker color. Look for steak that is firm and has a clear, red color.

Store beef at coldest refrigerator temperature, and ideally, away from the fridge door, making sure the meat is tightly packaged and drip-free.

If you do not plan to prepare beef within 2 to 4 days, place it in the freezer in either its original packaging, or wrapped in aluminum foil, freezer paper, or heavier-weight freezer wrap for long-term freezing. To thaw, store overnight in the fridge.

Always buy and prepare or freeze by “sell-by” date. We recommend trying our “Stockman & Dakota” steaks for a superior eating experience.


  • Prepare gas grill according to manufacturer´s directions for medium heat.
  • Remove beef from refrigerator and pre-apply dry rubs and seasonings by hand or by sprinkling product on steaks.
  • Marinate tender grill steaks in refrigerator for up to 2 hours prior to grilling to maximize flavor. Marinate less tender pan steaks in tenderizing marinade in fridge for at least 6 hours, but no more than 24 hours before grilling. (Apply barbeque sauces in the last 2-5 minutes of grilling.)
  • Place steaks on cooking grid.
  • Grilling time varies depending on thickness of cut. After cooking, season beef with salt, if desired. Remove from grill at 145 degrees F (medium rare) to 160 degrees F (medium).
  • Find more grilling tips and recipes at Stockman & Dakota

Roasting Tips

  • Each rib serves two people. Request the more tender roast cut from closer to the loin.
  • Ask the butcher to trim and tie the roast. The process insures juicier beef and an attractive presentation.
  • Be generous with seasoning ribs; this substantial roast absorbs lots of flavor.
  • Sink an Instant-read thermometer into the cut’s center, avoiding the bones, to judge doneness. Cook the roast to no more than 145°F (medium), or the meat will be overdone.
  • The finished roast should stand at least 20 minutes so that the juices stay in the roast. Afterwards, cut away the rib bones first. Serve inch-thick slices with pan sauce, or choose a gravy from our pan sauce or gravy.

Slow Cooking - Stewing

  • Coat beef lightly with seasoned flour, if desired. Slowly brown beef, in batches, on all sides in small amount of oil in heavy pan over medium heat. Pour off drippings.
  • Cover beef with liquid (such as broth, water, juice, beer, wine). Add herbs or seasonings, as desired. Bring liquid to a boil; reduce heat to low.
  • Cover tightly and simmer gently over low heat on top of the range until beef is tender.

Pan Cooking - Stir-Frying

  • Cut beef into thin, uniform strips or pieces so they cook in the same amount of time. For easier slicing, partially freeze beef (about 30 minutes). Marinate beef to add flavor or tenderize, if desired, while preparing other ingredients.
    Recommended cuts include Top Sirloin, Top Round, Round Tip, and Flank Steaks. Pre-sliced Stir-fry Beef also available in the fresh meat case for easy preparation.
  • Heat small amount of oil in wok or large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
  • Stir-fry beef in half-pound batches (do not overcrowd), continuously turning with a scooping motion, until outside of beef is no longer pink. Add additional oil for each batch, if necessary.
    *Cook beef and vegetables separately, then combine and heat through. The cooking liquid may be thickened with cornstarch dissolved in water, if desired.

Serving Suggestions

Simple vegetables make great complements to the rich meat. Sauté steamed-until-just-tender carrot slice in butter and a few pinches of salt, pepper, and chopped, fresh rosemary. Glaze with honey just before serving. Stir-fry spinach with thinly sliced fresh mushrooms and season with soy sauce for another quick but elegant side.