Buying meat and offal may seem a very simple task. You can either head to the supermarkets or order online the meat that you need for a certain dish. But the thing is, there’s more to selecting meat than meets the eyes. Many people still don’t know how to buy meat the right way due to the fact that they don’t have any idea what to look for.
So, how do you choose the meat? Do you just pick in random or scrutinise the meat carefully? When buying meat, there are many things you should look out for to ensure that you are purchasing high-quality meat. Below are three most important things to keep in mind.
A highly skilled butcher will always make it a point to cut the meat properly. It means the butcher cares about the quality of his or her products, which is evident on the well-butchered pieces of meat you get. Cuts of the same variety must be of the same thickness and size, and should be smooth with no uneven sections, hacked bits, or ragged edges. If you noticed the cuts have ragged edges, it suggests that the butcher did not care whether his or her knife or cutting device has sharp blades. In short, he or she does not mind about the quality.
The cut is very important when buying beef (or pork). While it’s true that not all cuts are created equal, you should be careful in choosing which one to buy. You can find luxury cuts and working cuts. The difference between the two is that luxury cuts are best cooked quickly over high heat while working cuts can be quite chewy if not cooked long enough.
When you buy any kind of meat online, obviously, it is not possible to check the colour of the meat before purchasing. So, be sure to choose a highly reliable supermarket or you should specify this with your meat supplier. The colour of the meat will vary depending on which animal the meat came from. However, fresh meat usually has rich, vibrant, and eye-catching colour. Keep in mind that meat should have a rich pink colour, white fat must be evenly distributed throughout the cut, and the bones should be bright white. Whether you are buying fresh meat or processed meat, uniformity in colour is a good indicator of the quality. If you noticed discoloration or discoloured spots on the meat, it means the meat has passed its prime or has been handled poorly.
Avoid meat with dark brown or deep purple colours as these are signs that the meat comes from an older animal or is on the verge of going bad. Other signs to watch out include yellowed fat and dark bones. If you noticed these signs, don’t hesitate to inform your fresh and processed meat suppliers so that it will not happen again.
Another thing to look out for when buying any kind of meat is the texture. Check the grain of the meat or the direction of the muscle fibres and see how tight they look. If the fibres are very loose, broken or uneven, it implies poor handling or just poor meat quality. The texture can greatly help you in determining the quality of the offals and meat so you should be meticulous.