The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) meticulously grades beef and assigns it a grade “shield” to certify it has been officially inspected.
The grading system determines the quality rating of beef based upon a very complicated inspection system which measures the amount of marbling (fat specs) in the ribeye muscle (lean) portion with the maturity (age) of the beef.
The higher the ratio of marbling and the younger the beef, the higher the grade. Fat marbling determines a steak’s tenderness, juiciness and flavor. Younger beef produces a finer texture and a lighter red color.
USDA Prime Beef is the superior grade of beef, with amazing tenderness, juiciness, flavor and fine texture. It has the highest degree of fat marbling and is derived from young, well-fed beef cattle. Less than 3% of all beef produced in the United States is certified USDA Prime, so don’t expect to find this high grade of meat in grocery stores.
USDA Choice Beef is the second highest grade beef, with less fat marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy and flavorful.
USDA Select Beef very uniform in quality and normally leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but, because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades.
The USDA recently collaborated with the United States Meat Export Federation and Colorado State University to develop an educational video about the beef grading process.
Steaks at Bricco
We offer several premium beef options with superior flavor and tenderness including: a 12oz Filet Mignon, an 8oz Domestic Waygu, and a 22oz Prime Bone-in NY Sirloin
The next time you’re in the North End, come in for dinner and try one of our premium beef options; our premium beef steaks are both juicy and packed with flavor.