- Touch it
Low-activity muscles are best — pick a cut soft to the touch with moderate fat marbling. Look for one muscle, because connective tissue makes a steak chewy.
- Name it
Look for eye fillet or tenderloin, ribeye, or sirloin (also known as porterhouse or New York steak.) Also, t-bone, rump, onglet, skirt, and flank.
- Seek the shield
It means it’s U.S. Department of Agriculture certified. Here’s a breakdown of grades:
USDA PRIME: From young, well-fed cattle, often served in hotels and restaurants.
USDA CHOICE: High-quality cut from the loin or rib, for flavorful, tasty, and tender results.
USDA SELECT: The leanest cut with less marbling, it’s tender but not as juicy as the other two.