If you’re like most, you’re not paying much attention to what goes into making certain cuts and varieties of meat better than others. You’ve likely heard of Black Angus beef, and possibly associate the label with quality. Many are surprised, however, when they learn just how many quality factors come into play to create a truly high-quality cut of Certified Black Angus steak. At Butcher’s Best, we’re the only Fairfield County butcher shop that takes things even further by using only all-natural beef, and old-world-style butchering techniques to ensure the best cuts for your family.

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Let’s start by taking a closer look at the grades of beef. Prime and high (or choice) grades are the top designations by the USDA. These are the grades typically found in high-end butcher shops and restaurants. Grocery store meats are typically select and sometimes even standard grade.

The primary evaluation factors during grading include marbling, maturity of the animal, firmness, texture, and color of the lean portion of the meat. Marbling is the intermingling of fat within the lean meat and is responsible for boosting flavor. The grading process looks closely at the amount of marbling as well as how evenly marbling is distributed. The entire grading process is a seriously in-depth analysis with a wide range of specific criteria within each factor.

Black Angus cattle were intentionally bred from indigenous cattle of Scotland in the mid-19th century. They were brought to the United States in the 1870s. This variety of steer has been lauded as superior thanks to several factors, including superior marbling and tenderness.

Certified Angus Beef is a special designation that refers to a certain type of Angus that meets very stringent guidelines. In order to be certified, the cattle must have a certain genetic makeup. They’re also fed a high-quality diet. Other criteria involve specific quality levels of marbling, consistent sizing, and high-quality appearance and tenderness.

At Butcher’s Best, we not only carry Certified Angus Beef, but we take it a step further and carry Certified Angus Natural Beef. This certification means that the animals are never given antibiotics or hormones and are fed a strict vegetarian diet. Butcher’s Best takes this level of quality beef and applies old-world butchering techniques. We often start with the whole animal, or most of it. This means less processing and allows us to butcher properly from the start. Each of our butchers understands the animal in depth. It all leads to a better cut of meat.

We seek out the best in everything that we do. The foundation of this principle is built on providing foods with exceptional flavor that are high quality, all natural, and contain only real ingredients. By carrying Certified Natural Angus Beef, we know we’re delivering the best product. At the end of the day, this means we’ve done our job well, and provided something of real value to our customers.