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Wednesday, September 28th
What's the best way to buy a steak? Some people mistakenly believe that you have to buy a steak from a butcher to get the best cut. However, thanks to the rise of online shopping, there are great ways to order steak right from your living room.
Like buying in a supermarket, though, some online steak sellers offer better quality than others. Let's dig deeper into what you should look for when buying a steak online.
Buy the Right Cut of Meat
It's not uncommon for some individuals to bash online steak sellers because they aren't satisfied with the cut of meat they receive. Sometimes, the fault lies with the consumers because they didn't choose the right cut of meat for their needs.
Unless you slow-cook the meat, stick with a tender cut of beef. This means choosing meat from the cow that has the least amount of muscle and connective tissue. Some cuts to consider include T-bone, rib-eye, New York strip steak and top sirloin.
Of course, there are many other cuts of meat that you can choose from. That's why it's important to do your research before ordering steak online to ensure that you buy the cut that best fits your tastes and preferences.
Consider the Price
One of the biggest benefits of buying steak online is the cheaper price tag, which isn't because the meat is of lower quality. Online stores can offer lower prices because they have lower overhead compared to traditional grocery stores.
When buying online, you not only get convenience. You also get more steak for less money. It's important to strike a good balance of price versus quality, though.
Sometimes, you can lower the cost of online steaks by joining the website's membership program. If you plan to regularly buy steak online, this is probably one of the best ways to save money.
Take Note of the Shipping Practices
Every online steak seller has different practices when it comes to shipping meat. It's a very important piece of the puzzle because even a great cut of steak can be ruined by bad shipping practices.
When buying something online that's perishable, such as steak, choose a company that's very transparent about what goes on after you click the "buy" button. Thankfully, the best online steak sellers are very clear about their shipping practices.
On the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website, you can find information about what you should look for when it comes to good shipping practices. The Food and Drug Administration also has information and regulation details about the transportation of human and animal food.
Of course, most online steak sellers don't make you do much of your own research. Instead, they're proud to tell you if they sell USDA choice steak and meet FDA regulations.
Pay Close Attention to the Quality
Most websites list meat as being "high quality" or even "grade A." However, this isn't really saying much about the quality of the meat. What you really want to look for is a website that goes into great detail about the flavor, texture, and marbling of the steak.
The website should let you know where their meat places within the USDA grading system too. Some cuts of meat, such as wagyu beef, exceed the top grade from the USDA.
Find Out What the Cows Were Fed
"You are what you eat." This is an old saying that rings true for cows. The best steaks come from cows that have been fed healthy foods that are natural for cows to eat.
In fact, many online steak sellers have a section for steaks that come from 100%, grass-fed cows. Just remember that a cut of steak can only be as good as the cow that it comes from.
Also, this requires looking for cows that were raised in pastures rather than kept in small cages. When cows are allowed to roam naturally, there's less need for antibiotics and other growth hormones.
Look Into the Reputation of the Steak Seller
Looking at reviews of an online steak seller is just as important as making sure that it follows all government regulations. Most online steak providers have their own reviews or testimony sections. There, you can see reviews from customers who have purchased their products in the past.
That said, you don't want to rely solely on the reviews on the steak seller's website. After all, it's always possible that it only posts positive reviews and no negative ones. That's why you should check for reviews of the company on other websites as well.
For instance, look for information about the seller on the Better Business Bureau's website. The BBB website provides not only the BBB rating for the company but also customer reviews. Most of the customers will tell you about their experience with the company. You can see any complaints that have been filed and if the complaints were resolved.
While looking for reviews for an online steak seller, pay close attention to any information that you find about its customer service. If anything goes wrong with your order or with the quality of the steak you receive, the customer service personnel will be who you deal with.
Things You Can Do to Get the Most Out of Your Online Steak Experience
Now that you know what to look for when it comes to buying a steak online, you want to avoid degrading the quality of the steak when it arrives. Actually, there are a couple things that you can do.
Schedule Delivery for When You'll Be Home
You want to make sure that you're home to pick up the steak that you order. Sellers usually ship steaks in refrigerated trucks. Then, the delivery personnel leave them at buyers' doors in cooler boxes.
These boxes are designed to keep steaks cold for hours. However, you wouldn't want to let your steak sit outside for too long, especially during hot summer months. Try your best to schedule the delivery at a time when you'll be home.
Thaw Your Steak Properly
It helps to learn how to properly thaw steak too. The best and safest way is to let the steak thaw in the refrigerator, which allows it to thaw at a safe temperature to prevent bacteria growth. To further protect the food, leave the steak in its vacuum-sealed pouch.
The only downside is that you have to give the steak at least 24 hours to thaw completely. Trying to cook it before it's thawed can ruin the quality of the meat.
Also, avoid thawing your steak in the microwave. This actually robs it of juices and leaves you with a dry piece of meat. In such situations, you might blame the steak seller, but it was really the microwave that left you with a bad piece of meat.
Buy Online With Confidence
As you can see, a lot goes into buying a steak online. By using the tips above, though, you can buy with confidence. You can even use some of these tips for buying steak in a supermarket.
Remember that buying steaks online comes with a number of great benefits. It's not only convenient to have your steak delivered directly to your house, but you can also get great cuts of beef at a fraction of the cost that you would pay in the store. Also, the beef is usually fresher because it won't be shipped to a store first.
Make the right choice, and get high-quality beef delivered to your door today. Start buying your steak online!
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