The ATB staff are always happy to help with your selection and give cooking tips.
What cuts of beef are most tender?
Tenderloin is very good. David's personal favourite is a good rib steak.
BUT many cuts of less expensive beef can be very tender and delicious if cooked properly. For example, a brisket cooked "low and slow" is delicious.
What does dry or wet aging beef mean?
All meat benefits from aging which makes the meat more tender and better tasting.
This traditional process allows the meat to breathe. Sides of beef or selected cuts are hung or placed on racks in a cooler at a very low temperature (near freezing) and left for several weeks. The natural enzymes soften the tissues and the meat loses water which helps concentrate the flavour. Some cuts are not suitable for dry aging.
The downside is that you lose volume and weight due to moisture loss. In addition some of the dried surface needs to be trimmed away which adds to the volume loss.
Dry-aged beef will have better flavour and be more tender. It is often found in higher-end steak restaurants.
Wet-aging is a relatively new approach that developed with advances in refrigeration and plastics. Most meat you buy at a super-market has gone through this process. Cuts of beef are vacuum-sealed in plastic wrap and shipped. The aging takes place in the time to transport the meat to market. The enzymes still tenderize the meat sufficiently to make it acceptable. Usually the meat is not stored for long and there is no weight loss from loss of moisture. Wet-aged beef therefore costs less to the consumer for the same cut.
What's the difference between bone-in or boneless cuts of meat?
Bone-in meat, also called meat on the bone, means that all or some of the bones are included in the cut or portion. Examples include T-bone steaks, bone-in chops, and short ribs. Depending on the cut and recipe, cooking meat bone-in can add flavour and allow the meat to cook more evenly.