INDEX

RETAIL MEAT CUT PARTS

MUSCLING

WHICH HAS THE MOST MUSCLE?

TRIMMING OR COOKING LOSS

WHICH HAS THE LOWEST TRIM LOSS?

QUALITY

WHICH HAS THE BEST MARBLING QUALITY?

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

FINAL TIPS

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE


judging retail meat cuts introduction


Traits to Evaluate When Judging Retail Meat Cuts

Judging retail meat cuts involves the same things that are considered when purchasing a retail meat cut to cook and eat.

  • Muscling
  • Trim or cooking loss (excess fat and bone)
  • Quality (flavor, tender, juicy, good color, etc.)


Parts of a Retail Meat Cut


Parts of a retail meat cut diagram


Retail Meat Cut Muscling


 

Evaluating Muscling

  • The muscle in a retail meat cut is the red or pink shaded portion of the cut.
  • The muscle is the most valuable part of the meat cut.
  • Although some retail meat cuts may contain only one primary muscle, others will contain several different muscles.


 

Number-of-muscles-in-retail-meat-cuts


Number of muscles in retail meat cuts lamb rack rib chop


Number of muscles in retail meat cuts beef chuck arm steak


Evaluating Muscling

  • No matter how many muscles are present, a good retail meat cut will have a large precentage of muscle.
    • Especially when compared to the amount of fat and bone.
  • When judging a class of retail meat cuts, cuts with a higher percentage of muscle are desired.


Which of these pork loin rib chops has the most muscle


Left Pork chop has largest loin eye muscle larger amount secondary muscles


Which Lamb Loin Chops has-the most muscle


Lamb Loin Chops Most Muscle Answer


 

Beef Rib Eye Steaks Most Muscle


Beef Rig Eye Steaks Most Muscle Answer


 

Trimming or Cooking Loss


 

Evaluating Trim or Cooking Loss

  • Trim or cooking loss refers to the amount of fat and bone that is lost as the retail meat cut is processed, cooked, and eaten.
  • In judging a class of retail meat cuts, cuts with a low percentage of trim or cooking loss (fat and bone) are most desirable.
    • Should have a high percentage of muscle relative to fat and bone.


 

Evaluating Amount of Fat

  • There are three types of fat that are typically present in most retail meat cuts:
    • External fat
    • Intermuscular fat (seam fat)
    • Intramuscular fat (marbling)
  • Of these three type of fat, external and intermuscular fat are considered waste because this fat is typically not eaten.
    • Intramuscular fat is considered as a quality factor, rather than as trim or cooking loss.


 

External Fat

  • This is the fat found on the outside of a retail meat cut.
  • Most of the external fat can be removed by meat cutters as the cut is processed.
  • A small amount of external fat is good because it protects the outside of the meat and keeps it from drying out.


 

Intermuscular (Seam) Fat

  • Intermuscular (seam) fat is the fat that separates muscles.
  • Unlike external fat, seam fat cannot be removed by meat cutters when the cut is processed.
  • Seam fat is considered to be a waste, so cuts with minimal seam fat is preferred.
  • Ideally, seam fat would only be a small line of fat in the cut, not large chunks.


Evaluating Amount of Bone

  • Another factor to consider when evaluating plate loss is the amount of bone.
  • Since bone is not a consumable part of a meat cut, bone is considered as a waste.
  • Depending on the particular cut, retail meat cuts may contain round, flat, rib, or vertebrae bones.
  • Cuts with less bone are preferred.


 

Type of Bones

Types of Bones


 

Which Pork Cuts Lowest Trim Loss


Pork cuts lowest trim loss answer


 

Which Lamb Cuts Lowest Trim Loss


Lamb Cuts Lowest Trim Loss Answer


 

Beef Cuts Lowest Trim Loss


Beef Cuts Lowest Trim Loss Answer


 

Quality


 

Evaluating Quality

  • Quality in retail meat cuts deals with the palatability characteristics of tenderness, flavor, and juiciness, and the visual quality of the cut.
  • The palatability characteristics of a retail meat cut are primarily infuenced by:
    • Amount of intramuscular fat (marbling) in the cut.
    • Firmness of the lean in the cut
  • The visual quality of the cut is primarily influenced by the color of the cut.


 

Intramuscular Fat (Marbling)

  • Marbling is the little flecks of fat that is found within the muscle (intramuscular fat).
  • Marbling is important for:
    • Flavor - marbling is referred to as the taste fat.
    • Juiciness = marbling melts at cooking temperatures, and helps make cooked cuts juicy.
  • Pork and lamb will typically not marble as well as beef.


 

Pork Cut with the best marbling question


pork cut best marbling answer


 

lamb-cut-best-marbling


pork cut best marbling answer


 

beef-cut-best-marbling-question


beef cut best marbling answer


 

Evaluating Firmness of the Lean

  • The lean in retail meat cuts should be relatively firm to the touch and should not display any obvious fluid accumulations on the surface.
  • Meat cuts should be discounted if they are:
    • Very soft with excess moisture on the surface or present in the packaging.  These cuts will lack juiciness and be tough after cooking.
  • Overly firm and dry.  These cuts often have a short shelf-life, and are tough after cooking.


 

Evaluating color of the cut


 

Evaluating Colors of Lean


Evaluating Color of the Cut

  • Dull or off colors may be an indication of:
    • Aging
    • Spoiling
    • Poor quality control
    • Poor handling of meat or animals prior to slaughter
  • Meat cuts that ar overly dark or very pale in color should be discounted.


Putting it All Together


 

Place-This-Class-of-Steaks


  • Official Placing: 1-2-4-3
  • Cuts:  3-5-2


 

Discussion-Beef-Steak-Placing-Cuts


 

Discussion-Beef-Steak-Placing-Cuts2


 

Discussion-Beef-Steak-Placing-Cuts4


 

Discussion-Beef-Steak-Placing-Cuts3


 

Retail-Meat-Cuts-Final-Tips


 

Final-Tips-Retail-Meat-Cuts-Judging


You are ready



Back to...