Author Topic: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks  (Read 232 times)

Ben

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Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« on: December 18, 2022, 10:13:13 AM »
I have always liked getting my steak at Costco because I rarely get a tough steak. I had no idea that it was partially because they mechanically "pre-tenderize" the better cuts (rib eyes, filets, etc.). I wonder how common that is among the chain grocers, etc. that have substantial meat departments?

I need to try and closely examine the next pack of rib eyes that I buy there to see if I can see the punctures.

https://www.thedailymeal.com/1138657/the-mechanical-tenderization-process-behind-costco-steaks/
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charby

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2022, 10:58:55 AM »
Where I live we have 2 grocery chains that are both known for having good meat. HyVee and Fareway, they both pride themselves on having Choice and Prime meat. The only mechanically tenderized meat I have seen are cuts sold as minute steaks, for making schnitzel, or chicken fried steaks.

The Midwest is blessed with having tons of cattle lots where feeder cattle are confined and finished on corn. Confinement and corn produces are really marbled steak. Even the pork sold in the two grocery stores I mention is why better than say at Aldi or Walmart.

I think of any quality cut of meat that need to be mechanically tenderized as a lesser graded cut of meat.

I'm guessing Costco is probably selling Select or Commercial grade of meat.
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Ben

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2022, 11:03:48 AM »
I'm guessing Costco is probably selling Select or Commercial grade of meat.

Costco only sells choice and prime.
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charby

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2022, 11:14:39 AM »
Costco only sells choice and prime.

grass fed?
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Brad Johnson

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2022, 10:58:47 AM »
grass fed?

Technically, all beef is grass fed, but I digress...

Asking if a Prime cut is grass fed is generally a waste of time. Truly grass fed beef (or, more accurately, "grass finished") is normally too lean to garner even a Choice label, much less Prime. Cuts trumpeting "grass fed" but also carrying a USDA grade are usually cattle given just enough pasture time to meet some arbitrary minimal technical definition of pasture foraging, but still mainly finished on traditional feedlot rations.

Also keep in mind "Grass Fed" is not a certified label. Like "natural" labeling, which has morphed into pretty much whatever the producer wants it to be, "grass fed" has become more marketing term than Truth in Advertising.

Brad
« Last Edit: December 19, 2022, 11:39:32 AM by Brad Johnson »
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MillCreek

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2022, 11:27:25 AM »
I routinely buy the bulk pack of boneless ribeyes at Costco and individually cryovac and freeze them.  I have never noticed any visible puncture or incision marks on the surface, but I will be getting out the magnifying glass the next time I buy a pack.
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cordex

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2022, 11:52:57 AM »
A friend and I went in on half a steer earlier this year.  It was from a company owned by a family friend that primarily does some really high-end machining but had a bunch of land, their family had a history of raising cattle in the area, and just wanted some high quality beef.  They do strictly grass-fed and pasture-raised.  Comparing that meat to some Kirkland ribeyes my parents bought for a get together a month or two ago and the tenderness difference was extremely noticeable - the Kirkland steaks were downright soft.  I enjoy both, but it might explain part of why that was.

Ben

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2022, 12:06:35 PM »
A friend and I went in on half a steer earlier this year.  It was from a company owned by a family friend that primarily does some really high-end machining but had a bunch of land, their family had a history of raising cattle in the area, and just wanted some high quality beef.  They do strictly grass-fed and pasture-raised.  Comparing that meat to some Kirkland ribeyes my parents bought for a get together a month or two ago and the tenderness difference was extremely noticeable - the Kirkland steaks were downright soft.  I enjoy both, but it might explain part of why that was.

I have found similar. I'll buy beef from the local grocery, which is all locally raised, and everyone around here pastures their cows. Much of it is quite good, but it still depends on what they eat. Last year, the kid who grazes my neighbor's land, which is dryland and pretty close to "rangeland grazing", had a couple of cows get on my side where the grass was greener. While I wasn't upset about it, he insisted on giving me a big box of beef. While the beef was good, it definitely was missing the marbling that beef get being finished in the feedlot.

The Costco ribeyes and filets I buy, are like you said, just plain soft. I buy top sirloin from Costco once in a while, and while recognizing that it will be a bit "tougher" than a ribeye anyway, they are noticeably more chewy. The next time I get some of those I'll have to see if I can see any needle marks. The story I posted wasn't clear, but it seemed to allude to Costco just doing the mechanical stuff to the higher end cuts.
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cordex

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2022, 12:53:36 PM »
Last year, the kid who grazes my neighbor's land, which is dryland and pretty close to "rangeland grazing", had a couple of cows get on my side where the grass was greener. While I wasn't upset about it, he insisted on giving me a big box of beef. While the beef was good, it definitely was missing the marbling that beef get being finished in the feedlot.
Last weekend I was just getting set up to chainsaw mill a log when my neighbor called me up and said one of his livestock protection dogs had been found by someone else in the area.  When the neighbors got home he found out that his cattle had gotten out too.  I gave my girls a radio and told them to go looking in the woods to the south west, then hopped on the ATV and went toward the back of the property adjacent to the farmer's fields, turned the engine off and listened.  Sure enough, before too long I heard some sticks cracking and brush rustling on the ridge above the creek.  Nine minutes after he called me about them getting out I let him know I had his cattle.  I drove them toward his field and we were about at the wood line when his wife drove over in her UTV with a bucket of grain and we got them herded back into the pen.

They joked they were going to have to put us on the payroll, but if they sent over some beef I wouldn't complain.  From the looks of it the cattle had been wandering around in my woods for a while, and if the thorns and burrs sticking out of their hide is anything to go on, their meat has been plenty mechanically tenderized.

Ben

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2022, 01:17:12 PM »
^^^

One of my top five bonehead moves of 2022 was not doublechecking all my gates the day my cow guy brought his herd for the season. I had left one of the corral gates closed but unchained. That evening I heard the cows and thought, "They sure sound close" just as I turned my head to look out the window and see several of them on the front lawn.

I ran out the door and then they started moseying down my road and I couldn't get them turned around. I had to run and hop on my ATV and by that time they were all already up at the county road and it looked like heading back to my cow guy's place 5 miles away. I zoomed down there, and I don't even know how I managed it, but I got them all turned around on the county road, and managed to get a couple of cow calf pairs turned down my road. All the rest of the cows followed them and then it was easy just staying behind them and shouting a few "hey-ah"s to get them back in a pasture. 

I did get some clapping from my bordering neighbors who had come out to their front porch to watch the spectacle.  :rofl:
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K Frame

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2022, 02:46:30 PM »
And the whole time Steve was just watching and laughing, Cowboy?  :rofl:
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charby

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2022, 07:05:15 PM »
Technically, all beef is grass fed, but I digress...

Asking if a Prime cut is grass fed is generally a waste of time. Truly grass fed beef (or, more accurately, "grass finished") is normally too lean to garner even a Choice label, much less Prime. Cuts trumpeting "grass fed" but also carrying a USDA grade are usually cattle given just enough pasture time to meet some arbitrary minimal technical definition of pasture foraging, but still mainly finished on traditional feedlot rations.

Also keep in mind "Grass Fed" is not a certified label. Like "natural" labeling, which has morphed into pretty much whatever the producer wants it to be, "grass fed" has become more marketing term than Truth in Advertising.

Brad

When I was still able to eat beef, a midwest cow lot finished prime steak tasted so much better than a finished prime steak from Texas or any western state. Even Iowa Holstein steers finished on hay and corn tasted better than the western stuff.
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cordex

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Re: Costco "Pre-Tenderized" Steaks
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2022, 06:58:14 AM »
When I was still able to eat beef, a midwest cow lot finished prime steak tasted so much better than a finished prime steak from Texas or any western state. Even Iowa Holstein steers finished on hay and corn tasted better than the western stuff.
Other than when I have purchased beef directly from the farmer I don’t know thst I have ever paid serious attention to the region my beef came from, but I know there is a ton of variation in meat quality even on a given farm. I am certain that I am not sophisticated enough to call out regional taste differences.