Everything you need to know about our USDA Choice + prime steaks

We take great pride in our meat offerings at Bristol Farms. To celebrate the start of grilling season, we thought it was the perfect time to put together this quick guide to help you pick out a steak that’s a cut above the rest.

USDA Select

USDA Select is the lowest grade of beef that you can find in supermarkets. It’s not the ideal grade to use for steak due to its lack of marbling, but it can work in recipes that call for added flavor and moisture (i.e., soups). You won’t find USDA Select at Bristol Farms.

USDA Choice

Most beef falls into the Choice category. It’s high quality and decently marbled, particularly when it comes to rib and loin cuts.

At Bristol Farms, there’s no need to fret about your Choice. Our butchers are happy to walk you through our full selection, which is sourced from the top 5% of all USDA Choice. And, our beef isn’t just in the top tier of Choice – it’s natural, meaning that our beef is free of hormones and antibiotics.

Others may claim to sell naturally-raised beef, but that often means that the animal is only free of drugs for 90 days in a “Withdrawal Program.” That’s not how we do things here: If an animal needs antibiotics, our farmers nurse it back to health and send it to a different processor.

USDA Prime

Prime is the USDA’s top grade; awarded to less than 2% of all beef for its exceptional quality.

Our natural Prime beef has exceptional marbling and flavor with a uniquely fine texture. And like our Choice cuts, our beef is free of growth hormones and antibiotics. All combined, it adds up to melt-in-your-mouth goodness with every bite.

Dry-aged New York steak raw.

Natural Dry-Aged Beef

The dry aging process concentrates the flavors of beef while making it even more tender. It takes weeks, special temperature controls, and lots of care, which is why most grocery stores don’t carry it. But, for us, the end result is well worth it.

Over the course of our meticulous 21-day dry aging process, the umami qualities of the beef are brought to the surface. It also increases the tenderness, resulting in a ‘cuts like butter’ steak that you won’t soon forget.

Grass-Fed Wagyu

For more than ten years, we’ve worked closely with New Zealand Wagyu ranchers to bring you the finest bone-in Wagyu beef available. Known as the Rolls Royce of beef, our Wagyu is blessed with brilliant white marbling for an unrivaled mouthfeel. Don’t just take our word for it – beef industry experts have deemed it to be the world’s best grass-fed beef.

Pro tip

Bring your Wagyu steaks to room temperature before searing. This allows the meat to cook more evenly and guarantees a tender, juicy steak.

So there you have it! USDA prime beef, dry-aged beef, and grass-fed Wagyu are rare finds. Fortunately you can get the best of the best at places like Taylor’s, Nick & Stef’s, Gwen… and Bristol Farms.