When you're buying steak, it's likely you'll be bombarded with claims of “grain-fed”, “grass-fed”, “organic”, “aged”, “marbled” and, increasingly, “Angus beef”. But what do they all mean? For consumers, we believe knowing what to look for in a steak and understanding the jargon is a better guarantee of quality.
CHOICE recruited three experts to assess six cuts of steak - rump, sirloin, Scotch fillet, T-bone, blade and eye fillet – purchased from the major supermarkets, to see how they compare against cuts from a specialist budget and a specialist premium butcher. Overall, the premium butcher set the standard, while clearly being the most expensive; it rated well in all categories though we did find some inconsistency (see Butchers vs supermarkets). However, our experts were also impressed with the supermarkets – Coles in particular – which rated as high or almost as highly as the premium butcher for some cuts. By contrast, Woolworths, like the budget butcher, was hit and miss in some categories despite generally offering the best value for money. Aldi only offered three of the six cuts, but performed well overall in those categories.
How we test
CHOICE purchases six different cuts of steak (rump, sirloin, scotch fillet, T-bone, blade and eye fillet) from a premium and budget butcher as well as the major supermarket chains: Woolworths, Coles and Aldi (only had rump, sirloin and scotch fillet available). A blind expert assessment is conducted in which three experts are presented with each cut on a plain white plate. The experts assess the raw meat (there is no taste test assessment) for quality, as well as aspects such as colour, marbling and amount of fat. They then give each steak an overall rating.
For advice on how to cook the perfect steak as well as some great beef recipes, visit COOK'S CHOICE.