Are you a steak lover who’s curious about the quality of meat used by Omaha Steaks? You’re not alone.
As one of the most well-known mail-delivery meat companies in the United States, Omaha Steaks has built a reputation for providing quality Midwestern beef to customers all across the nation. But what grade of beef do they use?
It’s a question that many steak enthusiasts have been asking, and one that we’re here to answer. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Omaha Steaks and their meat grading system, so you can make an informed decision before placing your next order.
So, grab a seat and get ready to learn all about the beef used by Omaha Steaks.
What Grade Of Beef Are Omaha Steaks?
Omaha Steaks is a privately owned and operated company that has been in business for over 100 years. They are known for their line of steaks, including Filet Mignon, NY Strips, T-Bones, Porterhouses, and Ribeyes, as well as other meat products like pork, veal, bison, and poultry.
One thing that sets Omaha Steaks apart from other butchers is that they do have their beef inspected by the USDA. However, the grading of their beef is unknown to consumers. This means that customers do not know if they are buying Prime, Choice, or Select beef.
Each grade of beef comes with a different price point, so it is possible that customers are paying a premium rate for a USDA Select grade product. It’s important to note that the grading of beef is based on factors like marbling, age, and texture, so it can have a significant impact on the taste and tenderness of the meat.
While Omaha Steaks does not publicly state what their USDA grade is, they do offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on all of their products. This means that if you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase, you can contact their customer service team 24/7 to resolve any issues.
The Basics Of Beef Grading
Beef grading is a voluntary program administered by the USDA that sets the standards for the various quality levels of beef. The grading process is primarily determined by the degree of marbling, which refers to the small flecks of fat within the beef muscle. Marbling provides flavor, tenderness, and juiciness to beef and improves overall palatability. Other factors that contribute to beef grading include animal age, and color and texture of the muscle.
The USDA developed a voluntary grading system based on the meat’s maturity and level of fat marbling. These two factors are indicators of the beef’s tenderness. Beef that is given a higher grade is usually from younger cattle and has more fat marbling. To receive a USDA grading on beef, manufacturers must pay for a trained inspector to grade the beef at the slaughterhouse. Once the beef is graded, the manufacturer must comply with the labeling requirements set by the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
There are eight total quality grades: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner. The first three quality grades – Prime, Choice, and Select – are the most commonly recognized by consumers and are considered food-grade labels by USDA. Prime beef is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle with abundant marbling and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Choice beef is high quality but has less marbling than Prime. Select beef is very uniform in quality and normally leaner than higher grades. It is fairly tender but may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades.
Standard and Commercial grades of beef are frequently sold as ungraded or as store-brand meat. Utility, Cutter, and Canner grades of beef are seldom, if ever, sold at retail but are used instead to make ground beef and processed products such as canned soup or frozen meals.
Omaha Steaks’ Grading System
Omaha Steaks does not have a publicly known grading system for their beef products. This means that customers do not have access to information about the marbling, age, or texture of the beef they are purchasing. In the United States, beef is typically graded by the USDA and given a grade of Prime, Choice, or Select. Each grade has different levels of marbling and tenderness, with Prime being the highest quality.
It is unclear why Omaha Steaks does not disclose their grading system to customers. Some speculate that it may be because their beef is considered “commodity meat,” meaning it does not meet the standards of higher-end meat and is produced on a larger scale. However, it’s important to note that Omaha Steaks does offer a wide variety of other meat products besides beef, including pork, veal, bison, and poultry.
Despite the lack of information on their grading system, Omaha Steaks does offer customers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on all of their products. This means that if customers are not completely satisfied with their purchase, they can contact customer service for a resolution. However, without knowledge of the grading system, it can be difficult for customers to determine if they are getting the best quality meat for their money.
What Makes Omaha Steaks’ Beef Special
Omaha Steaks prides itself on sourcing its beef from farms throughout the heartland of the United States, particularly in Nebraska, which has a cattle to people ratio of three-to-one. This beef-centric ethos is what’s kept them in the state throughout their century-long history. The company maintains long-standing relationships with ranchers around Nebraska and the Midwest, ensuring that they get the best quality beef possible.
One of the things that make Omaha Steaks’ beef special is that it is carved from the best in grass-fed, grain-finished beef. Raising cattle on grasses and finishing them with highly nutritive grains creates the signature rich flavor of their beef. This process is well known for its richness, exceptional marbling, and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.
Omaha Steaks uses five metrics to ascertain three grades of quality: Gourmet, Butcher’s Cut, and Private Reserve. The beef used is grass-fed for flavor in the muscle, then grain-finished near the end of its life to increase marbling. The steak is then flash-frozen to minimize the size of ice crystal formation and preserve the integrity of the product. This gives it a freshness and tenderness advantage over grocery cuts slowly oxidizing.
The company sources its beef from great local ranches in Nebraska, which is renowned for having some of the best cattle in the United States. The animals are mostly raised on a grass-fed diet and grain-finished to create a better gourmand cooking experience. Their meats are all flash frozen so that the fibers don’t get damaged as much when you eat them.
Comparing Omaha Steaks To Other Mail-Order Meat Companies
When it comes to mail-order meat companies, Omaha Steaks is one of the most well-known and established brands. However, there are several other companies that offer similar products and services. Here is a comparison of Omaha Steaks to some of its competitors:
– Snake River Farms: While Snake River Farms offers American wagyu beef, they do not have as much variety as Omaha Steaks. However, their meat is of high quality and has a unique flavor profile.
– Kansas City Steaks: This company is very similar to Omaha Steaks in terms of products offered and website design. However, Omaha Steaks has a larger variety of meats and cuts available.
– Crowd Cow: Like Omaha Steaks, Crowd Cow offers a wide range of meats, including game meat and plant-based proteins. They also offer wagyu beef, but their selection is not as extensive as Snake River Farms.
– Porter Road: This company prides itself on offering high-quality meat that is never frozen. While they do not have as much variety as some other companies, their focus on quality sets them apart.
– Rastelli’s: Rastelli’s offers a similar selection of meats to Omaha Steaks, but also includes precooked options like meatballs and ribs. They are transparent about their sourcing practices and offer a good balance between variety and quality.