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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Grilling / BBQ / Smoking / What quality is your meat?
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    What quality is your meat?

    Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:03 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hey all, as you might have guess meat is near and dear to my heart. So was curious to ask what kind of meat quality do you purchase week to week? Or if you are even aware of the different grades of meat at all?
    Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:00 am
    Forum Host
    Supermarket for me, which seems to be choice - once in a while I see a lower grade - ok for stews - but rarely anymore.

    If something special is going on, I'll head to the meat market in my area which has outstanding meats. I also buy corned beef there - quite a bit more expensive than what the supermarket carries, but far less solution - I could not believe some of the corned beef I saw last year, over 30% solution. Blech.
    Red Apple Guy
    Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:10 am
    Forum Host
    Hey Meaty Meat. Sorry I missed you post. Welcome to the forum.

    I do like "choice" meat like Publix sells, but "select" is fine if it's from a good company like Cargill - sold in Kroger mkts. In fact, a friend of mine works at Cargill and gets good deals on meat. I get invited occasionally.

    If I'm slow cooking either on my smoker or crock pot, I'll look for value in meat, knowing that long-slow cooking tenderizes tougher cuts.
    Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:31 am Groupie
    I don't eat too much meat. More poultry. But, as mentioned with smoking or slow cooking (crock) or even a long oven braise; I get the cheaper tougher cuts.

    If I want a good steak; I buy a good quality.
    But I do like a simple skirt or flank now and then.

    As far as the quality, if I have company; yes, I will hit a local meat market which is really good.
    I just made my own corned beef, and got just a store brand generic brisket; but did my own corning; it was excellent.

    And, I watch the sales; sometimes the prime is on sale just as cheap as the other. Depends.
    Red Apple Guy
    Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:54 pm
    Forum Host
    Hey Sarasota,
    We'd love to hear more about the corned beef.

    Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:21 pm Groupie
    Red Apple Guy wrote:
    Hey Sarasota,
    We'd love to hear more about the corned beef.


    This is it. Really good and easy, takes a few day, but NOT hard. The curing salt is what keeps that pink color. This was when I pulled it out cooked in the crock with carrots, onions, spuds, and cabbage. Guinness broth, etc.

    1 (3 to 5 pound) beef brisket

    Spice Blend: (you can use your own pickling spice if you prefer)
    1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    1 tablespoon mustard seeds
    1 tablespoon allspice berries
    1 tablespoon whole cloves
    1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    9 whole cardamom pods
    6 bay leaves, crumbled
    2 teaspoons ground ginger
    1/2 large cinnamon stick

    1 gallon water
    2 cups kosher salt
    5 teaspoons pink curing salt* (see below)
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    3 tablespoons spices (from above)

    Spices ... The first thing is to toast some of the spices; the mustard seeds, coriander, allspice berries, cloves, and cardamom. Add the seeds to a dry saute pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until you can smell the spices. The heat of the pan will bring out the oil and flavor of the spices. Transfer to a small ziploc bag along with the peppercorns and lightly crush the spices with a rolling pin or meat mallet; then, add the red pepper flakes, crumbled bay leaves, and ginger. Close and shake to combine. Remove 3 tablespoons to use for the brine; and save the rest for the cooking process.

    Brine ... Add the 3 tablespoons of the spice mix, plus half of the stick of cinnamon (reserve the other half for the cooking process), to a gallon of water in a large pot, along with the Kosher salt, pink salt (if using), and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

    * Pink curing salt, or sodium nitrite, goes by many names, such as Prague Powder #1 or DQ Curing Salt #1, and is available where most pickling spices are sold. Some grocery stores carry it; Walmart, BBQ supply stores usually, and of course you can purchase it online. If you don't have it, you can still make corned beef, and it will taste delicious ... it just won't be that bright pink color.

    Brisket ... Place the brisket in a large ziploc bag (or, you can also use a glass - non-reactive) pan, and pour or cover with the cooled brine. The brine should completely cover the meat. I prefer to use a ziploc bag and then place in a glass pan in case it leaks. Make sure to squeeze the air out of the ziploc bag and place in the refrigerator towards the back, where it is the coldest. This process will take 5-7 days. Every day flip the brisket over, so the entire brisket brines evenly.

    Finish ... At the end of the curing process; remove the brisket from the brine and rinse with cold water; make sure to completely rinse the brisket. Then, put back in the refrigerator after rinsing for 1-3 hours (uncovered) to dry - Don't skip this step.

    Cook ... Now, it's time to make your corned beef! Use your favorite recipe; but, don't forget to use your remaining spices. You can smoke it, braise, grill, or cook in the crock pot. It is up to you - ENJOY!
    My favorite recipe is corned beef and cabbage. But some times, I will make a small one just for sandwiches. I cook it slowly in the oven or crock pot in a mix of beer, broth, and a chopped onion. It comes out tender and moist. But, there a hundred of recipes to choose from
    Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:27 pm Groupie
    You can smoke, braise, grill, stop top cook, crock pot, etc.

    I just made one yesterday. NOT for St Patty's Day, we had a party. This is for the freezer. I will enjoy soup, reuben sandwiches, and hash. I just did the crock pot, onions, and beer yesterday. My secret when I do corned beef and cabbage, a little brandy and cloves. But yesterdays was just plain.

    The method takes a few days; and you need to pay attention to it; but, OMG is it good, and worth it.
    Red Apple Guy
    Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:51 pm
    Forum Host
    Oh wow! That looks good!
    Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:05 pm Groupie
    Even without the salt it tastes good, it just isn't pink is all. But I like the salt. Just makes it look like what we are used too.

    It seriously isn't hard, you just have to check it each day and plan ahead is all. Basically, simple. But the flavor is really good. And use your favorite pickling spice. This is my blend, but any blend works. I use half to "corn" and half to cook the finished product with. Good Stuff
    Thx Red!
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