Beef is a powerhouse of essential nutrients. It’s naturally rich in muscle-building protein and a rich source of iron for energy. Zinc helps us fight off infections, while beef’s rich Vitamin B12 content helps keep our brains in shape at any age. Vitamin D helps build strong teeth and bones, and potassium helps protect bones from osteoporosis.


The top grades of beef in supermarkets and butcher shops are Canada AAA, Canada AA and Canada A. The difference between the grades is the degree of marbling, the lines of fat that run through the meat and add flavour and juiciness. AAA beef has the most marbling.

Don’t judge beef by its colour. Bright red is not an indication of freshness. Colour variations can be due to many factors, including the type of packaging. The best indicator of freshness is the "packaged on" or the "best before" date.

Compare beef cuts based on cost per serving rather than price. A roast may seem expensive, but you can add leftovers to stir-fries, salads, pasta dishes and casseroles, extending the cost per serving.


Keep raw and cooked meat separate to prevent cross contamination.

Defrost beef in the refrigerator; don't re-freeze thawed beef.

Refrigerate raw ground beef on a plate or in a container to prevent drips.


For a Sunday roast any day of the week, try a quick roast, cut from traditional oven roasts and ideal for small families. Weighing 1 lb (500 g), it's ready in about 50 minutes, or when the thermometer reads 140°F (60°C) for medium-rare. Season with your favourite flavours. When cooked, tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Remove the net before serving.

Grilling steaks such as rib-eye, T-bone, strip-loin and top sirloin need only brief cooking. Season with salt and pepper then grill or broil on medium-high heat, turning once or twice. For steaks 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, grill 5 to 7 minutes a side for rare and 7 to 9 minutes for medium.

Marinating steaks cut from the round, sirloin tip or flank can be tenderized by piercing with a fork and marinating 2 to 24 hours before cooking.

Make your own stir-fry strips by partially freezing steak then slicing thinly.

For burgers, extra lean (10% fat) and Lean ground beef (17% fat) are the best choice for health-conscious cooks. Medium ground beef (23% fat) makes juicy flavourful burgers with moderate grill flare-up. And try ground chuck, the gourmand’s choice for the best burgers.

Remember, your burger’s done at 71. That’s 71°C or 160°F.

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