Ask Your Butcher

What is the best way to thaw frozen meat?

The best way to thaw frozen meat is to plan ahead and defrost in the fridge the day before you want to prepare your meat. Thawing the meat in the refrigerator can help maintain the quality of the meat.

Is it safe to eat steak that is cooked to rare or medium rare?

Ground beef, pork and lamb should not be cooked to rare, but whole cuts such as steaks, chops and roasts can safely be cooked to rare or medium rare degree of doneness and it is safe for human consumption

Is eating meat unhealthy?

Most meat fits easily into a healthy diet. Meat contains all the essential amino acids and meat proteins which are 95 to 100% digestible. Also, meat is a good source of vitamins and minerals and is the only natural source for certain B vitamins. Furthermore, iron from meat is four times more absorbable than iron from other sources. The consumption of meat is vital for cognitive development of children and young adults and does fit into a healthy lifestyle. Whether it be meat, fruit or vegetables moderation is important for a healthy lifestyle.

What is Free Range beef?

Beef that is free range has been raised on wide open pasture where cattle can roam and graze freely, and is never confined to feed lots. The diet of Free Range Beef consists of only fresh naturally growing grass and forage. This type of beef is never fed animal by-products, grain, corn, or any other dietary supplements. Free Range Beef is tender, juicy, and flavorful!

Why Should I eat Free Range Beef?

There are many reasons why eating Free Range Beef is good, and this is why we offer a large selection of Free Range Beef in our stores. Free Range beef is more humane as the beef is raised on open pasture letting them roam the fields and graze at will. They are never forced to live in confinement and endure the stresses of factory farming. Not only is free range beef more humane, but it is actually healthier for human consumption! Free Range Beef packs a third less fat per serving. Free Range beef is also higher in omega 3s than other grain finished types of beef. Pound for pound, free range grass fed beef provides the best value taking into account health, animal welfare and environmental impact.

What is Free Run Chicken?

All the chicken we carry at Meridian is Free-Run, meaning they are raised free-run in well ventilated barns with constant access to food and water and they are never confined to cages. They are raised on a vegetable grain diet which is a wholesome blend of corn, wheat, soybean, canola and vitamins.

What’s the best beef steak for the BBQ?

This can be a matter of preference. Personally, I recommend Rib Eye Steak. It is cut from the Prime Rib and has the perfect combination of flavor (due to fat marbling) and tenderness. Other great steaks for grilling, by order of tenderness, are Tenderloin, T-Bone, New York Striploin, and Top Sirloin.

What is a baseball steak?

Baseball steak is another word for top sirloin. Top sirloin steaks are thick in size and meaty in flavour. At Meridian we sell Free Range top sirloin steaks meaning they are raised without added growth hormones.

How can I know when my steak is done to my liking?

The longer meat is cooked, the more firm it becomes. The texture of the various degrees of doneness of meat are similar to the feel of the fleshy part of your palm below the thumb. Try this thumb and finger test the next time you cook a steak and see how accurate it is!

Steaks well done

Thumb to index finger: Steak will be soft and squishy

Medium Rare:

Thumb to Middle Finger: Steak is firmer, gently yielding.


Thumb to Ring Finger: Steak will be firmer, less yielding.

Well Done:

Thumb to Pinky Finger: Steak will feel hard yet springy.


What’s the difference between the steaks Meridian carries?

Beef tenderloin (Beef fillet): by far the tenderest, though some argue that it can lack flavor, which is true.  This cut can be very lean and fat = flavor.

T-Bone steak:  maybe the best of both worlds…. tenderloin on one side of the bone and N.Y. striploin on the other.  The bone keeps the meat extra juicy and flavorful.

Rib Eye Steak:  again, my personal favorite and the steak we recommend most at our stores.  The perfect combination of flavor and tenderness.  There is fat in the steak and some people do not find this appealing.  If you or your guests find this offensive, this may not be the steak for you.  The sizing is consistent (we sell 8-9 oz. steaks in our stores)

Striploin Steak (New York): our best-selling steak by far!  This cut’s combination of tenderness, flavor and leanness makes it popular.  The sizing is consistent as well (we sell 7-8 oz. steaks or 11-12 oz. steaks) making them ideal for entertaining.

Top Sirloin:  TOP sirloin GOOD.  Sirloin Tip BAD!!  Many confuse the 2 cuts – don’t make that mistake!  Top sirloin is the one you want.  It is very tender and has a very ‘beefy’ robust flavor.  It is my Dad’s favourite cut of beef. Sirloin tip on the other hand is cut from the hip and is more suited for roasting slow as a roast, not a steak.  If you do want to try grilling sirloin tip, marinade it well! Even then, the results I find disappointing.  We do not sell this cut out of our counters at our stores… it just doesn’t perform well.

The important thing to look for when buying steaks to BBQ is to make sure they are cut from the loin or rib section. Steaks cut from the hip or ’round’ may look bright red and lean, but they are tough when grilled.

Please contact us if you have questions!

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