Find a good butcher by talking to local experts
Culinary school online will assuredly teach you the ins and outs of preparing meat, from how to flambe a woodcock to methods for developing a unique rub for a rack of ribs. The question then becomes how to go out into your local community and find a good butcher. While meat counters can be found in any grocery store, finding the right meat for a good meal often requires a direct conversation with an expert, especially if you are looking for an unusual or exotic cut.
“People are often limited by their imagination,” Jessica Applestone, co-owner of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats, told Bon Appetit. “The butcher then becomes a liaison to discovering new meat options and is also likely loaded with cooking tips and seasoning recommendations.”
Other reasons to support a local butcher include gaining access to farms with closer geographical proximity and using meat that hasn’t been flash frozen or had chemicals added, which leads to better tasting meat.
So how do you find a great butcher?
If you’re seeking a butcher, asking your favorite high-end local restaurant where they get their meat is often a good first step. Another option is to use your local farmer’s market as a resource. Talking to farmers, chefs and other people within the food industry is the best way to discover great local vendors, and developing these relationships is important to any avid cook or aspiring grill-master.