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FAQs

How can I place a custom meat order?

Placing special orders with us is easy, and our friendly Hometown Butchers are happy to help!

  • To place special orders for select meats, visit your local store’s website and call us. Or, if you are at the store, visit with our amazing meat team, and they’ll gladly take your order.

  • Call or visit your friendly in-store Hometown Butcher and have them place an order on your behalf.

What are the different types of meat?

Ground meat to lean meat; uncured to cured. What’s the difference? Here's an overview of the different, main types of meat:

  • Ground Meat - Also known as minced meat, ground meat has been finely chopped in a grinder or processor.

  • Lean Meat - Lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than some other cuts of meat; lean meat can be round steaks or top sirloin for beef, pork loins for pork, turkey or skinless chicken breasts. According to USDA standards, a 100-grams serving of lean beef must contain less than 10g of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol.

  • Processed Meat - Processed meats, like deli meats, bacon and hot dogs, have usually undergone a process to extend its shelf life such as using preservatives or are smoked, salted or cured.

  • Uncured Meat - Uncured meat contains curing agents such as sodium nitrate and is preserved with non-synthetic sources like celery powder, salt or sugar.  

  • Cured Meat - Meat that has been cured includes added nitrite, sodium nitrate, potassium nitrite or potassium nitrate for preservation. 

What are the different cuts of meat?

Looking for the perfect meat for your main dish? Here's how to choose the best cut for your needs:

 

Beef cuts:

  • Brisket - This cut comes from the lower breast of beef cattle. While it's considered a tough cut of meat, slow cooking can make it tender, chewy and robust. This is also sometimes referred to as plate meat.

  • Chuck – Flavorful and rich, with visible marbling, chuck meat comes from the shoulder area of beef cattle. Chuck roasts, boneless country-style ribs and flat iron steaks are all considered chuck.

  • Flank - Flank steak comes from the lower chest of beef cattle. It's a rich, lean, chewy and beefy cut of meat perfect for grilling, broiling or sauteing.

  • Loin - Loin meat comes from the area of the beef cattle that stretches from the hip to the shoulder and includes the tenderloin. This most tender part of the beef cattle is usually used for steak.

  • Rib - Meat from the beef rib cut is very tender because of its high degree of marbling. These cuts are also rich and flavorful, with a distinctive, satisfying beefy taste. Deeply meaty and succulent, short ribs come from the lower portion of the rib.

  • Round – The lean, flavorful meat coming from the rear leg of beef cattle is considered the "round cut." This may include bottom round, top round or the eye round.

  • Shank - This tough, slightly gamey meat comes from the shin of beef cattle. It's most delicious and succulent when cooked in moist heat, low and slow.

 

Chicken cuts:

  • Breast - The leanest and most popular cut of chicken, as the name implies, this meat comes from the chicken's chest. It can be sold bone-in or boneless.

  • Drumstick - The chicken's shins, also known as drumsticks, come bone-in and are inexpensive. A backyard BBQ favorite, these higher-fat pieces are easy to flavor, season and grill.

  • Leg - A chicken leg contains both the thigh and drumstick, usually with skin on and bone-in. Leg quarters are a popular and affordable option for grilling.

  • Thigh - Considered dark meat, the thighs come bone-in or bone out and are flavorful and juicy cuts of meat from the top of the chicken's leg.

  • Wing - The chicken wing comes on the bone and has higher fat content than a breast, but a richer, meatier flavor.

Pork cuts:

  • Butt - Don't be fooled! Pork butts actually come from the shoulder of a pig. These rich, meaty cuts include the neck, shoulder blade and upper arm. A tougher cut of meat, the butt is best prepared by slow cooking or roasting.

  • Ham - The decadent, melt-in-your-mouth meat you find in the deli or ham steaks comes from the pig's leg.

  • Loin - This tender cut of meat can be cut into pork chops that are mild, juicy and tender. The pork tenderloin also comes from the loin and is by name the most tender piece of pork. Baby back ribs, also from the loin, can be slow cooked for a fall-off-the-bone tenderness.

  • Shoulder Picnic - This meaty and sweet part of the pig can be found right below the pork butt and is excellent for smoking or making sausage.

  • Spare Ribs - Ribs sit between the loin and the side. With a meaty, fatty mouth feel, spare ribs are best prepared by braising to keep the meat from drying out. 

What is organic meat?

USDA-certified organic meat is raised, fed and harvested according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control and use of additives. Organic producers rely on physical, mechanical or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible without administering hormones or antibiotics or using GMOs.

We're proud to carry O Organics® meat. Organic poultry and organic beef you can feel good about buying and feeding your growing family. Our O Organics® meat is raised responsibly, without antibiotics and is always Non-GMO. O Organics free range chicken is organic vegetarian fed and our pasture-raised beef is 100% organic grass fed.

Is red meat part of a healthy diet?

In general, you can enjoy red meat in moderation! Red meat is high in vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin B6, iron, zinc and phosphorus, and lean red meat a protein source with less fat. When cooking and preparing red meat, it's best to avoid burning or charring. 

If you appreciate a densely marbled or fatty cut of meat, you don’t need to trim off the fat (that’s where so much of the richness and flavor come from)! If, however, you’re watching your fat intake, before you cook red meat, it's best to trim off as much of the fat as possible before baking, broiling, grilling or roasting.

While the USDA recommends consuming red meat in moderation (no more than one or two 6-ounce servings per week for adults).

When selecting red meat, here are some of the leanest cuts available and some things to consider:

 

  • Ground Meat - Ground chicken, turkey, pork, or beef with less than 10% fat per serving.

  • Pork - Center cut chops or pork tenderloin offer the leanest options.

  • Steak - Flank steak, round steak and sirloin are lower in calories and higher in protein than other cuts of steak.

  • Sausage – there are many lean sausage alternatives like chicken and turkey sausages.

 

What is lean meat?

The USDA recommends getting protein from meats that are lower in saturated fats. According to the USDA, a three-ounce serving of lean ground beef contains less than ​​10g of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 95 milligrams of cholesterol. In addition, lean meat is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc and iron.  

Want to incorporate more lean meat in your diet? Here are some options and benefits:

  • Ground Beef - A 4-ounce cooked serving of Open Nature 93% LEAN delivers 23 grams of high-quality protein along with vital vitamins and minerals for only 160 calories. 93% ground beef has half the saturated fat and cholesterol, almost a third fewer calories, and 2 grams more protein than 85% LEAN. Look for 90/10% or 93/7% when purchasing ground meat.

  • Chicken - Chicken comes in various cuts, including breasts, thighs, wings and drumsticks. Each cut contains a different amount of protein, fat and calories. There is more saturated fat with the skin on and with thighs, wings and drumsticks in general. Skinless chicken is a versatile, lean, protein-friendly choice.

  • Turkey – You don't have to save turkey for the holidays! A source of lean protein providing 20 grams of protein per 4 oz serving, turkey also provides the amino acid tryptophan, vital for producing the neurotransmitter serotonin.

  • Pork - A 3-ounce cooked portion of pork provides more thiamin than most other commonly consumed meats, including (but not limited to) chicken and turkey. One serving of roasted pork roast sirloin (3.5 oz) contains 29gm protein. Both cuts are certified by the American Heart Association as heart-healthy foods - meeting their standards for "extra lean" with less than 5 grams total fat, less than 2 grams saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100-gram serving.  

  • Lamb – Rich in flavor, lamb is another source of protein-rich meat. For leaner cuts, opt for lamb chops, tenderloin or legs.

Remember, everything is best in moderation! Regardless of how lean the meat is, the USDA recommends eating no more than six ounces per day. 

How many ounces in a lb of meat?

Whether we're talking meat, grains or dairy, sixteen ounces equals one pound. Need a half-pound of beef? That's eight ounces.

Is pork red meat?

While many people think of pork as "the other white meat," pork is, in fact, red meat. Even though it takes on a lighter hue when cooked, pork is classified as red meat because it contains more myoglobin than chicken or fish. Myoglobin is a protein found in meat that holds muscle. And according to the USDA, along with veal, beef and lamb, pork is livestock. By definition, all livestock qualifies as red meat. So, yes. Without a doubt, pork is red meat.

Can dogs eat raw meat?

The CDC does not recommend offering raw meat to your dog. If you have any questions about what diet is best for your dog, consult your trusted veterinarian. 

Can you refreeze meat?

According to the USDA, if you follow food safety guidelines, you can refreeze most meat or poultry. It is safe to refreeze any uncooked meat thawed in the refrigerator; just be aware that the moisture lost during thawing may impact quality. If you cook meat that had been frozen before, it is okay to refreeze whatever you don't eat if it's kept refrigerated and then frozen within three days.

When it comes to refreezing meat, some tips:

  • Never refreeze meat that has been left out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours; or 1 hour in temperatures above 90⁰F. 

  • Never refreeze meat that has fully thawed on the counter.

If you buy packaged meat, poultry, or fish from the grocery store that's been frozen, the USDA says it is safe to refreeze it if it's been stored and handled correctly. 

How do you freeze meat? How long does meat last in the fridge and freezer?

When freezing meat, to help ensure its quality, it’s a good practice to remove meat from the original packaging and double-wrap to protect it: first in plastic wrap or freezer paper; then in foil or an airtight freezer bag. Here are a few added tips for ensuring your meat is kept at is prime:

 

  • Bacon – For unopened packages: refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month. To freeze opened, uncooked bacon, roll each slice into a coil, place on a baking sheet, and flash-freeze for 2 hours. Once frozen, wrap and place bacon into an airtight bag. For cooked bacon, flash-freeze a single layer on a baking sheet overnight; then transfer to a freezer-safe bag.

  • Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork - When wrapped carefully, fresh steaks, roasts and chops will last up to 1 year in the freezer. Wrapping chops individually helps preserve quality, taste and freshness.

  • Fresh poultry – Store whole chickens or turkeys in the refrigerator (up to 2 days) and then frozen (up to 1 year when portions are individually wrapped). Refrigerate chicken or turkey pieces (up to 2 days) and then freeze them (up to 9 months).

  • Ham - Fresh, uncured ham lasts up to 4 days cooked or 5 days uncooked in the refrigerator. A cooked, store-wrapped ham will last for a week in the fridge. Fresh, uncured, uncooked ham lasts up to 6 months; Frozen, cooked, store-wrapped, whole, half, sliced or spiral ham will last for up to 2 months.

  • Hamburger, ground meats, and ground poultry - Fresh hamburger, ground beef, turkey, chicken, other poultry, veal, pork, lamb and mixtures are safest to use within two days if refrigerated. In the freezer, they'll last up to four months. When freezing, be sure to wrap thoroughly to preserve the quality and prevent freezer burn.

  • Hot Dogs/lunchmeat - An opened package of hot dogs or lunchmeat is safe to store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Unopened, they will last for two weeks. Frozen hot dogs and lunchmeat can last for up to two months. To freeze hot dogs, wrap them individually in plastic; place in an airtight bag. For best results with lunchmeat, layer each meat slice between sheets of wax paper; then wrap and bag.

  • Sausage - Storage times vary based on type. Raw pork, beef, turkey or chicken sausage are safe to store in the refrigerator (up to 2 days) or in the freezer (up to 2 months), or, when cooked, up to 5 days (refrigerator) or 2 months (freezer). When purchased frozen, cooked sausage will last up to 2 months from purchase in the freezer.

 

Make sure to label any bagged, frozen meats with the date and contents using a permanent marker. Then, per the FDA, keep all frozen meats at a temperature of 0° F (-18° C). Remember, never thaw meat on the kitchen counter, and dispose of any meat that's been at room temperature for more than two hours. 

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Your Hometown Butchers

 

Our in-store butchers are a cut above, no matter how you slice it. With years of experience and passion for the craft, they ensure you get the perfect cut of meat for every occasion.

  1. Our expert Hometown Butchers receive continuous, on-the-job training.
  2. We develop and maintain specifications that meet USDA industry standards.
  3. We follow Food Safety and Operating standards to ensure proper handling and transportation to our stores.
  4. Our quality assurance inspectors scrutinize every delivery to ensure it meets our quality, temperature and receiving standards
  5. Our fresh meats are never frozen and adhere to strict dating and handling guidelines along with cutting in-store, to order daily, helps ensure your meat exceeds your quality expectations.
  6. We partner with and regularly audit and inspect suppliers in our goal to promote humane treatment of animals.
  7. We leverage technology and industry expertise to offer the right product at the right time and for the right price

You can trust that every cut of meat we provide is trimmed, handled, packaged and dated to our highest expectations and standards for quality

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