We source our beef from a select number of farms which consistently meet Tony’s strict standards. Only the top 12% of US beef makes it into Tony’s Markets. The farms we work with pay the utmost attention and care toward their humanely raised beef, which earns them their premium choice designation.Four Steps to the Perfect Steak
Great beef is the backbone of our meat departments, so we go to great lengths to assure we have the finest beef and steaks possible in our markets. Read on for the facts about Tony’s Beef.
Our steaks are sourced from the three-state region of Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas, and processed at the Fort Morgan, Colorado processing plant.
Not only does this processing plant provide thousands of jobs to local, hard working men and women, but it has worked tirelessly to ensure its plant exceeds Colorado safe water and environmental regulations. Its recycled water goes above state drinking water standards and it has even managed to reduce its carbon footprint by capturing natural methane gases to partially heat and power the facility.
We live in some of the best cattle country in the world, and we only buy natural beef raised by approved local family ranchers. Raising high-grade beef is not easy and requires lots of healthy land, grasses and clean water – so quality-minded (rather than bulk minded) ranchers with access to these lands are approved by and work closely with our processor to carefully track lineage, feeding, health and animal husbandry in great detail.
The definitive proof of quality is obvious in the final product; so the entire history of the very best quality beef is shared with ranchers in the program to consistently produce the best beef possible.
Our beef ranges freely on irrigated grasslands and non-irrigated rangelands and is constantly rotated to assure the lands are not overgrazed. Then our beef is finished for about 3 months on a veterinarian planned and constantly changing diet of grains, natural silage and local crop surpluses (think beet tops) before harvesting.
This combination of feeding methods gives us the best quality beef possible, and assures sustainability.100% Grass Fed Meats We also proudly offer 100% Grass Fed Local Beef of exceptional quality, it took us many years to find a 100% Grass Fed Ranch of this quality.
To assure there are no chemical residues and verify proper raising of our beef, chemical testing is performed on organs like the liver where they are most likely to be found. We proudly offer beef (and other meats) without additives of any kind, and no chemical, hormonal or antibiotic residues. To verify this and maintain the certification required by our program, organ meats (such as the liver) are lab tested for chemical residues by the packer We also do random lab testing of our meats on our own and have never found any chemical residues.
Superior animal husbandry is the rule and one of the secrets to raising great beef, ill treated animals could never achieve the quality levels our guests demand. Our approved and inspected small family growers always treat their animals in a kind and humane manner, nothing could be more important to a responsible rancher.
We proudly offer both Dry Aged and Wet Aged beef, aging all our steak cuts for at least 21-28 days. Butchers and chefs have long known that extended aging under the right conditions improves the flavor and tenderness of quality graded beef, but this step is usually skipped in todays marketplace because there is shrinkage and money tied up for a month at a time. Sadly many markets incorrectly represent their beef as aged.
Learn more about our Aging Program Here.
We cut all our high-grade meats by hand and in-house and we sell it fresh or frozen – we never use gas packaging, preservatives or color stabilizers to extend the life or improve the look. We also never assemble larger cuts from chunks and pieces with meat glues.
Our ground meats have never and will never contain bulk meats, pre-ground meats, outside carcass trimmings, additives, by-products, extenders or meat pastes from automatic meat recovery systems (AKA ‘Pink Slime’ – get more details here).We grind our beef in small batches several times each day and only use whole muscle cuts like chuck roast with our own steak and roast trimmings. Our ground chicken and turkey meats, ground pork and homemade sausages are are always all natural and whole muscle. We never use by-products, skin, fillers, chemicals, preservatives or additives of any kind. We also regularly tour and inspect all our suppliers to assure all our meats are of the highest quality and safety, and that they are never treated with chemicals or additives of any kind before they reach our doors.
The USDA offers an inspection service to rate the potential quality of beef to help the consumer with a consistent set of quality standards. At Tony’s, we will only sell USDA inspected beef (and all meats). Many grocery chains skip this step to save money, but still represent their beef as graded (for shame!).
USDA Choice is a very wide category so it’s broken down into sub-categories of quality for the professional beef buyer: High Choice (other common names listed above), and Low Choice. High Choice beef is wonderfully marbled for the best flavor, juiciness and tenderness – but only about 10% of beef can achieve such a high grade. Low Choice has far less marbling and makes up about 90% of the beef graded as Choice. We proudly age and cut steaks with High Choice beef as well as Prime Beef.Our guests also tend to be very health conscious and we listen, so to better control overall fat contents we also choose premium local meats with less marbling for lower fat levels on richer cuts such as Chuck Roast, and to keep our Ground Beef nice and lean.
Previously called ‘Generic’ beef. USDA Select beef is a very low grade and the steaks are not recommended for grilling. To improve quality, it’s often mechanically and/or chemically tenderized by injection and vacuum machines (these enhancing methods can add up to 20% weight).