Casper, Wyoming (NAPSI) - Food for thought: What do you know about the meat you eat? More and more consumers are looking to demystify the meat counter and answer such questions as: Why choose grass-fed beef? What about antibiotic-free meat? What are the best value cuts?

Armand Ferrante, a 40-year veteran of the meat industry and recent champion of Whole Foods Market’s 2012 Best Butcher contest, offers five tips to help shoppers choose the best beef for their table and their budget:

1. The best cuts for the money? London Broil, Flat Iron, Tri-Tip or the Jersey Boneless Short Rib steak, a tender new cut that Ferrante created for the Best Butcher contest.

2. For lean beef, look for grass-fed.

3. For super savory, tender beef, choose dry-aged.

4. Know how the animal was raised. At Whole Foods Market, all beef comes from animals raised without antibiotics or added hormones, and the 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating tells customers about farmers’ raising practices.

5. Questions? Just ask. A trained butcher can custom cut, grind to order, recommend value items and easy cooking ideas and more.

A flavorful dry rub is a foolproof way to season any cut of beef. Chef Tim Byres of SMOKE and Chicken Scratch restaurants (Dallas) created a flavorful recipe that’s designed for easy kitchen preparation. Just dust it generously over the beef and voilà—the cut is dressed to impress.

BBQ Beef Chile Rub and Coffee Cure for Grilling and Smoking
Makes 2½ cups

⅓ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup kosher salt

⅓ cup fine-ground dark roast coffee

⅓ cup chili powder

⅓ cup smoked paprika

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Using your hands, thoroughly mix all ingredients, breaking up any clumps with your fingers. Place in an airtight jar. Use about 2 tablespoons per pound of meat, rubbing it in and refrigerating meat for 8 hours or overnight before grilling or smoking.

Find this recipe and more, plus store locations, at