The experts in our Meat Dept. team are a cut above. With decades of combined experience, this team answers questions you may have about our Sobeys store meat selection, custom cut meat and more. With spring in the air, here are some Easter and warmer weather meat preparation tips, tricks and insights to help make every roast or grill a juicy, mouth-watering success!
1. Can I request a special cut of meat at the counter?
Yes, any cut is available from our counters. Please feel free to refer to our online portion calculator to determine the amount you need and some great recipe ideas to get you started.
2. What's your favourite cut to prepare for Easter?
You could say our team is full of traditionalists. Our picks include traditional turkey, ham or prime rib roast, but our handy Meat Dept.'s Roast Calculator has multiple options including lamb, Cornish hens, duck, stuffed turkey breast and beef Wellington, to name a few.
3. How do you like to cook these favourites?
We always recommend you cook to a food safe temperature based on CFIA recommendations - always use a meat thermometer and most importantly, rest your meat before carving.
4. I love a good marinade during grilling- how do I best use one to grill?
You're in good company- lots of Canadians love a flavourful marinade when grilling. Our advice? Be careful when using sweet marinades as they can burn, and keep in mind that different marinades require different preparations. Read your marinade label carefully and if you're unsure, cook your meat indirectly using medium heat until the appropriate safe internal temperature is reached.
5. How do I best use a BBQ sauce or glaze so that it doesn't burn when I'm grilling?
The same as marinades, the key is to be mindful of burning due to the potential sugar content in BBQ sauces or glazes. We recommended brushing these on at the final stages of cooking to avoid charred sauce and meat.
6. What cuts are best for hot and fast cooking like grilling or pan-searing?
Burgers and kabobs do well with some caramelization but always cook to internal of 165°F and don't forget that meat thermometer!
7. What is silver skin, and should we get rid of it on certain cuts of meat like pork ribs or beef tenderloin prior to grilling?
Silver skin is a tough connective tissue on larger cuts of meat. Unlike other fats, silver skin does not break down during the cooking process. If you're cooking pork ribs, for example, remove the silver skin prior to cooking and finishing on the grill. Here are two way we recommend you do that- pick your technique!.
8. Everyone loves a juicy burger, especially on summer nights and long weekends. How do I grill mine so it's perfect?
That depends on the kind of burger you're looking to grill, but one thing is for sure: Fat content differs (the leaner your burger, the drier it will be when grilling, for example), so the best practice is to cook to internal of 165°F (75°C) and always use a meat thermometer! For more tips on grilling various kinds of meat burgers, hit up our Grilling Guide for more tips and what to look for.
9. What are your must-have grilling items you enjoy every summer?
This summer, we're looking forward to grilling any one of our featured summer lineup meat options. This includes our pre-seasoned beef brisket, our denuded beef tenderloin, pre-seasoned beef short ribs, Sterling Silver medallions and strip loin steaks, a new selection of Compliments frozen burgers, fresh burger offerings from our Meat Dept., kabobs, Nagano pork ribs, and our hotel cut pork loin chop. Check out our Grilling Guide to learn more about how to grill these to perfection.
10. Do you sell halal meat / halal-certified meat?
Yes, there are Halal meat offerings in every store across multiple departments, but some stores have a more robust offer. Please check with your Sobeys store for more details.
11. Does the meat department also offer plant-based alternatives for purchase?
Yes, we have an extensive offer of grinds and burgers available in fresh and frozen varieties including plant-based alternatives.
12. Do you sell dry-aged meat?
Right now, we have about 10 select Sobeys stores selling dry-aged meat.
13. Can you explain the dry-aging process?
It is a complicated process, but the quick version is: Whole beef cuts are stored open, on racks in a temperature-controlled environment for approximately 50 days allowing for a controlled loss of moisture. This tenderizes the meat and concentrates the flavours so you get an exceptional piece of beef.
14. Can you explain what makes Sterling Silver® AAA beef special and what's Certified Tender?
Sterling Silver® beef is special because it's consists of the top 2/3 of AAA beef, ensuring a well marbled product that gives you a tender, juicy steakhouse-style experience. There are various cuts that also have the Certified Tender shield which means the meat has been certified by the Canadian Beef Grading Agency* to be tender and aged perfectly, so you can count on delicious results. You'll only find this label on select Sterling Silver® premium cuts.
*CBGA certiﬁes that this product meets process requirements for Certiﬁed Tender beef. For more information on Certiﬁed Tender beef visit CertiﬁedTenderBeef.ca.
15. Can I buy free-range chicken and grass-fed beef or pork in Sobeys' meat dept.?
While we don't currently offer free-range chicken, select Sobeys stores do have grass-fed beef. Check with your local store for more details.
16. What's the secret to cooking tender, juicy chicken or turkey?
The first rule is to not overcook your bird. We recommend it's cooked to the CFIA internal temperature guide that we've followed in our Roast Calculator, and as always use a meat thermometer and rest before carving.
17. Can I order in bulk for a large gathering?
Yes, you can. If your order is very particular regarding certain cuts or meats, a few days warning is always helpful so we can meet your needs.
18. What's the secret to cooking juicy pork?
Much like chicken or turkey, the secret is to not overcook it. Regardless of method, pork should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 155°F (68°C), rested to a Health Canada-recommended final internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).
19. What's your favourite pork cut?
Our team enjoys the Nagano Hotel cut loin chop because it's delicious, impressive, 100% Canadian and raised following strict guidelines, which results in a tastier, juicier, and more flavorful meat. Nagano pork is exclusive to our stores and will satisfy those who love to eat Canadian pork.
20. What's your favourite way to season and cook it?
We're salt and pepper kind of people but if we had to pick a seasoning, it would a Montreal Steak Spice, no marinade, no BBQ sauce. We prefer to cook a pork chop like we cook a grilling steak. Let it sit on the counter for 20 mins before it hits the grill but let it rest for a few minutes to let the juices settle before consuming. Regardless of method, pork should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 155°F (68°C), rested to a Health Canada-recommended final internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). And for us, any day that ends in "y" is our favourite occasion to enjoy pork.
21. What's an uncommon pork cut that more people should try? Why?
Pork belly is well-marbled for flavourful results. It's great for roasting, braising or barbecuing and is a really overlooked, delicious cut.