Recipe for a Perfect Cookoff

What makes for a great steak? Is it grade, aging, type of feed, breed of cow? After personally visiting twenty steakhouses and trying more than fifty steaks for my portion of our December 2007 cover story, “Meat Your Maker,” I still couldn’t decide.

Often the expensive ones were the best, but I had one fabulous steak that was undoubtedly low Choice, it was so cheap, and I had one labeled Prime that had about as much flavor as grocery store hamburger meat. Maybe it would help to ask some experts for their opinion. I decided to hold a blind tasting and see if we could discern any patterns.

I went looking for steaks, and I found that the

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