USDA Certified Tender Beef

At D&W Fresh Market, you already know that Preferred Angus is the standard for tenderness when it comes to beef.  Now, we have the certification to prove it. 

Special cuts of the same great beef you’ve come to know and love now qualify to carry the USDA's shield for Certified Tender.

To earn this distinction, these tender cuts of Angus beef must meet the following requirements:

      •  USDA tenderness audits

      •  14-day minimum aging

      •  Proper monitoring and labeling

      •  Shear-force testing (scientific standard to evaluate tenderness)

      •  Special employee training programs


All of our meat teams are trained to make sure that our USDA Certified Tender cuts of Preferred Angus have earned that shield and are ready for you to enjoy. 

Look for the shield on our qualifying cuts of meat and check out some great recipes from our friends at Preferred Angus below. 


Sizzling NY Strip Steaks

This recipe has just the right amount of kick and flavor, enjoy. 

See Recipe >>




Buttered Strip Steaks

Grilled and seasoned to perfection with easy from scratch butter. 

See Recipe >>




Crushed Garlic T-bone Steaks with Roquefort Tomatoes

Olive oil and garlic brushed steak, served with delicious cheese stuffed tomatoes.

See Recipe >>



Steakhouse Rubbed Strip Steak

With just a few pantry staples you can create this tasty entree. 

See Recipe >>





USDA Certified Tender FAQs


How important is tenderness?

Very important.  Research shows that tenderness is the most important quality when determining a good eating experience – so important that the USDA now certifies it.


How can I be sure Preferred Angus beef is tender?

It’s not just something we like to say – the USDA has verified it.  Our beef must pass strict shear-force standards to earn the designation USDA Certified Tender. So, when you see the USDA Certified Tender shield on package, you can trust that steak or roast to be exceptionally tender.


What is done to make Preferred Angus beef tender?

There is nothing done to enhance our beef – we don’t needle it, injecting it, or tenderize it in any special way.  It's simply sourced from good cattle that has been processed and handled with extreme care.


Do all cuts of Preferred Angus beef qualify as USDA Certified Tender?

No – only about a dozen cuts of beef are eligible to be USDA Certified Tender.  Some cuts are naturally more tender than others.  And because we have such strict standards for all our Preferred Angus beef cuts, we still guarantee their tenderness.  But only qualifying cuts carry the USDA Certified Tender sticker.


What role does aging play in the tenderness process?

Aging is required for USDA Certified Tender beef because it helps provide a more tender product by allowing natural enzymes to break down tough muscle fibers.  For USDA Certified Tender Preferred Angus beef, we require a minimum of 14 days aging for optimal tenderness results.