Steak is one of the most popular products in the world today, and has been for some time. And yet, there are a lot of things most people don’t know about steak. Here are three facts you might not have known.

1. Quality is everything

When you’ve got a really great piece of steak in front of you, where it came from or why it’s so good might be the last thing on your mind. What matters is enjoying it. But the untold story of steak is that quality really is a spectrum — and when you’re enjoying a cut of beef that’s high on the quality spectrum, the experience is completely different. You can have a lower-quality steak prepared by the most talented and trained steak chef in the world, and the experience still won’t measure up to that of a high quality steak prepared at home on an ordinary grill. There’s a reason why so many steakhouses and hotels buy up the finest quality steak before it can reach the grocery store shelves. They know it makes the biggest difference in terms of their customers’ experience and overall enjoyment!

2. Steak chefs don’t use a lot of marinade

The idea of using fancy and elaborate marinades for your steak is something you can read about on countless blogs and web sites — but is it really the best way to prepare steak? If you ask a hundred steak chefs this question, probably ninety of them will say that marinades are not the best way to prepare a choice cut of beef. The beauty of a high quality steak is that it contains all the flavor and tenderness it needs. Patting down the steak with rock salt and garlic is often the only measure used by professional steak chefs. Why? Because it’s a minimalist approach that brings out the steak’s natural flavor. Too much fancy marinade merely covers up the natural awesomeness of high quality beef.

3. Like wine, steak can be aged to perfection

The idea of aging beef doesn’t make sense to a lot of people — but in cold conditions with strict environmental controls, aging a cut of beef for days, weeks or even years can bring out levels of flavor you didn’t even think possible. Next time you visit a high quality steakhouse, ask if they have any aged steaks on the menu, and why you should considered these steaks. It’s worth mentioning that aged steaks should only be accepted from the most trusted and reputable steakhouses and sources. But yes — steak can be aged to perfection!

Does your local steakhouse do it right?

A lot of steak lovers fall into the habit of visiting the same steakhouse again and again. Usually, this is because they’ve found something great and don’t see the need to move around too much. Finding a steakhouse that does things right is a beautiful thing. It means that anytime you want that world class steak experience, you don’t have to rely on guesswork. Enjoy!