Where to Buy Beef Heart – A Complete Guide

Beef heart is an incredibly nutrient-dense and budget-friendly meat that can be used in a variety of dishes when cooked properly. However, it can be difficult to find in regular grocery stores. This complete guide will teach you everything you need to know about buying beef heart and where to find it.

What is Beef Heart?

  • Beef heart comes from the heart muscle of a cow.
  • It is darker in color and has a very unique texture and flavor compared to other cuts of beef.
  • Often used for stews, braising, skewers, and grinding.
  • Provides nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12.
  • Budget-friendly cut that provides high quality nutrition.

Benefits of Eating Beef Heart

There are many great benefits to adding beef heart to your diet:

  • Excellent source of protein – great alternative to chicken or fish
  • Iron, zinc, selenium – helps improve immune function and energy levels
  • B12, B6, CoQ10 – supports heart health and brain function
  • Leaner than many cuts – less total fat and calories
  • Rich, beefy flavor – more intense than typical cuts of beef
  • Affordable price – costs just $2-3 per pound on average

How to Cook Beef Heart

Beef heart needs special preparation due to its tough, muscular texture. Here are some tips:

  • Slice very thin against the grain before cooking
  • Marinate overnight – tenderizes and infuses flavor
  • Braise or stew for 1-3 hours – breaks down tissue
  • Grill quickly over high heat – creates a nice char
  • Use in chili, tacos, etc. – mixes nicely with other ingredients

Some favorite cooking methods:

  • Skewers – slice heart into cubes, thread onto skewers and grill
  • Stir fry – slice thin and quick fry with veggies in a pan
  • Beef bourguignon – traditional French beef stew with red wine
  • Grind into burger – mix with 80/20 ground beef for patties
  • Fajitas – slice thin and grill or pan fry, serve in tortillas

Where to Buy Beef Heart

Beef heart can be difficult to find in regular supermarkets. Here are some of the best places to buy quality beef heart:

1. Local Butcher Shop or Meat Market

  • Best place to find whole beef hearts
  • Often sold already cleaned/trimmed
  • Can request custom cuts like cubes for skewers
  • Support local businesses and farms

2. Specialty Grocery Stores

  • Whole Foods, Sprouts, Earth Fare, etc.
  • Occasionally have whole hearts available
  • May only sell frozen ground or stew meat

3. Online Stores and Delivery Services

4. Direct from a Local Farm or Ranch

  • Check websites and social media for beef farms in your area
  • Many sell individual cuts like heart if you ask
  • You may need to buy a larger mixed quarter or half cow
  • Get high quality beef direct from the source

5. Restaurant Suppliers or Wholesale Clubs

  • Restaurant Depot, GFS, Costco Business Center
  • Require paid membership and sell large packages
  • Best option for buying big batches for meal prep

How Much Does Beef Heart Cost?

Beef heart is very affordable compared to most other types of meat:

  • Average $2 – $3 per pound
  • Whole hearts range from $8 – $15 on average
  • Can find sales as low as $1 per pound at times

Compared to:

  • Ground beef – $4 – $6 per pound
  • Chicken breast – $3 – $5 per pound
  • Steak cuts – $15+ per pound

Buying whole hearts is the most cost effective option per pound. Pricing may be slightly higher for grass-fed or organic.

Storing and Freezing Beef Heart

  • Store fresh hearts for 2-3 days max in the fridge
  • Freeze whole hearts up to 4 months in freezer bags
  • Freeze cuts or ground heart up to 3 months
  • Thaw overnight in fridge before cooking frozen heart
  • Cook frozen heart immediately after thawing for best quality

Freezing is the best way to stock up on beef heart when you find a good deal and enjoy it long term.

Is Beef Heart Right for You?

Beef heart definitely isn’t for everyone given its unique taste and texture. Here are a few things to consider:

  • It has a very strong, distinctive flavor – significantly more intense than muscle meat
  • The muscle fibers are tough – requires special preparation
  • Not recommended for those with heart conditions
  • May interact with blood thinning or hypertension medications
  • Consult your doctor before eating if pregnant or nursing

However, it is a nutritious and affordable option worth trying if you enjoy braised meats and don’t mind experimenting in the kitchen! Start with a small amount in a stew or mix with ground beef before buying large quantities.

In Summary

Beef heart is loaded with protein, essential minerals, B vitamins, and other nutrients. It has a super beefy flavor and requires special handling to tenderize properly. Check local butcher shops, specialty grocers, online stores, or direct farms to find whole beef hearts at the best prices. With the right preparation, beef heart can be an incredible addition to a budget-conscious and nutritious diet. Give it a try today!


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