If you’re here, you probably love a great steak.
But here are a few fun tidbits you might not know about our beloved beef. Read on!
If you’re here, you probably love a great steak.
But here are a few fun tidbits you might not know about our beloved beef. Read on!
There are all sorts of helpful hints out there to get you on your way to the perfect steak.
Here’s an article with important tips to create your most amazing meal and three of the best ways to cook it.
It’s always good to heed time-tested advice — especially when it comes to something as critical as steak!
Listen to the experts, I say. This is too important to mess up!
Check it out here. And let me know how your incredible meal goes . . .
Photo courtesy of StartCooking.com.
I’m often up late at night. The TV is on and you can imagine what kinds of ads I see.
Everything from “enhancement” products to hearing aids to – well – THIS:
It’s the Grill Glove!
Seriously, you put it on, reach right on that hot grill, grab your steak, flip it and all is well!
It’s even dishwasher safe. Bonus.
I don’t know what I think about this. Will I accidently burn part the of my arm that’s not covered by the glove as I reach over HOT FLAMES?
Also, do I want to actually pick up my steak with my hand as it is cooking? I’m worried about the “ick” factor here. Will it feel mushy?
On the other hand, Anthony Sullivan is endorsing it. So you know it has to be top notch.
Who’s Anthony Sullivan again?
What do you think? Do you have any experience with the Grill Glove? Or is this a flash in the pan?
Photo courtesy of GrillGlove.com.
Okay, this is so cool. Technology absolutely rocks.
The Kansas City Steak Company now has a free iPhone app that lets you select your favorite cut of meat (you know, T-bone, filet mignon, etc.), choose a thickness and how well done you’d like your steak and then the app’s timer will tell you how long to cook it and when to flip it.
Besides that, it has tons of recipes, grilling tips and a steak reference library. How awesome is that?
Go here, check it out, then download the app on your phone and have fun playing with it. It’s free and it’s my new obsession.
Let me know what you think. I’m dying to know if you try it out this Labor Day weekend!!
How have I gone my whole life not knowing this tidbit?
I have just learned the ultimate secret to making perfect patties. The next time you cook steakburgers you must try it.
Elizabeth Karmel, a total grilling diva, tells us that putting a thumbprint in the middle of your burger before placing it on the grill keeps it flat and avoids the “swollen belly burger” syndrome.
Who knew? Well, apparently this is a technique the restaurants have been holding close to the vest for years. I feel so “in the know!”
Elizabeth even hawks a “Steakhouse Burger Press” that automatically shapes your patties and includes a thumbprint on each one. How’s that for efficient?
It’s Father’s Day on Sunday. Got good plans for your old man?
Well, you can’t go wrong cooking him a steak dinner. I’m serious. He’ll love it.
The Houston Chronicle had an article recently giving some great grilling advice from the experts. Check it out — and then treat Dad to something special.
Happy Father’s Day!
Photo courtesy of Steve Giralt, Food Network Magazine via Chron.com.
These amazing steakburgers (just look at that beauty!) are perfect for summer get-togethers.
This is truly a STEAKburger. Steakburgers are made from . . . well, steaks.
This one is ribeye. Oh, yum!
These guys ground up their own ribeyes to make these steakburgers. You can do it too.
OR, you can buy them ready-to-go here.
Check this out to see exactly how it’s done!
Photo courtesy of Food-e-Matters.com.
Top 10 Steak Grilling Tips (From a Real-Live Chef!)
If you think grilling a steak is as simple as slapping a piece of meat you bought at the supermarket on a grill and flipping it a few times, you’re missing out on what could be THE GREATEST STEAK OF YOUR LIFE.
Here are some grilling tips from an honest-to-goodness chef that’ll make your next steak meal your finest work ever.
1. Choose the right cut of meat — Some cuts of meat are better for grilling than others. I, personally, prefer to grill strip steaks over other cuts because you get a nice combination of fat and meat for a great flavor. Filet mignon, on the other hand, I prefer to pan sear because it is so lean and I can add fat and flavors in the pan. Experiment! Ultimately, no one can tell you what you like, you have to find it for yourself. Here are the pros and cons of each cut:
2. Choose the right quality of meat — Nothing ruins a good steak dinner like a bad steak. A lot of places sell poor quality meat, so make sure you choose a reputable supplier so you know you are getting your money’s worth. I always find premium quality steaks online. By law, all meats are inspected for wholesomeness so no one is selling you meat that will kill you, but grading is a voluntary system. Meats are graded on several categories, including the marbling of fat and the amount of connective tissue. Sure, it may be fit to eat but do you want to eat it? Prime is the highest quality, followed by choice and select. Choice meats are very high quality steaks and the most common steak used in the restaurant industry. Here are a few pointers to track down the perfect quality & cut of steak:
3. Season early — You should salt your meat even before you start your coals. If you throw salt on right before you put it on the grill you end up leaving salt all over the grill, not on your steak. So season your steaks about fifteen minutes before you put them on the grill. That gives the salt a chance to dissolve and evenly flavor your meat. Sea salt is all the rage now and chefs like to fancy up a plate by using specialty salts like Hawaiian Pink Salt or Fleur de Sel. Sometimes a little good salt is all that a steak needs.
4. Take ‘em out early — Let your steaks sit on the counter for at least twenty minutes. I know it doesn’t seem sanitary, but since steaks are whole muscles and you are cooking the outside well above safe levels, you won’t need to worry so much about food-borne illness. The problem with throwing your steaks on the grill right out of the refrigerator is that it will take them a lot longer to cook. Steaks at room temperature take seasoning better and will cook faster. Unfortunately, meat takes time to cook and if you are in too much of a hurry to cook it you are probably in too much of a hurry to really enjoy it. Take your time and learn to enjoy cooking your steak almost as much as eating it.
5. Use charcoal — Gas grills work great for cooking food but can sometimes impart a gas flavor to your meat. I like to use natural hardwood charcoal started in a chimney. Don’t use lighter fluid; it defeats the purpose of using hardwood charcoal. You want to smell the steak roasting over the coals – that is the best part! Some people swear by mesquite soaked in apple juice others say you cook your steak too fast to get any benefit. Wood chips can add flavor if you are smoking your meat but that usually takes a lot more time than it takes to grill a steak. My recommendation is that if you are curious, play around see if you can taste and enjoy the difference.
6. Hot coals — Set your coals up so that you have zones of cooking. Always start off on a hot spot. You want good color and flavor from the high heat. When you flip it, don’t put it down on the same spot as before — it will be cooler. Find another hot spot to continue getting good color and flavor.
7. Don’t touch it! — This is one of the biggest mistakes a home cook makes. Everyone wants to keep checking the food to see if it is done. Leave it alone. Know how thick your steak is and roughly how long it takes to cook. Flip it once and give it a quarter turn once on each side. The more you touch it the better chance you have of screwing it up. Check out this grilling chart as a guide on how to cook steaks:
Grilling Chart courtesy of www.kansascitysteaks.com
8. Make it pretty — Use the hot grill to create “cross-hatch” grill marks. Set your steak down at a 45-degree angle from your grill lines. About a quarter of the way through cooking, give it a quarter turn. Half-way through cooking, flip it once. Give it a final quarter turn for the last bit of cooking. When finished you should have a steak that looks like it belongs on a commercial. This might not be the most important thing in your day, but if you’re on a first date or trying to impress then try this!
9. Leave it alone — There’s nothing worse than taking a beautiful steak and covering it with other flavors. Sauces, rubs and butters are fine but if I’m going to eat a steak I like to taste steak. If you are using a lesser cut of meat or poorer quality, marinades are a great tool. But we are talking steak here and all it needs is a little salt, pepper and some heat to cook over. So refer to rule #2 and source and buy only good quality meat.
10. Make all your condiments early — One trap many people fall into when they grill meat is trying to cook the rest of the meal at the same time. Your kitchen is inside; your grill (if you are following tip #5) should be outside. Don’t try to run between the two. You will only end up ruining your steak or your side dish — or both. Plan your meal to get your extras done early so you can focus solely on your grilling. I mean, it deserves it, doesn’t it?
I like a simple compound butter made of softened, unsalted butter, garlic, a little red wine and some cracked pepper. Mix it all together, (in a mixer if you can so it is smooth), roll it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge up to two weeks before you cook your steak. One pat on top of each steak can be a nice treat.
So you think you’ve got it down, this whole grilling thing. I mean, you just fire up the grill, stick on your steaks, turn them and eyeball when they’re done, right?
You COULD do it that way. But you might be disappointed with the results.
Here’s a handy dandy tip center to help you get the most out of each cut of steak. Did you know that cooking a filet mignon is a bit different than cooking, say, a T-bone?
The Kansas City Steak Company gives us some pointers on the best way to cook each cut of steak here.
Here’s a sample . . . read it, follow it, enjoy!
Preparing Filet Mignon
Excerpt and photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.
Happy day! Super-Cali-Fragilistic Sister-in-Law Chef Sandy weighs in today on the use of a charcoal grill versus gas.
There are some fierce proponents of each. Here, Sandy tells us the ins and outs of using charcoal to cook that gorgeous steak. Enjoy!
Using A Charcoal Grill
Right before Hurricane Ike hit Houston last year, my husband and I decided we needed to have a grill, just in case we lost electricity for a while. We had left our old gas grill behind when we moved, and had planned on replacing it when we got settled in our new home. Well, the day before a hurricane hits is no time to buy a grill, we discovered, and we were not able to find a gas grill anywhere in the Houston area. The only thing we could find was a few bags of charcoal and a camping sized charcoal grill.
Given that there were no other options, we went with the charcoal grill and quickly learned some of the nuances which make this just a little more complicated then firing up a gas grill. I do feel like I have mastered a few tricks which I would like to share with you, whether you are a new user, or someone who may just do the charcoal thing occasionally, like when you are camping or picnicking at a state park.
If you are a long-time charcoal griller, you’ll probably be familiar with all of this. My intended audience is those who have not often had success with charcoal, but would like to give it a try. Gas grills are certainly a convenient option, but if for whatever reason or preference drives you to use a charcoal grill here are some things that might help you have success.
The charcoal grill has two grates — one is intended to support the charcoal at the bottom of the grill, the other is to cook your food on. The lower grate holds the charcoal up slightly from the bottom of the grill so that oxygen can get to the pile of briquettes. Use about 6 total sheets of newspaper, rolled tightly into 2 rolls. Form an X at the bottom of the grill with the 2 rolls of newspaper, and place the bottom grate on top of the newspaper to hold it in place.
Next, form a pyramid of the charcoal, so that it will burn efficiently and not require too much starter fluid. The amount of charcoal you will want to use is limited by the size of the grill, of course, but also should be determined by how much you want to cook. A couple of burgers may only need something like 30 briquettes, but pounds and pounds of steaks and chicken will take longer to cook, therefore you will need a fire that burns longer — plus more briquettes.
Once you have a nice square pyramid (ask your fourth grader!) squirt the pile with the recommended amount of lighter fluid. Don’t forget to read the package. It is usually just a couple-second squirt. Don’t be that guy who squirts half a bottle of lighter fluid onto a pile of burning charcoal – this is dangerous and foolish and stinks! Put the top back on the bottle and put it far from the fire, before you light a match. Light the ends of your paper tubes, which should fairly quickly catch the pile of briquettes on fire.
After about 20 minutes, when the briquettes are covered with ash and the flames have died down, use a fire-proof implement to spread the hot charcoal evenly on the grate. Please use every safety precaution. Sparks can and will fly up. Replace the clean cooking grate on top of the hot charcoal and you are ready to cook.
Enjoy the smokier flavor that charcoal grilling imparts to your food — you may become a convert!
Photo of Weber charcoal grill courtesy of HomeDepot.com.
Tired of that baked potato? Super Sister-in-Law Chef Sandy gives us some ideas for what to eat with that tasty steak you’re planning. And – beware – it’s healthy for you. Mwuahahahahahaha!
(That was an evil laugh.) Here’s what she says . . .
What are you going to eat alongside of that gorgeous steak tonight? Might I suggest broccoli, cooked right beside it on the grill? Broccoli, as we all have heard, is one of nature’s super foods. It has a ton of vitamin C, as well as other antioxidants and nutrients which are fabulous for you.
The problem with broccoli for many people is the bitter taste and/or texture. By cooking it with a dry cooking method, the broccoli will release some of its natural sugars, covering up some of that bitterness, and the texture is less soggy than broccoli prepared in water. Here’s a super way to cook it that will change both of those characteristics, and make it easy to prepare, right next to your steak.
Broccoli on the Grill
1 pound fresh broccoli, washed
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp of kosher salt, if desired
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes, if desired
1 clove of garlic, if desired
½ onion, cut into ¼” rings, if desired
Wash broccoli well, then cut into 1 inch florets. Cut the stem pieces into ¼” rounds, so that they cook in the same time as the florets.
Using a heavy chef’s knife, smash the clove of garlic to remove the peel, cut off the hard ends and then smash it with kosher salt. The salt acts as an abrasive and will allow you to smash the garlic into a paste. Place this garlic paste, peppers and olive oil into a large mixing bowl and combine with the olive oil. Toss the prepared broccoli and onion rings into the mixing bowl, mixing to combine it well and make sure that all of the broccoli has some of the flavorful oil on it.
This broccoli will only take a few minutes to prepare on a hot grill, so if you want to serve it piping hot with the steak, you will need to start the steak first. The advantage to this dish is that it tastes great even at room temperature, so feel free to prepare it first if you want to enjoy it that way.
To cook the broccoli, place a large piece of heavy duty foil (or a specially designed grill implement) on the grates of the grill. Toss on the broccoli, in a single layer, and allow to cook, covered for a few minutes or until the broccoli begins to brown. You will have some pieces which get very brown, others not so much. I think this improves the appeal of this dish. Using tongs, flip the broccoli over and cook until desired doneness is reached. This is a dish which will need to be tended to fairly closely — it would burn if left more than a few minutes because of the delicate size of the pieces. Remove to serving platter, and serve with a squeeze of lemon, if desired.
Kathy Maister over at StartCooking.com has some good advice on cooking a great steak.
I always listen up when someone with experience gives me some pointers. Saves me the aggravation of making the same mistakes. It’s how we EVOLVE, people. Right?
Kathy tells us here the best ways to fry, oven roast and grill your steaks. And pay particular attention to the comments from others at the end. Some of them contain some real gems. People are so creative!
Try them out and see what YOU think!
Photo courtesy of StartCooking.com.