Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grilling Steaks

I am NOT a professional cook but let's just say... "There are no skinny people livin' at my house"!

Is there ANYTHING better than a really good steak dinner? I think not!

Here are some tips for making your next steak the best you've ever made!

1. Buy the best cut of meat you can! If you don't see a cut you like in the grocery, ask the butcher to cut one for you. They are happy to cut the selection you like and will trim it at no additional charge! You just have to ask!

2. Before you cook, bring the meat up to room temperature (30-45 minutes should do it). A cold steak will contract when it hits the hot grill...that makes the meat tough. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel before you grill. If your steak is wet, you'll be steaming it instead of grilling it!

3. Salting Steak...2 schools of thought. Many abide by the rule of NEVER salt meat before you serve it. Salt will bring water out of the meat and you're back to the steaming theory! Your meat will cook to gray before it can brown on the outside. The opposite of the aisle is in favor of salting a steak with Sea Salt or Kosher Salt (never use fine ground table salt) and letting it sit for 45 minutes or so (while coming to room temperature). If this is your prefered method, you must rinse all the salt off and dry that beef before you grill it!

4. Marinate - I confess, I have a favorite marinade and I am proud to recommend you try it! Allegro Marinade, made in my home town, Paris, Tennessee! It is sold at most grocery stores and you can also order it from their web site. If you do marinate, be sure to pat your steak dry when it is at room temperature, then grill it!

5. No Forks, Tongs Only! If you pierce something, you'll need to put a ring in it and your food does not need jewelry! Tongs only! Piercing allows the juices to escape and your meat will be tougher that necessary.

6. Heat! I like to have my grill just over 300 degrees - makes a pretty carmely color (You just learned a new word ... 'carmely' ... it may not even BE a word, so we just invented it!) Be sure to spray your grill so it doesn't grab hold of your steak!

7. Flippin' - 2 rules - tongs only and just once!

8. Well or Rare - I like my food cooked, my husband likes it just off the hoof! A meat thermometer is the best way to control my impulse to cook his food they way I think it should be :) For a rare steak, stop at 120 degrees. Medium rare, 125 degrees and Medium at 130 degrees. For MY steak, I stop one step shy of a hockey puck -no pink at all!

9. After the fact -I know you can hardly control your urge to slice into that beautiful piece of meat - but control yourself! Let that baby rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Put a little aluminum foil tent over it to help fight temptation! The internal temperature will actually rise in that time and it gives you the chance to pour a glass of wine and get your side dishes in order!

10. Just a pat! - I know you won't believe this but I swear by it - while the steak is resting just off the grill, I put one small pat of butter on it! It adds to the juiciness of the steak. It's your choice but I pat it and add seasoning at that point.

ENJOY! Keep it simple and eat up!

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