The Six Inexpensive Steaks You Should Know
These are the steaks that butchers and chefs love to use because not only are they more inexpensive, but they’ve got character. Many of them are whole muscles that must be trimmed by the butcher just-so if you want them to be tender and large enough to cook as steaks. There are also not many of them on a steer. For every 20 pounds of ribeyes and T-bones you can get off a steer, you get two hanger steaks. That ain’t much.
These butcher’s cuts tend to be more packed with flavor because of the work they do, yet because they’re not as marketable to the general public and require a bit more skill to cook and serve correctly, they remain much cheaper than their mainstream counterparts. This is good news for you if you want to maximize your flavor and your dollar.
Also Sold As: Butcher’s steak, hangar , arrachera , fajitas arracheras , bistro steak, onglet .
Where It’s Cut From: From the plate section of the cow , it “hangs” off of the cow’s diaphragm, hence the name. U.S. meat-cutting classification of NAMP 140.
Also Sold As: Fajita meat, Roumanian Strip .
Where It’s Cut From: The outside skirt is the diaphragm muscle of the cow, cut from the plate. It is the traditional cut for fajitas, and is generally sold to restaurants. Inside skirt is part of the flank, and is the more widely available form of skirt.
The Short Rib
Also Sold As:Kalbi , Jacob’s Ladder , asado de tira
The Flank Steak
Dont Flip Your Steak More Than Once
Weve all seen it happen, or at least, weve made the same mistake at least once in our lives.
But really, please refrain from overturning your steak. Doing so might overcook the meat, thus resulting in burnt parts.
Ideally, you should only be turning the steak ONCEon each side. And yes, only flip it once!
Grilling The Best Steak
I wanted a juicy steak with a nice crust that was big enough to slice and serve family style, and that had a little finesse.
While cooking, I basted the steak in an herbed butter sauce. The sauce added a fresh, light flavor that balanced the richness of the meat. In the end, I had a steak everyone raved about, and that felt special but not overly fussy. It was the perfect main course for my Fourth of July party plans.
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How To Prepare A Ribeye Steak On A Grill
You will need:
First, remember that no matter which technique you are going to use to make the ribeye, you need to get the meat out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Give the meat a light coating of vegetable oil so that any seasoning you add sticks to it and it does not stick to the grill or pan. Next, coat it with the seasonings you want.
How To Grill The Perfect Steak
Making the perfect steak on the grill is easier than you think, but it requires a little practice and good timing.
Given the differences between grills, cooking surfaces, and cuts of steak, there aren’t specific cook times for grilling steak. Meat changes in texture and density as it cooks, so it helps to know how each steak feels before it hits the grill. A meat thermometer is also helpful when checking doneness.
Take note of the thickness of the steak since it will affect the cooking time.
- Salt and pepper
- Very hot grill
- Timer that shows seconds
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Bonus Tip From A Steak Wizard: Pan = Perfection
My last trick especially with a steak like a ribeye that tends to flare up on the grill is to cook it in a cast iron pan right in the barbecue. This lets the steak cook and stay covered in its own juices. Throw in a couple tablespoons of butter for basting and some fresh herbs and you just might have one of the best steaks youve ever eaten.
Choosing The Best Steak
Cuts of Steak: Choosing good quality steak is important. There are several cuts of steak that are good for grilling, some come with bones and some without.
- Tenderloin or Fillet : the most tender, most expensive cut. It has no bone.
- Sirloin: often a large cut, and can include a bone or be boneless.
- T-bone and Porterhouse: both have a large bone, and are great for grilling.
- New York or Strip Steak: boneless and has strong beef flavor.
- Rib Steak and Rib Eye : cuts with a higher marbled fat ratio, and offer rich flavor.
- Top Sirloin: leaner and less expensive than Sirloin. Still a great choice for the grill.
- Rump Steak: comes from the upper part of the hindquarters. Tender and lean, and good for grilling.
- Skirt Steak: comes from the inner thigh and is best for slow cooking in stews. Try to get one of the other cuts for grilling.
Grades of Steak: Use the USDA grades beef into three categories to offer a basic guide as to the quality of the meat.
- Prime is the best but usually reserved for restaurants. It has the most marbling .
- Choice is the next best and is more commonly available. It still has good levels of marbling and is juicy and tender.
- Select tends to be very lean , and often dries out very easily.
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How To Grill Steak
Grilling steak can be intimidatingespecially when everyone has a different opinion about how cooked it should be . But I promise you that, in reality, it’s easier and faster than grilling chicken. Below is our basic guide for grilling steak. Follow our rules and cooking times, and you’ll be a grill boss in no time.
Remove the chill.
Steak right out of the fridge will cook unevenly. Set yours out at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling
Direct heat means you’re cooking something directly over the flame . It’s what gives grilled meat that beautiful dark char. Indirect heat means you’re cooking the food to the side of the heat source. For steak, you’re mainly dealing with direct heat.
The next thing to consider is temperature. If you’re not super comfortable in the kitchen, yes, you should go buy a meat thermometer if you don’t have one already. If you like your steak medium rare, 130-135° is your range. For medium, it’s 135-145° and for medium well, 145-155°. Please don’t go any higher than that! For all you grill bosses out there, a good way to check if the meat is done is by touch. It should give in a little bit in the middle but bounce back quickly after you press it.
If you’re working with a leaner cut, marinate it!
Let it rest.
Dont even think about slicing into your steak until its had a minimum of10 minutes to seal in all its glorious juices.
Slice against the grain.
The Food Lab’s Definitive Guide To Grilled Steak
Summer’s here and I’ve got a brand-new backyard to grill in, so now seems like as good a time as any to reexamine some of the things we know about grilling beef.
Sure, we can all agree on what our goal is: A perfect steak should have a crusty, crunchy, well-browned exterior surrounding a core of perfectly pink, juicy, tender meat that spans from edge to edge. A perfect steak should have a nice contrast between the smoky, almost charred exterior and the deeply beefy interior. A perfect steak should be chin-drippingly juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender.
We all know where we want to go. The real debate is, what’s the best way to get there? You’ve just dropped $50 on some prime aged beef, and you’re rightfully nervous about screwing it all up. After all, there’s a lot at… ahem, wait for it… steak.
Want to know how to grill a steak? Here’s my advice: Do not do it the way they do it at steakhouses. It seems counterintuitive: Surely a restaurant with years of experience cooking hundreds of steaks a day knows a thing or two about how it’s done, right? Well, yes. They know how to cook a steak in a steakhouse setting, where their goal is consistency, quality, and, more importantly, speed. Hungry customers don’t want to have to wait for their meat, and a steakhouse has equipment and techniques designed to meet those needs.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
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How To Grill Ribeye
A ribeye steak is a classic grilling cut with generous marbling throughout the steak. Its known for its exceptional tenderness and flavor, so all it needs is a little salt and pepper to season it before tossing it on the grill!
Grill Time And Temperature:
Grill time will depend on the thickness of your steak and how well you like your steak cooked. If you like your steak medium rare than sear the outside on medium heat and move it to a cooler part of the grill to finish, or lower the lid. If you are cooking your steak medium well or well done you will want a little lower temperature about medium-high so that the steak does not burn. Cook time will also vary depending on your cut of beef. For more specific cook times, go see these grilling guidelines.
To Flip or not to Flip: There are varying opinions on whether to flip your steak or not when grilling. If you want nice grill marks dont continuously flip your steak. Flip it once when the meat does not stick to the grill and moves loosely. If grill marks arent your concern, flip the steaks while grilling for even cooking.
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How To Buy A Good Steak
Q: Prime, Choice, or Select. What do they mean?
Cattle are graded after slaughter according to the degree of marbling, as well as the cow’s age.
All beef that’s sold in the U.S. is graded by the United States Department of Agriculture on a scale according to its tenderness and degree of marbling. At the top of the heap is Prime, which denotes an abundant degree of marbling in a cow under 42 months of age. Only about 2% of the beef sold in this country is designated Prime, and most of it goes to restaurants, specialty butchers, and high end supermarkets. Below that is Choice, followed by Select, which are the two grades you’ll find in most supermarkets.
The grades continue to go down all the way to Canner, which generally comes from very old cows with little fat in their tough meat. Luckily for us, you won’t find that grade in stores .
While checking the grade is a quick and easy indicator of the quality of the meat, what you should really be checking for is the degree of marblingthat’s the interstitial fat that shows up in white spiderwebs throughout the meat.
Why, you might ask, is marbling important? Two reasons: moisture and flavor. As well-marbled meat cooks, the fat will slowly melt, adding juiciness built right into the meat. Non-marbled meat might have plenty of fat on the exterior, but it doesn’t enhance the steak in the same way. Sort of like the difference between drinking a glass of chocolate milk or drinking the milk then shooting the chocolate syrup.
Cooking Times And First Position
Have everything at hand before you put the steaks on so that the grill has your full attention. Keep the grill closed as much as possible to hold in the heat. Before putting on the steaks, take a good look at them. Decide which side you are going to call the “top.” You will cook the steaks in four positions, timing each change in position.
- 1-inch thick steak: 1 minute per position
- Between 1 and 2-inch steak: 1 1/2 minutes per position
- Less than 3/4-inch steak: 45 seconds per position
Medium Well or Well Done :
- 1-inch thick steak: 2 minutes per position
- Between 1 and 2-inch steak: 3 minutes per position
- Less than 3/4-inch steak: 1 minute per position
For the best results, it’s important to know your grill. Some grills comfortably hit temperatures over 700 F, while others have trouble mustering 500 F. If your grill runs at a lower temperature, you might need to increase these times by as much as double.
To start, open the grill and position the steaks on the grate farthest from youmeaning the top of the steak is to the back of the grill or at the 12 o’clock position.
With the steaks on the grill, close the lid and start counting the time as indicated above.
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How To Grill A Tomahawk Steak Presentation
Now at this point, youve got an incredibly tasty piece of meat on your hands. I always like to take things a step further though and wow everybody with the presentation.
All you have to do for a steakhouse style presentation is to cut the steak along the bone line, detaching the meat from the bone. From there, cut the steak into 1/2 inch wide strips this is the perfect size for your audience to grab and share!
After you cut all of the strips, press the strips against each other, recreating the shape of the original, whole steak, and place the meat back up against the bone on the cutting board.
Enjoy, and happy grilling!
Best Types Of Steaks To Grill:
FILET MIGNON — My personal favorite! The most tender of all the steaks. It is boneless and has a rich, buttery flavor. This is generally a very lean steak so there isn’t much fat.
RIBEYE STEAK — Ribeyes are basically a prime rib or standing rib roast sliced into individual steaks. Think of eating prime rib in steak form. Ribeyes are known for being juicy with a good amount of fat which brings the flavor.
NEW YORK STRIP STEAK — A solid mix of lean parts and marbled fat. Not as tender as a filet or ribeye but still a beefy, juicy steak.
T-BONE STEAK — Can’t decide between a filet mignon and a ribeye? Well, you can have both! A t-bone steak, also known as porterhouse steak, has both cuts of meat. One side is the ribeye and one is the filet. When we buy a t-bone steak, I get to eat the filet and my husband eats the ribeye.
SIRLOIN STEAK — an economical steak that is generally lean and can be tender. A marinade may bring out the flavor of the sirloin and bring extra tenderness to the cut.
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Bring The Steaks To Room Temperature
Too many people take their steaks directly from the chilly fridge to the hot fire. You will not get an evenly cooked steak this waythe outside of the meat will cook faster than the inside. It is best to take the steaks out of the fridge about half an hour before you plan to cook them remove the wrapping, place on a plate, and let them come up to room temperature on the kitchen counter.
A good piece of meat doesn’t need a lot of seasoning and will be quite delicious with a generous sprinkling of kosher salt. Once the steaks are at room temperature, sprinkle with salt or another seasoning of your choice.
How To Tell When Steak Is Done
How long steaks take to cook depends on many factors like the cut, thickness, grill temperature and preferred doneness. The best way to see whether or not your steaks are ready is to check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Measure the temperature in the thickest part of the center and make sure not to touch any bones.
Meat Doneness Temperatures:
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How To Know When Steak Is Done
The time needed to cook a steak varies depending on its thickness, and how you like it. Dont be tempted to cut into a steak to see if its done. This allows the precious juices to escape, making the meat tough. Instead, press the centre of the steak with the back of your tongs if its medium the meat will spring back. Use this guide for cooking times and to tell when its ready.
How To Grill Steak Perfectly
In my humble opinion, one of the KEY things everyone needs to know how to grill is steak. Once you know how to grill a steak perfectly every time all the other grilling comes naturally. Its also the one thing you dont want to mess up, because trust me messing up a $20 per lb piece of steak is no bueno.
I can confidently say I am a master at grilling steaks! In fact, so much so that Mike actually prefers to get a top-quality steak, stay in and get a good bottle of wine. Trust me, once you learn how to make a steak the right way youll never want to go out for a steak again.
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