June 19, 2011

Tip of the day—Steak tips

Since Father’s Day might mean a steak and potatoes meal for some of us, I thought you might like a few steak tips.

  • Compare the price per pound of already packaged meat to meat at the butcher counter.  Sometimes one will be less expensive than others.
  • If you want your steak cut at a thicker size, ask the butcher to do this for you.  Usually they are more than happy to cut to order without an additional fee.
  • If you don’t know what cut of steak will be best, ask your butcher for advice.  Be sure to tell him or her how you want to prepare the meat so that they can give you what cut will work best. 
  • If you don’t already have a family recipe, my easy marinade is a cinch and yum!
  • Make sure that your grill is hot before adding the steaks.  You should be able to hover your hand a couple of inches away from the grate for about 3 seconds.  While some foods work better for less direct heat or might do better if rotated from hotter area of the grill to colder, this tip works for most steaks.
  • Use tongs instead of a fork.  When you puncture the steak the juices will run, leaving a dryer end result.
  • To get the hatch marks on steaks, put them on the grill.  After a couple of minutes when the grill marks are starting to show, turn a quarter turn.  Let it sit there for another minute or so before flipping.  Do the same on the other side.  You will have perfect hatch marks every time.
  • Let the meat rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.  This allows the juices time to reconstitute.  During this time the meat will also continue to cook slightly.  Therefore, I prefer to remove the meat from the heat just before it reaches the level of doneness that we prefer.
  • Sometimes meats are cut to an uneven thickness.  This is especially true for venison that we have processed.  Sometimes it is better to cut the meat and skewer it rather than to cook it whole.  This will allow you to better control the time that the thinner cuts are on the grill. 
  • Don’t ever use the marinade that the steak was in raw again.  Instead when making the marinade, reserve about a third of it in case any of your guests want extra on their steak. 
  • For Pete’s sake, please don’t make your guests use a butter knife to cut their steak.  While some cuts are tender enough to use a butter knife, this isn’t going to be the case most of the time.  If you don’t have a set of steak knives, I recommend that you watch for a sale and pick up some.  Even a hodgepodge of designs will do, and you can probably pick up some at a local thrift store.  Otherwise, you can use some of your small kitchen knives if you don’t have another option. 
  • If you have a doggie that doesn’t have a sensitive system, he or she will be very, very happy to have any of the scraps.  Our dog loves it when we make steak!

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