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Secrets to Grilling the Perfect Steak

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Post Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:16 am
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 266

Not that I need to tell most of the member of THIS community, but if you're a newcomer (and welcome if you are), check out my new blog on the Ten Secrets to Grilling the Perfect Steak.

http://barbecuebible.com/2013/08/12/10-secrets-to-grilling-a-perfect-steak/#.Ugy3nxY5ulI

What are YOUR secrets for taking our favorite slab of meat over the top?

SR

Post Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:40 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

Here's one great tip...don't buy cheap Wal-Mart steaks like the keep hyping up on Master Chef. Did anybody see that last night? The most pathetic, thinnest steaks I have seen in a long time. Go to a local butcher or if you can, buy from a local farmer. I've been getting great, 100% grass fed beef from a local guy that sells at our Farmer's Market. While it may cost a bit more, its well worth it.

Post Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:55 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5795
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Griffin wrote:
Here's one great tip...don't buy cheap Wal-Mart steaks like the keep hyping up on Master Chef. Did anybody see that last night? The most pathetic, thinnest steaks I have seen in a long time. Go to a local butcher or if you can, buy from a local farmer. I've been getting great, 100% grass fed beef from a local guy that sells at our Farmer's Market. While it may cost a bit more, its well worth it.


+1. This should be the 11th Secret. In fact it ought to be the 1st Secret and then the other 10 should be moved down the list. I saw those pathetic steaks, too, Griffin. :D

Now this isn't to say that all supermarket steaks are bad, but sometimes you need to go digging a bit on the shelves to find a good steak. Some supermarkets also have a specialty meat counter and you can sometimes get some good deals there. However, avoid the eye-catchers like stuffed tenderloin or stuffed pork chops because they are overpriced (since you can stuff them yourself better and cheaper), and because you simply do not know how long the meat has been sitting there.

But supermarkets are a second-choice option compared to a good butcher shop or market. I'm fortunate enough to live close to 3 of them, and they're worth the extra cost. They can also get you uncommon cuts of meat as well, like chuck-eye steaks (because they actually know what those are). Tri-tips are another good example: they're not always a well-known cut in some regions but a good butcher will know them well and know how to trim them right. And of course, butcher shops are great for finding brisket and whole hogs of all sizes, which again aren't always readily available in some regions.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7324
Location: Stoughton, WI
I agree with all 11! It also helps to have a basic understanding of marbling, connective tissue, etc. so that when something unusual shows up at the store it can be evaluated without having to be bought.

Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I saw that show too. They kept bragging about the fine produce too and all I could think was how the local farmers get squeezed but the gigantic corporation just to make a sale. They mentioned that the T-bone was the preferred steak for chefs. I mentioned to my wife that more chefs would prefer the Porterhouse or Ribeye (or at least me :wink: ) over a regular T-bone. Still beats a sirloin though. :lol:

We've been known to travel to multiple stores to find a decent piece of meat. Walmart calls their meat "Premium" which is NOT a "Grade" of meat. :roll: However, occasionally, some of their "Choice" meat is acceptable.

OH! And to add to #6 - Use Steven's Cast Iron Tuscan Grill! I wish I had a half dozen of those bad boys and a grill big enough to heat them all. Those heavy duty cast iron grates do a steak REAL justice. 8) I know the link is already there, but every steak that I post a picture of has grill marks compliments of the Tuscan Grill. (Non-paid endorsement)
Image

Post Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:33 pm
Cactus1 well done
well done

Posts: 741
Location: Indian Head Park, IL.
CharredGriller - I agree about a good relationship with your butcher. One I used to go to was a drive and I would go about once a month and stock up. Forget if there is only one true chuck eye to a head or a side and it is a fairly small steak. Every now and then I'd call him and say "George, I'll be there a week from Tuesday. Can you save me some chuck eyes?" I wouldn't get his all, but would get 15, 18, 20 small chuck eyes.
After being in same location for over 20 years, he started to expand and opened 2nd location about 30 miles away. All the financial crap hit 5 or 6 years ago and he shut both stores down and went to work for a grocery as a meat cutter.
I do have good butcher but rarely go. Upscale fresh market with grass fed prime and choice and Heritage pork not to far from house. Many multi-ethnic greengrocers, Costco has very good meat, even limited prime beef, chain grocers slowly getting better.
* IHP Cactus Farm & Sauce Shack *
18 1/2 & 22 1/2" WSM
22 1/2" OTS
26 3/4" OTG

jstewart well done
well done

Posts: 942
Location: Simi Valley, CA
CharredGriller wrote:
Griffin wrote:
Here's one great tip...don't buy cheap Wal-Mart steaks like the keep hyping up on Master Chef. Did anybody see that last night? The most pathetic, thinnest steaks I have seen in a long time. Go to a local butcher or if you can, buy from a local farmer. I've been getting great, 100% grass fed beef from a local guy that sells at our Farmer's Market. While it may cost a bit more, its well worth it.


+1. This should be the 11th Secret. In fact it ought to be the 1st Secret and then the other 10 should be moved down the list. I saw those pathetic steaks, too, Griffin. :D

Now this isn't to say that all supermarket steaks are bad, but sometimes you need to go digging a bit on the shelves to find a good steak. Some supermarkets also have a specialty meat counter and you can sometimes get some good deals there. However, avoid the eye-catchers like stuffed tenderloin or stuffed pork chops because they are overpriced (since you can stuff them yourself better and cheaper), and because you simply do not know how long the meat has been sitting there.

But supermarkets are a second-choice option compared to a good butcher shop or market. I'm fortunate enough to live close to 3 of them, and they're worth the extra cost. They can also get you uncommon cuts of meat as well, like chuck-eye steaks (because they actually know what those are). Tri-tips are another good example: they're not always a well-known cut in some regions but a good butcher will know them well and know how to trim them right. And of course, butcher shops are great for finding brisket and whole hogs of all sizes, which again aren't always readily available in some regions.

Ditto!!!! We are fortunate to have a good meat market here in town where I buy all of my meat. It is better than anything I would find in the local supermarkets (all big chains) and I certainly don't mind paying a little more for the quality. We had some friends over a while back and we were talking about where I buy the meat and she said something alongs the lines of "it costs more there." I told her that yes, it does and the difference in quality is well worth it....
Jimmy
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CG Super Pro w/SFB
Weber One Touch Silver

Cactus1 well done
well done

Posts: 741
Location: Indian Head Park, IL.
Just expecting to be me and wife for dinner Saturday night and had boneless ribeyes. One of wife's friends came over to help her with a craft project for next weekend. Told her to get her husband over and I'll pick up two more steaks. Stretched four ribeyes, and picked up a pound of local made Greek Sausage - Cavapi, and pound of Bobak's All Beef Hot Dogs. Ended up feeding 7 adults and 3 kids.
* IHP Cactus Farm & Sauce Shack *
18 1/2 & 22 1/2" WSM
22 1/2" OTS
26 3/4" OTG

Cactus1 well done
well done

Posts: 741
Location: Indian Head Park, IL.
Just expecting to be me and wife for dinner Saturday night and had boneless ribeyes. One of wife's friends came over to help her with a craft project for next weekend. Told her to get her husband over and I'll pick up two more steaks. Stretched four ribeyes, and picked up a pound of local made Greek Sausage - Cavapi, and pound of Bobak's All Beef Hot Dogs. Ended up feeding 7 adults and 3 kids.
* IHP Cactus Farm & Sauce Shack *
18 1/2 & 22 1/2" WSM
22 1/2" OTS
26 3/4" OTG

phillyjazz well done
well done

Posts: 2947
Location: Philly

I know not everybody is going to do this, but dry-aging my steaks for 30-45 days (using dry-bags) makes a huge difference. No matter how rare it is served, no bloody mess on the plate. These cook in about 1/3 the time as a wet-aged.

Then again, sometimes I MISS that blood running into may mashed spuds, and run to the store and pick up a wet-aged steak. We have good Supermarkets where I live so a 2" Angus cut it not unusual right in the meat case. When I do these, I heavily season and salt them abut two hours before grilling. Lately I use Montreal Seasoning. Even in the Fridge, the salt eventually gets drawn into the meat bringing the seasonings with it. I scrape off excess before cooking.

I have become a big fan of the sous-vide cooker when I'm in a hurry. Otherwise, I want more smoke. My ceramic gets up to 700F easily, but I find 500F more than adequate. I like Mesquite chunks on my hardwood lump because they flavor the steak quickly. Sorry about the grill marks, but these are so charred, you're just not going to recognize them. Turning frequently (I use Steve's silicone gloves for this) keeps an edge to edge rare inside while the intense heat crisps up the crust.

Grilling steaks is one of the few times I do not close the lid on my ceramic. I guess if a guest I invited asked for "well-done" I would close the lid as a favor since it would be the last steak I's ever be making for them.

Since Ceramics don't have "zones" opening and closing the lid (you're not supposed to) can simulate direct/indirect to an extent. 3 minutes per side for a 2" thick steak seems to work for me on a 500F fire. Maybe an extra minute if the steak is not dry-aged.
- Phillyjazz -

Grill Dome ceramic / Ducane Affinity 4200 gasser/ Concrete pit
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CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5795
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
jstewart wrote:
CharredGriller wrote:
Griffin wrote:
Here's one great tip...don't buy cheap Wal-Mart steaks like the keep hyping up on Master Chef. Did anybody see that last night? The most pathetic, thinnest steaks I have seen in a long time. Go to a local butcher or if you can, buy from a local farmer. I've been getting great, 100% grass fed beef from a local guy that sells at our Farmer's Market. While it may cost a bit more, its well worth it.


+1. This should be the 11th Secret. In fact it ought to be the 1st Secret and then the other 10 should be moved down the list. I saw those pathetic steaks, too, Griffin. :D

Now this isn't to say that all supermarket steaks are bad, but sometimes you need to go digging a bit on the shelves to find a good steak. Some supermarkets also have a specialty meat counter and you can sometimes get some good deals there. However, avoid the eye-catchers like stuffed tenderloin or stuffed pork chops because they are overpriced (since you can stuff them yourself better and cheaper), and because you simply do not know how long the meat has been sitting there.

But supermarkets are a second-choice option compared to a good butcher shop or market. I'm fortunate enough to live close to 3 of them, and they're worth the extra cost. They can also get you uncommon cuts of meat as well, like chuck-eye steaks (because they actually know what those are). Tri-tips are another good example: they're not always a well-known cut in some regions but a good butcher will know them well and know how to trim them right. And of course, butcher shops are great for finding brisket and whole hogs of all sizes, which again aren't always readily available in some regions.

Ditto!!!! We are fortunate to have a good meat market here in town where I buy all of my meat. It is better than anything I would find in the local supermarkets (all big chains) and I certainly don't mind paying a little more for the quality. We had some friends over a while back and we were talking about where I buy the meat and she said something alongs the lines of "it costs more there." I told her that yes, it does and the difference in quality is well worth it....


One more little point: if you don't have a good butcher nearby, sometimes it's worth a bit of time to find one. When I moved to my new place in 2007 it took me about 3 months to find a really good butcher. I just happened to hear the shop's name at the local post office, and I happened to be in that neighborhood one Saturday so I checked it out. I left with 2 chuck-eye steaks (a first at the time) as well as a big pork shoulder and 2 huge slabs of pork side ribs. Total cost = about $28.00.

I found the other two good local butcher shops the same way - by word of mouth and by chance. So don't give up if you can't find a good local butcher - sometimes it takes a bit of legwork and a bit of spare time, but it's well worth the trouble.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

MN_BBQer medium
medium

Posts: 138
Location: Rosemount, MN
Great advice! But I will disagree with the idea of throwing "cold" steaks on the grill... None the less, still love Mr. Steven Raichlen!!
Let's have a few and talk BBQ!
CG PRO SFB


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