Board index Barbecue Board General Discussion Shrinking Steak?

Shrinking Steak?

This is the place to ask your BBQ questions, share information, and more.
Post Mon May 03, 2004 12:43 pm
ryanb raw

Posts: 2
Need help please.....

This past weekend I grilled two boneless ribeyes, about 12-13 oz. each. They were about 1 inch thick. I bought the steaks that day, so they were not frozen. I did my usual prep work. I let the steaks sit for about 20 mins to get to room temperature. I brushed them w/ olive oil and seasoned w/ kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. I preheated the grill and rubbed the grates w/ oil. I did my normal routine that has produced great results. However, this time the steaks shrunk. So much so that I could have put them between 2 pieces of bread and made a sandwich. As a result of the shrinkage, the steaks cooked faster than I expected. So, I got medium steaks when I wanted medium rare.

This has never happened. I did go to a different meat market. Maybe they use a lower quality of meat?

Any suggestions on why my steaks shrunk??????

Post Mon May 03, 2004 1:08 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
ryanb welcome to the board.

Ribeye steaks are a fine cut of meat and well marbled with fat. The marbling does a few things: it melts (renders) while cooking, it flavors the meat, it keeps the meat moist, and I've heard the the more marbling a steak has the faster it will cook. If your ribeyes had a lot of marbled fat then it probably melted away while cooking which would account for the reduction in size (which is normal). This is the same thing that happens with hamburger and sausage.

Other than the shrinkage they sounded great! I prefer medium :D

Post Mon May 03, 2004 3:30 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
From 12 - 13 oz., 1" thick to small enough to get two on a sandwich??? That's a a lot of shrinkage. My guess is that rather than being marbled, they had large areas of fat. When this cooked, it shrank a lot. I bet you had Select not Choice beef. Complain to the butcher, and if that doesn't help, go to someone else.
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Mon May 03, 2004 3:56 pm
hankgni medium-rare

Posts: 56
Location: Chicago Ridge, IL

Usually with a good cut of ribeyes, this doesn't happen but like the other posters indicated fat amount could result in some shrinkage; but to get to the shrinkage you are referring to I would more or less think PaulP is on the right track with the butcher. He might be injecting them with a tenderizer solution which is primarily water and some additive like papain to make the meat more tender. Upon cooking, the water vaporizes off and the meat shrinks. Additionally, by putting the kosher salt on the meat while the grill is heating draws the moisture to the surface and again it just vaporizes off. I personally apply any salt just prior to placing it on the grill although the application of the oil should retard some of this moisture loss. Good Luck

Post Mon May 03, 2004 4:23 pm
ryanb raw

Posts: 2
Thanks for the help guys. I did let the kosher salt sit on the meat just a bit longer than I normally do, but not much. I think you guys are right, it might be the butcher. I gave him a try b/c he had lower prices. I guess you get what you pay for. Thanks again....

Return to General Discussion