Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Read This Before You Buy Your Next Steak For The Grill

Picking the perfect steak for the BBQ or cast iron frying pan requires a little more than just a good quality cut.
Don’t be deceived, meat cutters are also salesman.  Read this information and you will have the perfect steak every time.

Choosing the perfect Steak

How to pick the perfect steak for the BBQ

Best cuts, 1 being the best choice
1) Tenderloin
2) Rib eye
3) T-bone
4) Strip loin/ New York
5) Top sirloin
I personally wouldn’t choose a steak of lesser quality than the Top sirloin. When you choose a steak that is not listed in my top five, you are either choosing a hip cut which has very little marbling and gets a good work out every day carrying the animal around, or a shoulder cut which will have lots of marbling but contains lots of muscle. Think of a steer’s anatomy, their shoulders are muscular, their hips are lean and muscular. You want a cut like tenderloin, which hangs inside the loin and never has any exposure to movement; this makes tenderloin extremely tender.
When purchasing a steak for the BBQ request a steak at least an inch thick. I don’t recommend cooking a steak more than medium done.  By cooking a steak past medium you are essentially cooking all the fat out of the steak. Fat is what gives the steak it’s tenderness and flavor.
The definition in meat cutter lingo for tenderness is” flex of fat intermixed with lean” this is also referred to as marbling. Fat around the outside of the steak is simply to add weight and price to the steak and catch your BBQ on fire!
Earlier I made reference to the fact you could have the best cut and still have a tough steak. Confused? For a steak to be tender the meat cutter must determine which way the grain is running before he starts to cut primal pieces into steaks. Once he or she determines which way the grain is running they must cut exactly perpendicular to the grain, if this is done properly you as a customer will see the surface of the steak looking like a bug screen from your window, small tiny squares. If the steak is not cut properly you will see those tiny squares get elongated and see the fibers stretch out. This will make the steak extremely tough. We use this technique of elongating the grain to make beef jerky, not what you want for a BBQ steak.
If you are on a tight budget and want a really good steak for your money I would suggest the top sirloin steak; it comes from the loin closest to the hip, if cut properly top sirloin can be a tender and tasty choice. You can find the top sirloin at a very affordable price. All these steaks I have mentioned require no marinating, just season to taste.

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