Gossip Grill – Major Beef

Welcome back to another edition of Gossip Grill – your source for all things grilling.  Summer is here and we have some major beef!  Nope, we don’t have “beef” with summer…we’re talking about all the beef we’re excited to grill!  (See what we did there?). Grilling beef is a staple part of the season (unless you’re a vegetarian – but don’t fret, that’s going to be our topic next week!) and we want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to ensure the beef is perfectly cooked.  As you’re aware, food does not come cheap these days. We’d hate for you to spend top dollar on a cut of beef, only to end up with an overcooked mess that you toss to the dog.

Are you ready to become the master of backyard cooking? Follow our guidelines and you’ll be right on your way!  (Let us mention, these are guidelines and not solid rules you must follow to a T.)

First up, our friends at Weber have issued this amazingly detailed chart that outlines the type of beef, the thickness of the meat, the ideal cooking temperature, recommended cooking time, and number of times you need turn the food.  Print it out, laminate it, and keep it handy – it’s your cheat sheet for success!  Now read on for all the details…

What are Some of the Different Cuts of Beef?

Beef is divided into several primal cuts, each yielding a variety of sub-primal cuts and individual steaks or roasts. Here’s an overview of the primary cuts and some popular sub-cuts:
  1. Chuck
    • Chuck Roast: Also known as pot roast, ideal for slow cooking.
    • Chuck Steak: A flavorful cut, often used for grilling or braising.
    • Flat Iron Steak: Tender and well-marbled, suitable for grilling.
    • Shoulder Roast: Great for slow-cooking or pot roasting.
  2. Rib
    • Ribeye Steak: Known for its marbling, tenderness, and flavor.
    • Prime Rib: A large, flavorful roast often served as a special-occasion dish.
    • Short Ribs: Meaty ribs, best when braised.
  3. Loin
    • Tenderloin: The most tender cut, often cut into Filet Mignon.
    • T-Bone Steak: Includes both tenderloin and strip steak, separated by a bone.
    • Porterhouse Steak: Similar to T-Bone but with a larger tenderloin section.
    • Strip Steak (New York Strip): Flavorful and tender, ideal for grilling.
    • Sirloin Steak: Versatile, with both top and bottom sirloin cuts available.
  4. Round
    • Top Round: Lean and best suited for roasting or slow cooking.
    • Bottom Round: Typically used for roasts and pot roasts.
    • Eye of Round: Lean and cylindrical, often used for roast beef.
    • Round Steak: Tougher cut, often marinated or slow-cooked.
  5. Brisket
    • Flat Cut (First Cut): Leaner portion, often used for corned beef.
    • Point Cut (Second Cut): More marbled and flavorful, great for barbecue.
  6. Plate
    • Skirt Steak: Long, flat cut, known for its intense flavor, often used in fajitas.
    • Hanger Steak: Flavorful and tender, sometimes called the “butcher’s steak.”
    • Short Ribs: Meaty ribs from the plate, ideal for braising.
  7. Flank
    • Flank Steak: Lean and flavorful, best when marinated and grilled.
  8. Shank
    • Shank Cross-Cut: Often used in soups, stews, and for making stock due to its richness.
  9. Other Cuts
    • Tri-Tip: A triangular cut from the bottom sirloin, popular in grilling.
    • Oxtail: The tail of the cattle, used in soups and stews for its rich flavor.
    • Beef Cheeks: Known for their tenderness when slow-cooked.

Now Decide Which Cut Sounds the Best!

  1. Ribeye: Rich in marbling, perfect for high heat and quick grilling.
  2. Strip Steak (New York Strip): Tender and flavorful, ideal for grilling.
  3. Tenderloin (Filet Mignon): Very tender, but requires careful grilling to avoid overcooking.
  4. T-Bone or Porterhouse: Combines the strip steak and tenderloin, offering a variety of textures.
  5. Flank or Skirt Steak: Thin and flavorful, best when marinated and grilled quickly.

Now it’s Time to Prep

  • Temperature: Let the beef reach room temperature before grilling. This ensures even cooking.
  • Seasoning: Keep it simple with salt and pepper, or use a marinade to enhance flavor. Apply seasoning just before grilling to avoid drawing out moisture.  May we suggest some Weber® Seasonings, of course?
  • Marinating: Marinate tougher cuts like flank or skirt steak for at least 30 minutes to a few hours to tenderize and add flavor.

Let’s Talk Techinque

  1. Preheat the Grill: Ensure your grill is hot before adding the beef. Aim for a high heat (around 450°F to 500°F) for searing steaks.
  2. Oil the Grill Grates: Prevent sticking by brushing the grates with oil or using a non-stick spray.
  3. Direct vs. Indirect Heat:
    • Direct Heat: Best for searing steaks. Place beef directly over the flame for a quick cook.
    • Indirect Heat: For thicker cuts or roasts, start with direct heat to sear, then move to indirect heat to finish cooking evenly.

Consider Cooking Time and Temperature

  1. Use a Meat Thermometer: This ensures your beef is cooked to the desired doneness without guessing.
    • Rare: 120°F to 125°F
    • Medium Rare: 130°F to 135°F
    • Medium: 140°F to 145°F
    • Medium Well: 150°F to 155°F
    • Well Done: 160°F and above
  2. Flipping: Flip steaks only once to develop a good crust. Avoid pressing down on the meat to retain juices.
  3. Lid Position: Keep the grill lid closed as much as possible to maintain heat and smoke flavor.

Almost There!

  1. Rest the Meat: Let the beef rest for 5 to 10 minutes after grilling. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier steak.
  2. Slice Against the Grain: For cuts like flank or skirt steak, slicing against the grain ensures tenderness.

Ok!  That was a lengthy explanation, but as we mentioned earlier, we want to ensure your grilling success!  If you’re looking for an even deeper dive into the world of grilling beef, check out this video (and plenty more) for some excellent tips!

Stay tuned for next week’s discussion on grilling vegetables.  Until then…


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