Top Ten Tips For Better Steaks

Top Ten Tips For Better SteaksMan, is there anything better than putting that first piece of perfectly barbecued steak into your mouth? Well, unless your a vegetarian, and it would probably make you convulse and puke, and well, that really doesn't sound very enjoyable. If that's you, then it's probably best moving on to the next blog post. Although, I think I have heard of grilling tofu, but can't say that I've ever tried it. At least not willingly.

Anyway, who hasn't had the experience of putting expensive cuts of beef on the grill in anticipation of tender, juicy guest-pleasing steaks and having them emerge as dried-out, barely chewable disasters? Well, as with everything, there's a name for the fear of repeating this experience. It's called grilling anxiety, or G.A. to those in the business.

Well, thanks to Jonathan Torres, executive chef at the Morton’s, The Steakhouse in San Juan (Caribe Hilton Hotel) , your olde pal Don Dees has the top ten tips to avoid grilling anxiety. And let me tell you Morton's knows steak. Last year alone, the chefs at the company’s 69 restaurants broiled more than 2,400,000 steaks.

Top Ten Essential Tips for Perfect Steaks

  1. Size Does Matter! Steaks at least 1” to 1 1/2” thick are best for grilling. The thicker cuts can sear on the outside and still not be overdone inside. While a thinner cut, anything under an inch, is likely to dry out on the grill.

  2. Bring ‘em in from out of the cold. Steaks should be at room temperature before grilling.

  3. Check the oil. Before you begin, lightly oil the grilling rack. It keeps the meat from sticking and tearing – and losing its natural juices.

  4. It’s got to be hot! Pre-heat the grill to 600-800 degrees and keep it at that temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before putting the steaks on. It’s during the first few minutes of grilling that the high temperature sears the meat, forming the coating that seals in those tasty juices.

  5. Use a seasoned approach: Add a bit of seasoning before placing the steak on the grill. Some salt and pepper can do wonders.

  6. Don't overcook! Cooking steaks on the grill too long will cause moisture to evaporate, increasing the likelihood that the meat will be tougher and less juicy.

  7. Stick a fork in it? Never!! Always use tongs or a spatula to turn over a steak during grilling. And resist the temptation to use a fork to test the steak for doneness as it’s being grilled. A fork will pierce the meat and allow the juices to seep out.

  8. One good turn…is enough! After you put your steak on the grill, don’t turn it over before at least five minutes of grilling have elapsed on one side. Turning too soon can prevent searing from taking place. The steak should be seared on one side, then turned, seared on the other side and allowed to cook to the preferred doneness.

  9. Won’t let go? If the steak sticks to the surface when you’re trying to turn it over, stop trying. It’s a sure sign that it needs more searing on that side. Give it more time.

  10. Keep your lid on! By keeping the lid closed during grilling, you increase the broiling temperature, while decreasing the cooking time.

There you have it! Although, I have a small confession to make, I love grilling. But I'm afraid that I'm guilty of not following a few of those tips. So I'm looking forward to making a few changes and tasting the results. Wow, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Let me know what your secrets to grilling are and I'll compile a list and share them with everyone else.

Flickr Creative Commons Contributor Today: Another Pint Please...



31 de mayo de 2008, 21:03
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did u recieve the comment I sent yesterday, do not see it posted.

Great to read about BBQ. I love BBQ specially here where weather allows us to make it an all year around event...Thank GOD!
but there is something missing...
what about delicious sauces?
Enjoy it with your steak..

Jack's Secret Weapon All-Purpose BBQ Glaze
This sauce is great for perking up any simply grilled meats, poultry or fish. Brush it on just minutes before you pull the meat off the grill.
1/2 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Stillhouse Barbecue Sauce
Lynchburg-style barbecue sauce - tangy, sweet and spicy. Brush it on at the end of grilling and serve additional sauce warm on the side. This tastes great on flank steak, chicken or pork tenderloin.
1 cup ketchup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup Jack Daniel's Tennesse Whiskey
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Tabasco® sauce, or to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer about 30 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Jack Daniel's Grilling Sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Dip meat in sauce and place on grill over hot coals. When meat is turned, brush with sauce. Grill to desired degree of doneness. Just before meat is removed from grill, brush again with sauce. Makes enough for 8 servings.

Jack Daniel's Marinade
1/4 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup minced green onions and tops
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Blend well. Use to marinate shrimp or scallops for 1 hour or beef, chicken, or pork in the refrigerator overnight. Use to baste the shellfish or meat as it is grilled or broiled. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Glazed Grilled Shrimp with Jack Daniel's Sweet and Sour Sauce and Citrus Rice Cakes
George Beaird, Opryland Culinary Institute
Jack Daniel's Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup honey
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon Heinz 57® sauce
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
2 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in 2 tablespoons water)
Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
Combine first eight ingredients in saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly add cornstarch/water mixture until well blended. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Continue to boil one minute until sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup of sauce to glaze shrimp. Keep remaining sauce warm.
Glazed Grilled Shrimp
16 jumbo shrimp (8-15 per pound)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup Jack Daniel's Sweet and Sour Sauce, recipe above
Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Brush shrimp with sauce. Grill until shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Brush with additional sauce during grilling. Keep warm.
Citrus Rice Cakes
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Spread rice onto lightly greased 9-inch square baking pan. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Remove from refrigerator; cut into 8 desired shapes with sharp knife. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté rice cakes in batches until golden brown and heated through. Add additional oil as necessary.
To Serve:
For individual servings, place a rice cake on the plate. Pool a spoonful of Jack Daniel's Sweet and Sour Sauce next to rice cake. Place 2 shrimp over sauce. Garnish with chopped scallions, if desired. Makes 8 appetizer-sized portions.