When I Grill Steaks They Come Out Toughwhy
Lets rewind a little bit you probably missed adding an acidic touch to your marinade recipe. Muscle fibers within your steak need to be broken down, as well as the proteins turned into gelatin in order to make your steak tender. Over high heat and with more tender cuts of steak like filet mignon, this happens very easily. But for tougher cuts of meat, you need to grill it slowly and continue to keep it covered in marinade.;
Best Boneless Cuts For Grilling: Ribeye Top Loin Or Top Sirloin
For a boneless cut, look for ribeye, top loin, or top sirloin.
- Ribeye is cut from the center portion of the rib, same as a prime rib. These steaks are well marbled, very juicy, and have a full beef flavor.
- Top loin is cut from behind the ribs and is also known as strip steak, Kansas City steak, or New York strip. Its full-flavored and very tender.
- Top sirloin steak is cut from the hip of the cow and is also called London Broil. Top sirloin steaks vary in tenderness and marbling and are leaner than the other two boneless options.
Beef Chuck Primal Cut
This cut of meat is a large section of beef cut from the shoulder, arm, and chest sections. With it, you can get other prime cuts, like Denver steak, blade steak, and flavorful roasts.; This section of beef is known for its robust flavor and its ability to produce a number of popular steaks.
Beef that comes from this cut of steak are best used for roasts, where theyll cook slowly over low heat. The cooking process naturally tenderizes the beef with its own fat, leaving behind the rich, beefy flavor you want without the tough and chewy texture.;
Some steaks that you get from the beef chuck primal cut, like the blade steak, have a long piece of fat running through them that youll need to cut around before you eat the meat. Some of these cuts can also be tougher than other steaks youre used to, so it may not be the best option for searing, cooking on the grill, or using another method that could dry out the beef.
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Whats More Expensive Ribeye Or Fillet
In contrast, the Ribeye steak is tough but the high-fat content found in it makes it tender and juicy than other types of beef. The ribeye also has more pronounced taste compared to the Fillet Mignon due to its high-fat content. Fillet mignon is expensive compared to the ribeye steak probably due to its smaller size.
How To Grill A Thin Steak
When grilling steak that is 1 ½ inches in thickness or less, the best way to get the perfect char on the outside and desired doneness in the center is to sear over direct heat. You simply grill. the steak over the direct heat until it reaches the desired temperature, flipping it about every minute. This will ensure that the surface gets nice and golden brown and that the middle wont cook too quickly. Take the steak off of the grill once it reaches the desired temperature and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.
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Best Steaks For Grilling
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Confession time: when I bought my first grill I didnt know anything about how to cook a steak, let alone what steak I should buy. I used to walk by the cases of meat in the supermarket, and wonder just what the heck I was looking for.
Now that Im a little wiser Im able to share some of my favorite cuts of steak with you, and give you a little advice on how to serve them.
Which Steaks To Tenderize
You should definitely consider tenderizing skirt steaks, flank steaks, and tri-tips.
These cuts have large, long muscle fibers that often turn tough on the high heat of a grill. Tenderizing these steaks prior to cooking, and slicing the meat against the grain will help yield tender results.
Chuck, round, London broil, and top sirloin steaks often benefit from tenderizing as well. These inexpensive cuts often have less fat than premium cuts. Tenderizing helps break the muscle fibers apart so your steak stays tender and juicy.
Cheap, lower-quality steaks usually benefit from tenderizing for the same reason, even if they are a more premium cut. Budget steaks often have less fat marbled through their meat and may have a lot of chewy connective tissue.
Tenderizing a budget ribeye or NY strip steak, for instance, will help break this cartilage up so you can grill it quickly. That way it wont dry out before it reaches your ideal level of doneness.
Tough Meat vs Chewy
A quick note about the terms tough and chewy. We often use them interchangeably, but when it comes to steak they do mean different things. Personal preferences also vary widely, which can add to the confusion.
Steaks are tough for two reasons. They may be tough because they naturally have long, thick bundles of muscles, like flank steak and chuck. Tenderizing can solve this type of tough-steak problem.
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What Makes A Good Cut Of Steak
- Marbling is the presence of intramuscular fat, and it creates a yin to the yang of muscle. This fat adds immense flavor, tenderness, and moisture. The more marbled the steak, the higher the fat content.
- Bone-in vs. boneless: Bone-in meat takes longer to cook, but the bone helps seal in moisture and adds a lot of flavor. The saying, “the closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat” didn’t come from nowhere.
- USDA grading: The national meat grading scale in the United States, developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, is based on the meat’s level of maturity and marbling. There are eight grades, and from highest grade to lowest, they are Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner. Read more about USDA grading on the agency’s website.
- Dry aging: Dry-aging is the process of aging beef in a controlled, open-air environment. This removes moisture from the surface of the meat, which causes the enzymes in the beef to slowly break down and form a crust to which bacteria and mold attach . The inside stays bright red and moist, and the resulting flavor is as rich, full-bodied, and nutty-tasting as beef gets.
- Tenderness: The presence of soft muscle tissue and fat are what create tenderness. While tenderness is coveted, it is by no means necessary, and a tougher cut of meat can be compensated for with a proper cooking method .
Choose Your Steak Wisely
It all starts with choosing the right steak for the job. A thick steak will take forever to reach a well-done temperature, and its almost impossible to hit a perfect medium-rare with a thin steak. When in doubt, ask your butcher for 1- to 1.5-inch thick steaks; theyre easy to cook to any temperature.
If you do end up with a super thick steak, dont worry: we also know the secrets to grilling thick steak.
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The 5 Best Steak Cuts For The Grill
A steak grilled with salt and pepper is one of summer’s simplest, most delicious pleasures. And it all comes down to the cut. We cooked up more than 20 steaks to narrow it down to these five favorites for the ‘cue.
Price at Markets: $5 to $26 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $65 for four 12-ounce grass-fed steaks at montanaranchbrand.com
Price at Markets: $10 to $20 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $19 per pound for grass-fed at greyledgefarm.com
Price at Markets: $5 to $10 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $85 for four 16-ounce grass-fed steaks at estanciabeef.com
Price at Markets: $3 to $12 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $9 per pound for grass-fed at
Porterhouse has it all: filet alongside a New York strip, plus a yummy bone in between.Price at Markets: $13 to $29 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $54 for one 18-ounce prime dry-aged steak at lobels.com
Thickness Of The Steak
Another important factor of cooking competition-worthy steak is making sure youve got a good thickness in your steak cut. A thinner steak will quickly dry and out and become tough on a hot grill. The optimal thickness for grilled steak is 1 to 2.
Again, it may be hard to find steaks of this thickness in the grocery store so this is another reason your local butcher shop is a good bet.
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Is It Necessary To Cook The Steaks More After Searing Them
The most important part of reaching the level of doneness you like is the internal temperature. Searing is largely for flavor. If your steak is thicker, it probably wont reach the desired doneness as fast as a thinner one. One thing that helps ensure you dont overcook your steak, is to leave it out at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. If raising the internal temperature needs to take longer because the steak was too cold, it will cause the steak to get overcooked.
How To Cook Steak On The Grill With A Crisp Black Crust
Getting that perfectly crispy black crust on the outside of a steak — a la your favorite steakhouse — isnt as simple as tossing a piece of meat on the grill. To start, choose a relatively thick cut of meat with good marbling throughout, such as a New York strip or porterhouse. Ideally, it should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick so you can blast it with heat but still find tender meat when you cut it open. You can use either gas or a charcoal grill, but you must get it very hot before you start cooking.
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Grill Times And Temperature For Steak
Rare: 120 to 130 F; 5 then 3 minutes per side; pull off grill at max 125 F
Medium-Rare: 130 to 135 F; 5 then 4 minutes per side; pull off grill at max 130 F
Medium 140 to 150 F; 6 then 4 minutes per side; pull off grill at max 145 F
Medium-Well 155 to 165 F; 7 then 5 minutes per side; pull off grill at max 160 F
Well-Done 170 F or more; 12 then 10 minutes per side; pull off grill at max 165 F
The Godfather Of Steaks
If rib-eye is king, then filet mignon is the godfather. Its one of the priciest pieces of beef you can buy because it comes from the very tip of the tenderloin. Its the most tender meat on the cow, and each one only produces a few cuts. Its almost completely devoid of fat, sinew, and tendon, which gives it that soft, buttery texture.
The great thing about filet mignon is that it can be cooked in various ways and will always taste amazing. That is, if you dont overcook it. It should be a crime to serve filet any more done than medium rare, but it happens.
We recommend using a combination of direct and indirect heat when grilling a filet mignon. You can sear it over high heat then move it to low heat to finish. Or you can try incorporating a sous vide reverse sear method.
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What Is The Best Cut Of Steak The Ultimate Top 10 List
Have you ever been intimidated by the long list of meat cuts on a steakhouse menu? How are you supposed to know what to order? The options seem endless, and most people default to medium-rare, so you just go with what sounds best. If youre left dumbfoundedly staring at the menu in a restaurant, you will likely find yourself lost in your kitchen at home. Part of cooking the perfect steak is knowing how to distinguish the different kinds of cuts. Its possible that youll prefer a different cut once you learn about the other options.You shouldnt have to go into this adventure blindly. Here, we will cover the top 10 best cuts of steak.
How To Cook Medium Rare Steak
This is the recommended level of doneness for a good steak; ask any chef how they like their steak prepared and they will almost all say medium rare. A medium rare steak should be warm through the middle with most of the center pink;in color with a hint of red. The sides should be well browned, the top and bottom caramelized to a dark brown color with good grill marks. This steak’s firm surface should give a bit toward the middle .;
For a 1-inch steak,;place steak on a hot grill for 5 minutes. Turn and continue grilling for another 4 minutes to an internal temperature of 130 to 135 F .
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Is It Important To Let The Steaks Rest
Yes. The steak actually continues to cook during those few minutes. This continuation of cooking is great because it doesnt dry out the steak, as it would by simply leaving it on the grill longer. Cutting into the steak interrupts that last little period of cooking by releasing the heat inside the steak. Trust me, let it rest a few minutes and your steak will turn out perfect.
If you like this recipe, you may also be interested in these other delicious grilling recipes:
Grilling The Best Steak
I wanted a juicy steak with a nice crust that was big enough to slice and serve family style, and that had a little finesse.
While cooking, I basted the steak in an herbed butter sauce. The sauce added a fresh, light flavor that balanced the richness of the meat. In the end, I had a steak everyone raved about, and that felt special but not overly fussy. It was the perfect main course for my Fourth of July party plans.
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Do I Close The Grill When Cooking Steak
If youre grilling quick-cooking foods such as burgers, thin steaks, chops, fish, shrimp, or sliced vegetables directly over the flames, you can leave the grill open. But when you grill thicker steaks, bone-in chicken, or whole roasts youll want the lid down, especially when youre cooking with indirect heat.
Which Steak Is Better T
Size and Source of Meat Generally, porterhouse steaks have more filet compared to T-bone steak and are always a preferable meal for two people. The size of a porterhouse steak should be at least 1.25 inches thick as they are derived from the rear of the short loin where the tenderloin is in abundance.
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Charcoal Or Gas Grill For Steak
Charcoal or wood-fired grills are always the best choice for grilling steaks because of the additional flavor and charring they provide. If you have a charcoal grill, you also can add different kinds of wood to the fire to contribute smokiness and enhance the overall flavor of the meat.
Dont worryyou can still cook a great steak on a gas grill. If using gas, open the lid, turn on the gas, and light the grill. Dont light the grill with the lid closed; gas can build up inside the grill and create an explosion.
- Looking to upgrade? Check out our list of The Best Grills.
Best Steak Marinade In Existence
- cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons dried basil
- 1½ tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
- Step 1
Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender. Add hot pepper sauce and garlic, if desired. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.
- Step 2
Pour marinade over desired type of meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.
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Which Cut Of Steak Is Best For Grilling
When I first started working on this recipe, my top contenders for the steak were the ribeye , the rib steak , the porterhouse, and the T-bone.
Any of those cuts will taste great grilled due to the significant marbling of fat, which leaves the meat tender, and flavorful. Let’s take a closer look at each:
- Ribeyes vs. Rib steaks: A ribeye has the bone taken out; a rib steak, also known as a bone-in ribeye, is a ribeye with the bone in. Due to its extensive marbling, this cut cooks beautifully on the grill, bone in or out. Trim the thick fat from the outside edgeleaving it on will cause flame flare-ups that can give your steak an unpleasant burnt flavor. Don’t worry, trimming it off won’t result in lost flavor!
- T-Bones vs. Porterhouses: People often confuse these two cuts, which is understandable because both cuts come from the loin and both have a T-shaped bone with meat on both sides. But porterhouses are larger and actually have more of the tenderloin than the T-bone. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications say the tenderloin of a porterhouse must be at least 1 1/4 inches thick at its widest, while that of a T-bone must be at least 1/2-inch.
Ultimately, I chose to use ribeye steak for its flavor, size, and the lack of bone — I wanted to slice and serve this steak family-style, and the fact that it doesn’t have a bone makes that easier.