Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to Grill Meat: Part 1 Beef

There is so much more to grilling than simply firing up the grill and throwing on the hot dogs and burgers.  A real Grill Master knows that you need to pick the right meat, prepare your marinade and understand the concept of "done."  Below are a couple of tips that will help you get prepared to impress your guests at your next event.

Pick the Right Meat - This is probably the most important step to grilling.  Meat is "graded" by a third party and choosing the right grade of beef makes a huge difference.     
  • Prime grade beef is made from young well fed cattle. The meat has very nice marbling, great flavor and is very tender.  Prime Grade is generally found only in fine restaurants or specialty markets.
  • Choice grade is still a very good quality beef with slightly less marbling.  Choice grade meat is generally available in many stores.
  • Select grade beef will have a lot less marbling and requires special attention to avoid becoming tough and dry. Select cuts will usually require a marinade to tenderize and make the meat more flavorful. Select grade meat can be found in most stores.
  • Standard/Commercial grades are often packaged as "ungraded." This grade definitely needs to be marinated with a good tenderizing agent.
Grilling Mistake #1 - one of the greatest mistakes when grilling is putting too much bbq sauce on the meat.  BBQ sauce can cause your meat to get "charred" because of the sugary base found in these sauces.  Spice rubs and marinades will grill much nicer and enhance the flavor of the meat.  If you insist on using your favorite bbq sauce, then be sure to add it at the very end.

Marinades - Marinades can make all the difference in how your meal turns out.  The marinade serves two major purposes: 1)tenderize the meat and 2) add flavor to the meat.   Most marinades will include an acid that will help break down the meat like lemon juice or vinegar. A good marinade will combine one part acidic ingredient and two parts flavor ingredients.  

Grilling Mistake #2 -  When cooking burgers, it is very tempting to press down on the burger to get that nice sizzling sound on your grill.  Unfortunately, every time you press down on the burger you are pressing out the juices that give it flavor and keep it moist.
Get 'er Done -  Is it done yet??  A good rule of thumb is 4-6 minutes per side for a 1" steak.  Allow the steak to rest a few minutes before slicing so the juices can flow back into the meat.  You can also use a meat thermometer - 160 degrees is the internal temperature of a burger that is considered "safe" to eat.   Steaks are a little more tricky, but here are some  guidelines to get  you started:
  • Rare:  120-125 degrees
  • Medium Rare:  130-135 degrees
  • Medium: 140-145 degrees
  • Well Done : 160 degrees

Trim the Fat - When grilling a piece of meat, be sure to trim the fat after you have grilled it to perfection.  The fat will help keep the juices and flavors inside the meat.

These are just a few tips that will hopefully help you with your next outdoor bar-be-que.   Don't forget, Wobbly Boots BBQ is open 7 days a week and can always provide the BEST BBQ in the Midwest.   So if you dont feel like stepping up to the grill because of the heat or a long day at work, stop by Wobbly Boots BBQ or give us a call and we will have your BBQ and sides ready for you when you arrive.

Voted BEST BBQ  in 2011 by Lake Lifestyles Readers' Poll!!

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