Grilling is a great way to cook steaks, and very little else. Much of your success on the grill will be determined by selecting the proper cuts and how the specifications to which they are prepared. Thicker steaks will take more time to grill, but they will invariably come out juicier and redder in the middle (or have a larger red middle) than thinner cut steaks. Burgers should be ground somewhat coarsely (lest they cook and fuse like hockey pucks), and they should be ground with 20% fat. Any less than that and you either grill them quickly and gently to medium rare, or you may as well be serving rubber for dinner.

Ribsteaks, strip steaks, tenderloins, flanks, flaps, tri-tips, skirts, flatirons, rumps, culottes, cap steaks, and a handful of other cuts do great here. Racks and loins of lamb do great here, as do racks and loins of goat, albeit lower and slower.

Note: Both goat and lamb, regardless of how they are cooked, must ALWAYS be served hot. Goat meat can stiffen up a bit when cold, and lamb fat can acquire a disagreeable flavor and texture once congealed.

Grilling is best accomplished at a range of temperatures from relatively low to medium and even to high; the proper time and temperature combination will depend on what you’re grilling. Tenderloins cook exceptionally quickly, as they are devoid of any connective tissue, and at the same time they are very lean - which also requires a quick and short cooking time, lest you dry them out. Ribsteaks and loins can go rare if you get there a little more slowly, medium-rare being the easier sweet spot to hit. Both contain a strip of gristle along the top that you should never attempt to melt through cooking - not even sous-vide - unless you want to overcook and dry the meat out in the process. Just eat around it. You’ll survive.

Flanks, flaps, skirts, tri-tips, cap steaks, rumps, culotte (Picanha), and most other steaks do better at medium-rare. There are connective tissues to contend with that require either skill or very patient cooking to dissolve without passing medium-rare on the inside (and sous-vide is perfect for just that).

Grilling anything ill-suited for the grill will succeed only in drying it out. Intact or partially dissolved connective tissues will turn into rubber, and the meat will more likely than not end up dried out and overcooked. Just don’t do it unless you’re either experimenting, sous-viding first, or curious to see how fast red money burns when improperly handled.

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