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This week on Cook Smart, Alton Brown shows us how to get the most out of a very simple cut of steak
How do you turn cheap skirt steak into an amazing grilled treat? Ask Alton Brown.
This week on Cook Smart, Alton Brown teaches us how to grill up his favorite cut of meat: the humble skirt steak, which “can be relatively tough and must be treated specially.”
Using a pound and a half of skirt steak, our host walks us through the Alton Brown-approved method of grilling, which starts by brining the steak liberally with kosher salt and letting it sit for an hour.
“This is my best friend, and I must master it as I master my life,” Alton says of his cherry red grill.
Use just enough natural chunk charcoal to cover the bottom layer and your lighting method of choice (his is a fancy Swedish heat gun, but you can also use a turbo-charged hair dryer), and then distribute the coals evenly across the grate.
Lay the skirt steak directly on the coals for up to 45 seconds per side, and then wrap the steak tightly in aluminum foil for fifteen minutes, where the heat will continue to cook the meat to perfection.
Open to reveal your Alton-approved grilled skirt steak! Written instructions are available on Alton’s website.
Watch the episode below:
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Caramelized Butter and Cumin
For ground beef, keep refrigerated and use within one to two days. It can stay in its original container if the packaging hasn’t been opened. Steaks follow the same protocol, but can last a bit longer at three to five days. It’s actually best to allow a little airflow with stored meat, as tightly-adhered plastic like Saran wrap can make meat sweat and, as a result, less tender. Meat can be transferred to plastic containers, but should be covered loosely.
Never refrigerate raw meat if it’s been sitting out beyond two hours.
- 4 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained (28 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 long, thin, green sweet or hot peppers, or 2 green bell peppers
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground Aleppo chiles or medium-hot paprika
- 3 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of fat and any silver skin, and cut into 6- to 8-inch-long pieces
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 large pita breads, cut in half
- Plain Greek or other whole-milk yogurt, for garnish
- Calories 757
- Fat 54.41g
- Saturated fat 23.31g
- Trans fat 2.26g
- Carbs 21.3g
- Fiber 5.85g
- Sugar 5.52g
- Protein 49.87g
- Cholesterol 193.0mg
- Sodium 1137.25mg
- Nutritional Analysis per serving (6 servings)Powered by
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Skirt Steak Cooked Over Coals Recipe Alton Brown
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- Remove the steak from the bag and pat dry with paper towels
- Using a blow dryer, blow charcoal clean of ash
- Immediately lay the steaks directly onto the hot coals and cook …
How to Cook Skirt Steak Over Charcoal Alton Brown
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- Using a blow dryer, blow the charcoal clean of ash
- Immediately lay steaks directly onto the hot coals for 35 to 40 seconds, then flip and repeat
- When finished cooking, place …
Alton Brown’s Skirt Steak Tasty Kitchen: A Happy Recipe
- Trim excess fat and silver skin from skirt steak. Combine all ingredients except the flank steak in a blender or food processor and puree
- Place trimmed skirt steak in a zip top bag, pour in the marinade
- Squeeze as much air out of the bag as …
Alton Brown's Skirt Steak Secrets Food Network
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- Watch as Alton Brown reveals the secrets to cooking skirt steak with a crispy crust
- In this Good Eats video, he simplifies ash management prior to adding steaks directly to the grill.
Skirt Steak : Recipes : Cooking Channel Recipe Alton
- Heat charcoal, preferably natural chunk, until grey ash appears
- In a blender, put in oil, soy sauce, scallions, garlic, lime juice, red pepper, cumin, and sugar and puree
- In a large heavy duty, zip top bag, put pieces of skirt steak and pour in marinade
- Seal bag, removing as much air as possible.
Skirt Steak Recipe Alton Brown STIR UP THE KITCHEN.
Ingredients 1/2 cup olive oil 1/3 cup soy sauce 4 scallions, washed and cut in 1/2 2 large cloves garlic 1/4 cup lime juice 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or Mexican brown sugar 2 pounds inside skirt steak, cut into 3 equal pieces Directions Heat…
Skirt Steak Recipe Alton Brown Food Network
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- Skirt Steak Recipe | Alton Brown | Food Network
- Crecipe.com deliver fine selection of quality Skirt Steak Recipe | Alton Brown | Food Network, recipes equipped with ratings, reviews and mixing tips
- Get one of our Skirt Steak Recipe | Alton Brown | Food Network.
Good Eats Skirt Steak (Marinade)
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- DIRECTIONS In a blender, put in oil, soy sauce, scallions, garlic, lime juice, red pepper, cumin, and sugar and puree
- In a large heavy duty, zip top bag, put pieces of skirt steak and pour in marinade
Alton's Skirt Steak — ButterYum — a tasty little food blog
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Skirt Steak Recipes Allrecipes
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- Skirt steak is an inexpensive cut of beef taken from the diaphragm muscle
- It ranks with filet mignon as my favorite juicy and tender cut
- It comes in long, narrow strips about 3/4 lb
How to Cook Skirt Steak Perfectly, No Thermometer Required
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- The high heat will brown the steak quickly, and once you see a deeply brown, crispy texture on the outside of the steak, flip it
How to Grill the Perfect Skirt Steak: Easy Skirt Steak
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- For a gas grill, preheat to medium-high heat. Cook steak until a deep brown crust forms, about 2–3 minutes per side
- Let the steak rest 10 minutes and …
Watch: Alton Brown’s Guide to Perfectly Grilled Skirt Steak
- This week on Cook Smart, Alton Brown teaches us how to grill up his favorite cut of meat: the humble skirt steak, which “can be relatively tough and must be treated specially.”
- Using a pound and a half of skirt steak, our host walks us through the Alton Brown-approved method of grilling, which starts by brining the steak liberally with kosher salt and letting it sit for an hour.
10 Best Skirt Steak Steak Marinades Recipes Yummly
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skirt steaks, kosher salt, lemons, chopped parsley, parmigiano and 2 more Skirt Steak Fajitas The Lemon Bowl avocado, tortillas, orange bell pepper, lime, olive oil, seed and 11 more
Alton Brown’s Skirt Steak Recipe Skirt steak, Skirt
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- Mar 30, 2017 - The next time you're tempted to pass up a skirt steak at the grocery store because you're not sure how to cook it, grab it and make this tasty recipe by Alton Brown
- The steak bathes in a flavorful marinade for an hour, then cooks in less than 5 minutes---doesn't get much easier than that
- Alton cooks his over coals, b…
Alton's Grilled Steak Fajitas Food Network
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Make juicy grilled steak fajitas with Alton Brown.Get the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/skirt-steak-recipe-2014004Skirt SteakRecipe
Alton Brown's Broiled Sirloin Steak Recipe
- I found that the cook time made a steak that was starting to pass medium
- Next time I am going to reduce the times
- I think it's a manner of trial and error, each oven is different
- You also have to look at the size of the steak
- Alton's recipe calls for a 1 ½ pound steak …
Brazilian Skirt Steak with Golden Garlic Butter Recipe
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- In a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot
- Add the steak and brown well on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare
- Transfer the steak to a plate and let rest while you make the garlic butter
Swiss Steak Recipe Alton Brown Cooking Channel
- Cook until golden brown on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side
- Remove the steaks to a plate and repeat until all of the steaks have been browned
Episode 91 – “Raising the Steaks” Allison Cooks Alton's
For Alton’s skirt steak marinade, combine in a blender 1/2 C olive oil, 1/3 C soy sauce, 4 scallions, 2 big cloves of garlic, the juice of two limes, 1/2 t red pepper flakes, 1/2 t cumin, and 3 T dark brown …
Things to Know before Cooking Skirt Steak
Before starting to cook the skirt steak, there are a couple of things worth knowing:
Both the inside and outside skirt steak are very similar to each other they are long, flat muscles with very thick grain and flavorful taste.
Outside skirt is a bit thicker and has a more uniform shape than the inside skirt.
They are both long and flat pieces, up to 24 inches long.
Before cooking the outside skirt, you have to remove the membrane if the butcher has not already removed it for you.
This cut of steak has a good amount of fat and is very flavorful and moist when grilled, but any other cooking method will also make it taste great.
When it comes to picking cooking supplies, most of the people avoid cooking meat as it tends to be expensive. They usually go for a quick and cheap solution which will not cost them a lot of money and time to prepare and skip cooking expensive cuts such as wagyu beef.
As for skirt steaks, the price may vary depending on the store and by the number of pounds that you purchase. There are even some places who have a minimum of $30 that you can spend on skirt steak.
While the price is not fixed for this cut of steak, one thing is for sure, that you will get the greatest dollar-to-flavor ratio.
It is simply a cut not to like if you cook it properly.
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut to fit skillet
- 1 lime, cut into wedges, for garnish (optional)
In blender, combine lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, and jalapeno puree until smooth. Transfer to a shallow dish or large resealable plastic bag. Toss with steak to coat. Let stand at least 30 minutes, and no more than 2 hours, to infuse with flavor.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high, until very hot. Cook steak, in two batches if necessary, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
- Blend chile, adobo sauce, 1 tsp. lime zest, lime juice, oil, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper in a blender until smooth. Place steak in a large resealable plastic bag, pour marinade over, and toss to coat. Marinate, tossing occasionally, at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or chill overnight.
- If chilled, let steak sit at room temperature 30 minutes. Prepare a grill or grill pan for medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade discard marinade. Grill steak until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of steak registers 120°F for medium-rare, 2 minutes per side for skirt 3 minutes per side for flank. Let rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain (to make slicing easier for skirt steak, cut into 5" segments, then slice against the grain).
- Transfer to a platter and top with remaining 1/2 tsp. lime zest season with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges alongside.
Sous Vide Steak
Sous vide is one of the latest trends sweeping the food world. It's a set-it-and-forget-it technique that produces perfectly cooked food, every time. Consider sous vide steak, for example: Usually a tricky cut of meat to cook to desired doneness, beef is virtually impossible to overcook (or undercook!) using a sous vide machine. This super scientific device heats water to a precise temperature and holds it at that temperature for hours. That means you can cook steak, chicken, salmon, etc., in that water to exact temperatures, and the food will stay at that temp until you&rsquore ready to serve. When it comes to sous vide steak vs. grilled, we have to side with the never-fail, new age technique for the absolute best results (smoky grilled skirt, we still love you!). Try our Test Kitchen&rsquos top tips and all-time favorite sous vide steak seasonings to experience the modern cooking magic for yourself.
How do you cook a steak sous vide?
There are three main steps to cooking a sous vide steak: The preparation of the steak, the (hands-off!) process of cooking the steak &mdash and the final sear before serving.
PREP: Place your sous vide device in a large pot of water (be sure to set the pot on a trivet, as it will get hot as the water heats up) and set the temperature (we like 130°F for medium-rare). Put your steak and flavorings in a resealable plastic bag (Ziploc works we love reusable Stasher bags too) and remove the air.
COOK: Submerge the bag in the water, and allow 30 minutes of cooking time for every 1/2 inch of thickness.
SEAR: When the steak has reached the desired temperature, remove the bag from the water, take the steak out of the bag, and pat it dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel. Heat your skillet on medium-high, add a drizzle of oil and sear the steak on both sides for a few minutes until deeply golden-brown on both sides. Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes, then enjoy!
Cooking a high quality steak at home can seem like a daunting task but thanks to this guide you’ll soon be able to create one that is perfectly cooked on the inside, features a dark and flavorful crust, and is juicy with a big bold beefy flavor. The keys to success are: Selecting the proper cuts, grades, thickness, and technique. Here’s how to can raise your game to steakhouse level and have your guests reeling in deliria.
At a glance: Selecting the right steak, prepping it, and cooking it
1) Buy the best grade of steak. You want something that has filigrees of fat woven through the meat called marbling. The top grade in most groceries is USDA Choice or Certified Angus which is USDA Choice or above. If you can special order it, and if you can afford it, get USDA Prime or Wagyu beef.
2) Select the proper thickness. 1.5″ thick bone-in grade ribeye is my favorite.
3) Dry brine. About two hours in advance, liberally salt both sides and put back in the fridge. Let the salt melt and be pulled into the meat. Salt tenderizes and amps up the flavor. No pepper yet.
4) Preheat. Setup a grill for 2-zone cooking with one side scorching hot and the other about 225°F, no water pans. If you are not familiar with the concept of 2-zone cooking, now is the time to learn this crucial technique.
5) Cook the interior. Place the meat on the indirect side, lid down. Add wood to the charcoal. This allows the meat’s interior to slowly warm up evenly and prevents the banding of colors with dark outer layers. This makes it more tender as it slowly cooks and adds smoke flavor . When you cook hot and fast there is no time for smoke to do its magic.
6) Flip. Stand by your grill and check the meat temp every 5 minutes or so with very thin probe very fast thermocouple thermometer. Flip it when it get to about 95°F. You don’t have to be precise on this. DO NOT rely on touch until you are very experienced.
7) Prepare to sear. When it hits 115°F interior, get the hot side as hot as you can. Take the meat off and add more lit coals if you need to. Or raise the coals closer to the cooking grate. Or fire up the sear burners. Now pat the exterior dry with paper towels. Don’t worry that you are wasting juice. A few drops lost will not hurt anything. We need the surface dry for the next step otherwise we will be steaming the surface, not searing it. Now paint the meat with rendered beef fat, clarified butter (whole butter has too much water), or vegetable oil. This prevents it from sticking to the grate, fries the surface, and enhances flavor.
8) Sear. Now move it to the hottest part of the grill and leave the lid open. We want the lid off so heat is concentrated on the exterior of one side at a time. We are working on the outside now, not the inside. Sear the exterior on one side for 3 to 5 minutes checking frequently and moving it a bit to prevent grill marks from burning the meat. This should get you a dark flavorful exterior. When you have the right color, paint the top with oil and flip the meat. Hit the dark side with oil and a few grinds of black pepper. We pepper it late in the game so the pepper doesn’t burn, but hot oils will extract its flavor.
9) Serve simple. No need to rest the meat. No fancy sauces. Make a Board Sauce at the most. My favorite sides are Warm French Potato Salad and Crunchy French Green Beans with a big red wine.
A deeper dive, beginning with the cuts
The prime steakhouses serve the best cuts, usually from the rib and loin area, along the spine of the steer. They are also the most expensive: ribeyes, porterhouses, T-bones, strip steaks, and cuts from the tenderloin such as chateaubriand and filet mignon. You can make darn tasty meals from the sirloin, round, flank, chuck, and other cuts, but these muscles are not as tender.
My preferences are the ribeye and strop. They are the best cuts for flavor and tenderness combined. They both come mainly from the same muscle, the longissimus dorsi, so arguing which is better is like debating which side of Sergeant Pepper’s is better. A lot of folks prefer meat from the tenderloin because it is the more tender, but they are also leaner than ribeyes so they don’t have the flavor fat brings to the party.
Click this to learn more about the Science of Beef Cuts.
I refer to the best steakhouses as prime steakhouses because USDA Prime is the grade of meat served in the best of them. You won’t find Prime in discount steakhouses in mall parking lots or in most groceries. USDA Prime beef is selected because it has a lot of marbling, thin hairline grains of fat that weave weblike through the fibers of protein. You can see it. Most Prime goes to restaurants.
Wagyu is a special breed of beef that produces highly marbled and flavorful meat. It is even rarer than Prime, but gaining in distribution. Rarest of all is genuine Japanese beef such as Kobe which is almost too fatty and costs as much as a small car. If you can’t find Prime in the store, and if you can afford it, ask your butchers. If you can give them a week advanced warning they can often order it. Wagyu is easily available online.
The next grade down from Prime is USDA Choice, and Choice is common in grocery stores. But not all choice is the same. Don’t just grab any old steak from the meat counter. Ask your butchers for help. Explain that you have a special dinner and you want the best looking cuts they can find. They will often be pleased to look in the back room for a particularly nice piece of meat or custom cut exactly what you want. I’ve made some killer steaks from Choice beef.
Click here to read my article on Beef Grades & Labels. I have links to some suppliers of great repute on our artisan food page.
For this technique, cuts 1 1/2″ to 2″ thick are best, but most grocery stores don’t sell steaks that thick. You have to get them custom cut. The method for cooking thick steaks is very different than the method for thin steaks. This is a crucial concept, and if you think about it, it makes sense. So I typically tell my butcher I want “boneless ribeyes, from the center of the roast, with the most marbling you can find, 1 1/2″ thick, and please try to make all steaks about the same thickness.”
Plan on 3/4 pound per adult for bone-in steak and 1/2 pound per adult for boneless steak. If there are leftovers they can go home with guests or make an appearance on a sandwich or salad the next night.
Some prime steakhouses use a secret mix of herbs and spices, the most famous being Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. But many prime steakhouses use only salt and pepper, and some use only salt. I’ve never seen one marinate the meat. Why? Seasonings sit on the surface and the scorching heat incinerates them. Marinades mask the steak’s natural flavors, they don’t penetrate very far, they don’t tenderize much, and if the meat’s surface is wet the heat makes steam and prevents crust formation. Click here to read more about how marinades do, and don’t work.
At home, dry brine by salting the steaks liberally on both sides at least an hour or two before cooking and put them back in the fridge. The salt helps the protein hold in moisture as well as enhance flavor. In the pictures here you can see the salt on the surface. Within 20 minutes you can see the moisture melt the salt, and before long, the salt has moved into the meat. See the pictures of steaks dry brining elsewhere on this page.
How to dry brine
Unless your doctor forbids you from using salt, use it. It really brings out the flavors. Salt is an amplifier. It is also an annihilator. Adding the right amount will amplify meat’s flavor. Add too much and it will make it inedible. It also holds in the moisture and denatures the proteins making the meat more tender and juicy.
Brining is a method of adding moisture and salt by soaking meat in salty water. But too much water can bloat a steak and dilute its beefiness. So here’s a technique popularized by Chef Judy Rodgers of San Francisco’s famous Zuni Cafe. It is illustrated in the photos of a boneless ribeye, above. Click here to read more about dry brining.
1) An hour or two before cooking pat the meat thoroughly dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt on on both sides of the meat. Put it back in the fridge. If you have a small wire grate that can hold the meat above a plate so air circulates, all the better. If not flip the meat after 30 to 60 minutes.
2) The salt draws out moisture which dissolves the salt. See how the meat has become shiny with moisture in the middle picture?
3) The meat reabsorbs the moisture (and much of the juices that have leaked out) bringing the salt in with it. Notice how the color of the fat at right has changed where the salt has soaked in.
Video: How Dry Brining Works
Here is is again in time lapse video:
Charcoal or gas? It’s the heat that matters most, not the fuel
Most prime steakhouses broil their meat with open flames from above, not below, fueled by gas, not charcoal or wood, and they can hit temps from 800 to 1000°F. To the right, you’ll see the broiler at David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago. They have a talented team of chefs, a purebred Angus bull in Kentucky who sires all their meat, and a impressive aging locker lined with what they say are 800 year old salt blocks from the Himalayas.
At prime steakhouses like Primehouse, meat sits on grates that allow cooks to raise and lower them if they want the meat closer or further from the flame. There are a few that use grills with flames from below, and still even fewer that use charcoal. Most don’t like fire from below because flareups from dripping fat that can burn the meat. Yes, the vaporization of the drippings can contribute to the flavor, but their impact is minor especially when you consider the short time it takes to cook most steaks.
I want all of you charcoal die hards who swear that you cannot grill with gas to note that almost all prime steakhouses broil from above at very high temps with gas, so clearly the secret of searing great steaks is the temp not the tool. The lesson is, if you can get a gas grill hot enough, you can sear steaks just as well with charcoal. Problem is, most gas grills cannot reach charcoal temperatures.
Getting the same results at home
The solution is to use two cooking temps, one for the interior and one for the exterior. We will begin by low temp smoke roasting the meat with the lid down and bring it up to about 115°F gently so the meat remains uniform in heat and color throughout. Then we will move it over high heat with the lid up and darken the exterior quickly, flipping often, so it doesn’t build up energy and overcook the interior. This method is called the “reverse sear” or “sear in the rear”.
Reverse searing produces more tender meat since low heat doesn’t bunch up the proteins. It also allows smoke to do its magic, and it allows enzymes to tenderize the meat. High temp cooking moves too quickly for smoke to flavor the meat. It can also deliver a crispier surface because the meat is served after coming off the high heat. But this method is a little tricky because you absolutely must have a precise thermometer and you really need to practice to get the timing right. Click here to read more about the concept and watch a fun video of Chef Jamie Purviance and Meathead cook dueling steaks seared both ways.
Now a word about grill marks. Grill marks are caused by the metal grill grates darkening the meat where they contact the surface. The metal heats rapidly and conducts heat to the surface more rapidly than the rest of the surface which cooks by radiant heat (see my article on the thermodynamics of cooking). Grill marks are flavorful and crunchy, and they look great (grate?). But the goal is to get the entire surface as dark as the grill marks. If the grill marks taste wonderful, why not give the same treatment to the whole surface?
So the goal is to give everything an even deep mahogany brown hue, as dark as possible without charring. For more, read my article on grill marks.
For this level of control, you need to calibrate your grill.
Make your own “Beef Love”
Chef Rick Gresh keeps a cup next to his grill with what he calls “beef love”, melted beef fat trimmed from his aged steaks. Gresh paints the steaks with it before they go into the dining room. I have taken his method one step farther. I paint the meat with beef love before it goes on the direct heat as well as before I serve. It enhances browning and brings great flavor to the party.
To make your own beef love, just ask your butcher for a pound of suet, the term they use for beef fat. Butchers trim pounds of it every day and throw it away. It won’t cost you anything. Take it home, chop it into cubes about 1/2″ and put them in a pot over medium heat to medium low. Put on the lid. After a few minutes you should see tallow (liquid suet) in the pot. If not, raise the heat slightly. After about 30 minutes most of the fat will have melted. There will be some fibrous matter that doesn’t melt, just throw it away. Pour the tallow into a heavy bottle, let it cool and solidify, and store it in the freezer. It will keep for months.
When it is time to cook your steaks, scoop off an ounce or two and melt it in a small pan. You can even melt it on the grill.
As an alternative, I have had great luck using rendered bacon fat, duck fat, and goose fat as beef love.
Cooking a steak on a small grill
You can accomplish the same thing on a small single burner gas grill, on a portable charcoal grill, or on an indirect pellet grill. Start cooking the interior by cooking at a low temp with the lid down. Then heat the grill as hot as possible and cook the exterior with the lid up.
Can I smoke steaks?
Feel free, but personally, I don’t care for the taste. You can do the first part of the reverse sear in a smoker, and then sear the crust, but for some reason that much smoke flavor doesn’t work for me. It just masks the beefiness.
Keep track of your steaks
I love these bamboo steak markers. They come in a pack of 500 and include five temperatures: rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well. They are 3.5″ long and you insert their sharp points in the side of the steak so the meat can be flipped easily. If they don’t char, you can wash them and reuse them.
The great chef and educator Bruce Aidells, author of a number of superb cookbooks including the The Great Meat Cookbook, has produced a polished detailed video series on steak covering everything from selecting the meat to cooking it. It is a beautifully produced set of seven videos starting with selecting and buying beef and chock full of tips. It is produed by the website craftsy.com and they have an excellent learning platform for watching educational videos where you can pause and come back the next day to the exact spot you left off at, a place to take notes, study materials, discussion, recipes, etc. Click here for a preview.
If you like them medium to medium well
Not everyone likes their steaks on the red side. For those who like their meat cooked medium or more, use thinner steaks.
For skinny steaks, use the turntable method
The reverse sear works only on thicker cuts. For steaks 1″ or less, and my “turntable” method works beautifully. It even works on on skirt steaks for fajitas. The goals are the same, a dark crisp, crust, and tender juicy, medium-rare center. But because the meat is thinner, the path is different.
1) Season. Salt and pepper the meat on both sides an hour or two in advance so the salt can penetrate.
2) Dry. Make sure you pat the meat dry with paper towels before you put it on. Moisture creates steam and prevents browning.
3) Oil. Coat the meat with a thin layer of fat. It can be rendered beef fat, clarified butter, or vegetable oil. Oiling the meat is better than oiling the grates. When you oil grates it vaporizes almost instantly and can create an acrid smell. When oiled meat hits the grill, the cool meat keeps it from burning and the oil will heat up quickly and transmit heat. It will slightly fry the surface and help create crust. Don’t use unclarified butter. It contains too much water.
4) The A side. You should still setup for 2-zone cooking so you have a safe zone for steaks that finish quickly. Get the direct side screaming hot. Raise the charcoal right beneath the cooking surface. Leave the lid off. Put the meat over the hottest part of the grill. Keep this one side down, but, like a vinyl record turning on a turntable, rotate it slightly every 30 seconds to prevent the grates from branding and burning the surface and to allow all parts of the surface to brown evenly. You want the entire surface a uniform dark brown without grill marks . Click here to read why grill marks are not desirable on steaks.
5) The B side. Now here’s where things get weird. By the time you have the perfect crust on one side, heat is penetrating and the center is pretty close to perfect. If you flip the meat and sear the other side dark, you will overcook and destroy the steak. So flip the meat and cook the second side for only 1 minute! That’s more than long enough to kill any contaminants on the surface. Like an old fashioned vinyl record, the B side may not be as good as the Side A, it will be tan not brown, but Side A and the center will be perfect.
6) Serve. Remove the meat and serve immediately. Do not let the meat rest. Resting meat is probably a myth that you can see challenged here.
What to do once the steak gets off the grill
There is no need to rest the meat. It has been proven that this does nothing to improve juiciness. Don’t let it cool off and lose its crust. Serve it hot. Prime steakhouses like to let the meat speak for itself. You don’t see prime steakhouses putting A1 on the table, and if you ask for it, listen for cursing in the kitchen.
Some steakhouses like to place a daub of butter on the surface to add unctuousness, sometimes it is even an herbed butter or butter with shallots or mushrooms. Some chefs like to sprinkle large grain salt on the meat just before serving so you occasionally get big pops of salt. It’s a nice sensation, unless you encounter a bolder sized grain that breaks a tooth, but because this meat has been dry brined, and the salt is evenly distributed throughout, you could easily oversalt if you use a finishing salt just before serving.
If you absolutely have to dress up your steaks, try to keep it simple. My favorite is a Board Dressing. Rich red wine sauce is a classic, as is horseradish cream sauce, or chimichurri, but I prefer to save them for leaner cuts like flank steak or sirloin. I have a Japanese friend who once presented me with a great steak with tangy green wasabi paste, the horseradish-like root. I liked it a lot, but it seriously masked the natural goodness of the meat. In Argentina, herbaceous chimichurri sauce is everywhere. Caramelized onions, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, grilled red peppers, are also popular garnishes.
Some prime steakhouses, like Peter Luger in Brooklyn, cuts the meat off the porterhouse, slices the strip thin across the grain, and then reassembles the whole thing on the platter. This is also a nice approach if you have huge steaks and one person cannot eat a whole steak.
As you eat the first steak you cook with this method, you might discover that it is a little over or under cooked for your taste. Don’t be discouraged. Adjust the procedure to accommodate your tastes. You know how to get to Carnegie Hall.
What to serve with your steak
Let the steak be the center of the show. Meat and potatoes are an unbeatable combo, although rice is nice and couscous is cool. Try my really simple Warm French Potato Salad. Keep the veggies simple, like my Crunchy French Green Beans, or, since the grill is primed and ready, go for Grilled Asparagus.
Two things I insist on with my steaks: A big red wine and good friends.
Carving big steaks
Ribeyes, strips, and T-bones/porterhouses (porterhomes?) are bigger than ever because of improved breeding and feeding. Once upon a time such a steak was a big meal for one, but nowadays, if it is cut thick, even after shrinkage, a whole steak is more than a normal person can or should be eating at a sitting, unless he has just returned from the space station.
For example, Allen Brothers is selling 26 ounce (2″ bone-in) and 22 ounce (1.5″ bone-in) ribeyes (they’re fabulous). Their 1.5″ boneless is 16 ounces. Their porterhouses (tail on) are 2″ and weigh 36-38 ounces.
Sooooo, if that is the case, one ribeye is a good portion for two people and a porterhouse, after boning could be enough for three people. So the question then is, how to divide it?
First of all, I must confess, I usually cook a whole steak for each adult, and if there are leftovers, I insist they take them home. Then when I need help moving, I can call on them to help.
I slice my cold leftovers and make a steak sandwich or more often put the slices on a salad.
If I am serving wagyu, which is sooooo rich, I carve the steaks.
Ribeyes and strips have two problems to be solved. The bone, and the rib cap.
I normally prefer boneless ribeyes because the bone adds zero flavor and if I cook it properly the meat next to the bone can often be undercooked a bit. If I am dividing it for two, the bone just gets in the way and then I have to arm wrestle my wife to see who gets to gnaw on it and I’m tired of losing.
Besides, I hate paying the same price for bone as for meat. Also, although I never cook steaks indoors, even in winter, if you cook in a pan the bone can prevent the meat from contacting the pan and browning properly.
This leaves the problem of the rib cap, or the spinalis, the crescent shaped muscle that wraps around about 1/3 of the longissimus, the eye of the ribeye. The rib cap is more marbled than the eye, and because it is on the outside it usually is overcooked. That’s a shame because I think it is the best muscle on the animal.
I solve both problems by buying bone-in rib roasts. I then remove the rib rack, and that’s a meal right there. I smoke the back ribs Texas style. Then I remove the spinalis, and that’s a separate meal. It looks a bit like a salmon filet, and It can be grilled as such, or rolled.
That leaves the long tube of longissimus, the eye of the ribeye, and I cut that in 1.5 to 2″ steaks. The muscle tapers a bit, so the thin end is a good portion for one. The fat end is a big portion, and after cooking, slicing it is no problem because the spinalis is gone. I just cut it into strips about 3/4″ thick. Guests can easily cut that thickness into bite-size chunks. I collect the juices in a gravyboat.
Here’s a 1″ ribeye with a Board Sauce which is simply chopped herbs and olive oil. To get the meat juices to mix with the board sauce, I carve it.
Porterhouses and T-bones. I do it the Peter Luger method (below). Run the knife along the bone, remove the strip and filet, slice them in 3/4″ slices, reassemble them and slide them back along the bone, and serve. I bring the board around the table and they can stab whatever they want. It is an impressive presentation.
Watch: Alton Brown’s Guide to Perfectly Grilled Skirt Steak - Recipes
Title: 10 Best Recipes of 2014
Author: Maria Russo, Food Network
No matter the holidays, change in seasons or special events that have come and gone in 2014, the recipes fans keep coming back to are the ultimate in tradition and ease. Comfort food classics like moist roast chicken and hearty macaroni and cheese reigned supreme this year, while all-purpose frosting took the cake for sweet treats. Read on below to check out the 10 top Food Network recipes featured on FoodNetwork.com in 2014, and get go-to meal ideas from Alton Brown, Ina Garten and more of your favorite chefs.
10. Cream Cheese Frosting — It takes only four ingredients and a few minutes to turn out the smoothest-ever frosting, ideal for topping cakes and cupcakes alike.
9. Oven-Baked Salmon — After a quick roast in the oven, moist, tender salmon fillets are topped with a fresh salad of crunchy toasted almonds, salty capers and vibrant parsley for over-the-top flavor and texture.
8. Basil Pesto — Ready to enjoy in just five quick minutes, this multipurpose pesto is packed with fragrant basil, bold garlic and plenty of nutty pecorino cheese. Perhaps best of all, you can freeze this sauce for up to three months, so plan to make extra during the height of summer’s basil season.
7. Chicken Enchiladas — A surprisingly healthy dinner that doesn’t skimp on taste, Tyler Florence’s big-batch enchiladas feature juicy chicken rolled into soft corn tortillas. Follow Tyler’s lead and opt for prepared enchilada sauce to save time, and finish the casserole with a blanket of shredded cheese before baking.
6. Perfect Roast Chicken — Leave it to the Barefoot Contessa to put a dressed-up spin on the humble chicken. Her fail-proof method includes flavoring the meat from the inside of the bird out, as she stuffs the chicken with fresh thyme, citrus and garlic before brushing the outside with butter.
5. Pizza Dough — You don’t have to be an Iron Chef to make Bobby Flay’s easy double-batch dough he lets a mixer do most of the kneading work so you don’t have to.
4. Banana Bread — Laced with butter and warm cinnamon, this traditional loaf turns out moist every time and is best served with sweet honey or cool vanilla ice cream.
3. Baked Macaroni and Cheese — For an extra-special finish, Alton tops his richly decadent macaroni and cheese with a layer of buttery panko breadcrumbs before baking, so you can be sure each bite will boast a bit of welcome crunch.
2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts — Ina lets the natural flavor of Brussels sprouts shine in her must-have side dish by roasting the vegetables with just a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of seasonings.
1. Guacamole — After mixing together the creamy avocado, bright lime juice, and fresh peppers and jalapeno, Alton recommends letting the guacamole sit for an hour before serving so the flavors have time to marry. Click the play button on the video below to watch Alton make it.
I’m so glad you asked. I recommend you go with the nearly-foolproof reverse sear method. You can follow the easy instructions right here. If you don’t want to use your oven and a pan you can easily create a reverse sear in a charcoal BBQ set up for two-zone grilling (direct, and indirect).
Make your steak better before you even cook it with Dry Brining
By Jess Pryles
Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She's a live fire cook, author, meat specialist and Meat Science grad student. She's also a respected authority on Texas style barbecue. Australian born and raised, she now lives in Texas.
Watch the video: QQ 21! Fire up that grill! (May 2022).