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Steaks And GameThe Grill BlogRecent PostsChoosing The Perfect Steak for Grilling (Plus Wagyu Grilling Tips!)

Choosing The Perfect Steak for Grilling (Plus Wagyu Grilling Tips!)

Choosing The Perfect Steak for Grilling (Plus Wagyu Grilling Tips!) |

Once again, Memorial Day is upon us, and with the long weekend comes 3 full days of thrilling grilling adventures, endless fun in the sun, and the opportunity to try new recipes as inaugurate the summer season. Whether you’re an old salt at the grilling front, or a newbie with a brand-spanking new grill you’re dying to try out, a little studying up never hurt anyone, and could help you have the best grilling season yet!

To help you out, here’s a refresher of grilling basics so you can grill the perfect steaks this summer!

You should always know what your goal is when grilling a steak, and that is: juicy, tender meat with a perfectly-charred crust. Now, how do we achieve that holy grail of perfect steaks? First of all, you need to decide what steak you want to grill, and that means a little reading up. Shall we?

Choosing Your Steak

The type of meat you pick and the cut you select will wildly affect your grilling technique. When talking about beef (Wagyu, Grass-Fed), we can separate the more tender, high-end cuts from the tougher, more inexpensive (but still delicious) cuts.

The most tender cuts come from the middle of the steer, have a lot of marbling (intramuscular fat) and include the perennial favorites: Ribeye, Tenderloin, Porterhouse (and T-Bone) and New York Strip. These are the can’t-go-wrong cuts, they cook fast, are always tender (unless you wildly overcook them) and have a lot of buttery flavor. Just a quick salt-and-pepper seasoning and a turn on the grill, and you’ve got an amazing grilled steak.

The more inexpensive, tougher cuts usually come from the front, middle and back of the animal, the more hard-working muscles that have less fat and marbling but are packed with beefy flavor. They’re not as thick- typically - and require a bit more TLC to cook to tender, but the flavor payoffs are huge. These include the Hanger, Skirt, Flank, Flap and Flat Iron steaks, amongst others. These are the cuts you want to use with marinades and cut against the grain to maximize tenderness.

Cooking Point and Resting

With any – really, absolutely any – steak, no matter the cut, you want to grill to the perfect point and not overcook it. Anything above medium-well will result in a dry, moisture less steak. Another way to avoid a dry piece of meat is to always rest your steak after grilling and before serving it. If you cut into a just grilled steak, all the juices will flow out, leaving you with a dry steak. When left to rest for 10 minutes, the temperature of the steak drops, which firms up the meat, so once you cut into it, less of those precious juices drip out.

You can find more information on these specific steak cuts, where they come from, their flavor and texture, one our Meat Cuts and Steak Guide.

Bonus Track: Grilling With Wagyu

If you’re here, you know and love Wagyu, or perhaps you want to know and love Wagyu, and are dying to throw a few juicy marbled Australian Wagyu steaks on the grill. Before you do ( and you should!), a piece of advice. Mouthwatering Wagyu beef comes from genetically-privleged breeds from Japan, blessed with abundant intramuscular fat, what we call “marbling”. Those spiderwebs of white fat riddle the rosy meat, which when cooked melt and turn the each bite into a buttery, sumptuous feast - more akin to butter than to meat. It’s not your regular run-of-the-mill fat, but rather a higher quality, healthier type, much higher in unsaturated fatty acids. And it’s better, more evenly distributed and there’s just more of it, period!

Even the lower grades of Wagyu (MS3) have far more marbling than regular beef and here’s where the word of caution comes in: more fat means more flare-ups, so be extra cautious when grilling Wagyu. Don’t leave it unattended, use a grill pan if you must, and just keep an eye out. Also, don’t waste the higher end MS steaks on the grill; not only will you risk a fire, those are more suited for minimal cooking for maximum enjoyment. Stick to MS 3 and MS 4 scores for the grill. See here for more info on the Wagyu Beef Grading Scale and Marble Scores.

Things you don’t need for grilling (or cooking) Wagyu:

  • Lots of seasoning: you should enjoy the buttery, rich flavor of Wagyu in it’s pure, unadulterated glory. A little bit of salt? Yes. A sprinkle of pepper? Maybe. Anything else? No.
  • Really thick steaks. Thick steaks have a lot of fat, which melt into the fire and cause flare-ups. A ¾-inch-thick steak will do nicely.
  • A hot fire. Medium-high is perfect.
  • Lots of time. 2 minutes per side, maybe a little bit more, is enough to get a beautiful brown crust and a juicy center.
This entry was posted in Grilling, Recent Posts, The Grill Blog and View All Posts on May 15, 2019 by

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