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what's your favorite kind of steak to grill?

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    1. I would definitely have to agree with mpalmer6c about the ribeye- just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I also enjoy sirloin ( bone in). I find any meat on the bone taste better- on the grill or in the oven!

      1. Ribeye, but I also have had good experiences with hanger steak and tri-tip roast..

        1. Having grilled and eaten literally thousands of steaks over the past 6 decades, I would say the best are NY strip and ribeye. NY strip has a little more texture and less marbling, but is excellent. Ribeye on the other hand, has lots of fat/flavor. It is almost impossible to cook a ribeye poorly....I like steak medium rare, but can eat a ribeye medium...more fat cooks out and the steak does not dry out. And macca is right about the bone: bone-in steaks have more flavor and retain more juice, Simply let the steak sit out of the refrigerator for an hour, salt liberally with kosher or sea salt, and grill over a pretty hot fire. After searing, move to a slightly cooler part of grill. Let it rest for about 5 minutes after taking up, hit it with some coarsely ground pepper and a pat of butter and you are in hog ...excuse me...cow heaven.

              1. Ribeye or striploin, depending on my mood... although flank and hangar have their charms as well.

                1. Ribeyes first choice - closer to rare than med rare/ so full of flavor!

                  1. It would be a 1" NY strip, or a marinated flat iron steak, cooked medium.

                    1. On a real grill, I like a flatiron - just salt & pepper, sit out at room temp for an hour, then about 4 minutes to the side and let it sit awhile before cutting. Ribeyes and porterhouses and the like I'd rather do in a grill pan, where the meat and its fat can interact a bit more.

                      22 Replies
                      1. re: Will Owen

                        All due respect Will Owen, but you should never leave meat out at room temperature for that long. Especially in the summer (bbq season). Bacteria grows while one hour might not be dangerous, why chance it, especially when there is no reason to leave the meat out.

                        1. re: jhopp217

                          Why do you say there is no reason to leave the meat out? Everything that I read recommends having proteins at room temp before cooking them. I even do that with fish ....

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            All letting it sit out does is speed up the cooking process. Recipes are generally written with the undertsanding that someone is taking their cut out of the fridge, sprinkling salt and pepper and throwing it in a pan. If you read a recipe that says 6-7 minutes for medium rare, it's assuming the steak is coming out of the fridge at 40-45 degrees, is sitting for a few minutes to be seasoned, or while some prep work is being done and your desired temperature is 125 degrees (for medium rare.). By that calculation, if cooked at room temperature, you would cut down somewhere in the neighborhood of minute to 90 seconds of cook time. Is this that important? Honestly, look it up. While some people swear by it, it's merely a speed factor. Obviously, with charcoal grills this may be a suitable step, as the heat isn't always even, and could cut many minutes out.

                            And I'm not saying I've never seen this done, but I assure you, there is no difference in taste whatsoever. Do you think high end steakhouses let meat sit out waiting for customers to order it? No way!

                            1. re: jhopp217

                              Thanks - I think a lot of cookbooks that I use do call for bringing the protein to room temperature first - and I guess I didn't think of it as a "taste" issue, but rather that the protein cooks faster and more evenly that way.

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                In 35 years of cooking jfood has never brought his proteins to room temperature on purpose. From fish to chicken to beef to lamb, he lights the grill and then takes the pre-seasoned (sometimes) protein out of the fridge. Then during the 10 minutes that the grill is heating, the protein sits on the counter next to the back door.

                                Wrt skirt. They go right from the fridge to the grill. they are so thin, the difference in room versus fridge strating temp is negligible. It is similar to the argument that salted water is hotter when boiled (yes it is) and that effects the cooking time of pasta.

                                so a 1" steak from the fridge takes 10 minutes and at room temperature takes 9. No biggie for jfood, plus the extra minute gets a crustier outside so it is better in jfood's opinion.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  One should normally take large or thick cuts of meat out to dechill before cooking. This does not apply to ground meat nor to relatively thin pieces of meat.

                                  Rather, it's intended to reduce the effect of after-cooking, because the heat transfer inefficiencies of roasting or broiling cold thick pieces of mean result in overcooked exterior layers of meat. Et cet.

                                  It's demonstrable. over and over.

                                  And the issue of bacteria is much less present in large, integral pieces of meat.

                            2. re: MMRuth

                              Ruth, I agree with you. All protein should be at room temperature before grilling. Cooks Illustrated always recommends that meat at room temperature will cook more evenly and not have the grey color when cooked.

                              Salting the meat kills bacteria, and if that doesn't the heat definitely will.

                              1. re: Kelli2006

                                I just looked up this topic on the FDA website and it suggests that food go from refrigerated package to heat immediately. This is the safest way to protect against basteria.

                                Covering every single inch of anything ina salt crust wil keep it, but salt in itself does not kill bacteria. I think you're thinking of leeches, haha, JK!

                                1. re: jhopp217

                                  He he - I don't doubt that that is the FDA recommendation - but I tend to live slightly on the wild side on this general topic.

                                  1. re: jhopp217

                                    Salt definitely does kill bacteria,

                                    Quote, The salt water sets up a hypertonic environment; water rushes out of the bacterium by osmosis, killing the bacterium. So it is not a question of pressure exerted on red blood cell walls, but rather the pressure exerted on the bacterial cell wall.
                                    Unquote http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/409252

                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                      The feds also claim that beef is medium rare at 145F. As Lou Reed said, don't believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear.

                                      The reason to bring a steak to room temp before grilling is it to promote even cooking of the interior. Try it some time: two steaks, each 1.5" thick, one at 70F and one at 38F. Cook them over the same heat until both are 125F in the center. Let rest, and cut in half. They'll have similar amounts of brown crust on the outside, but the ratio of medium-rare to well-done in the middle will be different: the steak that went straight from fridge to pan will have much more meat that's grey and much less that's pink. It will also be less juicy.

                                      As far as bacterial growth goes, we're talking about a solid piece of muscle tissue. Any bacteria will tend to stay on the outside of the steak, where they'll be killed by heat within a second or two of hitting the hot pan. Letting a hamburger warm up might be another matter entirely, but with steak you've got no worries.

                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                        I have never brought my steak to room temperature and I have never experienced this grey interior, aside from when I overcook something. If you cook it properly, then let rest, and then cut it should be perfect. Bringing it to room temperature does absolutely nothing but cook the steak faster, and in the past day or two, i've had this confirmed by two professional cooks.

                                        1. re: jhopp217

                                          Unless you have somehow found a way to exempt them from the laws of physics, your steaks are going to have some grey meat. In order to develop a crust, the outside of the steak must be exposed to high heat. (The Maillard reactions don't begin to occur until above 310F). If you like your beef medium-rare, its center should not exceed about 135.

                                          The heat starts on the outside and gradually works its way to the center. Therefore, there will be areas between the center of the steak and its edge that are hotter than 135 but cooler than 310. By definition, then, some portions of the steak, working from the center to the edge, will be medium, medium-well, well-done, and very well-done. And in my book, anything past medium counts as grey.

                                          The goal, then, is to maximize the size of that medium-rare "sweet spot" while minimizing the grey meat. The best way to accomplish this is to cook the steak sous vide: put it in a bath of 125-130F water for a few hours (or even a day), then give it a quick sear on the grill. There will be only a millimeter or two of grey meat surrounding a perfect pink center. Next best is to slow roast the steak in a very low oven until the center hits 120 or so before tossing it on the fire. Again, most of the meat will be pink. But the easiest way for a home cook to maximize the amount of pink meat and minimize the amount of grey is to let the steak come to room temperature before putting it on the grill.

                                          Do they do this in commercial kitchens? Of course not. First, the cooks can't anticipate what orders will come in over the course of the evening, and diners don’t want to wait an extra hour or more for their steaks to warm up. Second, warming steaks would take up an unreasonable amount of space in the kitchen, and would have to be protected from cross-contamination. Third, and most significantly, holding raw meat at room temperature would violate local health codes. Not to say it’s necessarily unsafe in a home kitchen, but it’s certainly illegal in a commercial context.

                                          As far as your "confirmation" by "two professional cooks" that bringing the steak to room temperature doesn't change anything but the cooking time, all I can say is that they're mistaken. I have worked the line in a restaurant, and can vouch for the fact that many kitchen professionals are badly misinformed about many things. And not only are professional cooks occasionally mistaken, they aren't necessarily more capable of cooking a great steak than a well-equipped home cook. By and large line cooks are competent, and the best steakhouses have access to meat that's difficult or impossible for the typical consumer to find, but all other things being equal I’ll gladly put up a steak I cook at home against anything prepared in any commercial kitchen anywhere.

                                          But don't take my word for it or theirs. Try it yourself. All it takes is two steaks, a meat thermometer, and a few minutes of your time. If you decide that you prefer your steaks straight from the fridge to the fire, more power to you. But a little experimentation should demonstrate pretty clearly that you get a bigger sweet spot if you allow them to come to room temperature first.

                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                            This weekend I took two "lesser" cuts and placed one out for almost an hour (about 52 minutes). The other was in the fridge. I place both in a hot pan and seared for about the same amount of time on both sides (20-30 seconds). I placed them in the broiler for about 3 minutes, flipped them and let them cook another 2 minutes. I took them out and let sit about 7 minutes. I cut each directly down the middle and they were exactly the same. There was no grey area aside from what might be called grey from the quick sear. Like I said these weren't tremendous cuts of meat, but there was some marbling, but generally they were prtty lean.

                                            I just have to disagree based on experience, what I've read, what I've been told, and from first hand knowledge.

                                            Oh yeah, and they tasted exactly the same.

                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                              I agree with your sentiments. The problem with straight out of the fridge meat is that cooking it creates more of a gradient, from well done to rare in the middle. The thicker the steak, the more pronounced the problem.

                                              As far as bacteria, they do not colonize the interior of the meat, instead on the surface. If grilled over high heat, any bacteria colonies get cooked to death.

                                              For the squeamish, a quick way to bring steaks to room temp is to cover them in a plastic bag and immerse in warm water.

                                        2. re: jhopp217

                                          the FDA also suggests we shouldn't consume cheese that hasn't been pasturized....

                                          letting meat sit out of the refridgerator for an hour is not a big deal. the FDA's ultra conservative regulations have swayed american culture to believe that everything must be refridgerated at all times or else it's not safe.

                                          and as far as the steakhouse comment. no they probably don't leave their steaks out because the law forces them to keep them cold. but if it were up to the chef, then they probably would be at room temp.

                                          1. re: rebs

                                            I always let my meat sit at room temp. before putting on the grill. I was taught if you put a cold piece of meat on to a hot cooking surface it loses a lot more moisture. The sudden heat sort of shocks the meat into losing its juice.

                                          2. re: jhopp217

                                            OMG, NOOOOO!!! Throwing a cold steak on a hot grill is a good way to ruin a steak. I leave prime cuts of beef out for 1 hour and 30 minutes every time and cook them rare. Steaks turn out perfect EVERY time and not one of the 100's of people who have eaten my beef have ever gotten sick. However, letting a steak "rest" is a myth.

                                            1. re: Ranger05

                                              I don't think resting is a myth.

                                              Why you should rest meat, from Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen":

                                              "As the temperature drops, the meat structure becomes firmer and more resistant to deformation, and its water-holding capacity increases. Cooling therefore makes the meat easier to carve and reduces the amount of fluid lost during carving."

                                              1. re: Humbucker

                                                Absolutely agree. When I first heard this tip from Alton Brown on Good Eats, I started abiding by it. Glad I did. Now intstead of a lake of meat juices left over on my plate I have maybe a few drops at best. Better the hot juice and all its flavor end up in my mouth instead of cold on the plate and thus not to be enjoyed.

                                              2. re: Ranger05

                                                jfood gotta disagree on both counts. He has cooked 100's of steaks as well and always straight from the frdieg and then he rests them after cooking. And he sees smiles at every plate. So it works for some and not for others.

                                                If you want to bring to room temp go right ahead and if you do not want to rest the steak, likewise.

                                                But doing it jfood's way is not a good way to ruin a steak.

                                        3. re: jhopp217

                                          per Lobels: "Steaks should always be at room temperature before they are cooked. Remove your steaks from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. Pat them dry with a paper towel."

                                      2. Ribeye 1st, top sirloin 2nd, skirt 3rd. Nothing ever past med rare. Sirloin and Skirt are great values, but if you don't like them rare or med rare, you will lose the value, since they may turn into leather. They are very tender when cooked to a nice rare, med rare.

                                        Flesh at base of the thumb trick works great.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: gordeaux

                                          #1) T-Bone , #2 Ribeye ,#3 NY Strip .

                                        2. Ribeye hands down, but to really max out the experience you want one that has a nice "cap," AKA spinalis dorsi muscle, which is thickest at the middle of the rib primal, say around ribs 7 to 9. Alternatively, and sometimes instead of, I'll opt for hanger.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: FlyFish

                                            Agreed. Bone-in rib #9 grilled over hardwood charcoal.

                                            In the distance come T-Bones, skirt and strips.

                                          2. It's gotta be a ribeye, and it's gotta be bleeding. (Mrs. ricepad can't bear to look at my steaks while I'm eating.)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ricepad

                                              I like my steak that way also, but I sometimes find that rib eye isn't great when too rare. Sure it's flavorful, but the fat gets a little chewy.

                                            2. Rump. However it's cooked - best flavour IMO

                                              1. #1 ribeye, #2 tbone, #3 strip.
                                                Dry aged though is preferred over anything else if I can get my hands on one.
                                                Grilled over hardwood charcoal rather than gas if I spend that kind of money on a steak.

                                                1. Porterhouse any way you cook it. I do have to say, the best beef I've ever had ona grill was a filet. I was shocked at how perfectly cooked it was. Usually it dries out on the grill, but this was seared perfectly on the outside and birght pink in the middle.

                                                  1. jfood will present some heresy to many here.

                                                    Porterhouse first; skirts second and probably a tenderloin 3rd.

                                                    He has never been on the ribeye bandwagon no matter how hard he tries.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      I'm with you. A two inch thick porterhouse is the Kink of steaks. Seasoned with salt/pepper and rubbed with some fresh garlic and grilled medium rare over hardwood.

                                                    2. Any of the rib and short loin cuts (rib, strip, tenderloin, combinations like porterhouse or t-bone) make the best untreated steaks. Taking the same strip muscle back into the sirloin makes somewhat tougher but potentially as tasty steaks - including pin bone and wedge bone sirloin (the closer to the short loin, the more tender).

                                                      Cuts from other sections can be tasty, but need some attention, mainly to tenderize either by marinating or pounding. These include skirt and flank. Flatiron (chuck blade) and hanger are ok without the tenderization, but you have to cut around the gristle and silver skin. The cheaper cuts in the round (rump) and chuck (underblade) are better as roasts that can be cut thin or braised to tenderness. But people do make steaks out of them - chew well, I say.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: applehome

                                                        How long do you grill it for a steak to be "medium rare"

                                                        1. re: jenniegirl

                                                          Time is not the best way to tell doneness - too many variables. Was the steak started at room temp or from the fridge? How thick is the steak? How hot is the fire?

                                                          The best way to tell doneness is by feel - push down on it and feel the resistance. It helps to push down on your own hand for comparison - the fleshy part under your thumb is said to feel like medium rare. This takes experience.

                                                          But the really sure way to tell doneness is with an instant read thermometer, digital or analog. Stick it in a central area away from bone and try to get the tip as close to the middle as you can. It should read 140F for medium rare for 1 1/2 to 2" thick steak. Remember that all meat keeps on cooking to some extent after it's removed from the fire, so the finished temp will be somewhat higher. This does let out some of the juices, so don't just keep sticking the meat with the thermometer over and over.

                                                          You should place your coals so that you have the ability to move the steaks around from direct heat to indirect heat (ie, put your coals on one side only - if gas, leave one of the burners off). Start directly over the coals/flames for direct heat, build a crust, turn over, do the same. Maybe 4-5 minutes on each side with good gas units or charcoal briquets, less (2-3 min/side) if using hotter burning real wood lump charcoal - which is the best. If the steak is thin, that may be all you need for medium rare. If it's thick, move it over to the indirect heat area and leave it there, turning maybe just one more time, until it's done.

                                                          1. re: applehome

                                                            Pulling it off at 140 is closer to medium in my opinion... 130-135 I find to be pretty ideal. Can't say I've ever used indirect heat while grilling steaks either

                                                            1. re: Jstern35

                                                              Yup- I stop grilling or broiling at 125-130.. After it sits for 10 minutes or so, it is perfectly rare.

                                                              1. re: Jstern35

                                                                depends, depends, depends...

                                                                Take, for example, a 2" thick steak, real wood lump charcoal (which burns very hot - a surface temp of over 550F). If you left that piece over fire the whole time until it hit 130-135, you would have a very charred hunk of meat. You can build the crust to a very nice maillard reaction, providing all the charred meat flavor and texture, (and cancer-causing agents - not that I'm campaigning against charred meat, it's just too delicious, but I'd minimize it), in a very short time, then pull off to indirect, you will get a better result. But if you had a 1" steak over gas or charcoal briquet (grill surface temp would rarely get over 400F - although you can increase the radiant heat by putting the cover down), then you really wouldn't bother with indirect heat - but the crust wouldn't be as well built.

                                                                USDA and traditional beef doneness is as demonstreted here:
                                                                (all degrees F):
                                                                Rare 140
                                                                MR 145
                                                                M 160
                                                                MW 165
                                                                W 170

                                                                The truth is that thermometers, even the digital ones, are just not that accurate - the probes are made cheaply, and the calibration is virtually non-existent. Most folks would find these to be too hot for the doneness shown. But also remember that the meat has thermal mass (steaks as well as roasts) so they continue to cook and the temp continues to rise somewhat even after you take it off the heat.

                                                                So once again, there are a lot of variables. My answer is simply to do this a lot. Keep the thickness and type of heat consistent, so you can learn your own environment well - then you can decide for yourself what you like to bring your steak to and hit the mark every time.

                                                                1. re: applehome

                                                                  I like my steaks rare and if I was ever served one at 140 when asked for rare it would be going right back! Not saying indirect heat wouldn't work but still don't think its necessary. Look at places like Peter Lugers; their steaks are broiled under extremely intense heat (1000+) from start to finish and don't end up with nasty burnt bits and arguably are some of the best steaks in the country.

                                                                  Totally agree with ya on the last bit though! Most people try to cook a steak to some guideline rather than trying to find out what they really like best. And in my opinion thermometers are pretty useless for steaks.. as you said your fingers are the best gauge for determining doneness (once you become familiar with what to feel for at least)

                                                          1. Porterhouse, best of both worlds, filet and sirloin!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: kpaumer

                                                              Actually, it's the filet and the strip/New York. I never understood the appeal of a Porterhouse. I mean, it's got a great piece of meat on either side of the bone, but each side has such different characteristics and react to cooking differently such that any time you cook a Porterhouse, it'll be uneven from side to side. The filet side is incredibly tender but has almost no marbling, while the strip/New York side is less tender but can have TONS of marbling.

                                                            2. Lots of talk here about letting a steak rest to room temp before cooking. Let's not forget to also let it rest after cooking. Cutting into a steak right off the heat and the juices will end up all over your plate instead of your mouth, where they should end up. A good five minute rest 'after' cooking will help prevent this. If somebody else alread brought this up, sorry...didn't read through all the responses.

                                                              1. Bone-in ribeye at least 1" thick or a 2" porterhouse. In Mexico we have a brick and adobe beehive oven on the back patio. DH will make an oak fire and let the oven heat up for about 2 hours. I brush the porterhouse with garlic infused olive oil and salt and pepper heavily. We take rosemary swigs from the garden and cover the top of the steak with 10-12 twigs. We have a special steel pan for cooking the steak on. I have a long BBQ tool called a pig sticker that we use to pull the steak out of the oven ( it's probably 800 degrees in there) I use a Thermapin to check the temperature. A terrific crust on the outside and medium rare inside.

                                                                1. Nobody asked what kind of meat. I really like a nice, fresh, sushi grade chunk of tuna coated with olive oil and seseme seeds grilled on a screeching hot fire to just rare. Yum!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: SonyBob

                                                                    Excellent point! And a fine choice.

                                                                  2. Top sirloin all the way.
                                                                    I usually buy a roast and cut my own steaks off it.


                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                      Another lament about a long lost cut of meat - pin bone sirloin steak. Impossible to find sirloins (flat bone, pin bone, etc) with bones anywhere in Central Ohio from grocery stores to butchers. I fing buying boneless sirloin very frustrating, as I can't tell from which piece of the sirloin primal the steak comes from.

                                                                      My personal fave is 1 1/2 - 2 in thick bone in ribeye. To me, meat with bones attached just tastes better, more flavor and I love chewing the bones.

                                                                    2. I love these threads - they are so convoluted and interesting!
                                                                      rib eye would be my favorite, but I will do any steak including london broil after it has been marinated long enough.
                                                                      The bacteria thing is interesting - work in a micro-lab for the state and we would almost never worry about a steak causing problems - bacteria is on the outside and cooking to a nice outside crisp does kill anything.
                                                                      Some bacteria - like salt including some nasty ones so thats not a total answer.
                                                                      FDA recommendations are really for restaurants where food handling and cross contamination is a bigger issue (not that we can't cause our own, but...).
                                                                      Now for the kicker - Fridge or room temp to the grill? For me how about I like it rare, rare - freezer to the flame and the inside is rare for me!
                                                                      Since I love rare to raw meats