The best grilling this summer is up to your skills for mastering the flame, seasoning and finding the most tender, flavorful meat available.
Every summer we pull the grill and accessories out of storage, preparing for the many events summer brings with family and friends.
Well this summer be the talk of the neighborhood. Bring all those skill you have honed over the years of trial and errors, watching all the cooking shows and buying all the perfect seasonings and accessories with the best pieces of meat on the market.
No reason to waste your time and money on mediocracy. If you are gonna bring it then bring it!
When it comes to the pursuit of the perfect steak, enthusiasts and amateur carnivorous eaters will rush to tell you that medium rare beef is best. And by far it is, but there are those who perfect it well done.
This leave the meat tough and chewy. Medium steak allow the meat to melt in you mouth, leaving you wanting for more.
But first, some definitions…
Medium rare steak is officially defined as steak cooked to an internal temperature of 135 degrees.
130 degrees will get you a rare steak, which isn’t a bad choice if you’re dining on a gourmet steak from a quality steakhouse.
In appearance, steaks cooked medium rare will have a warm, red center. If you’re using the touch test method, when gently pressed in the center, medium rare steak should feel the same as pressing the space on your hand between your thumb and forefinger.
140 degrees will start to bring your steak adventures into a medium degree of doneness and the potential for tough meat and a definite lack of moisture.
While medium may seem tempting, it is advises to go against it, since premium cuts of meat taste best at medium rare steak temperature.
As it turns out, the temperature of medium rare steak being the most appetizing to our palates has a lot to do with the science behind the meat and less to do with personal preference.
The proteins responsible for muscle contraction, Myosin and Actin for you nerdy types, denatures, or break down, at different temperatures.
The break down of these proteins changes the consistency and taste of the meat. As it turns out, the majority of people like their steaks with more Actin and less Myosin, a happy little window that magically appears right around 135 degrees, or the temperature of medium rare steak.
Moisture is also a consideration when it comes to preference.
When you cook a steak to medium rare the internal temperature isn’t raised to a point that allows excess moisture to escape through vapor or steam, keeping your steak juicy and flavorful.
Medium or, GASP, well-done steak not only exceeds the just right zone of protein balance, it also causes moisture to evaporate from your meat, creating the potential for a chewy, tasteless disaster.
So now that we know what to do, or not to do, when it comes to the internal cooking temp of your steak, let’s talk about how to get there.
We’ve gone into detail previously on the best methods for getting to medium rare steak perfection (told you we were big fans) but there’s a few basic pointers worth remembering when it comes to how to cool steaks to medium rare:
- A Meat Thermometer is your friend – A handy kitchen appliance that will be invaluable for precision cooking of just about any form of protein you can conjure out of the meat department.
- Cast Iron is King – When cooking steaks medium rare, a quick 1-2 minute sear on each side is more then enough. Finish by placing the entire pan into a 425 degree oven until desired level of doneness (cough::medium rare::cough) is attained.
Rest is Best – While the temptation to dig right in may be real, be sure to rest your meat on a plate or cutting board for at least 5 minutes prior to enjoying.
This will allow the juices to become less viscous (thin) which means they’ll be more likely to stay inside your steak once you cut into that first “cooked to a medium rare temperature” perfect bite.
Okay, so maybe we made that last one up, but each of the other words and phrases are used on a regular basis by butchers and purveyors of beef, whether online or in your local market, to describe their various available selections and cuts.
Most tend to consider this more of a preparation than a type, there’s no denying that dry-aged is a label that’s here to stay in the premium meat market, and rightly so.
Dry-aging a steak involves storing meat, uncovered, in a chilled environment for an extended period of time.
While this seems awfully simplistic, there’s a number of highly complicated process that take place in the meat as a result of this treatment.
To start, by allowing the steak to sit uncovered and dry, the liquids within the meat begin to evaporate, condensing both the remaining moisture and the corresponding flavor.
But wait, you might be saying. Doesn’t the tenderness of a steak depend on the moisture content and therefore, shouldn’t a dry-aged steak be tougher?
While the logic seems sound at first glance, dry-aging meat causes a variety of other enzymatic and bacterial processes within the meat, breaking down proteins and naturally tenderizing the steak.
What we’re left with is a cut of steak that, as a result of the dry-aging process, is more flavorful and tender at the same time.
Large specialty butchers, high end steakhouses and gourmet dry aged steak online retailers typically have dedicated dry-aging rooms that control factors such as temperature, humidity and air circulation.
These extreme, dedicated set-ups will be impractical for most home chefs looking to impress at their next meat-centric dinner party.
The good news is that, while handy, high tech equipment isn’t required and you can dry age meat in your own home refrigerator or spare mini-fridge with a little bit of prep work.
You’ll need to start with a larger, multi-steak cut of meat, preferably with a large amount of fat coating still remaining.
You need the size and fat to protect the meat and leave you some substance to work with when you trim off the desiccated or wasted portions of your dry-aged meat when it’s done prepping.
Simply place your roast or similar hunk of beef in a refrigerator, uncovered for a minimum of 7 days and up to two weeks.
Remove meat from refrigerator when ready to eat, trim off the inedible hardened parts (this is where a fat cap comes in to save the day and the underlying meat) and cook via your favorite method.
Some folks recommend wrapping your dry-aged beef loosely in cheese cloth and others create complicated air circulation methods via small fans placed in the fridge.
While we wouldn’t discourage good old fashioned experimentation, the truth is you simply don’t need to complicate things to get the benefits of dry aged steak at home.
- The ideal temperature for dry aging beef is between 34-38° F
- Using a vacuum sealed bag will protect beef against contamination from other foods
- Airflow is an important to ensure beef will dry-age properly
- For optimal taste dry-age beef for 28-40 days
At this point you might be saying that dry aging a steak at home may be all well and good, but it still sounds like a bit too much work for my tastes.
In that case, you’re in luck. At Chicago Steak Company we dry age our premium USDA Prime steaks in a special dry aging room, trimming and then individually wrapping steaks after they’ve been aged to tasty, flavorful perfection.
Our steaks are then shipped direct to your door, precisely aged and ready to eat. Whether you purchase your dry aged steak online or do it yourself at home, you can’t go wrong with giving your high quality, premium meat a chance to mature and age prior to delving in.
At Steak University, we tend to stay away from the controversial topics and instead focus on education when it comes to all things beef.
But in contrast to Democrats vs Republicans or red vs white wine, there’s one this-or-that topic that we just couldn’t resist delving into any more: Bison Steak vs Beef Steak.
So if you’re one of our many faithful readers that have been wanting to give bison a try, or just want to know what the big deal is when it comes to this increasingly popular meat, keep reading.
We have everything you need to know to help make the big decision when it comes to your next gourmet steak dinner.
Chicago Steak Company proudly carries on the tradition of delivery of the finest cuts of meats.
Since 1865 with the founding of the Union Stock Yards, Chicago has been at the heart of high-quality American meats.
Chicago Steak Company specialize in hand-cut, Mid-West raised, USDA Prime beef – in short, the very best steaks your money can buy.
They raise, trim, and age their steaks using centuries-old techniques, then vacuum-seal each individually, locking in flavor and freshness.
When you bite into a Chicago Steak Company steak, you’re tasting quality that goes back generations.
You will taste their commitment to tradition in every Chicago Steak Company steak. Chicago Steak Company serves only the finest American beef.
Chicago Steak Company steaks are sourced exclusively from Mid-West raised heritage cattle, giving their steaks the prized tenderness, marbling, and flavor that can only come from superior growing conditions and bloodlines.
The steaks are then aged for four to six weeks to develop the complexity of flavor demanded by 5-star restaurants, steakhouses, and discerning steak lovers.
They offer wet-aged and dry-aged steaks – according to your tastes – using aging techniques that go back generations.
With the largest Dry Aging Facility in the Mid-West they have created a unique flavor profile that is second to none and we are the leader in Dry Aging Beef nationwide.
With the partnership with Linz, the steaks are trimmed by Linz butchers the old-fashioned way, hand-carved with expert precision to remove extra tissue and fat.
The result is an exceptionally tender and flavorful steak, bite after beefy bite.
The USDA Prime shield signals superior marbling, tenderness, and flavor. Abundant marbling is the trademark of a USDA Prime steak.
Marbling – the thin white streaks of fat that “marble” a great piece of beef – is considered the greatest sign of a quality steak.
As a well-marbled steak cooks, its fat melts, coating your steak in buttery, beefy flavor. This is why 5-star restaurants and resorts go to such great lengths to exclusively serve USDA Prime steaks.
Some other wholesalers reject USDA grading in favor of their own & in-house” grading systems. Usually, this is their way of passing off lower-quality steaks while raking in USDA Prime prices.
At Chicago Steak Company, we advise consumers to always look for the USDA shield, ensuring the quality of your purchase.
We are also dedicated to educating people about what makes a great steak. At Steak University, we publish videos and articles on cooking techniques, share steakhouse-style recipes, and profile the very best steakhouses across America in our steakhouse reviews section.
Whether you love juicy dry-aged ribeyes, the rich flavor of USDA Prime tenderloin, or the melt-in-your-mouth experience of Kobe-style Wagyu beef, our commitment to tradition and the world’s finest beef makes indulging in The Ultimate Steak Experience easier than ever.
Recipes and Information.
Farming commercial herds of beef cows is a fairly modern invention. Before the new trends in grain feeding herds in close quarters, herds were typically smaller with more individual ranchers.
Beef herds were allowed to roam over a larger area with the extra space eliminating common overcrowding problems such as increase in disease which meant lower or no extra antibiotics or hormones were needed to produce a quality cut of beef.
Travel back even further in time and you would find much smaller beef operations, with many rural families keeping their own small herds of 5-20 head of cattle along with other common farm livestock.
In addition, hunting game for everyday meat was a more common occurrence as wild herds, such as bison, were more common before modern increases in population and urban sprawl pushed many of these animals out of their natural habitats.
One of the biggest arguments for those looking to compare bison steak vs. beef steak is in the nutrition department.
Pound for pound a quality bison steak has the same vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as a similar cut of beef steak.
The real difference is found in fat ratios and calories. A 4-oz serving of bison comes in at around 120 calories.
Bison tends to be lower in fat and slightly higher in protein making bison the healthier meat choice for those looking to cut calories and fat without gorging on bland, tasteless chicken breast.
You’d be hard pressed to tell a bison steak from a similar cut of lean beef.
Since bison herds are often free roaming, marbling tends to be a touch finer on most bison making for a more even fat distribution.
This can sometimes lead to bison tasting richer, with a deeper beef flavor, but overall flavor and tenderness is the same, that is, if you cook your bison steaks correctly…
When it comes to how to cook bison steak, there are some major differences with common beef steak recipes and beef grilling methods.
First, since bison tends to be leaner than traditional beef steaks, you’ll need to reduce your cooking time by about 20-30%.
Grilled bison steaks should never be cooked past medium-rare and you’ll want to give your bison steak a good sear to ensure moisture stays on the inside.
Another point of note in the bison steak vs. beef steak debate is that bison should be finished at a slightly lower temperature, again, to account for the fact that it’s a leaner meat than what traditional beef steak recipes call for in their cooking methods and times.
When deciding between bison vs beef steak, consider the choice similar to comparing apples to oranges.
From taste to texture to nutrition, each meat choice has its unique benefits to your next home cooked gourmet meal.
Turn on grill to high and wait until grates or coals are extremely hot
Lightly spread EVOO over grates to get an extra sear
Season each side of the bison steaks with Chicago Steak Seasoning
Lightly douse each side of the steaks with worstershire sauce
Place steaks on the hottest part of the grill for 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness
Use a meat thermometer to check internal temp. Remove when temperature reaches 130° F as the steak will continue to cook for a few minutes
Let steaks sit for 5-10 minutes to allow for the fat to marble to increase the taste