Savory Grilled Steak
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Planning to grill steak? Here is your guide for grilling the tastiest steaks.
For great flavored steak, first choose your cut carefully and make it lean. Then give it a dry rub of seasoning before putting it on the grill.
The Best Cuts for Grilling
The tenderest steaks are cut from the section between the ribs and the hips along the back. Steaks from the short loin, just behind the ribs, include porterhouse, T-bone steaks, the boneless strip loin (or New York steak), and most of the tenderloin. Steaks from the sirloin section, just behind the loin, include top sirloin, sirloin, and the rest of the tenderloin. These steaks can be grilled, oven broiled, or pan broiled.
Rib steaks (with a bone) and rib-eye or club steaks (without a bone) are tender enough to grill or broil but do contain more fat. Of the less expensive cuts, skirt steak is cut from the diaphragm muscle. It's full flavored and tender and can be grilled or pan-broiled.
Flank steak, true London broil, is a flavorful favorite for the grill, but it tends to be tough. The best way to get around the problem is to buy USDA Choice grade for grilling -- the grade of meat makes a big difference in tenderness. Keep flank steak fairly rare, since it will toughen if it's overcooked. When you slice it, be sure to cut across its fibrous grain. Flank steak is not recommended for pan-broiling.
How to Prep the Steak and the Grill
The outer layer of fat on most steaks should be trimmed to about 1/8 inch before grilling. Slash the fat at 1 to 1 1/2-inch intervals to prevent the steak from curling as it cooks, and season the meat with a dry rub (see below) or herbs, if desired. Refrigerate until 1/2 hour before cooking.
Remove the grill rack and oil or spritz it with nonstick vegetable spray. Set it 4 to 5 inches above the fire for thin cuts such as flank steak; 6 to 7 inches for a thick sirloin. Light the fire about 45 minutes before cooking so it will have a chance to burn down to glowing coals covered with ash.
Ingredients for a Basic Steak Rub
One way to flavor a steak is with dry seasoning rubbed on before grilling. For a basic mix, blend:
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
You might add Southwestern, Middle Eastern, or other flavorings to the mix.
Dry rubs can be kept on hand in tightly covered jars. To use fresh herbs, garlic, and other ingredients in a rub, prepare a small amount just before use.
Pan Broiling Steaks
If you're cooking indoors, pan-broil steak in a heavy skillet or grill pan (a skillet with grids on the bottom).
If juices accumulate, remove them periodically with a bulb baster or spoon.
Heat the pan until a drop of water sizzles on it and spritz the bottom with nonstick vegetable spray. Add the meat and cook over moderately high heat until the grill marks show, turn, and grill the other side until so marked. Lower the heat slightly and cook until done as desired, 2 or 3 minutes for rare; 5 to 6 minutes for medium; and up to 15 minutes for well done. Increase the time 4 to 5 minutes for 1/2-inch thickness.
Smoked Flavor on a Propane Grill
To give barbecue flavor to food on a propane grill, soak a handful of your favorite hardwood chips in water for 15 minutes. Pour off the water and wrap the damp chips in aluminum foil, leaving one end open.
Wearing fireproof mitts, lay the smoker packet on the grill's heated grids or rocks. Smoky flavor will waft over the food.
Allow 15 to 20 minutes on the fire for the smoke flavor to permeate the meat. After the grill has cooled down, discard the foil smoker packet.
The Greatest Steak Ever
Using yogurt, cooks and chefs make the greatest tasting steaks ever! The live bacteria in yogurt produce acids and enzymes that, when used as a marinade, can break down fibers of a fillet. That spells trouble. Spoon 1/2 cup of plain, fat-free yogurt into a bowl and mix with 2-tablespoons horseradish, 1-teaspoon mustard and one clove of garlic. Spread it over the steak and refrigerate for one hour.
Key West Grilled Salmon Recipe
1/3 cup lime juice (two limes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Few drops hot-pepper sauce
4 salmon steaks (1-1/2 pounds total), each 3/4-inch thick
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon honey
Combine lime juice, oil, salt, celery seeds, black pepper and hot-pepper sauce in a small bowl.
Place salmon in a shallow dish. Pour 1/4-cup lime juice mixture over fish; turn to coat. Refrigerate ten minutes, turning once. Reserve remaining mixture for sauce.
Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals, or heat a gas grill to high, or heat broiler.
Stir green onion, water and honey into reserved lime juice mixture.
Grease grill rack or rack of a shallow roasting pan. Place salmon on rack. Drizzle with half of lime juice mixture from marinade dish.
Grill over hot coals on covered grill two minutes per side or until cooked through, or broil four minutes per side.
Serve salmon with green onion sauce. Recipe makes four servings.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 269; Fat: 16g; Carbohydrates: 2g; Protein: 28g; Sodium: 330; Cholesterol: 78mg. Exchanges: 4 Medium-Fat Meat
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