Mason County News
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 • Posted July 15, 2009

Grill It Up: Tips from the Texas Beef Council

Choose the right cut: The more tender cuts, Porterhouse/T-Bone, top loin, tenderloin, ribeye, rib, top sirloin, chuck eye and chuck top blade are all ideal candidates for the grill and require only your favorite seasonings, or rubs, to add flavor.

Rubs are a blend of seasonings, such as fresh or dried herbs and spices. They are used only to add flavor, not to tenderize. Apply rubs to the surface of uncooked steaks and ground beef patties just before grilling.

Less tender cuts such as flank, skirt, top round and chuck shoulder steaks should be marinated for at least 6 hours or as long as overnight in a mixture containing a food acid or tenderizing enzyme.

    *Always marinate in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. *Marinating longer than 24 hours can result in a soft surface texture. *Never save and reuse a marinade. If a marinade is to be used later for basting or served as a sauce, reserve a portion of it before adding the beef. *Allow - to - cup marinade for each 1 to 2 lbs. of beef. *Marinate in a food-safe plastic bag or nonreactive container such as a glass utility dish.

Play It Safe:

    *Purchase meats just before checking out at the supermarket and refrigerate immediately once home in the meat compartment or coldest part of the refrigerator. *When using frozen beef, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. *Wash hands well (20 seconds) with hot soapy water before and after handling raw meat and poultry. *Keep raw meat and poultry from coming into contact with other foods during preparation. *Wash all utensils, cutting surfaces and counters with hot soapy water after contact with raw meat and poultry. Never take beef off the grill and return it to the same platter that held raw beef unless the platter has been washed in hot soapy water. *Keep beef refrigerated until grilling time. *Refrigerate leftovers promptly after serving. Use refrigerated leftovers within 3 to 4 days.

Tips from the Pros:

    *Grilling at medium to medium-low temperatures ensures even cooking. If the temperature is too high, beef can char and become overcooked on the outside before the interior reaches the desired doneness. Charring beef is not recommended. *Trim excess fat from meats to avoid flare-ups while grilling. *Use long-handled tongs for turning steaks; spatulas for burgers. A fork will pierce the beef causing loss of flavorful juices. *For best results, use an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness. For steaks and burgers, insert the thermometer horizontally into the side (not the top) to check the internal temperature. *Cook burgers to at least 160*F (medium doneness). *Cook steaks to at least 145*F (medium rare doneness).

3 Easy Steps to Grilling Beef

1.Prepare charcoal for grilling. When coals are medium, ash-covered (about 30 minutes), spread in single layer and check cooking temperature. Position cooking grid over coals. To check temperature use a grill surface thermometer, or cautiously hold the palm of your hand above the coals at cooking height.

Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away; 4 seconds for medium heat.

2.Season beef straight from refrigerator, with herbs or spices as desired.

Place on cooking grid directly over coals.

3.Grill to desired doneness using a thermometer. For approximate grilling times, use the chart located in our Cooking School section on Grilling, and for further information on thermometers, visit our Cooking School section on Meat Thermometers. Allow steaks to rest a few minutes before slicing or serving to reduce the loss of flavorful juices. Serve with favorite sides and enjoy!

Find more information and recipes at

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