Tender Beef Steaks

T-Bone Steak
Yes, beef steaks are my favorite. I'll give you a few tips on ways to increase the tenderness of your steaks. I'm assuming your using an outdoor grill, but most of these tips will work when broiling a steak in the oven also. I'll start with some of the basics first.

 Find the supermarket or meat shop in your area that either advertises they sell Certified Angus Beef or one that is usually considered the "best" in town (with usually higher prices - but - you get what you pay for).
SUGGESTION: In general, if you're wanting a very tender beef steak, don't shop at a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

 Unless they have changed their meat departments recently, all the beef they sell is USDA select - which used to be called USDA good.

This is one step down from USDA choice - which most "better" grocery stores carry.


The reason Wal-Mart sells select is: #1 - it's cheaper, and #2 -it's leaner than Choice, and many customers want less fat - but they get what they pay for - a less tender steak.
2. Here are some tips on choosing your beef steak at the store:
a) Select the steak with a bright, cherry-red color
b) Look for a steak that is firm to the touch, not soft
c) Make sure the package is cold and has not tears
d) Choose a package without any excessive moisture
e) For the best quality, choose a steak that was cut that day. Ring the bell! Ask the meatcutter which steaks in the meat case were cut that day
3. T-Bones are the 2nd best beef steak. The best beef steak is the filet mignon, which is cut from the beef tenderloin.
I'd suggest to try a three quarter inch thick T-Bone or Porterhouse steak. The difference between these two steaks? The Porterhouse has more of the filet mignon on it than does the T-Bone. It's usually about a dime higher than a T-Bone, but it's worth it to get more of the filet mignon!
4. Next, I highly suggest that you purchase a decent meat thermometer.  This way you can accurately know the temperature of the steak, so you want over cook it. (Which is the major culprit in a tough steak!!)
You can usually find a high quality, instant read digital probe meat thermometer for around $10 to $15. Be sure to insert the probe in the thickest center part of the steak.
5. Now, for the actual cooking. I believe the most tender beef steak is medium rare. The internal temperature to cook to for medium rare is approximately 150 degrees. The usual cooking time for this over a hot fire in your grill is 10 to 12 minutes. (A hot fire is not one where the charcoal has been burning for 2 to 3 hours.)
OK, that's my basic suggestions and tips for cooking a tender beef steak on the grill. Here are some other very good tips to cook a tender beef steak.
When turning the steak - on a skillet, in the oven, or on the grill; NEVER use a fork, only use tongs. The fork punctures will release the meats juices, and leave the steak dry and tough. (You only need to turn the steak over once as it cooks.)
Leave the fat on the steak while it is cooking to preserve juiciness. Trim the fat off AFTER it is done cooking.
Salt your steak after cooking. Not before. Salt draws off the meats juices also.
Keep the steaks at least 2 to 3 inches above the heat when grilling outdoors or broiling in the oven. "The closer the heat, the tougher the meat".

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Tips for Cooking Any Steak


Turn your steak when the meat juices start to bubble up through the meat to the top of the steak.
 
To test for doneness, press the meat with your finger. Rare meat will be soft and wobbly, medium will have a springy firmness and well done will feel very firm and unyielding.

A steak will cook a little after you remove it from the grill or oven, so stop broiling when the steak tests slightly less done than desired.

For great results every time, use an instant read kitchen thermometer. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of your steak, hamburger or chops away from any bone or marbling. Thermometer readings should be: 120F to 125F for rare; 130F to 135F. for medium rare and 140F to 145F for medium.

Although steaks are optimum in flavor and texture when cooked to no more than medium doneness, some people prefer their steaks well done.

The internal temperature for medium well steak is 155F and well done 160F.

Keep in mind that overcooking causes greater shrinkage and decreased tenderness.

 

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Last Updated:  Saturday, April 23, 2011 11:38 AM