Beef Up your Grilling this Summer

Our partners at Minnesota Beef Council tell us about beef’s variety and versatility and the endless options for cuts to choose from and recipes to try.

little boy eating at a picnic table with momThe weather is finally starting to warm up and families across the Midwest are ready to fire up their grills. The Minnesota Beef Council wants to make sure that you have all the skills to become a grill-master and are equipped with some stand-out beef recipes that will keep your kids full of energy (as if they don’t already have enough of that!). Beef’s variety and versatility mean there are almost endless options for cuts to choose from and recipes to try. According to retail sales data, taste is the number one reason consumers choose beef, and that is especially true during summer grilling season when steak sales jump, on average, more than 10 percent (1) between Memorial Day and Labor Day. So, get to firing up your grill and making memories with your loved ones.

Tips and Tricks to Serve Great BEEF on the Grill

We all love our Strip Steaks and Ribeyes, but let’s think outside the box this summer and try some different beef cuts to expand our options. Why not take your grilling game up a notch with a juicy Flat Iron or a lean, flavorful Flank Steak? Isn’t your mouth beginning to water thinking about these?! It doesn’t just have to be the center of your plate – cut up that flank steak and put it in your salad for a refreshing change. Shhh…don’t tell the kids, but they are getting their protein and vegetables all in one meal.

Maybe you don’t have time to run to the store to get the cut the recipe calls for or you’re on a tight budget. Have no fear! We’ve got a few suggestions for you. Try these steak swaps to get a tasty beef dish on the table.

  • If you’re looking for a fancier cut like a Filet Mignon but want a substitute, a Strip Steak (also known as a New York Strip or KC Strip) can save the day. While a Filet Mignon is known for its succulent taste, with a buttery texture, a Strip Steak is a tender alternative, perfect for grilling.
  • Don’t have a Ribeye? A Chuck Eye Steak or Strip Steak are two great substitutes! While Ribeye is the king of the grill, these other options won’t disappoint with a similar tender and savory eating experience. Bonus: The Chuck Eye Steak is a low- cost alternative.
  • T-Bone lovers have no fear, a Porterhouse Steak is an easy substitute. The Porterhouse Steak delivers big flavor and is large enough to feed two as it combines a Strip and Tenderloin Steak.
  • Another versatile favorite is the Top Sirloin Steak. If you can’t get your hands on one in time for dinner, you have plenty of options! Try a Flat Iron Steak, a Petite Sirloin Steak, or even the affordable Ranch Steak for maximum flavor on the grill.

Bring on the Flavor!! Marinades and rubs are a great way to take beef to the next level with minimal effort. To add extra flavor, tender cuts can be marinated for as little as 15 minutes or as long as two hours. For less tender cuts, marinating for at least six hours, but not more than 24 hours, will do the trick. With ground beef for burgers, season well with your favorite spices then shape into a patty, putting an indentation in the center so it cooks flat and prevents swelling in the middle.

When it comes to cooking beef, medium is the best heat to cook with. Cooking at a medium heat allows beef to achieve caramelization; pure tastiness while still developing rich flavors and preventing charring. I know, you’ve seen or heard to flip that steak every 3, 4, 5 minutes, but avoid the temptation to flip the beef too early – just flip it once. Make sure to use tongs to flip steaks. Avoid using a fork, which will pierce the beef and result in the loss of flavorful juices. Trust us, patience will pay off.

It’s important to cook beef to the correct internal temperature so you can have the best eating experience. The best way to get accurate results is to use a meat thermometer. For ground beef, make sure it’s cooked to a safe and savory internal temperature of 160° F. For steaks, medium rare internal temperature of 145°, for medium 160°. To determine doneness, insert an instant read thermometer horizontally from the side so that it penetrates the thickest part or the center of the steak, not touching bone or fat.

Once you’ve finished grilling that delicious beef meal, it’s time to sit back and enjoy! Be careful, the neighbors may come over and want to try some since they’ve been smelling the great beef you’ve been grilling.

Here’s some delicious recipes to kick off your summer grilling season!

grilled steak and watermelon saladGrilled Steak and Watermelon Salad

Grilling watermelon?! Yes, that’s right. This one’s tangy yet sweet. Perfect for a summer day of grilling.

beef up your grilling - cheeseburgerZesty Barbecue Cheeseburgers

Burgers are a great go-to for a quick meal that’s complete. What’s even better is that it’s simple to break apart the beef patty for any littles you may have.

beef up your grilling - beef kabobsClassic Beef Kabobs

To get the kids involved in cooking, have them assemble the kabobs and let them make it their own! Not only will they be learning cooking skills & save you time, but it’ll give them a sense of accomplishment. A win-win!

 

For more recipes and beef information, visit us on the web at www.mnbeef.org

 

  1. Source: IRI/Freshlook, Total US MULO ending 12/31/2019; Categoriz ed by VMeat Syst; 16 week summer period Memorial Day to Labor D ay

 

 

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