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Topic: Basic steak  (Read 733 times)
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txweekendchef
« on: March 26, 2013 10:01:23 AM »

Did a post on my blog going over the basics of steaks. A friend of mine had a bad steak experience recently which inspired the post.
To make things even better, my local Albertson's had choice rib eye steaks on sale for $5 a pound last week. I don't know how it is around the rest of the country, but around here in Cowtown, steaks are on sale all the time.

So here is what I look for when picking out a steak

Grade
The USDA grades beef for quality, not with an A, B, C, like in school, but with Prime, Choice and Select. Actually there are eight grades, going all the way down to canner, but in grocery stores you are going to find Prime, Choice and Select.

Prime is the best grade of beef, less than 3% of all beef is graded prime, so it is hard to find and expensive. Prime steaks are normally sold to high-end steakhouses, so if you ever wondered why you cant seem to cook a steak at home as good as that high-end steakhouse, it might just be the steak and not you.

In grocery stores you normally find Choice and Select, with Choice being the better grade than Select. If you want to give Prime steaks a try, both Costco and Central Market have them. I normally try to stick to Choice steaks, and every once in awhile I will splurge and pick up some Prime steaks at Costco.

Cuts
So what is the best cut of steak? Rib-eye. Sure, the tenderloin (filet) is more tender, and T-bone steaks are king here in Texas, but for flavor the rib-eye is hands-down the best. That is not to say that I will not pick up a nice looking T-bone if I see one. In order of preference I like rib-eyes, strip, T-bone and bacon wrapped filets.

Thickness
For me, a steak needs to be at least an inch thick (preferably 2 inches). Steaks thinner than an inch are way to easy to overcook. So when buying steaks, it is much better to buy one thick steak to share, than buying two thin steaks. Also, do not trim fat off from around the steak before cooking. That fat will add flavor and protect the steak from overcooking. You can always trim the fat after cooking.

Marbling
Marbling is the white flecks/streaks of fat within the meat that resembles a marble pattern. Marbling adds flavor and is one of the main criteria used in grading meat. The rule of thumb is the more marbling, the better the steak. So when picking out a steak, try to find one with lots of marbling.

And here are some pics of my $5 a pound rib eye that I picked out using these tips.











And here is a link to my blog post that also has some grilling tips from local Chef Tim Love.
http://www.dfw.com/2013/03/24/772606/weekend-chef-basic-steak-101.html
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Steve from Cowtown (Fort Worth)
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013 10:19:17 AM »

Thanks for the info. Your finished steak looks delish!
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013 08:53:14 AM »

Oh! Thanks for the info! I love a good steak.
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