For those of you who grew up in the US, you know what the first days of the summer season signal – time to get outside and cook on the grill! For the majority of the US, the long winter days really make us yearn for the warm sunny days of summer – and the sounds and smells that juicy burger or sizzling steak cooking on the grill creates.
Here at Shula’s Steak House Naples we know steak, so we decided to poll our corporate Chef Peter Farrand, for his tips on buying and grilling the perfect steak on your own home grill.
Chef Farrand says to look for a cut of meat with the most amount of “marbling”, the small white flecks of fat dispersed throughout the lean red muscle of the meat. By choosing a piece like this, the flavor of the meat and tenderness are enhanced. It also adds to the chew-ability of the steak.
How to prepare your steak offers a wide variety of options. Some stay with the traditional grilling with charcoal or gas, while others like the flavor that wood chips provide. Using a strong pair of 12” tongs, a flexible spatula, and a high-quality grill brush, round out a good group of tools for the at-home-griller.
Keeping the lid on the grill is what Chef Farrand recommends. Starting with a good hot grill and keeping the lid on while cooking will keep the heat inside and provide the best grilling results. To keep food from sticking to your grill, Chef suggests cleaning and scraping the grill regularly with a good brush. Use of an oiled paper towel or cloth after cleaning will assist with keeping food from sticking as well as ensuring you pre-heat the grill prior to use.
A tougher question was posted to Farrand that asked how to know when the food is done. This is a tough one for the average backyard griller, so he suggests using a meat thermometer inserted horizontally rather than vertically. This way you will avoid a false temp reading. Another option to test is how the item feels. With a few exceptions, the softer the item or the easier the “yield” the less cooked it is. A firm item with a good “bounce” back is more cooked. Good rule of thumb to most cooking is that you can always put food back on the grill to cook a little longer, but you can’t take it away once it has been overcooked.
No matter which way you cook it; the tools you use and the procedures you follow can make a difference.
Have a happy and safe summer grilling season from your friends at Shula’s Naples!