With the summer grilling season soon upon us, your local butcher shop knows that steak is a primary staple for backyard cookouts and entertaining. But, with so many choices of steak to choose from, how to know which one will be right for you and your guests?
- When it comes to cooking the right steak, it depends on what you are looking for and where it comes from. You, basically, are on the lookout for marbling and tenderness. This is where your butcher can be of great help. Beef steak is going to come from one of several areas of the cow; the rib, tenderloin, or the short loin.
- An example of the short loin would be a strip steak. These are better known as New York or Kansas City strip steaks. Tender and well marbled, these can come with the bone in or out. An experienced cut here and there by your butcher can produce a porterhouse or t-bone from the same general strip area.
- The tenderloin can produce both the porterhouse and the t-bone but, mostly, that is where your filet mignon is. Many cooks will wrap the filet mignon in bacon to produce a more flavorful presentation. These sections is where you will find your best cuts because the section is all unexercised muscle and thus stays much more tender than other sections of the cow.
- A basic rule of thumb is to know which steaks will work best with what you are trying to do with it. Your local butcher shop is, of course, the best place to start as you will get the expertise you need to get that perfect cut. Often, especially if you are shopping somewhere other than a butcher shop “steak” on the packaging can become a little misleading. If you stick with a steak that has the words strip, rib or loin in it you will, quite likely, hit the jackpot for that outdoor grilling experience.