(Tri) Tips to Better Beef
There really are tips to better beef below! But first, a quick tip on a lesser known beef cut. Tri Tip is a triangular cut found at the bottom of the sirloin. Originally marketed and made popular in Santa Maria, California in the 1950s, this affordable cut is most commonly seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic and cooked to a medium rare.
- One of the top questions, I am constantly asked – what is the best cut of beef? Stop looking for greener grass. <Haha, get it? Beef eat grass?> Best is very specific to you. I think the best cut of beef is first, economic for your household and then, a balancing act between flavor vs. tenderness. Beef tenderloin is one of the most tender cuts, lower on flavor but hard on the pocketbook. Can you take a more economic cut like flank steak and make it amazing? Of course you can!
- Use an instant read thermometer to cook to perfect doneness. How do you know when to stop cooking steaks on the grill? The finger or palm test to check steak doneness is famously unreliable. Today’s technology offers quick temperatures, my recommended thermometer is the Thermoworks Thermopop.
- Cut across the grain. If you slice beef across the muscle grains, you will find it is no longer chewy in texture as if you slice with the grain.
- Learn your cuts of meat and what works best. Some cuts are better cooked low, slow with moisture and some cuts are better hot, dry and fast. Canadabeef.ca has a great chart to help demystify the different cuts and recommended cooking options.
- Increase beef tenderness by:
– Using a mallet or jaccard to loosen the connective tissue
– Cook beef to lower temperature or lesser doneness than you usually eat (this will result in better beef tenderness and higher moisture)
- Season your beef – seems obvious, but salt and pepper will enhance the flavors of your beef dish. Then, add spices and herbs to pair and accentuate.
- Dry your beef before cooking to maximize caramelization on the surface. Caramelization exhibits meaty flavor, so showcase as much as you can. To “dry” beef, place raw beef on rack over a pan in the fridge for several hours to overnight. If you are in a rush, blotting surface moisture with a clean paper towel will work as well.
- Grill it, BBQ it, Smoke it! Cooking outdoors and adding some smoke allows our inner primal instinct to take pride in what we just cooked. Contemplate reverse searing your steaks for a foolproof method of cooking! Wondering how to reverse sear? Click here!