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The perfect steak, grilled to perfection


by Sally Uhrich

With the summer season in full swing, who can resist the tantalizing flavor of a sizzling steak right off the grill? While there are many tricks to create a great tasting steak, these five tips featured in the August 2006 issue of Cooking Light Magazine will make a great steak even more delectable.

Choose the right cut of meat

Ribeye steaks are a tender, flavorful cut of meat that need little enhancement. Tenderloin steaks benefit from added flavorings such as a Teriyaki glaze, due to their small fat content. Flank steak is the best choice for salads, when sliced very thin.

Salt the meat

Salt meat when you start to bring it to room temperature. Pat dry with a paper towel just before you begin to grill. This will eliminate salt seeping into the steak and drawing out water.

Fire up the grill

Charcoal and gas grills each have their advantages for grilling but are on the same level, in terms of flavor. The distance between the coals and the steak depends on the thickness of the meat-three inches or less for a steak thinner than an inch and three to six inches for thicker steaks. Allowing the steak to come to room temperature before grilling helps ensure the meat will cook evenly.

Don’t overcook

The best way to determine doneness is with a meat thermometer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the following guidelines: The USDA does not recommend serving rare steak.

Rare (130 degrees)

Medium Rare (145 degrees)

Medium (160 degrees)

Medium Well (165 degrees)

Well Done (170 degrees)

Let the meat rest

Transfer steak from the grill to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Let the steak rest for five minutes per inch of thickness. Residual heat will cook steaks five to 10 degrees more during resting. The resting process allows the meat to reabsorb its flavorful juices.

The great advantage with grilling steaks is the ease of preparation, as is demonstrated in this featured recipe, included in the article:

Basic Grilled Steak

4 (8-oz.) ribeye steaks, trimmed about 3/4 inch thick

1 tsp. Salt

3/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

Cooking spray

Sprinkle both sides of steaks with salt and pepper. Let steaks stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Prepare grill.

Pat steaks dry with paper towel. Place on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Remove from grill.

Cover steaks loosely with foil; let stand 5 minutes.

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