June is Steak Month and grilling season is upon us. In honor of steak month, the Iowa Beef Industry Council is sharing tips on how to enjoy safe, nutritious and delicious beef meals on the grill all summer long. Grilling is a fantastic natural method of dry heat cooking, but there are some precautions to take before firing up the grill. Fear not, by monitoring things like heat levels and doneness, you can feel good about serving up a tasty grilled beef dish for family and guests to enjoy.
First, select your cut. The top six cuts to enjoy on the grill this summer include: Rib Eye, Strip Steak, Top Sirloin, Flat Iron, Skirt and Flank.
“Ribeye steak is rich, juicy and full-flavored with generous marbling throughout,” comments Brooke German, Director of Marketing for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “Strip steak and flat iron are tender cuts great for grilling. Top sirloin is a cut that’s versatile and juicy, and the skirt steak has a robust flavor profile.”
Always start with a clean grill. Allow the fire to heat the grates to make cleaning easier. Use a grill brush, ball of tightly wrapped foil and/or half an onion to remove any remaining bits from the grates.
The single-layered grid pattern prevents hot and cold spots on the grill and ensures even cooking. Heat the grill to medium heat (350°F). If steak is grilled over too high of heat, the exterior can become overcooked or charred before the interior reaches the desired doneness. For charcoal grilling, when coals are medium, ash-covered (approximately 30 minutes), spread charcoal out in single layer and check cooking temperature. To check temperature, cautiously hold the palm of your hand above the coals at cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away; approximately 4 seconds for medium heat. For gas grilling, gas grill brands vary greatly and grilling times may need to be adjusted.
Place steak on the grill and cook. Flip steak with tongs instead of a fork when the juices begin pooling on the top and it’s easily removed from the grill.
Test for doneness. Insert an instant read thermometer through the side of the thickest part of the steak to get an accurate temperature. Remove beef from the grill 5-10 degrees before it reaches desired doneness. Beef will continue cooking after it’s removed from the heat. Internal temperatures for ideal doneness are: Medium Rare: 145°F; Medium: 160°F; Well Done: 170°F.
Allow steak to rest for three minutes before slicing. This will allow the juices to redistribute and the internal temperature to rise to desired doneness without overcooking.
“One serving of beef offers 10 essential nutrients including zinc, iron and almost half of your daily protein,” comments Rochelle Gilman, RD, LD, Director of Health and Nutrition at the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “Beef provides taste and the nutrients important for a strong body throughout all stages of life.”
For grilling recipes, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.