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Tuesday, September 27th
There are few pleasures better in life than eating a quality cut of steak that has been cooked to perfection. Of course, there are multiple different types of steak to choose from, so it's important to understand what you're getting before making a purchase or selection at a restaurant. Let's take a look at the most popular cuts of steak, how they should be cooked and how you can tell that you are consuming a quality product.
The ribeye tends to be the most popular type of steak for those who eat it on a regular basis. This is because it is taken from the back of the cow, which means that it is naturally tender. Furthermore, a typical ribeye cut has consistent marbling throughout, which tends to enhance its flavor.
A strip steak is often referred to as a New York strip, but it can be produced, sold and purchased throughout the United States. Although it is not as flavorful as a ribeye, it still has a distinct taste that you can enjoy without using a lot of sauce or seasonings. The strip steak is distinguishable from other cuts by its rectangular shape and impressive marbling.
As the name suggests, this type of cut is known for its tenderness, which means that it is fairly easy to cut and chew. However, it doesn't have any marbling, which means that it has a distinctly dry taste to it. In many cases, tenderloin is served with a sauce or covered in seasonings to make it more palatable. Although the choice to do so is seen as controversial, it's also not uncommon to see people put ketchup on their steak to make it taste better.
The T-bone steak is ideal if you are going to be serving steak at a dinner party. This is partially because it tends to be one of the largest cuts that you can buy. It is also because the T-bone has the characteristics of a strip and a tenderloin cut, which means that it will be a favorite among even the pickiest eaters in your social circle. It's worth noting that the T-bone may also be referred to as a sirloin as it is cut from the same area of the cow.
A brisket is a cut of meat taken from the lower chest of a cow. Due to its location within the animal, it is often one of the toughest types of meat to digest unless it has been properly tenderized prior to cooking. This process may take several hours or days depending on the quality of the cut, the exact method used to tenderize the meat and how tender you want the meat to be.
The Difference Between Marbling and Excess Fat
Marbling is the white fatty substance that you see on a juicy ribeye or strip steak. This is what helps to give these cuts its flavor and why people tend to consume them more than others that might be available. Therefore, this should be seen as a welcome addition to your meal.
The chunky yellow or white fat that you see around the edges of a given cut can take away from the overall taste and texture of a steak. Although it may taste good to some people, it's important to note that it can add a significant number of calories to your meal. Furthermore, eating too much fat can result in heart and other health issues even if your caloric intake is generally reasonable for someone of your gender, height, and weight.
What Else Should You Consider When Buying Steak?
As with anything that you buy, you'll likely want to ensure that you are getting maximum value for your money when purchasing a steak. Generally speaking, cuts of tenderloin are the most expensive because they come from the smallest part of the cow.
This means that there is less of the meat to sell, and since it is in relatively high demand, it will cost more per ounce. Ribeye and strip cuts can also be expensive because of the high demands for these products.
One of the easiest ways to save money on this type of food is to let your grill do the work for you. When done properly, you can use the smoke and char that it produces to add some flavor and texture to the meat that you're cooking. This may allow you to get away with buying and serving sirloin as opposed to a classier tenderloin.
Finally, you'll want to take a good look at the quality of the cut and texture of your meat before buying it. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has three different grades that it uses to determine the quality of a given cut of meat. Prime beef is generally considered to be the highest quality that you can buy because it comes from young cows without any defects.
Choice beef may have a few defects when it comes to marbling or texture, but it generally retains a nice flavor that makes it worthy of consuming or serving to friends or loved ones. Select beef typically comes from animals that are older, which means that they produce a lower quality product. There may also be issues as to how the meat was cut or stored, and those issues may result in a product that is harder to cut or is less flavorful than it should be.
If you are ordering at a restaurant, it may be a good idea to ask for pictures of how your steak will look after it is cooked. This may be especially helpful if you are at an especially expensive restaurant or if you are particular about how your steak is cooked.
How Do You Properly Cook a Steak?
Meat experts generally agree that medium is the proper way to cook a steak. Doing so tends to do the best job of drawing the flavor and juices out of the meat without making it too dry or tough. However, there is also nothing wrong with opting for rare, medium-rare or well-done if that is how you prefer to eat your steak.
It is generally a good idea to season a steak about an hour before you want to put it on the grill. It's recommended that you put salt on the meat regardless of how much marbling it has. If you are cooking a tenderloin, it may be a good idea to cover it with pepper or something else that has some kick to it.
To prevent a steak from drying out, try to keep it on the grill for as little time as possible. It may be easier to get a proper balance of char and flavor by grilling thicker cuts of meat. Therefore, it may be best to cook a ribeye or a strip as they typically have more bulk to them. This is generally a good idea even if you're cooking steak on a stove or in an oven.
Whether you are grilling for your family or taking a colleague out to dinner, there is never a bad time to eat a steak. Of course, to ensure that you get the most for your time and money, it's important to understand the various types of steak available. It's also in your best interest to learn how to differentiate between a quality cut of steak and one that you might want to pass on. This can be especially worthwhile if you are ordering from an online retailer and have to rely on the information contained in an advertisement or on that retailer's website.
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