One of the things you might be planning for dear old Dad today is grilling up some fine hunks of meat.
In the thousands of years since fire was created, though, certain myths have grown up with the grill about the proper way to cook a steak that need to be put to rest, in the opinion of Lifehacker’s Whitson Gordon.
Don’t bother upsetting Dad with this new-fangled way of cooking a classic on Father’s Day, though; save that battle for the 4th of July.
Myth #1: “You should let a thick steak rest at room temperature before you cook it.”
The Theory: You want your meat to cook evenly from edge to center. Therefore, the closer it is to its final eating temperature, the more evenly it will cook. Letting it sit on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes will bring the steak up to room temperature—a good 20 to 25°F closer to your final serving temperature. In addition, the warmer meat will brown better because you don’t need to waste energy from the pan to take the chill off of its surface…
The Takeaway: Don’t bother letting your steaks rest at room temperature. Rather, dry them very thoroughly on paper towels before searing. Or better yet, salt them and let them rest uncovered on a rack in the fridge for a night or two, so that their surface moisture can evaporate. You’ll get much more efficient browning that way.
Myth #2: “Sear your meat over high heat to lock in juices.”
The Theory: Searing the surface of a cut piece of meat will precipitate the formation of an impenetrable barrier, allowing your meat to retain more juices as it cooks…
The Takeaway: When cooking thick steaks, start them on the cooler side of the grill and cook with the lid on until they reach about ten degrees below final serving temperature. Finish them off on the hot side of the grill for a great crust. For thinner steaks (about an inch or less), just cook them over the hot side the entire time—they’ll be cooked to medium rare by the time a good crust has developed.
Recipe for a great grilling experience.
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