The Best Cut for the Ultimate Steak Dinner

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Credit: Tavallai

There is a world of difference between one steak cut and another, and people who really enjoy steak will want to know which cut will best suit their taste. In Serious Eats’ The Four High End Steaks You Should Know, its managing food director J. Kenji Lopez-Alt says steaks are meat cuts that are “low enough in connective tissue that they don’t require the long cooking times that ‘slow-cooking’ cuts require.”  Beyond that, however, there is a treasure trove of juicy details.

The Ribeye Steak

  1. Kenji Lopez-Alt describes this popular steak cut clearly:”Highly marbled with a large swath of fat separating the Longissiumus from the Spinalis. Fat is where a lot of the distinctive flavor of beef comes from, making ribeye one of the richest, beefiest cut available. The central eye of meat tends to be smooth textured with a finer grain than a strip steak, while the Spinalis section will have a looser grain and more fat. Many people (myself included) consider the Spinalis to be the absolute tastiest quick-cooking cut on the cow.

“The Best Way to Cook It: Pan-frying, grilling, broiling. Because its copious fat is prone to causing flare-ups, grilling can be a bit tricky. Have a lid ready, and stand by with the tongs in case you need to rapidly spring into action and retrieve them from the depths of a fireball. This is my favorite cut for pan-searing…”

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Beefing Up on Steak

steakExcept for the vegans and vegetarians, who doesn’t love a tender, great-tasting steak?  With so many options, picking from a long array of steaks on a menu or on a meat shop can be a daunting affair. What are the basic things that you must know to pick the right cut, grade or kind of beef to better enjoy your steak?  If you’re a carnivore, it is time to beef up your basic knowledge of steaks.

Remember that a mouthwatering steak begins with a decent raw steak. Thus, the basic skill or knowledge about the grade of the meat and cut can help tell you a great steak from a regular one.

The Grades of the Steak Meat

The grade refers to the quality of the meat, which in turn is based on the age and marbling of the meat. Marbling can let you visually determine the texture and the delicious flavor of the meat. Lean meats have less of it and less flavor. Those with small streaks of fat through the meat, the “marbling effect,” makes the meat less tender but more flavorful. Fat streaks need to be fine; if these are thick, it has more connective tissues that make the meat tough. In addition, pick meat that is bright red in hue with creamy white fat streak uniformly scattered all over the meat. [Read more…]

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