Grilled Meat

  •  Beef Choices are numerous:
  1. Top sirloin
  2. Filet Mignon
  3. New York
  4. T Bone
  5. Porterhouse

Some shopping secrets regarding beef: go to the meat counter and look for choice cut.  They are usually the most expensive.  However, if you find some that are close to out of date, they are not only severely price reduced, but save you the time to age the beef.  Aged cuts are often shunned by shoppers, which is a good thing for you as the meat is much better once aged.  If you want a great and tender steak, you should always age it to be almost “bad”.  The closer you get to that level, the better the beef will taste and the tenderer it will be.

Some shopping secrets regarding beef: go to the meat counter and look for choice cut.  They are usually the most expensive.  However, if you find some that are close to out of date, they are not only severely price reduced, but save you the time to age the beef.  Aged cuts are often shunned by shoppers, which is a good thing for you as the meat is much better once aged.  If you want a great and tender steak, you should always age it to be almost “bad”.  The closer you get to that level, the better the beef will taste and the tenderer it will be.

Of course, bad is bad, and there usually isn’t any question.  If it is close though, you can take the meat and rinse it of the slippery feeling under cold tap water with your hand.  I only would do this with beef, never with any of the other meats on this list.

  • Pork steak.  Depends on the store you go how these will look and be labelled.
  • Lamb – difficult to find but fun for a change.
  • Chicken – It is much easier to cook it almost 90% done in your oven, then bring it to the grill to add the smoke grill flavor.
  • Fish – again there are a myriad of choices.  Be sure that it is not a soft fish.  I never mess with bones.  Filet only for me.  And if you are serving your lady, for the most part, they for some reason don’t like to see the  head.  Examples of firm filet fish would be salmon and cod.  Soft fish would be orange roughy.

The grill should be hot before you put your meat on.  Typically, a gas fired lava stone grill is easiest to use and allows you to still take plenty of time to be sociable whether or not you are accompanied to the cook site.  Assuming you are also preparing the side dishes, this could be a very big item.  I also like to have the serving area ready with candles lit, wine poured and table set before I take the meat to be cooked.

The other killer item for cooking on the grill, one which I hate to do without, is a skillet plate.  Often, they are individual cast iron skillets that will set on a wooden tray for serving.  There are three big secrets to the skillet plate:

    • get the skillet plate very hot on the barbecue while preparing the meat.
    • don’t burn yourself
    • take plenty of time and tell your guest to be careful.  It is so easy to forget that this is hot and the person adjusts the plate with a bare hand.  I use skillet mittens for the handle, which will help prevent accidents.  If they touch the skillet, your well planned evening is shot.

The skillet plate has several advantages though.  One, they keep your meat hot.  You need to remember this as the meat will continue to cook as it sizzles.  And the other huge advantage is the sizzle.  In sales, you always sell the sizzle, not the steak.  This is the expression’s origin.  A sizzling piece of meat is your piece de resistance.  Nothing compares and nothing sets you apart as the ultimate fighter pilot in the kitchen!

Cooking the meat above (except chicken) should be done on a very hot grill.  I totally avoid any kind of sauce on my meat.  However, I will put butter, salt and pepper.  The best cooked meat comes with your practice.  You would want to attempt to only turn your meat once.  It gives nicer grill marks and is more tender if you can avoid turning it multiple times.

The amount of cooking depends entirely upon personal preference.  You can poke the meat with your finger to determine its doneness.  If it feels still raw, it probably is.  Same for medium and well.

When the meat is done, put it on the hot buttered skillet.  It should sizzle and roar. Carefully lift the skillet off the fire and onto the wooden platters and make your grand entrance to the dining area.  It will, guaranteed, bring ah’s and ooh’s.  I like to serve the other hot foods on the platter.  Of course, any cold side dishes will need a separate serving dish or bowl.

I thought I could take a short cut once and cook the meat in the kitchen on the skillet.  This will work on a gas fired stove, but it will smoke up your kitchen and house.  So, I advise against this.  If it is a nice warm evening, it is wonderful to enjoy this meal out doors.

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