Don’t be a slave to the kitchen. Head outdoors and enjoy some fresh air while you grill a steak dinner for your family. On any night, steak is a treat, but when you fire up the grill, it becomes something special, making kids and significant others excited about the dinner possibilities. Remember that safety and preparation are keys to quickly creating a winning dinner.
Many families consider steak a treat because it can be an expensive purchase. You don’t have to save your pennies for a big porterhouse or your favorite T-bone, though; certain cuts of steak, such as flank, eye round and top round are less expensive, and most grocery stores run specials on at least one cut of steak each week. While these cuts are less expensive, they’re also typically less tender, so marinate them for several hours with an acidic-based marinade to tenderize the meat. It’s a good idea to operate under the rule of “cook once, eat twice,” and incorporate leftover steak into fajitas, beef stew, salad or pot pie.
Rubs or Marinades
A steak cooked without additional ingredients is perfectly delicious; however, if you like to give your steak a little kick, mix together a rub or a marinade. The rub is a concoction of dry spices that are patted into the steak before grilling. Try a packaged seasoning mix from the supermarket, or add your personal touch by duplicating your favorite rub from spices in your pantry. Steaks immersed in a marinade rest in a refrigerator for several hours, allowing the marinade to infuse the meat with spices and flavor. A spicy salad dressing or red wine mixed with your favorite herbs and lime juice create a delicious medium for enhancing flavors.
Grill or Hibachi
The key to perfectly grilled steak is heat. Your coals must turn to a glowing ash heap before the grill is ready. Once the grill is hot enough, make sure you brush olive oil or spray canola oil on the grate so the steak doesn’t stick. If space is at a premium, a small hibachi works beautifully for smaller cuts or for one large steak. As with any cooking appliance, take extra care to keep children away from hot grills and fire. Children can burn their hands by simply touching the outside of grills, and if they are left unattended, kids can turn over a contained fire onto themselves. Once your steak is done, allow it to rest for five minutes before eating to allow the juices to move back toward the center.
Even if it’s a weekend, chances are you don’t want to spend all evening cleaning up myriad pots and pans after a delicious dinner. Use your grill as the cooking apparatus for your entire meal. Sliced zucchini, onions and yellow squash rubbed with olive oil are delicious on the grill. Whole potatoes and shucked ears of corn take on a special flavor when grilled alongside your steak. And as odd as it sounds, sliced peaches, bananas, pineapple and even plums are delicious when dipped in a sugar-water bath and grilled for dessert.
- Kansas State University: Beef: Choices, Preparation and Flavor
- Beef: It's What's for Dinner: Summer Grilling
- “Weber’s Art of the Grill”; Jamie Purviance, Tim Turner; 1999
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