Grilling 101



Life is better by the grill. Between the upcoming holidays and a highly anticipated tailgating season, it's time to turn up the heat! Whether you're a natural born griller or a new to the flames, we've got some tips to help you become the grill master you've always dreamed of.

Tip #1: Preparation

Fresh meat is always better but if the meat is frozen, try to leave the meat out to defrost rather than defrosting in the microwave. This ensures that the defrosting is even and helps to ensure the meat is at just the right temperature prior to grilling. Depending on the size of the meat, defrosting will generally take around 2-3 hours. Just above or at room temperature is the optimal temperature for the meat to be prior to grilling. When you remove the meat from the packaging, no rinsing is necessary and it is best to pat the meat dry with paper towels.  

Tip #2: Cuts of Meat

Knowing the different cuts of meat and how they are best cooked will help greatly enhance the optimal flavor and texture. There are 8 major cuts of beef which are listed below along with the names of the portion cuts available from most markets:

  • CHUCK - ground chuck (hamburgers), chuck short ribs, shoulder tender medallions, chuck pot roast, shoulder steak, flat-iron steak and stew meat;
  • RIB - short ribs, ribeye steak, cowboy steak, ribeye roast, ribeye filet and back ribs;
  • LOIN - NY strip, T-Bone, porterhouse, tenderloin filet, filet mignon and strip loin, sirloin steak, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, tri-tip roast and tri-tip steak;
  • ROUND - round steak, eye of round, tip roast, tip steak, top round and bottom round roasts;
  • FLANK – flank steak, skirt steak;
  • SHORT PLATE - hanger steak, beef bacon, pastrami, short ribs, ground beef;
  • BRISKET
  • SHANK

The loin region is where you find the most expensive and tender cuts of meat. This makes these cuts most suitable for grilling as slow cooking is not required to tenderize the meat. Flank cuts are less tender than loin cuts but the fat to meat ratio and lack of tough tendons makes these cuts also great for grilling.

Tip #3: Seasoning Meats  

While a great quality piece of meat can be amazing simply with some grilling salt, dry rubs and marinades can also add some serious flavor to your meats. As the name implies, a dry rub has no liquid component and consists of spices while marinades include a mixture of spices, oil, plus an acidic like vinegar, citrus, or wine. In general, use of rubs and marinades is a matter of preference; however certain cuts are better suited to dry rubs vs. marinades and vice versa. The acidity of marinades helps tenderize tougher cuts of meat while enhancing the flavor. As such, flank are better suited to marinades, rib cuts can use both types of seasoning, and loin cuts are best with dry rubs. Regardless of the use of seasoning, any salt used for seasoning should only be applied right before grilling. This helps prevent drawing out too much moisture and dehydrating the meat.

Try the Japanese Chimichurri Recipe by our very own Chef Rafael Barrera!

Tip #4: Grilling Temperatures & Times

Grilling temperatures fall into the ranges below:

  • Low: 285°F - 350°F
  • Medium: 350°F - 450°F
  • High: 450°F+

Oil your grill with a high heat cooking oil such as Canola or Peanut Oil. Oiling is important to prevent the meat from sticking to the grill and for good grill maintenance.

When it comes to grilling temperature and time, tender cuts like loin and even flank are best done hot and fast to get a tender and juicy result. Flank cuts tend to be cut thin so it does not require long cook times. We suggest 4 minutes per side to get a medium rare result. Loin cuts come in a variety of thickness so a good rule of thumb for cooking time is to grill on one side for 5 minutes before turning. Then leave the meat on the grill until the desired level of doneness.

Most rib cuts are thicker and also have more bones and tendons than the leaner cuts. The best way to grill these cuts are to sear on both sides for 5 minutes each and then leave the meat on the side of the grill (i.e., away from direct flame) to cook until the desired level of doneness.

It is important after grilling to let the meat rest for approximately 10 minutes before cutting to let the meat stabilize and maintain the juices in the meat.

Check out our amazing selection of top quality meats from Meat N' Bone here.