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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
It’s the one time of year when we take time to share how much we appreciate all the
things dad has done for us, and the time he has given us. So why not take time to
grill his favorite steak with all the trimmings.
Imagine his pleasure when he sits down to a juicy grilled steak with all the fixings,
and he wasn’t “king of the grill” for the meal. But what if you have no clue where
to even begin? Relax, help is here!
Here are some tips for giving dad a steak dinner he will love.
Remember, safety first with the grill and food. Make sure the grill rests securely
on the ground, deck, patio, or other surface. Never leave the grill unattended and
never use indoors or in a garage where the fumes cannot be vented. Always keep children
and pets at safe distances.
When it comes to food safety, be sure to always pre-heat the grill to kill microorganisms
before placing the steak on it. Always use separate clean tongs and plate when removing
the steak from the grill. This will help to avoid cross contamination of bacteria
with uncooked meat.
As with any cooking project, the right ingredients are essential. Depending upon
budget, decide which type of steak to purchase. Your more tender cuts of steak include
rib eye, T-bone or porterhouse, sirloin or top loin strip. Because they are the tenderest,
they will also be more expensive. Your less tender cuts, such as flank and top round
will be easier on the budget. Give dad the best your budget can afford.
Although grilling will give you a juicy, smoky steak, sometimes you want to add a
little flavor to the mix. Do so with rubs and marinades, both of which add flavor
and tenderness to anything you put them on.
Rubs are dry spice blends which usually include salt and sugar. The advantage of a
rub is that you can rub them on immediately before cooking, adding mild flavor; or
do it a day or two in advance, bringing the spice flavor deeper inside the meat.
Marinades are liquid and usually contain something acidic such as lemon juice, vinegar,
or yogurt or tropical fruit like papayas, pineapples or kiwi. Both acids and enzymes
found in tropical fruit react with meat proteins to tenderize. To keep food from becoming
over-tenderized, it's important not to marinate too long. The general rule of thumb
is 15 minutes for seafood, four to six hours for thin cuts of meat, and up to 12 for
A quick tip for marinades is to use a resealable plastic bag--put everything in, seal
it and give a shake. Never reuse marinades. If you want to make a sauce out of the
leftovers, either boil them for at least two minutes, or make a separate batch for
If you choose to marinate, thaw meat and marinate in the refrigerator, on a low shelf,
on a plate to catch drips.
Understanding the difference between indirect and direct grilling and when to use
each provides different results. Direct grilling means just that, you are placing
the food directly over the flame; indirect means that the food is placed away from
the heat source.
Once the fire in your grill is lit, check the temperature. To do this, cautiously
hold the palm of your hand about 6 inches above the coals or heat source where the
steak will be cooking, and count the number of seconds you can hold your hand there.
Count slowly such as one-barbeque, two barbeque, etc.
Your fire is considered to be at high heat at 3 seconds or 500 F; medium high heat at
5 seconds or 400 F; medium heat at 7 seconds or 350 F; medium low heat at 10 seconds
or 325 F; and low heat at 12 seconds or 300 F.
If the grill is too hot, the outside of the steak can overcook before the inside is
ready. If the grill is too cold, you won’t get the right searing, or sealing of juices.
An instant read thermometer gives you the internal temperature instantly. If dad
prefers his steak medium rare, the internal temperature would be 145 degrees F; medium
160 degrees F; and well done is 170 degrees F once cooked.
Pay special attention to how you turn Dad’s steak. Tongs are one of the most important
tools. These enable you to turn the steak without stabbing it. When you use a fork,
or something to stab the steak and turn it, you are allowing the juices, which keep
the steak moist, to be lost.
To assure that juices in the steak have had time to redistribute themselves, let the
steak rest before cutting. This doesn’t have to be a long time; just a few minutes
are adequate. Many times individuals will add a pat of butter to the steak as it
rests on the grill to give it a wonderful flavor.
If you follow these guidelines, dad is sure to be impressed. Who knows, you may become
the steak chef at your house.
If you would like more information on Grilling Safely, contact me at the University
of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Miller County at 400 Laurel * Suite 215,
Texarkana, call 870-779-3609, or e-mail me at Chadley@uada.edu You may also visit us on the web at www.uaex.uada.edu/millerBefore placing dad’s steak on the grill, you may want to use a marinade or rub to
season the steak. This spicy rub will add delightful, flavor to your steak.
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, crushed
1-teaspoon garlic powder
1-teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
Combine seasoning ingredients, mixing well and rub evenly onto steaks. Return to
refrigerator until ready to grill.
By Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.