| FamilyTable Feature |

Eight Steaks You Should Know How To Grill

Sponsored by Gourmet Glatt

I have a confession to make. I am not one of those people who can be found bundled up in a coat and boots, grilling a steak in the dead of winter. “Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night” is the postman’s motto, not mine. (Well, it doesn’t seem to be his in this post-Covid era either, but that’s a story for another day. Call me when you get your act together, @USPS.)

Anyway, to use one more clichéd phrase, I’m fine with my grill being a fair-weather friend. There’s nothing like that feeling of rolling off the grill cover after six months of hibernation and feeling inspired to cook in a way you haven’t in a while.

Our friends at Gourmet Glatt feel similarly excited, which is why when we called them to say we wanted to do an article about grilling, they jumped in. Reb Yehoshua Feldman, Gourmet Glatt Cedarhurst’s meat and poultry manager, gave us the rundown on his favorite cuts, and, to be quite honest, a lot of good food ensued.

Here’s what you need to get started: a grill with a hot zone and a cool zone (aka one side cranked up high and one side turned to low), tongs, oil and a silicone brush, a meat thermometer, and meat.

For simplicity’s sake, let’s put this on a scale of “You Knew This Already” to “You Should Really Start Grilling This.”

You Knew This Already

Nobody needs a guide to grill oyster steak or skirt steak. We know it’s good, you know it’s good, we all know it’s good. Even if you have little to no skill on the grill, you’re not going to ruin these cuts. Which brings us to our first must-grill cut: rib steak.

Yes, when you think of summer in your head, it’s a montage of dads throwing rib steaks on a blazing grill in slow motion. However, this no-brainer cut gets butchered (pun intended, and I will not apologize) by a few avoidable factors.

First and foremost, preheat your grill to the highest it will go. For me that’s about 650 degrees Fahrenheit, but anywhere in the 500-degree range or higher will do it. Use the thickest cut of steak you can find (individual steaks are nice, but properly cooked steaks are nicer). Season heavily with your favorite grill seasoning, or at minimum salt and pepper, at least an hour before you want to grill, and let it rest with the seasoning on it at room temperature.

When you’re ready to grill, brush your grill grates with oil, then lay the steak on the hot grill for two to three minutes per side, covering the grill in between flips. For a medium-rare steak, grill until internal temperature hits 128–130 degrees, then allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Rib steak, even prime cuts, but especially as quality goes down, have pockets of fat that result in an overall indulgent bite. Acidic chimichurris or gremolatas work well as an accompaniment and a way to balance that fatty mouthfeel, but rib steak shines all on its own.

You Likely Knew This

Flat London broil is a leaner cut that benefits from the added flavor and texture a hard sear can give it, and its convenient size — one and a half pounds or so — makes it an excellent addition to your group chill. There’s a reason London broil is the only cut of meat your average newlywed attempts for the first 2.7 years of marriage (according to our extremely accurate database of newlywed cooking habits). Not to mention that the price per pound is considerably more affordable than other barbecue meats.

Reb Yehoshua told me that oyster steak is actually cut off the side of a flat London broil, so you’ll get a similar texture. He recommends cutting the meat on the bias to get thicker and meatier cuts. Because it has the tendency to go mushy, do not marinate it as long as other London broil cuts like chuck or shoulder — Reb Yehoshua actually skips the marinade altogether and just goes with a nice rub.

Brush your grill grates with oil, and grill over high heat (500 degrees plus) for two to three minutes per side, until internal temperature is 128–130 degrees for medium rare.

You Probably Knew This

If you’ve been a fan of Family Table for a while, you know that we as a company maintain that the split/deveined minute roast was a cut that was invented by Chanie Nayman’s father, Mr. Barry Gross, in the late 90s. It’s in our officially company policy and handbook. It is one of the most flavorful and tender cuts of meat that works amazingly well as a grilled steak. Because it’s well-marbled (it has fat that is interspersed with the muscle fibers), it is much more tender and less chewy than rib steak is. It’s perfect to feed a crowd, since both sides of the split roast are usually around four to five pounds, and cost per pound is generally 25 percent or more lower than the cost of a rib steak.

Because they can be cut quite thin, monitor them on the grill well. Season heavily or marinade up to overnight (I used my favorite recipe, Maple-Herb Split Minute Roast, featured in the magazine a few years ago and available on Kosher.com, but you do whatever works for you), and grill on a very hot oiled grill (500 degrees or more) for two minutes per side, then move to a cooler part of your grill until you’ve reached your desired internal temperature, which could be zero minutes to ten minutes, depending on thickness. For medium rare, remove it from the grill when the thickest part reaches 130 degrees.

Since you already know minute roast is amazing grilled, here are the other variations of the cut you should also be cooking:

Minute steaks are just a whole minute roast with the sinew left in, cut into steaks instead of down the middle. I grew up with my mother braising these on the stovetop in onion sauce (heaven) and never really considered grilling them, but why not? To give the sinew time to soften, brush your grill grates with oil and grill these over medium-high heat — about 400 degrees — until the internal temperature is 130–135 degrees. That should take around two to three minutes per side.

What else can you do with minute roast? Glad you asked. Gourmet Glatt uses minute roast (or French roast) for some of their ready-to-grill items like beef satay or shish kebab. For satay, cut strips of meat as thinly as possible and marinate with your favorite Asian-style marinade for an hour or up to overnight. Thread onto soaked wooden skewers (or metal skewers if you’re fancy) and grill at high heat for two to three minutes a side or until a nice crust develops.

For kebabs, cut one-and-a-half-inch cubes of meat and marinate in your favorite seasoning or marinade for an hour or up to overnight. Skewer them onto soaked wooden or metal skewers with grillable vegetables of your choice. We love pearl onions, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and peppers for this, but the sky’s the limit. Grill over medium heat (about 350–400 degrees) for about seven minutes per side, so the vegetables and thicker cuts of meat have ample time to cook.

You Might Not Know This

If you’re looking for that rib steak feel but don’t have the rib steak budget, you should be grilling boneless fillet steak. Unlike rib steak, which Reb Yehoshua maintains tastes better with the bone in, fillet steak bones aren’t adding much to the party, flavor wise, so you can feel free to skip them.

If you can grill a rib steak (and if you’ve read this far, you can), you can grill a fillet steak, so grab your favorite seasonings and throw these on a super-hot grill for two minutes per side. They’re thin, but usually so well marbled that if you accidentally overcook them by a degree or two, no one will mind. They do have some fat pockets that you’ll likely have to cut around, but they do a great job injecting flavor into the meat.

Serve this with a quick gremolata, such as finely chopped parsley, cilantro, salt, and a clove of minced garlic, with a very hefty squeeze of lime or lemon juice, plus zest of the citrus you’re using and a little olive oil to bring it all together.

Who Knew You Should Be Grilling…

Shoulder lamb chop. Lamb has been having a moment lately — likely the result of a resurgence in popularity of Middle Eastern flavors. While baby lamb chops are a go-to for many, they’re extremely expensive. Shoulder chops — Gourmet Glatt sells theirs cut with the long bone still attached — give you the same tenderness and amazing lamb flavor at a much more affordable price. For the money you save, you’ll have to spend an extra minute or two cutting around some extra bones, but it’s worth it.

I love to season these with a basic salt/pepper/garlic/onion rub and grill on an oiled grill set to about 450 degrees for two to four minutes per side until medium rare, and serve with a similar gremolata that I would serve with rib eye or fillet steak to cut through some of the fat (subbing mint for the cilantro).

You Should Really Start Grilling…

First-cut veal chop. Reb Yehoshua maintains that when he goes out to eat, veal is the only meat that he won’t specify a preference for and instead asks the chef to cook the way he wants to, since veal can be a little finicky. Cook to rare, and it’s tough and chewy, but if you overcook it, it’s tough and dry. Have I scared you away? Good, we want these gems to stay in the butcher case for those of us who are tenacious enough to read this far.

The perfect compromise does exist, and the answer lies with your trusty thermometer. While most of our tested proteins maintained the best taste and texture when cooked to 130 degrees, veal chops need your patience. Season them well and grill in a 450-degree grill for three to five minutes per side until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Some Parting Wisdom

Reb Yehoshua offers a way to take your barbecue to the next level. Before guests arrive, grill corn in the husk over high heat until charred. (Beware of hidden steam when you pull the husks off!) Grilling them whole makes them way easier to husk, and it’s a total crowd-pleaser.

And remember that the most important thing is to have fun and experiment with meats you like so by the time Yom Tov rolls around (What?? Panic button, you’ve been pressed), you, the meat connoisseur, know exactly what you like. Who knows, maybe you’ll find me grilling my flanken roasts come Succos.

In the Market for a Grill?

I spent a good few years with an inexpensive grill that I thought would do the job based on decent reviews, and it really doesn’t cut it. If your grill isn’t easily heating to 500 degrees or higher within 20 minutes, it’s time for a replacement. Here are the options for grilling in style this summer.

  • Charcoal grills are inexpensive and portable, which is a huge plus if you’re not sure what kind of grill you want or can’t afford the grill of your dreams. Charcoal also burns hotter than gas, so if you’re having the same problem I was, a charcoal grill is an inexpensive solution. (Just shovel coals to one side to give yourself a cooler zone for cuts that need a gentler cook.) Charring is more likely to happen when you cook with charcoal, because of the higher heat, which can transfer carcinogenic chemicals to food. Avoid charring to prevent this.
  • Propane grills can range from midrange to very pricey. They operate on a refillable propane gas tank, which you probably knew already. Gas is easier to control and to adjust than charcoal is, so it’s more likely to result in properly cooked food (always a plus). Burning gas versus charcoal or wood chips is also better for the environment, if you’re a hippie. (Just kidding, I care about the world Hashem created for me, and this is a good way to pay down the disposable cups guilt.) They tend to be more reliable and heat more efficiently the more expensive you go, but you can find a grill in the $500 range that will last you a good ten years.
  • Natural gas grills are exactly like propane grills, but they attach to the natural gas hookup in your home. If your house is not configured for this setup, you’ll need to call a plumber to extend the piping to accommodate your grill, which is not simple to do if you happen to have walls in your home. A natural gas grill can be slightly more expensive than its propane counterpart, but you’re paying a lot less for gas than you would for propane.
  • Smokers are similar to regular grills, except they’re built to maintain a lower temperature, which is optimal for smoked meats. (A skilled charcoal griller could do this with a charcoal grill as well.) They’re also available in a range of prices and sizes, and cook with electric heat, propane, charcoal, or wood pellet options, so you can pick a method that suits you best. While most people aren’t smoking meats, it’s an amazing gift for someone who really enjoys lording their food prowess over others.

(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 747)

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