Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Beef

Buying Beef: Prime vs. Choice, Wet-Aged vs. Dry-Aged

Buying Beef: Prime vs. Choice, Wet-Aged vs. Dry-Aged

As a member of this barbecue community, you probably buy a lot of meat. And when you do, you may have lots of questions: Should you buy Prime or Choice? Wet-aged or dry-aged? Here’s how to speak with your butcher so you sound like you know what you’re talking about. PRIME VERSUS CHOICE The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) grades beef according to tenderness, texture, and “marbling”—the distribution of intramuscular fat. (Remember this equation: Fat equals flavor.) There are eight USDA grades, but...

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Reverse-Seared Smoked Beef Tenderloin for New Year’s

Reverse-Seared Smoked Beef Tenderloin for New Year’s

Whether you’re planning to ring in the New Year by hosting a festive sit-down dinner or an over-the-top buffet, there’s nothing more celebratory than a whole beef tenderloin. Yes, it’s extravagant. And, no, it’s not inexpensive. But it’s guaranteed to delight the carnivores in your circle—especially when smoke-roasted to sanguine perfection. An added bonus? It’s ridiculously easy to prepare—you can even do it ahead—and can be served...

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The Ultimate Holiday Prime Rib

The Ultimate Holiday Prime Rib

All photos by Rob Baas. Prime rib. No other hunk of meat has such wow power. And no other cut strikes more fear in the hearts of home grill masters. With the holidays just a few days away, I feel the anxiety level rising. My inbox is inundated with questions, while search engines thrum with the words “prime rib recipe.” For the record, Google returns 1,430,000 results. Your search is over, however. My two-step method, which I debuted on Project Smoke, is simply the...

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The New Cuts of Steak: Big Flavor, Merciful Price, Part 2

The New Cuts of Steak: Big Flavor, Merciful Price, Part 2

"Carne asada" by Flickr user Daniel R. Blume via Creative Commons. For more than two decades, the slogan of the beef industry was, “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.” Except that in some American households, it wasn’t. And it it’s not hard to guess one cause of the downward drift in consumption: According to the USDA, the average price of a pound of beef nearly doubled between 2002 and 2015 ($3.32 versus $6.29). One industry spokesperson dubbed hamburger “the new steak” and steak “the new Maserati.” Enter the Beef Checkoff program,...

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Butchery Basics: Know Where Your Steak Comes From

Butchery Basics: Know Where Your Steak Comes From

From our friends at Strauss Brands who provided the tasty beef for Project Smoke and masterfully answered What Is Grass-Fed Beef and What’s So Great About It? comes a helpful video on breaking down cuts of beef: https://youtu.be/3wC_4DR_A74 Porterhouse. And T-bone. Two of the most revered cuts among steak fanatics everywhere. Check out this video from Mark Goessl and Lori Dunn of Strauss Brands to learn the difference and how to cut...

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The New Cuts of Steak: Big Flavor, Merciful Price

The New Cuts of Steak: Big Flavor, Merciful Price

Photo by Rob Baas. "The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook."       —Julia Child Flat iron? Calotte? Teres major? Meet the new steaks, and don’t feel badly if you haven’t heard of them. A few years ago, the Beef Checkoff program teamed up with meat scientists from the University of Florida and the University of Nebraska to identify value cuts for consumers while minimizing “trim”—the bits that are ground into hamburger. They focused most of their efforts on the chuck...

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Eat Steak Like a Brazilian: Picanha, Part 2

Eat Steak Like a Brazilian: Picanha, Part 2

If Blake Carson has his way (make that when, not if), picanha—spit-roasted beef top sirloin, crusted with coarse salt and cooked over live fire—will become a household word in the U.S. The Memphis, Tennessee, native is evangelical when it comes to Brazilian barbecue. In fact, a lot of words beginning with the letter “e” apply to Blake. Enthusiastic. Entrepreneurial. Exuberant. Particularly when he talks about his from-scratch invention, the Carson Rodizio. He’s...

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Eat Steak Like a Brazilian: Picanha, Part 1

Eat Steak Like a Brazilian: Picanha, Part 1

While the world’s eyes are trained on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, I thought I’d acquaint you with one of Brazil’s most delectable grilled meats: picanha. Pronounced “pee-KHA-nyah” in Portuguese, this tender cut of beef is indisputably a carnivorous heaven on earth. Picanha (not “piranha,” Spellcheck, despite the Brazilian connection) is beef top sirloin with a thick cap of fat. It is sometimes called rump, rump cover, or coulotte. Not surprisingly,...

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Revealed: My Most Popular Burger Recipes

Revealed: My Most Popular Burger Recipes

Reprinted from The Barbecue! Bible. Photo copyright © Ben Fink. Independence Day is just around the corner, meaning millions of Americans will take to their backyards for a stars-and-stripes-themed barbecue. In fact, July Fourth is the number one grilling holiday, reports the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA). And the most popular food for grilling—no surprise—is burgers. Eighty-five percent of the people polled by HPBA preferred burgers to hot dogs, chicken, and even steak. Booya! There is an art to grilling...

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How to Buy and Cook a Dry-Aged Steak

How to Buy and Cook a Dry-Aged Steak

What to Look for When Buying Dry-Aged Steaks Because dry-aged beef demands time, expertise, and specialized equipment, it can be tough to find. Few supermarkets carry dry-aged steaks or USDA Prime beef, making it near impossible for some Americans to get their hands on dry-aged beef from local retailers. Given the high costs associated with dry-aged beef, most consumers want to be sure that they’re getting the best. At Chicago Steak Company (which...

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