Grilling Time: Choosing the Best Meat - Colliers Hill
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Grilling Time: Choosing the Best Meat

Americans love their meat. According to Global Agriculture, the average rate of consumption last year was 222 pounds of red meat or poultry. Even accounting for chicken and turkey, that’s a lotta beef landing on picnic and dining room tables. But unless you’re an expert – like, say, a working chef who prepares beef day and night in a restaurant – you may not recognize a tender piece of meat in the raw. Here are some tips from the pros about how to judge and choose the best options in the meat section for cooking and grilling.

Marbling and Tenderizing

The word “steak” on a cut of meat, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for grilling. In fact, round steak, top steak, flank steak, chuck steak and sirloin steak are not the best choices for grilling. You can absolutely grill a great flank steak, or one of the other cuts – but you’ll want to marinate it first. And there’s nothing wrong with marinade! (Be sure to check out the World’s Best Steak Marinade from Alyssa at The Recipe Critic!) But if you want to cut into a thick, juicy appetizing steak for that pure, roasted meat flavor, read on!

The fat or marbling provides more deliciousness to a cut of meat. Interspersed marbling means the flecks of fat that naturally occur within the muscle of the meat. The more marbling, the more flavor – and sometimes the higher price. You’ll pay for the taste difference, but that shouldn’t deter you when shopping for a steak, so start by giving it a good squeeze. Cold fat is hard and so the meat should feel firm under your fingers. The fat helps meat retain its juices when cooking and grilling. Note that you’ll see more yellow fat in older animals, which can make meat less tender but can also give it a deeper flavor.

Top Chefs Choose the Best Steaks

Sometimes your grocery store or butcher shop will label meat as prime, choice and select. Prime is the best quality, followed by choice and then select. These categories are usually based on marbling so even if those categories aren’t on the label, a good cut can be fairly easily identified based on the flecks of fat (and often the price!).

The Spruce Eats offers you a primer on the 10 best steaks to choose for grilling, as well as a tutorial on how to cook your steak for optimal taste. And, the late Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian and raconteur, made this entertaining 2016 YouTube video, to help beef eaters choose the best steak for their palates. 

For anatomy nerds who want to understand how sinew and tissue, muscle and fat combine to form the best cuts of meat, visit Chef Steps. These science-y guys will explain all the details, including the differences in taste based on an animal’s sex, age, breed and nutritional history. Fun fact, green grass produces a tastier meat AND more deliciously interspersed fat than other feeds!

For a matrix of cuts of meat and the best method of preparation, visit Lean and Tender Beef. From brisket and short ribs to shanks in a pan, you’ll find out everything you need to know about your favorite meat meals.

Grilling up the Best in Colliers Hill

The grills are fired up in the master-planned community of Colliers Hill where residents take full advantage of outdoor/backyard barbecue weather. We invite you to explore all the amazing amenities and a variety of new construction floor plans from Richmond American Homes, Century Communities, Shea Homes and Meritage Homes. Tour the model homes and distinctive designs and find the perfect fit for your family and lifestyle.