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Cooking Tips

Preparing beef is no longer reserved for the pros.

The biggest myth about beef is that it is hard to cook. Wrongo! With a little bit of practice you will be preparing steak so well, your roommates will start replying, “Yes, Chef!” when you tell them to do the dishes. Put on your favorite apron because it’s time to sharpen your skills!

Beef-worthy occasions

Impress the in-laws

Casual cookout

Swoon-worthy date

BBQ pit boss

Earn some serious brownie points

Nothing is more terrifying than hearing your S.O. mutter the phrase “My parents are coming over for dinner next week.” After the casual bout of panic sweats, and possibly a small whimper, take some deep breaths because we got you. This is your recipe for success. Trust us. You will be so well prepared, by the time dessert hits the table, they will be reaching for that elusive stamp of approval!

Plan Ahead

  • Decide on a menu a few days in advance. Do your shopping no more than 3 days before the meal.
  • Have your S.O. pick out a playlist. If the conversation starts to slow down, you can ask them about their favorite concert they went to. Who knows, they may have rocked out to some trippy Pink Floyd back in the day.
  • Clean. Your. House. We mean CLEAN. You don't want the mother-in-law counting dust bunnies.
  • Cloth napkins, fresh flowers, and matching silverware go a long way when setting the table. Leave the college-grade serveware behind. We're #adulting now (or at least pretending to).

Meal Inspiration

Nice summer day: A flank steak with chimichurri sauce and fresh summer veggies, grilled to perfection. YUM! This style of cooking allows for small talk and yard games for those competitive dads. Dust off the ol’ lawn darts, folks!

Sophistication: Two words. Beef. Bourguignon. Loaded with red wine and cooked low and slow, this complex tasting dish can be made the day before. Pairs well with pearl onions, Yukon gold potato mash, and a pat on the back.

Ambitious: A beef tenderloin is hard to mess up. Try a slow-roasted whole tenderloin with a gorgonzola sauce and a vegetable medley and you have yourself a winner. Grab your meat thermometer and sit back and watch magic happen.

Check out these other tips for cooking for the in-laws.

Invite the crew, it’s party time

Sunshine, warm weather, and the smell of a hot grill are three of our favorite things. Beef tops them all course, but do we really need to remind you of that? We break down the secret recipe for a flawless backyard cookout. Even if you are a seasoned veteran at throwing parties for your friends, you can at least take away some fresh ideas to spice up your next get together.

Plan Ahead

  • Make sure your grill is in working condition. Give it a good once over, clean it up, and get ready to show it off. And, if you have a gas grill, don’t forget to check the propane. No rookie mistakes here.
  • Pick a few yard games for the gang to enjoy while the meat is cooking. Try bocce ball. Totally underrated if you ask us.
  • Fill up the cooler, grab the bug spray, and throw on your favorite summer jams. Let’s keep it casual and stress-free. No need to over plan. Better yet, ask your friends to bring a dish to pass to take the load off of yourself, so you can enjoy the socialization time.

Meal Inspiration

Make ahead: The night before your cookout, assemble a few dozen beef kabobs to satisfy the masses. Fresh local produce to take things up a notch, creating a colorful and delicious entree that is simple to prep.

A cheesy surprise: Cheese is our second favorite food group, and when paired with fresh ground beef, you have yourself a winner! While hand crafting your burger patties, hide a cube of cheese in the center. Your guests will be applauding you by the end of the meal, we swear.

Italiano: Mama mia! Let’s make a the pizza! Make the dough ahead of time and grill up a slew of pizza pies. Variety is the spice of life, so try out of the box flavor combinations.

Here are some more tips for your next casual grill out.

A romantic evening for two

Back during the days of the Neanderthals, to woo a lover it was customary to kill a large wild animal, throw it on the table, grunt a few times, and bam, you’d get the girl/guy. Romance has clearly evolved over the years. We now include things like candles and romantic music, but food is still at the center of setting the mood. Show your date that you are the person of their Beefitarian dreams with a well-crafted meal.

Plan Ahead

  • Even if you cohabitate, a little bit of prep work can help the evening go smoothly. Clean the kitchen, set the table, and we beg of you, iron your shirt. Take pride in your appearance, Chef. This is your chance to show off.
  • Show your date that you care about their input, but leave a little bit of the menu as a surprise. Confidence in the kitchen is extremely attractive.
  • Want to go the extra mile with your meal? Skip the grocery store and visit a specialty butcher. They have a variety of unique cuts, many of which are restaurant quality. Pick their brain and ask for advice, because these folks are the O.G. Beefitarians.

Meal Inspiration

Simplicity: Keep things classic with a high quality seared New York Strip steak, paired with a bottle of red, potatoes gratin, and a dashing smile.

Surf and turf: Lobster and steak go to together like you and your date: just perfectly. A petit tenderloin is our favorite cute to pair with a lobster tail. Feeling confident? Scallops or even squid are restaurant-level pairings. And don’t forget the garlic butter. You will definitely get a second date if you whip out this menu.

Comfort food: Say, “I love you,” with a homemade bolognese. It’s like a warm hug when you eat it. Pairs well with the movie Eat Pray Love.

Check out this additional date-night recipe advice.

So you bought yourself a smoker…

The time has come, young grasshopper, to reach boss level in the eyes of the Beefitarian gods. Smoking meat has a very long history, but a new generation is now putting their own spin on it, and now that includes you. We are impartial about what type of smoker reigns supreme. We really only care that there is a big slab of beef in it, slow roasting to perfection. Your method of getting there is totally up to you!

Plan Ahead

  • Most grocers do not have the large smoker ready cuts of beef. Try a local butcher. If they don’t have what you are looking for they will most likely provide you the opportunity to place a specialty order.
  • Get to know your beef. Become friends. Take it out on a date. It’s important to understand the nuances behind your beef so you can build corresponding flavors with smoke and seasoning.
  • Pick your fuel! We’re not talking diesel or unleaded, but Cherry, Hickory, Apple, and so many more! The type of wood dictates the flavor of the smoke, so choose wisely.

Meal Inspiration

All day-er: A chuck roast is the perfect ingredient to creating mouthwatering shredded beef. Don’t be fooled by it’s 9 hour cook time, this is a pretty easy introduction to smoked beef because of it’s natural marbling. You’re guaranteed to have a juicy outcome at the end of your cook day.

Ribs for days: Our pork friends need to move over and make room for smoked beef ribs. Un. Real. Flavor. The slow smoking process will break down all the connective tissue and release all of the hidden juices from within. It’s pretty magical when you nail it. Once you have your smoking technique buttoned-up, rry all sorts of spice blends and sauce concoctions to add a personal twist to the final product.

Here’s more info to help you level up your BBQ game.

How to cook a steak in 5 steps

Pick your steak

Head to the butcher counter and grab a fresh, delicious New York Strip Steak, a one inch cut will do, the perfect canvas for your soon to be masterpiece.

Season both sides

With freshly washed hands, season both sides of your steak with salt and pepper. If you are using a spice blend that contains salt, use that instead.

Sear your steak

Place a frying pan, such as a skillet, over medium heat on your stove, with a touch of olive oil in the pan. Once the oil is shimmering, add your steak. Sear both sides until there is a hard crust visible, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Finish cooking

Continue cooking your steak on the stove at medium heat or in the oven, until internal temperature is as follows:

Rare: 120°F
Medium Rare: 130°F
Medium: 140°F
Medium-Well: 150°F
Well Done: 160°F

*Use a food thermometer to check that beef is cooked to a safe internal temperature.

Let it rest

Place a cutting board on the counter and line with tin foil, curling up the edges to catch any juices. Remove your steak once you have reached your preferred temperature and place on the foil. Loosely cover your steak with foil and let rest for at least 3 minutes.

Enjoy your steak!

Tip #243: Properly handle your beef

Avoid cross-contamination and prevent foodborne illness, with the following steps:

Tip #467: Always double check your work

While our guide here will show you the general degree of doneness, we always recommend using a thermometer to ensure the beef is cooked properly.

According to foodsafety.gov, the minimum safe temperature is 145°F for fresh beef and 160°F for ground beef.