When it comes to grilling, it seems like everyone’s a bit of an expert. The team in the Canada Beef Centre of Excellence investigated some tried-and-true cooking recommendations to see just how true they are. Here is the scoop on some of their findings.
Myth #1: You shouldn’t season beef with salt before cooking?
Answer: The practice of salting before cooking has long been debated, with concerns this would toughen and dry meat. We found that meat allowed to stand after salting did have increased loss in juices, however, we also noted benefits. Steaks salted shortly before cooking had lower cooking losses and scored higher for flavour, browning, juiciness and overall tenderness. An added bonus: you’ll likely find you need less salt for seasoning if done prior to cooking since more complex flavours develop, not just a salt flavour.
Want to know how to cook the perfect steak? How To Grill the Perfect Beef Steak
And since we’re chatting about some of the common questions, here are two others we frequently get asked:
Myth #2: Let beef stand at room temperature prior to cooking.
Answer: In a word – NO! We measured the internal temperature of roasts and steaks sitting on the counter and found this practice created food safety risks that far outweighed any small quality benefits – even with a standing time of just 15 minutes. So just say NO – keep meat refrigerated prior to cooking.
Myth #3: Piercing meat will cause it to be dry and tough. In your instructions for grilling marinating steaks or medallions, you suggest piercing meat all over with a fork.
Answer: Half myth, half truth. If you pierce meat while grilling juices are lost and flare ups can occur. However, we found that piercing Inside Round roasts before cooking and letting them rest for 24 hours (refrigerated of course) improved tenderness. So when done before cooking, piercing has a role to play in tenderizing beef – it’s not all bad.
Myth #4: Cook burgers until no longer pink inside and juices run clear.
Answer: Lets put an end to this colour confusion. Numerous studies have shown that you just can’t judge beef doneness by looking at it’s colour or juices. Burgers can be brown in the centre even when they are not cooked through OR pink even when they are cooked. Cook burgers to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C), testing temperature with a digital rapid-read thermometer to know if they are done.
Myth #5: Grilling is best done with the lid up.
Answer: Of course the barbecue needs to be closed when cooking by indirect heat or rotisserie roasting – how else could it cook like an oven? But cooking with the lid down even when grilling has advantages too. Keeping the lid down cooks the meat faster and more evenly. The more you lift the lid, the longer it takes to cook.