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Selecting Steaks for the Grill

Steaks are the most lavish of grilling items. Here we are talking strictly about beef, which is what most folks think of when it comes to steaks.

The Middle Meats
The most familiar steaks for most Americans are the middle meats. The middle of the cow sees a lot less action than the front side, the forequarter, and the back side, the hindquarter.  This makes the Ribs, the Strip and the Tenderloin the most tender parts and the fat that surrounds these areas is of the highest quality throughout the animal making them the most luxurious and expensive cuts of beef. Wheatsville currently offers Rib Eyes and Tenderloin. Tenderloin, as the name suggests, is extremely tender with a mild flavor. A nice seasoned crust will help this absurdly tender steak melt in your mouth. Rib Eyes, while not as tender, have a lot of flavor. They are not as lean as tenderloin so You should keep an eye on them when grilling, to avoid flare ups that can over carbonize your steak. Just some salt and pepper is all you really need for these guys.

Sirloin Steaks
The sirloin is the top part of the hindquarter. These steaks are considered to be the second tier of steaks after the middle meats. Sirloin is tender when handled correctly and while not as flavorful as the middles, it certainly packs plenty in the flavor department. From the full cut, a steak from the whole Top Sirloin to the Sirloin Petite Steak, these steaks are a great addition to the grill. You can play with flavors here — use you favorite rubs or marinades. The Sirloin Tip Steaks are cut from a different area but are more tender and flavorful than anything else cut from the round area. They benefit from adding flavor and are great economical cuts for the grill.

Shoulder and Chuck
The simplest and most cost effective way to cut any steak is laterally. In the case of beef shoulders and chucks, this makes a steak that consists of several different muscles that have different grain directions which makes a chewy steak.This is compensated for by cutting the steaks very thin. Here at Wheatsville, we cut those steaks differently. We “seam out” the primal and separate each part into individual muscles and subsequently individual grains. By cutting single muscle steaks they can be cut thicker for the proper cook and a much better eating experience. From the shoulder we get the ranch steak. These steaks are pretty lean and can benefit from rubs and marinades. The Denver steak is cut from the chuck. Chuck is not as lean as shoulder and part of the chuck comes out of the rib eye and steaks cut from there are called Chuck Eye Steaks. These have the flavor and structure of Rib Eyes, but are less expensive.

Be adventurous and try out some new steak cuts. Steaks bring a touch of luxury to the grill—flavorful, delicious and tender.

From our Co+op Kitchen Video Series
How to Cook a Great Steak with Johnny Livesay from Black Star Co-op