People are discovering culinary skills they never knew they had—or at the very least, are searching for cooking tips they are newly discovering they need—as they become more intimately familiar with their home kitchens and backyard grills. The “hows” and “whys” may vary by cuisine, but as any chef will reveal, great meals start with great ingredients. And as guests who have attended Dan’s Taste of Summer well know, GrillHampton presenting sponsor New York Prime Beef showcased countless ways to start and finish a great steak, ribs, burgers…hungry yet?
Since 2017, New York Prime Beef has delivered what has been called “the best steak on the planet” not only to top restaurants, but to consumers who wanted a superior steakhouse experience—especially those dry-aged cuts—at home. That direct-to-the-doorstep expertise has proven essential in these times, as safe and secure preparation, packing and delivery have become top priority during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Being a USDA-inspected and SQF-certified (Safe Quality Food) facility, we already had measures in place to safely supply our customers. We always follow strict procedures for entrance to our facility and have further implemented distancing guidelines,” says New York Prime Beef partner Josh Tanner. “That said, we have also adjusted our schedule to maintain greater distance between our employees and to allow for additional cleaning. While it may sacrifice productivity, the safety of our customers and employees comes first.”
One thing that is never sacrificed is quality. With an incomparable butcher’s background as his guide, Tanner takes a few moments to dish on the transformative practice of dry aging, the two keys to cooking terrific steak, the pursuit of the perfect burger and why you need to understand that when in the kitchen, size matters.
What makes dry-aged steak so spectacular?
Dry aging changes the meat in two primary ways. One, it allows moisture to evaporate, concentrating flavor, and two, it allows the meat to slowly break down, giving it a more tender texture and adding a complex “funk” to the flavor, akin to a fine cheese. The process requires very close control of temperature, humidity and air flow to ensure that the meat can age safely and the optimal flavor is achieved. It is also common to lose 14% or more of the total weight of the meat in water loss, so it is an expensive process as well.
Seasoning? Marinades? Grill? Pan? There are seemingly endless questions as to how to cook a great steak at home. Is there an answer?
The most important thing to remember when cooking good steak at home is patience. You need to take your steak out of the refrigerator with plenty of time to let it come up to room temperature all the way through. One hour at the very least. After cooking to around 10 degrees Fahrenheit below your desired temperature, you need to allow the steak to rest at least 5 to 10 minutes to allow the meat to fully absorb its own juices and come to a consistent temperature before slicing.
These two steps will guarantee a great steak regardless of cooking method. As for seasonings, you can obviously get as fancy as you would like, but some coarse sea salt when you are plating is really all that’s needed to get the most flavor out of your steak.
The pursuit of making the perfect burger is a home-cooking grail. What is the secret?
Well, of course you should start with our Wagyu or Special Brisket Blend Burgers. Besides that, make sure that your grill is good and hot for a nice crust, and do not overly press your burgers. Let them soak up all that juice. Also, just like steaks, you want to get your burgers just below your desired temperature and let them rest before you serve.
When it comes to cooking almost anything—not just steaks but also chicken, lamb and pork—size matters, right?
Without going into too much detail, the general rule is that the larger the cut, the slower the cooking process, so plan your meals accordingly. You can purchase some skirt steaks and chicken cutlets to put in the freezer for easy and delicious weekday meals, and save the Cowboy Ribeyes and Roasting Chickens for your weekend backyard barbecue. I’d also highly recommend that anyone wanting to master the art of cooking meat invest in a good probe thermometer. Internal temperature is key, and there’s no reason to guess.
To learn more about New York Prime Beef and see their selection of steaks, roasts, lamb, pork, poultry and more, visit newyorkprimebeef.com.