How to cook beef

  • Braising: Braised beef makes for fall-off-the-fork beef from the least tender cuts. To braise beef, meat is first browned, then cooked, tightly covered, in a small amount of liquid at low heat for a long period of time.
    Best cuts of beef for braising: Chuck, brisket, round, short ribs, flank steak, skirt steak.
  • Stewing: Stewing beef is very similar to braising, except stewing submerges the beef completely in liquid, versus the minimal amount used to braise. The meat is generally cubed or cut into small pieces prior, and the cook time can be shorter as a result.
    Best cuts of beef for stewing: chuck roast, chuck shoulder, round roast, short ribs, cross-cut shanks.
  • Barbecuing/smoking: Barbecuing involves cooking for very long periods of time using indirect, low-heat. Barbecuing is typically done over logs or wood chips that smoke the food.
    Best cuts of beef for barbecuing/smoking: whole rump, brisket, shoulder, short ribs, prime rib, ribeye.
  • Grilling: Grilling is the most popular method to cook what we know of as “steaks.” Grilling means cooking over a gas or charcoal grill or other heat source. Usually grilling involves high heat for a short period of time, with or without a finish on lower or indirect heat.
    Best cuts of beef for grilling: tenderloin steak (chateaubriand, fillet, tournedos), sirloin steak, ribeye steak, rump, porterhouse, t-bone, prime rib, flank steak, skirt steak, hangar steak.
  • Pan frying and stir frying: Pan and stir frying is a quick, easy way to prepare your beef any time of year. Pan frying is a fast cooking method involving a small quantity of hot fat, such as oil or butter, and typically high heat and shorter cook times. Stir frying is a variation that incorporates smaller pieces of meat over very high heat while consistently stirring. Stir frying at home (vs. in a restaurant) should be done in a skillet versus a wok. Marinating the meat first is a nice touch.
    Best cuts of beef for pan frying and stir frying: fillet, ribeye, sirloin, T-bone, rump, tenderloin, flank steak, skirt steak.
    Pan searing Similar to pan frying, pan searing is a stovetop method that uses a skillet over high heat with a little bit of oil. Reverse pan searing is best for thicker steaks (over 1 inch), and begins in the oven and finishes on the skillet.
    Best cuts of beef for pan searing: tenderloin steak (chateaubriand, fillet, tournedos), sirloin steak, ribeye steak, rump, porterhouse, t-bone, prime rib, flank steak, skirt steak, hangar steak.
  • Roasting: We all love a good roast beef. Roasting usually incorporates larger pieces of meat cooked uncovered in the oven. The moisture reduces while the connective tissues and fat soften, tenderizing the meat. Roasting oven temperatures and times can vary significantly depending on the cut. Meat is almost always browned first.
    Best cuts of beef for roasting: prime rib, sirloin roast, ribeye roast, whole tenderloin roast, chuck roll, rump.
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