T Nation

Better Steak

Was hoping some T-men could give me some tips on how to make a steak juicer and tender. The leaner cuts of meat (top round, middle round) seem to be a little tougher and drier than other fatty steaks. The wife just lifts up her nose and walks away (which is maybe not a bad thing because it means more for me:)
Any suggestions,

Hi. I’m the previous issues section of T-mag. I have many answers available for those who use the search engine. Here’s an answer to your question: www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/235mass.jsp

Don’t buy your steak at a grocery store. Go to a butcher and get properly aged, good quality meat. Grocery store meat is shite.

It is going to be difficult to make top round and other lesser cuts taste as good as a ribeye or filet but there are some things that can be done to make them taste good. First off marinade them in Lea and Perrins Worchestershire sauce. Use a big ziploc bag to put the steaks in and try and get as much of the air out as possible. And don’t skimp on the L&P use half the bottle for a steak or two. Let them sit in it for a couple of hours at least. If the cut of steak is of the tougher variety you can take a meat hammer/tenderizer to it. Don’t flatten it like a pancake just make it a little more tender. And most importantly is when you prepare it do not cook it too long. Try and keep total prep time to under 15 minutes(obviously make sure that it is not still waggin its tail and bleeding). I prefer to do all steaks on the BBQ but if not able to I have found that a George Foreman grill can work wonders.


Good advice, neato. Also, I almost always cook my steaks on the barbeque and sear each side quickly to help seal in the juices, and then cook it a little bit longer to finish the inside. Oh, and Johnny’s seasoning, man, gotta have Johnny’s. Might not do much for tenderness, but the taste…mmmmm! (okay, I know what I’m having tonight!)

George Foreman Grill. Use a stopwatch timer or you’ll overcook it. 3-3.5 minutes TOPS, perfect every time! My fav is the ribeye about 1" thick.

I grill steaks all the time…I have used all kinds of cuts and prepared them the same way. In my opinion nothing beats a sirloin the way I make it…just follows these steps. Start the grill and then put the steaks in a glass casserole dish and 1) Liberally sprinkle meat tenderizer on the steak… 2) Poke the steak with a fork all over… 3) Flip it over… 4) Liberally sprinkle meat tenderizer on the steak… 5) Poke the steak with a fork all over… 6) Sprinkle dried thyme on the steak… 7) Pour Worchestershire sauce all over the steak… 8) clean the grill with oil… by now the grill should be ready around medium heat… 9) Put the steak on the grill… 10) Pour the remaining sauce from the casserole dish onto the steak

As I cook the steaks I squirt water into the closed grill (VERY IMPORTANT). This will cook the steaks with steam which also help tenderize them. Any questions let me know.

I like the idea about steaming the steak on the grill… going to have to try that. Anyone have a special marinade for salmon?

Hey Bodge, try this for salmon (good for 2 people)…
1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets - 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper - 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder - salt to taste - 1/3 cup soy sauce - 1/3 cup packed brown sugar - 1/3 cup water - 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions: 1) Sprinkle fillets to taste with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt…2) In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and oil. Place fish in a sealable plastic bag; pour soy sauce mixture over fish. Marinate at least 2 hours…3) Preheat charcoal barbecue or gas grill…4) Remove fillets from marinade. Grill salmon over medium heat for about 7 minutes on each side.

I think you will be surprised. Any questions let me know.

If you are going to grill top round, it needs to be sliced thin, and marinated. A marinade should contain three basic items: Acid(lemon juice,vinegar, etc), fat(olive oil,etc) and seasoning(herbs spices).You can use a commercial tenderizer or tropical fruits such as mango,papaya, kiwi etc. These fruits contain enzymes that will break down the meat.

Use the BBQ and cook the meat from frozen. Now i know what your going to say, your supose to thaw the meat, but trust me. I cook all meats from frozen with no spices or anything. The reason it works is because as it cooks the the water boils in the center of the meat. Cooking the center perfect everytime.

try it, it also save time!

leejaime97, Thanks for the salmon tip. I’ll try it out this week and let you know what I think!

rub olive oil over the steak in the thinnest layer you possibly can. brush on sea salt very sparingly. Throw in a plastic bag. Pour in red wine, cheap is fine. Take out all air. leave in fridge for at least 24 hours. If you remember, flip at 12. Pound it a little prior to all this too. take out of fridge at least long enough to return to room temp prior to cooking. Unbelievable.

Hi guys, I have a question for Ko or anyone else who knows. If I can only stand super lean cuts like top round when I marinate it and cook it with oil, is it still better (ie more healthy) than the cholesterol and satty fatty in the cuts with all the delicious marbelized fat? I know olive oil is good for you to a certain extent and that’s what I use.

Damn, you guys are making me hungry! Great recipe ideas. Hey, Jay, I remember reading somewhere that marinating steak in red wine actually dissolves some of the fat in the meat. Throw out the red wine after marinating, and throw out a bunch of fat with it. Anyone else ever heard that?

i was told that the only time you need to fork a steak is when it is of poor quality and tough.i always dry rub( favorite seasoning) first, let stand for 5 mins, then either a thin coat of olive oil or beer. grill must be really hot, sear for 1.5 mins first side, then flip to another hot part of grill. once blood aperas on the top side of the steak its done. remove from grill and the let rest. rest for 3-5 mins. the reason for doing this is if you cut it right away all the juices run out, hence the dry steak. to me certin cuts of steak must have marinade, but if you have a good fillet, garlic salt, onion poweder and pepper is all i need.

You would suppose Olive Oil would be better for cooking due to health benefits etc, but I think this is flawed once you stick it with heat- the olive oil burns very easily, and using it for grilling/frying will destroy all the mono-unsaturated qualities (and the taste!) of the oil. Might as well just choose a fattier steak (IMO)

Also wrt the cooking question, I think as long as you SEAR in the fry pan (no oil) first to “seal in” the juices for 1min each side, THEN GRILL to finish, usually the steak is tender enough for my palate.

Olive oil is a great source of fat, but only a fraction of it is actually going to transfer to the meat, and much of it is going to burn off.If you are worried about the fat in red meat, buy free range, grassfed beef. It is a great source of not only protein, but EFAs as well.