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Guide to Grilliance: 5 Tips to Choosing & Grilling the Best Beef

Beef – It’s what’s for dinner… Ok, we’ve all heard this phrase before, right? And for many of us, it usually really is what’s for dinner. Whether your budget is more hamburger helper, or sirloin steak – beef is a staple in most families meal planning. But, there are a ton of misconceptions out there about cooking with beef. We get stuck in a rut of preparing and serving it in the same old ways week after week. We know we love it, but wonder if we should cut back, thinking it’s not the healthiest choice. Well, good thing for you {and me!} – I was recently part of a super cool campaign where I learned a ton about choosing, buying, storing, and preparing beef for our families. I can’t believe how much there was to learn – so I’m excited to share some cool new tips, tricks, info, and recipes with you lovely ladies too.

5 tips to choosing the best beef

Tips on choosing and buying the best beef

When shopping the meat section of your local grocery store, it can be kind of overwhelming trying to choose the best buys. There are so many different cuts, grades, and types! So here are a few tips to help you:

  1. Choose packages that are cold, tightly and completely wrapped with no tears or punctures.
  2. Be sure the packages do not contain excessive liquid – this can be an indication of problems with temperature or storage.
  3. Prime has the most marbeling – it’s usually sold to high-end restaurants, but is sometimes available at supermarkets. Choice cuts have a little less marbling, and are the most widely available. Select has the least amount of marbling, making it leaner and slightly less juicy and flavorful as the other two grades.
  4. Choose steaks and roasts that are firm to the touch, not soft.
  5. Choose packages of beef with a bright cherry-red color. Beef that’s been sealed in vacuum packed bags turns a more purplish-red color.

I didn’t know most of this – so I found it all super helpful. I do all of the grocery shopping in our house. And I was a vegetarian for years before I met Mike, so I’m not that skilled at choosing or cooking meat – and he is like the King of Meat & Potatoes, lol. I’m always so unsure of what to choose – but I feel way more confident choosing great stuff now. He’s going to be a happy man when I start coming home with amazing steaks more often…

 Make Steakhouse Steaks at Home

Ok, so now you know how to pick the best beef for dinner while shopping at the grocery. What do you do with it when you get home? Most of us either put it in the fridge to cook later that night, or toss it in the freezer for later. That’s fine, but why not learn a few tips on storing your beef – so that it’s ready to rock when you’re ready to follow the tips in the video above, and make your steakhouse style dinner….

  • Pick up beef last, right before check out. And, to keep it from leaking on other groceries, grab a couple of those plastic produce bags to wrap them in before adding to your cart. Super helpful.
  • You can freeze beef in it’s orgininal packaging for up to two weeks. If you need it frozen longer, figure out what meals you’ll be making, divide it into right-size portions and wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer bags labeled with the date.
  • Ground beef is more perishable than roasts or steaks – it needs to be used or frozen within a day or two of purchase.

Following these tips will make sure you don’t waste money on wasted meat, and make sure that whatever you serve is super safe. And – now that you know how to shop for beef, and how to store it properly when you get it home – you’re ready for grillin’ time!

beef for dinner

Cooking with Beef

We looooove grillin’. I’m sure that if you’ve read my blog much over the summer, you’ve realized that about me, lol. And – what’s better for grilling than beef, right? You can get some great beef cooking tips on the Beef – It’s what’s for dinner website, and learn about other great ways to prepare it too, like pan or stir-frying, broiling or braising, and stewing and roasting. {Did you even realize there were so many ways to cook it? Awesome.} But for us, most of our beef is cooked on the grill. Since I had just learned all of this new info about beef, we invited some friends over for Labor Day Weekend, to celebrate the end of summer and show off my new skills. Check it out…

grilling with beef - party time

Labor Day Weekend BBQ with Beef on the Grill

The easiest way to get your dinner rockin’ is to make a marinade or rub – and they’re honestly really simple to do. You can make them from scratch, or buy some pre-made rubs or mixes at the supermarket. We tried out this new Dry BBQ Rub this weekend, and it rocked. For reals.

Dry BBQ Rub

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Instructions

  1. Easy peasy - Just mix all of the ingredients together, and coat evenly on all sides. Rubs can be applied right before cooking - or up to two hours before grillin'. Cook 'em up, and eat 'em up.
http://sunshineandsippycups.com/2012/09/5-tips-to-choosing-the-best-beef/

Love it, or what?

I hope you’ve learned some new tips along with me here. I’ll be sharing a few of the other great recipes I’ve tried out lately with you guys over the rest of the month – along with more simple tips, that are perfect for busy moms like us. And, for a few more helpful tips – check out this great infographic with 3 Simple Steps for Grilling Beef. Very cool. And, share your fave beef grilling tips or recipes with me in the comments! I love hearing your smart tips.

{Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a In Home Party campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and received product samples to facilitate my party and review, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.}

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