Timely tips for the grill

Though grilling has really become an all-season way of cooking, Arturo McLeod knows there’s nothing like a summertime barbecue.

In honor of July being designated National Grilling Month, the executive chef of Benjamin Steakhouse Westchester is sharing his top tips on grilling steak.

As McLeod says, “Everyone should be able to enjoy their favorite steak on the grill in their own backyard with the signature Benjamin Steakhouse taste.”

Here are his steps:

“Choosing the meat

• For grilling, the best cuts are those with more marbling – New York strip, rib-eye and skirt steaks. You also want more marbling in the meat you use for your burgers, so that they don’t dry up or fall apart. Steaks should also be evenly cut, so they come out evenly cooked.

• USDA prime meat is ideal. However, if you’re using a lesser-quality steak, you can tenderize the meat by punching holes in the surface with a large fork; this will also help to cook the meat faster.

Setting up the grill

• Get the grill temperature to above 500 degrees. If you don’t think your grill is hot enough, put some fat on it to bring the flames up and increase the heat.

• If you can, use natural hardwood charcoal to grill. It gives meat a beautiful, smoky flavor that you don’t get with gas or electric grills. Do not use lighter fluid. Your meat will come out tasting like it!

Cooking the steak

• Before putting your steak on the grill, brush on our signature Benjamin Steak Sauce to give it a light sweetness without overwhelming the natural flavor of the steak.

• When making shish kebab, coat the wooden sticks with vegetable oil first, so that the meat and veggies slide off more easily.

• All you need to cook a steak is kosher salt. It is thicker, has more flavor and holds better to any meat when you’re grilling. Sprinkle it on for a few minutes before you grill and let it marinade.

• If your steak is about 1 inch thick, grill for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium rare. For medium, it will be approximately 8 to 10 minutes, and 11 to 13 minutes for well done.

• Serve immediately. Remember, cold meat loses flavor.

Benjamin Steakhouse Westchester is at 610 W. Hartsdale Ave. in White Plains.

For more, visit benjaminsteakhouse.com.

– Mary Shustack

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