Cooking and Health

Cooking Guidelines

Most underutilized U.S. beef cuts require relatively long periods of cooking with low heat. Braising, roasting, grilling and smoking, are four cooking methods primarily used in the Texas cuisine, all of which break down the tougher fibers that many underutilized cuts can have.

BRAISING: A slow moist-heat cooking method using a small amount of liquid with a tight-fitting lid, to cook less tender cuts of beef. Moist heat and slow simmering in a tightly covered pan result in succulent, fork-tender meat. The slow extended cooking process actually helps develop the flavor of beef.

Appropriate Cuts:

Steaks: Chuck steak; chuck arm steak, blade steak (7-bone steak), round steak, eye of round steak, brisket and round tip steak.

GRILLING: A quick dry-heat method over charcoal, wood or gas flames. Used for more tender cuts, less tender cuts can be used if marinated.

Appropriate Middle Meats and Underutilized Cuts:

Rib eye steak, top loin steak, T-bone steak, top sirloin steak, tenderloin, top blade steak, k-bobs and hamburger patties.

Appropriate Cuts if Marinated:

Flank steak, shoulder steak, blade steak (7-bone steak), skirt steak, top round and eye round.

ROASTING: A dry-heat cooking method used for cooking bigger and thicker tender cuts of beef. No liquid is added or cover used.

Appropriate Cuts:

More tender cuts are best used for this cooking method such as rib roast, rib eye roast, coulotte, tenderloin, tri-tip roast, top sirloin roast and rump roast.For less tender cuts such as chuck roast, chuck-eye roast, eye of round roast, top round roast, or pot roast refer to Braising. If a cut of meat has “roast” in the name, this does not mean that roasting is an appropriate cooking method.

SMOKING: A method used for cooking bigger cuts of beef at lower temperatures using a heat source that is offset and not directly under the meats. This cooking method works by drawing air into the firebox, then through the cooking chamber where the hot air and smoke slowly cook the meat. The lower temperatures also allow the smoke to penetrate into the meat for added flavor.

Appropriate Cuts:

Brisket, back ribs, rib eye roast, shoulder clod, chuck roast, tenderloin, sirloin and coulotte. Also great for vegetables that take time to cook including corn (in the husk) and potatoes.


U.S. beef grilling basics

Grilling is one of the most exciting ways to enjoy beef. Whether cooking on a gas or charcoal grill, in the backyard or at a tailgate, this cooking method provides maximum flavor and optimal tenderness.

This is a popular method for preparing steak, but it’s also the one that tends to worry a lot of beginner cooks. But when you follow these steps (and allow yourself a little practice), you’ll find grilling is easy and—most importantly—very satisfying. Check out our grilling guidelines for more cooking time information.


Some grill experts emphasize the importance of bringing steaks to room temperature before grilling, but we don’t recommend it for food safety reasons. Likewise, our cooking chart is based on the meat going directly from chill to grill. So plan on pulling the meat from the fridge, seasoning well, and getting started right .away


Make sure your grill grate is clean. If you’re using charcoal, follow the directions for how much you’ll need and how to build the charcoal pile. For gas grills, refer to your owner’s manual and set the grill to medium.


Use an instant-read thermometer to monitor doneness, and let it go—don’t flip the steaks so much! One flip is usually all you need, but take care to avoid charring or burning and be ready to turn down the heat (or move to a cooler spot on the grill) if necessary. Keep in mind the internal temperature will continue to rise for a few minutes after coming off the grill.


Here’s another step novice cooks often overlook: resting the meat before serving—even if you’re hungry. It’s seriously worth the wait, because it prevents all those tasty juices from draining onto your plate. For most grill-friendly cuts, about five minutes is enough.


If you're slicing the steak before serving, be sure to cut across the grain to maximize tenderness.


U.S. beef indirect grilling basics


When you’re ready to get started, pull the beef out of the fridge and season well. Depending on your recipe, now’s the time to apply a rub, herbs or other spices.


Take a few minutes to configure your grill. As the name suggests, indirect grilling positions the beef away from the heat source instead of directly over it. If you’re using charcoal, this means arranging the coals off to one side of the grill and cooking on the opposite side. If you’re using gas, refer to your owner’s manual and bring the grill to medium heat on one side only.


Keep the lid closed for best results. You should follow your recipe for timing, but also may want to use an oven-proof meat thermometer to confirm when time’s almost up. Be careful not to overshoot your target temperature because it will continue to rise for several minutes after coming off the grill. Larger roasts will take longer to cook using indirect grilling.


Don’t skip this step! Resting is essential to keep all those delicious juices from draining out of the meat, and makes the next step easier. The larger cuts that work best for indirect grilling generally need more time to rest—often up to 15–20 minutes. Set the meat on your cutting board or a serving tray and cover it loosely with aluminum foil (this is called “tenting”).


When you’re ready to carve, take care to not pierce the beef with a fork. Instead just use tongs to hold the roast in place. Depending on your recipe or desired presentation, slice the beef thinly across the grain and serve on a warm plate or tray.