Today I got the kind of phone call any carnivore loves to receive.
It came from someone who didn’t buy their beef from us but had read a post we wrote months ago about grilling Wagyu.
He wanted to know how to cook the steak he bought. His wife prefers well-done steaks and he likes it just about any other way.
When it comes to relationship advice I might not be the person to ask.
But red meat should not come between people. In fact, we think it can bring people together. Since we’re in the season of bringing people together I’ll share with you what I shared with him:
You see, there’s this thing about sneaking bites while you’re at the grill.
It’s not an acceptable thing to do except in your own backyard – and among people you love. For critical relationships and for winning an argument about cooking meat it is an essential skill.
The best way to convince people who insist on over-cooking their beef is to get them to try it rare –without them knowing. Sneaking bites is a good strategy.
There are a number of time-honored tricks to pulling this off.
“Close your eyes and open your mouth…” is a classic approach, for example.
They close their eyes and you then feed them your crafted perfection of properly cooked beef.
The problem with this method is that Moms everywhere try it with kids and broccoli. It creates trust issues.
So you have to get past that. You have to go deeper to win the argument.
You know that if you can just get past phobias – the cleanliness of the grill, the smell of the smoke from the fire, the color of the meat, the USDA recommendations for meat temperatures, etc. — they can then really come to enjoy beef as you do and that life can continue with wedded bliss.
Beef cooked properly can overcome all these obstacles.
Some significant others require powerful proof though.
For my wife, it’s the meat thermometer. If it doesn’t read 185 degrees internally she won’t touch it. She prefers filet mignon to other cuts because it’s so tender but she hasn’t learned yet that cooking your meat to such high temps turns them to sacrificial matter for the gods.
185 degrees is a brutal level of abuse for most cuts of beef. I can’t make myself do it, to be honest.
So that meat thermometer is going to spend a little more time in the flames that it does in the meat. Desperate times call for desperate deception.
There are, of course, other hard and fast rules that go a long way to helping win a meat cooking argument:
- Cook with fire. That means wood or charcoal. A gas grill is NOT fire. Propane or other gas-driven fuels will do nothing good for your beef. Do not use it. Fire changes the flavor argument no matter how long meat needs to be cooked.
- Do use a meat thermometer. When you are working with larger cuts of meat especially it is difficult to accurately gauge the cooking progress of the beef. The meat thermometer will settle the score and give you peace of mind by ensuring you don’t overcook it.
- Cook together. This sounds kind of dumb but think about it. The perception of time is different when you are in front of the grill versus when you are away from it.
- Talk to a lot of people. We live in an incredible time. Through social media you can find all kinds of people out there who are passionate about food and cooking. They have blogs, videos on YouTube, forums, streams, podcasts and posts to give you ideas. You will find many, many people who share your opinions and preferences when it comes to preparing food. We are engaging a lot of them these days and we LOVE it. One we are coming to know on Instagram is TheBBQStandard, for example. Good folks who know a thing or two about good food.
- Buy real wagyu. Yeah, I have to say that. But its true. Quality matters. Know what you’re putting on your grill. You’re never going to win an argument by cooking up inferior stuff. When it comes to beef, breeding matters. There is a real education that has to happen about meat quality. Wagyu makes those lessons easy to learn. You only have to cook it once and taste it once to learn that lesson.
Finally, and I tip my hat to this guy and thank him for calling us.
Yes, we’re selling meat here and we make no secret of that. But we’re carnivores first and we love the opportunity to talk about cooking meat – and winning arguments.
There are a lot of opinions out there and we share our here shamelessly. We don’t claim to be right. We just claim to really enjoy the beef we cook.
Wherever you get your beef we want you to enjoy it too.
So please call. Or text. Or email.
Please talk to us about your ideas, your struggles and your experiences in cooking meat. We enjoy it.
And we love a good argument.