Cooking over an open fire is the oldest cooking technique known to man and it’s still one of the most universal. This popular style of cooking, with its smoky flavors and mouth watering aromas, offers endless opportunities to create a world of satisfying and delicious beef dishes.

Basic steps for successfully grilling some special cuts of beef.

Flank Steak

This lean, flavorful cut of beef can be tough and stringy if not cooked correctly. It is often marinated and should be cooked medium-rare. Slice flank steak into thin pieces across the grain to serve. Sometimes, London Broil, a thick cut from the top round or sirloin, is also called flank steak.

To grill flank steak:

Prepare grill for direct cooking.

Sprinkle both sides of the flank steak with salt and black pepper.

Place the steak on the grill.

Grill steak, covered, over medium-hot heat 10 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness is reached, turning halfway through the grilling time.

Use tongs to turn the steak. Piercing with a fork will release the juices.

Use tongs to transfer steak to a carving board. Thinly slice beef across grain, holding knife at 45-degree angle to cutting board.

Skirt Steaks

This long, thin cut has always been a Latin American favorite and is the traditional cut for fajitas. Like flank steak, it is lean and full of flavor. Skirt steak should be grilled over high heat to medium-rare and cut across the grain into thin slices.

To grill skirt steaks:

Flatten skirt steaks to tenderize and insure even cooking.

Place steaks between pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the flat side of meat mallet to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut each steak in half. Marinate steaks, if desired.

Prepare barbecue grill for direct cooking.

Brush steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place steaks on preheated oiled grill.

Grill steaks,  uncovered, 6 inches from heat 3 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness is reached, turning once.

Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers

Made with 1 pound ground chuck, ground round or ground sirloin.

To grill hamburgers and cheeseburgers:

Prepare grill for direct cooking

Form seasoned ground beef into thick patties, about 4 inches in diameter.

Keep your burgers relatively thin so they cook evenly and quickly.

Place burgers on preheated oiled grill.

Grill burgers, covered, over medium high heat 8 to 10 minutes for medium or until desired doneness is reached, turning halfway through cooking time.

If you’re making cheeseburgers, place 1 slice of cheese on each burger to melt during last minute of grilling. If desired, place rolls, cut sides down, on grid to toast lightly during last 1 to 2 minutes of grilling.

Meat Loaf

Made with 2 lbs ground chuck, ground round or ground sirloin.

To grill meat loaf:

Prepare barbecue grill for direct cooking.

Shape meat loaf mixture into an oval loaf 1-1/2 inches thick, about 9 inches long and 5 inches wide.

Shape the meat loaf on a cutting board or cookie sheet so you can carry it out to the grill.

Place loaf on preheated oiled grill.

Grill meat loaf, covered, over medium-hot heat 10 minutes.

Carefully turn meat loaf over using 2 large spatulas.

Brush meatloaf with BBQ sauce, if desired, and continue to grill, covered, 10 to 12 minutes for medium-well or until desired doneness is reached. Using an instant-read thermometer, insert it into center of the thickest part of the meat loaf and it should register 160 degrees F for medium-well. Let meat loaf stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Steak Kabobs

 Boneless top sirloin or beef tenderloin are the best cuts for kabobs.

To grill steak kabobs:

Cut steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Marinate, if desired, reserving some of the marinade to use as a basting sauce.

Prepare grill for direct cooking.

Drain beef, if marinated. Alternately thread beef pieces and choice of vegetables onto skewers. Use reserved marinade to baste kabobs.

Thread beef cubes on skewers with vegetables that will cook in approximately the same amount of time.

Place kabobs on preheatedoiled grill.

Grill kabobs, covered, over medium-hot heat 5 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade, if using; turn and brush again. Discard remaining marinade.

Continue to grill kabobs, covered, 5 to 7 minutes for medium or until desired doneness is reached.

Boneless Beef Roast

Some boneless beef roasts are naturally tender. Others, such as brisket, tri-tip and chuck need extra steps (marinating or sealing in foil) to make them tender. Long, slow smoking is often recommended for brisket.

To grill boneless beef roast:

Prepare barbecue grill for indirect grilling with a rectangular metal or foil drip pan placed under the grates on the indirect side of the grill.

Insert meat thermometer into the center of thickest part of roast.

Place roast, top side down, on grill directly over drip pan.

Grill roast, covered, over medium heat 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until thermometer registers 150 degrees F. for medium-rare or until desired doneness is reached.

Two tools that help make grilling a whole roast practically foolproof are a foil drip pan and a heatproof meat thermometer.

Transfer roast to a carving board; tent with foil. Let stand 10 minutes before carving.

Tri-Tip Roast on the Grill 

The tri-tip roast holds its own as one of the most tasty and also under-appreciated cuts of beef. The term “tri-tip” is derived from the fact that the tri-tip roast is triangular-shaped and it is the tip of the sirloin. Up until the 1950′s, this very lean cut of beef was typically made into ground beef. If not sliced thin and against the grain, it can be quite chewy, so it was just easier to grind it into burgers. Our friends out in California are credited with changing all of that when the tri-tip itself became a local specialty in Santa Maria. It was so popular that the tri-tip roast is still occasionally labeled the “Santa Maria Steak”.  Since there are only 2 tri-tips on each steer, it actually is a little harder to come by in some supermarkets or areas of the country these days. Another sign that the tri-tip has come a long way since its ground meat days.

Use a simple rub and cook slowly over an indirect heat source for best results.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tri-tip roast
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine the rub ingredients together thoroughly and then rub a generous amount over all of the surfaces of the tri-tip.

Leave the rubbed-down roast on the counter at room temperature for about 45 minutes before cooking.

Light your grill and prepare for indirect grilling. This means lighting one side of the grill on high, while leaving the other side unlit. If you are using a charcoal grill, pile the coals to one side of the grill.

Once the grill is hot and ready, place the tri-tip roast on the hot side and sear for a few minutes on each side.

After you have seared all sides of the roast and have the color you like on the outside, move the tri-tip over to the cool side of the grill and then close the lid.

Each tri-tip roast and grill is different, so you really need to use a meat thermometer to make sure the roast is cooked to perfection. To most, that means medium-rare, or around 140 degrees. Remove the roast at 140 degrees, which will allow the temperature to rise about 5 degrees while it rests.

Remove it from the grill and let it rest on a platter for 10 minutes.

Slice the roast thin and against the grain for maximum tenderness.

Rotisserie Roast Beef

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 5 lb rump roast
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Gravy directions below

Directions:

Combine the seasoning ingredients and rub all over the rump roast.

Thread the roast beef onto the rotisserie, right down the middle and make sure you secure it with the forks so that the spit is locked into the rump roast.

Configure your grill’s rotisserie per the owner’s manual.

Make sure you place a pan under the roast to catch drippings,

Turn on the rotisserie motor.

After about an hour, check the internal temperature of your roast with a meat thermometer. As a reference point, a 4.5 pound rump roast takes about an hour and a half on a rotisserie.

Roast the rotisserie beef until the desired doneness (medium-rare is 140 degrees.) Remember that the roast will continue to cook for a little while once removed from the heat, so take it off about 5 degrees shy of your desired temperature.

Remove the rotisserie roast beef from the grill, place on a platter and cover with aluminum foil to rest for about 15 minutes.

While the roast is resting, make a rue using 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir in the roast beef drippings and 1 cup of beef broth Stir until thickened.

Carefully remove the rotisserie spit from the roast and slice thinly, against the grain, for maximum tenderness.

Beef Kabobs with Peppers and Onions

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound top sirloin or beef tenderloin
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

If you are using bamboo skewers, start by submerging them in water using a dish or a paper towel to hold them underwater. Let them soak for 30 minutes. Use double skewers as it makes it easier to turn without having the ingredients spin on the skewer. You can use two bamboo skewers or double prong skewers.

Marinade

In a stainless or glass bowl large enough to hold the meat, add the wine, salt, sugar, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix the marinade. Optionally, you can marinate the veggies in Italian dressing. Cut the steak into 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch cubes. Add the cubes to the marinade bowl. Let it rest for 2 hours in the refrigerator Then remove it from the refrigerator and let it come back to room temperature and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Skewer Kabobs

Cut the onion in half and then cut each half into quarters. Cut the peppers open and clean out the seeds. Cut them into 1 inch squares (or close to square as you can).

Alternate meat between onions and peppers, as they add great flavor to the meat while cooking. After assembling the kabobs, brush some oil on the skewered meat and veggies at this point, to keep them from sticking.

Prepare the grill

If using gas, heat the grill on high for 10 minutes prior to cooking. If cooking on coals, it is best to use natural hardwood charcoal. Add enough coals to cook over a high heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Grilling

Place the kabobs on the hot grill directly over the flame or coals. Keep the lid open. Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating 90 degrees every 4 minutes, until the meat is cooked to desired level of doneness. Remove the kabobs from the grill and let them rest for 3 or 4 minutes before serving.

Yogurt and Rosemary Marinated Grilled Beef

Serves 8

Marinade:

  • 1 6-ounce container fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds sirloin or round steak

Directions:

In a bowl, mix yogurt, buttermilk, garlic, rosemary, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Place steak into a large zip-close plastic bag. Pour marinade into bag and make sure it covers all the surfaces. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator 24 to 48 hours, turning the bag over from time to time.

Heat grill to high. Take the beef out of the refrigerator and remove from the marinade. Scrape the marinade off the roast and discard. Let the steak rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then grill over high heat about 5 minutes each side. Lower heat and continue cooking, turning from time to time, until beef reaches desired degree of doneness. Let beef rest about 10 minutes, covered with foil. Slice across the grain and serve.

Barbecued Meat Loaf

Serves: 8 to 10

MEAT LOAF

  • 1¼ pounds ground beef (80% lean)
  • 1¼ pounds ground beef (93% lean)
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE

1/2 cup bottled or homemade barbecue sauce or make one of my recipes from the post: http://jovinacooksitalian.com/2013/05/14/a-bbq-sauce-for-every-occasion/

1/4 cup ketchup

Directions:

In a large bowl using your hands, gently combine the meat loaf ingredients.

Divide the meat loaf mixture in half and form into two loaves, each about 4 inches wide and 6 to 7 inches long. Place the loaves on a sheet pan.

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (about 350°F).

In a small bowl mix the sauce ingredients. Set aside half of the sauce to serve with the meat loaf. Top each meat loaf with 3 tablespoons of the remaining sauce and coat thoroughly.

Brush the cooking grates clean and oil them.

Using a metal spatula, gently pick up each loaf from the sheet pan and place directly on the cooking grate.

Grill the meat loaves over indirect medium-low heat, with the lid closed, until a thermometer inserted horizontally through the top of each loaf registers 155°F, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the loaves from the grill and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Once removed from the grill, the loaves will continue to cook, allowing them to reach the recommended 165°F for ground beef.

Cut the loaves into thick slices and serve with the reserved sauce.

 

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