Coast Cooking

Great steaks are a matter of the right beef and the right cooking method

A prime steak from Charred in Ocean Springs.
A prime steak from Charred in Ocean Springs. Special to the Sun Herald

There are eight grades of beef recognized by the USDA, but chances are you’ll only see two at the grocery store — USDA Choice and USDA Select.

The best, USDA Prime, is found in fine dining restaurants, the occasional high end grocery store and can be special ordered on-line.

Beef is selected by standards of tenderness, juiciness and flavor, but there also are visual cues that can help you select the best beef for your grill.

Look for a vibrant red color, moist surface and perhaps most importantly, marbling. A cut of beef that has little or no fat will have correspondingly little to no flavor. This is one occasion where fat is a good thing.

This week I am blogging about beef. Great beef is not always available, and you need to take your time and select carefully, but after you have gone to all the trouble to find the steak or filet you want, don’t mess it up by overcooking it or cooking it improperly. Do not cook beef well done.

Grill steaks over a hardwood fire. The next step down is hardwood charcoal, followed by regular charcoal and lastly, a gas grill.