According To Smoky
A STEAK ON
Welcome to According to Smoky. Here you will find the latest and greatest from C. Clark "Smoky" Hale notable 'baster', author, publisher, television star in both the barbecue and 'the real' world.
Smoky will be offering his talents, techniques and secrets discovered over the last 150 years, or so.
He will be to the point, pull no punches and if you suffer through the process, you will become a much better outdoor cook, turning out masterpiece meals for friends and family alike.
He continues our education with one of America's favorite foods - The Steak! . . . . . take notes!
So, with no further adieu, we turn the mike to Smoky. You're on Smoky . . . . .
The old political promise, "A chicken in every pot." is as passe' as belief in politicians' pronouncements. But, one who promised "A steak on every grill" would be certain to get a hearing. Regardless of the shrieks of the dietetic set, steak continues to be one of America's favorite foods. Steak represents more than just good taste and protein. Steak is a prize, a celebration; a just reward for a job well done.
Unfortunately, the symbolism must be as important as the taste, else good meat would not be so readily overwhelmed with premature exhortations of seasonings, burned like a pagan offering then doused the likes of catsup and "steak" sauce in a vain attempt to recapture the taste and tenderness just destroyed. The virtue of a steak is in the steak itself, not as a platform for dubious sauces.
The less you do to a good steak, the better it tastes. Spend your time selecting, trimming and preparing the meat rather than on condiments. Smoky's complete rules for a perfect steak are brief and simple. 1. Get a good piece of meat. 2. Don't mess it up.
Getting the good piece of meat requires a little knowledge of what to look for and experience in where to find it. Beef, in the U.S.A., is graded according the amount of fat interspersed within the muscle tissue. Called "marbling" because it appears like the white spots and streaks in marble, the more of this interlaced fat, the higher the grade. "Prime" is has the most and is the most tender. It is followed, in order, by "choice" and "good," each having noticeably less marbling. We will only concern ourselves with prime and choice cuts.
Choosing the Cut
Even when penned up, grain fed and plumped up, only certain parts of the bovine carcass are suitable for broiling. A 1000 lb. beef will yield only about 75 lbs of meat suitable for broiling. Only those little used, large muscles are tender enough to become suitable candidates for broiling. Although two or three more cuts may be broiled, under the right circumstances, we list only the most desirable. Except for the tenderloin, which lays along side the spine, and the ribeye/rib steak, all these cuts come from the short loin or sirloin sections which are located between the ribs and the rump.
Most tender, and least flavorful, is the tenderloin or filet from which come the Filet mignon and Chateaubriand. It has little natural fat.
The ribeye, trimmed of the rib, or rib steak, with the rib, are tender and more flavorful.
The T-bone has the obvious bone shape for which it was named and has less of the tenderloin, on one side of the bone, and a longer T than the Porterhouse.
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Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
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