WICHITA, Kan. — Retailers can add lots of value just by telling their customers what cuts of meat grill best and offering tips to help them improve their grilling skills, sources told SN.
“It's just imperative that meat department employees convey to customers the best use for different cuts of meat,” said Jack Allen, Winter Park, Fla., who is a consultant and food marketing professor emeritus at Michigan State University.
What's more, retailers can almost guarantee a good grilling and eating experience — which hopefully will bring the customer back for more — by conveying a couple of easy-to-remember tips, one chef advised.
Stay with the grill, and then, when the steak is cooked to the desired degree, take it off and let it rest at least five minutes, said Cargill Meat Solutions' corporate chef, Pete Geoghegan.
“It's so easy to walk away from the grill to go get the salt, sauce or the onions in the kitchen, get delayed, and then come back to an overdone piece of meat,” said Geoghegan, who spends much of his time working with supermarket retailers.
“It doesn't take long to ruin a piece of meat on a hot grill.”
Firing up the grill to optimum heat before beginning cooking is one of Chef Geoghegan's tips.
“The rule of thumb is if you can hold your hand three inches above the grill for three seconds, no more than that, that should be the optimum heat,” he said.
“You need the high heat for caramelization and to develop the flavor.” He also advised using tongs, not a fork, for turning the meat, so as not to pierce it and let juices run out.
Finally, let it rest off the fire for five to six minutes, Geoghegan said.
“That allows the juices to redistribute themselves and makes for a tender steak. Otherwise, if you cut into it too soon, the first bite will be good, but the juices will run out on the plate and the rest of the steak will be dry.”
Chef Geoghegan, clearly a grilling fan himself, had this parting piece of advice:
“Grilling is fun. Nothing is written in stone. Experiment.”