guest blog post by Brooke German, Director of Marketing, Iowa Beef Industry Council
After a long winter like we experienced earlier this year, I’m eager to fire up the grill and enjoy some fresh air and a tasty meal. Then again, who am I kidding? I grill all year-round no matter the Iowa elements!
May is Beef Month in Iowa. I always find this is a great time to brush up on my grilling tips while celebrating all things beef. Do you know that it’s possible to enjoy beef every single day this month? I’ll get to that, but first I’d like to share a few fun facts.
Iowa is one of nine U.S states where cattle outnumber the total population. In fact, there are 4 million head of cattle in the state and more than 26,000 cattle farms. Iowa’s beef industry contributes more than $6.3 billion annually to our economy and provides jobs for more than 32,000 Iowans.
Not only is eating beef good for our economy, it’s good for you! New research shows lean beef can help you lose weight and fat while maintaining muscle and supporting a healthy heart. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides 10 essential nutrients including Zinc, Iron, Protein (ZIP) and B-vitamins for about 150 calories.
There are so many ways to enjoy great-tasting beef this summer, especially on the grill. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
- Choose your cut. The All-American juicy hamburger is a great option when it comes to grilling. Prior to cooking, season your burger patty or steak with herbs and seasonings. To keep it juicy, avoid flipping the burgers excessively. Click here for more burger tips.
Some of the best cuts for grilling include the strip steak, flank steak, or ribeye steak. My favorite is the shoulder petite tender. Pro Tip: If you happen to have some leftover, it tastes great on a salad for lunch the next day.
- Prepare your beef. Trim visible fat before grilling to help prevent flare-ups. For best results, grill over medium heat. The exterior can become overcooked or charred before the interior reaches the desired doneness when beef is grilled at too high of heat. Pro Tip: Beef can go directly from the refrigerator to the grill. No need to set out at room temperature.
- Cook to proper doneness. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness. To determine the proper degree of doneness for a burger, insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side into the center of the patty to ensure an internal temperature of 160°F. Remove steaks the grill about 5-10°F before your desired degree of doneness. Pro Tip: Let steaks rest before cutting to allow them to finish cooking and to reabsorb all of those delicious juices. Determine your desired degree of doneness for Medium Rare (145°F), Medium (160°F), and/or Well Done (170°F).
Fire up your grill and celebrate with beef all summer long! You’ll find hundreds of tried and true recipes on our website. Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorites for Garden Herb Strip Steak. I love grilled zucchini with mine!