One of the side benefits of cooking beef is how a simple alteration in cooking time changes how the steak will taste. No matter how lean the cut you start off with, cooking to various temperatures allows for great flexibility in preparing red meats. With a little know-how, you can be a gracious and considerate cook able to cook a steak that will please any palate. These helpful hints to help you determine how well done your beef cuts are.
|Feels||Temp °F||Looks||Cook Time per lb at 375°F*|
|RARE:||Slightly firmer than raw meat.||120° at center||Cool red center, pink throughout.||15-25 minutes per lb|
|MEDIUM RARE:||A little firmer than raw meat, center, slightly has slight give.||135° at center||cool bright pink||20-30 minutes per lb|
|MEDIUM:||Firmer than raw meat, losing it's give.||150° at center||Warm light pink center, brown edges.||25-35 minutes|
|MEDIUM WELL:||Mostly firm||160° at center||Hot, thin pink, center brown||30-35 minutes|
|PITTS-BURGH:||Completely firm||170° at center||Gray throughout, blackened||35-40 minutes|
* Cook time calculations are based on a 3 lb roast. Cook times have been reduced by 1/3 since USDA "Lite"/American Heart Association Heart Healthy Beef is leaner and cooks in less time than other beef.
2 Success Tips For Cooking Any Temperature Of Beef
#1 SEAR MEAT - Browning meat quickly over high heat before the inside is cooked will help seal the meat so that flavor is locked in. You can and should sear meat prior to any cooking method such as stewing or roasting.
#2 REST MEAT - Allowing meat to rest 5-6 minutes per pound before serving will give the natural juices time to spread throughout the meat resulting in more tender, succulent portions. For thinner steaks, the time it generally takes to actually serve the steak should be sufficient.
Proper Beef Storage
Did you know that when left at room temperature, the bacteria in beef doubles every 20 minutes? For optimal taste and freshness, finish your other grocery shopping before selecting your meat purchases.
When you get home, cut your beef into useable portions, re-wrap it tightly in a freezer bag, aluminum foil, or freezer paper if it will not be used within 2 weeks. Refrigerate or freeze it as soon as possible. Storage times for beef vary according to how much the beef has been processed.
Refrigerator Storage Times:
Ground Beef: 1-2 days. When meat is ground, bacteria is mixed throughout the meat so it must be eaten quickly.
Stew Meat, Kabob Meat, and Stir-Fry Meat: 2-3 days. When the meat is cut into smaller pieces, more surface area is exposed to air, increasing the rate of acceptable bacteria growth rates.
Steaks & Roasts: For 3-4 days. Whole muscle cuts have a limited amount of meat exposed to air and therefore are able to keep longer in the refrigerator.
Freezer Storage Times (at 0°F or colder & re-wrapped):
Ground Beef: 3-4 months
Stew Meat, Kabob Meat, and Stir-Fry Meat: 6-12 months
Steaks & Roasts: 6-12 months
Never leave meat on the counter to defrost or marinate. Defrost meat in the refrigerator overnight. It should remain refrigerated until just before cooking.
Source: 2002 National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Recipes From My Book
Easy Beef & Broccoli (serves 4)
Anyone for a dose of protein, fiber, and vitamin C? This lean version of beef and broccoli will keep you feeling full and satisfied due to its fiber count. It's not fried in oil, so even if you ware watching your food intake carefully, you can still enjoy this dish.
1 lb Top Round or Flank steak (cut in strips or small pieces)
4 c. broccoli, cut (about 2 medium heads)
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped rough
2 tsp. minced garlic (~6 cloves)
1/4 c reduced-sodium beef broth
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Preheat wok or skillet and sauté garlic in 1/2 tbsp. of the broth for 1 minute. Add beef and cook until meat has almost reached your desired level of doneness. Add onions, broccoli, and beef broth and cook until vegetables have softened. Note that covering the pan with a lid for a few minutes will allow the broccoli to steam better and accelerate the cooking time of this last step. Serve over brown rice.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories - 151
Carbs - 6.25g
Protein - 28g
Fat - 4.25 g
Fiber - 2.64g
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