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Quick Tips

Determining Doneness

Steaks

Use an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the side of steaks to check doneness. Thermometer should reach the thickest part or center of the steak. Allow 10 to 15 seconds for the thermometer to register the internal temperature. Cook steaks to 145°F (medium rare) or 160°F (medium).

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Roasts

To achieve the desired serving temperature, remove the roast from the oven when the thermometer registers 5°F to 10°F below the desired doneness. Remember, the recommended internal temperature range is 145°F for medium rare to 160°F for medium doneness. You should let your roast stand for 15 to 20 minutes after removing from the oven. During that time, the temperature of the meat will continue to rise to the desired serving temperature.

Another benefit of allowing your roast to stand for 15 to 20 minutes is that your roast will firm up to allow for easier carving.

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Tips on Choosing a Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer will help you cook beef at a safe temperature and prevent overcooking. Choose a thermometer that is designed for meat, not for candy or other foods. The two most common types of meat thermometers are instant read and oven proof.

Instant Read Thermometer

Provides quick readings via a digital readout and are ideal for steaks.

Ovenproof Thermometers

Inserted into meat prior to cooking and remain inserted during cooking. They are ideal for roasts.

Using a Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer must be inserted properly to accurately determine temperature. Depending on the thermometer, the sensor will be between ½ inch and 2 inches long. The sensor must be completely immersed into the deepest area of the meat. For beef roasts and steaks, insert the thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone or fat. Always check beef in several places with a meat thermometer to ensure that temperature is safe throughout.

Defrosting

Thawing
  • Never defrost beef at room temperature. Defrost all frozen beef slowly in the refrigerator. Slow thawing is not only safe, but also prevents moisture and flavor loss.
  • Place frozen beef on a tray during thawing to catch any juices. Transfer to the refrigerator the day before needed and let thaw overnight on the lowest shelf.

Refrigerator Defrosting Times

Large Roast Small Roast 1-inch Steak
4 to 7 hours per pound 3 to 5 hours per pound 12 to 14 hours

How Much to Buy

How Many Servings Each Cut Will Yield 

Servings Per Pound (3-ounce cooked, trimmed)

  Tenderloin Top (Strip) Loin, boneless Ribeye
Steaks 4 4 3
Roasts 4 N/A 3

Principles of Wine Pairing

Pair great with great, humble with humble.
Aged prime rib is far more satisfying when it's served with a wine of commensurate greatness. Similarly, pot roast feels just right with a juicy, humble wine.
Work with natural flavor affinities.
Trust your instincts when it comes to beef and wine. Beef’s density and deep flavors have an affinity with rich, powerful wines. Fragile wines or extremely light-bodied ones may taste out of place.
Complex wines go with simple preparations.
Many of the greatest Bordeaux or California cabernet sauvignons are best enjoyed with a high-quality but simple dish, such as a fine steak.
Robust seasonings require robust wines.
Beef dishes with bold/spicy/hot flavors are perfect for spicy, big-flavored wines.
Watch "weight" when pairing.
Besides the intensity of the flavor, the sheer weight of the beef dish and the weight (or "body") of the wine should be in harmony. If the beef dish is hearty and substantial, it will work best with a wine that’s full in body.
Fruitiness in food and fruitiness in wine have natural synergy.
Dishes with a significant fruit component to them often pair beautifully with fruity red wines.
Tannin can be beef’s best friend.
Some grape varieties, such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petite sirah and nebbiolo, are naturally high in tannin. High-tannin wines taste best with dense foods that are rich in both protein and marbling (like beef), which offset this bitterness and dryness.
Don’t forget rosés.
Rosé wines, often overlooked, are wonderful with a surprising range of beef dishes. Rosés have the earthy, bold red-fruit character of red wine and the freshness and acidity of white wine. This combination is an enormous asset with certain beef dishes-especially those that include highly pungent ingredients, such as garlic.
Balance salty with sweet.
Salty foods dull the flavor of many wines, making them taste neutral. Acidity can counterbalance a food’s saltiness, but another brilliant strategy is to juxtapose that saltiness with a touch of sweetness.

Salt Pairing

BEEF + SALT = A Delicious Mouthwatering Combination

Beef and salt have an interesting relationship. Salt your steak too soon before cooking, your steak will lose some of its moisture; but if you salt your steak just before it hits the pan or grill, you will achieve amazing flavor and great caramelization! Controlling moisture on the surface is the key. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to pat your steaks dry with a paper towel before cooking; this will also help achieve a wonderful deep brown color while cooking.

There are a couple of basic salts that you should have on hand in your pantry; kosher salt and a fine to medium grind sea salt. Go an extra step and keep a couple of salt cellars or a salt grinder near your stove or grill; you’ll always be ready. A couple of great specialty salts to have on hand while cooking beef are smoked sea salts and Murray River Flake salt. Smoked sea salts are considered "finishing" salts and have an amazing aroma and flavor. Because these salts pack such a flavor punch, you want to use them with care and at the end of cooking. You will still need to season your steak with either kosher or sea salt while cooking but will sprinkle just a pinch of one of these amazing smoked and finishing salts at the end. Refer to the chart for the perfect pairing.

Salish™ Alderwood Smoked Salt

Pacific sea salt that is cold smoked over red Alderwood. No artificial coloring or flavoring is added. Salish gives food a delicious smoke flavor both on and off the BBQ.

Pair with the following cuts: Strip Loin Steaks, Cap of Ribeye 
Yakima™ Applewood Smoked Sea Salt

Created using sweet Applewood from the Yakima Valley in Washington State to fuel the fires that give this delicious smoked salt its flavor. Aged Applewood is one of the most popular of the fruit woods using in smoking. Yakima Applewood smoked salt has a subtle fruit wood flavor.

Pair with the following cuts: Tenderloin steaks, Ribeye steaks, Ribeye Cap
Murray River Flake Salt

An apricot-colored flaky salt from Australia. The colorful crystals melt quickly and have a wonderful crunch and mild taste. This is a perfect salt to use as a garnish or as a finishing salt at the table.

A Great finishing salt for use on all cuts

A portion of this information is courtesy of National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

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