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Be Prepared! National Beef Month is Almost Here.
Nothing says "summer" like the smoky, rich aroma of barbecue. The sun is shining, the snow shovels are back in the garage, and the enticing scent of steak in the air puts a little extra spring in your step. With its long-awaited warm temperatures and the promise that summer is on its way, it's no wonder that May is National Beef Month. With grilling season and a national celebration of our most popular red meat just around the corner, you'll want to make sure you've got everything you need to barbecue the perfect slice of beef.
1. First, you need to make sure that your grill is ready for all that meat! Make sure that your grill is clean by scrubbing all surfaces with a non-abrasive pad. If your grates aren't coated you can use a wire brush to remove old build-up. Don't forget to finish off the interior (and spruce up the exterior) with soap and water. Make sure the grill is dry before using it though. Scrub your grill with a grill brush after each use, that way you can save yourself the trouble of trying to remove stuck-on grime.
2. If you've got a gas grill, make sure your propane tank is full and that there are no leaks. You can check for leaks by filling a spray bottle with a bit of soap and water, and then spraying the lines and connectors. Any areas that bubble indicate a leak.
3. You'll also want to remember to check for spiders under the knobs and in the tubes. Check the ignition and, if needed, replace the battery. Be sure to lubricate any sticky knobs.
4. Once you've cleaned and inspected your grill, do a quick check for hot spots by firing the grill up and placing white bread on the grates. Let it cook on high for a few minutes, then check to see which areas are burnt or significantly more toasted. If you find you have some hot spots, you can use those areas to your advantage (like searing that rare cut of New York Strip) or add an anodized grate to even out the heat. After the initial preparation, you're ready to bring on the beef!
When it comes to barbecuing the perfect hamburger or steak, there are a few important things to remember. Be sure that you don't make your burgers too thick. Many people will roll their burgers into a ball, and only flattening them out a bit in the middle. While you might think this would lead to a juicier burger, it tends to produce a burger that is black on the outside and raw on the inside. Instead, make sure your burgers aren't more than an inch thick, and just slightly pinch the center to allow it to plump up to an even size all around.
For steak, there's no need to cut into it and risk losing all of that delicious juice. Use your index finger to check if it's done. A rare steak should feel like the soft spot of flesh just underneath your thumb, a medium steak should feel about as hard as your palm, and a well-done steak should feel similar to touching the tip of your nose. If you've got the time to monitor the temperature, slow-cooking your beef keeps that savory flavor locked inside the meat. Just don't get distracted and forget you've got the grill going!
If you've got a sudden craving for beef and don't have the time or energy to grill it yourself, be sure to check out Otis & Henry's®. We’ve got some amazing specials as part of our Rounding up the Beef promotion in May. Here you can celebrate National Beef Month and enjoy the warm weather on our screened in porch and outdoor barbecue area. On Thursdays in May, you can enjoy a delicious prime rib with a baked potato and side salad for only $12.99. Stop in Friday through Sunday and enjoy our braised beef short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and a salad for $13.99. On Fridays we also have a prime rib sandwich served with au jus and fries for $10.99. You can enjoy all of the tastes and comfort of barbecue without all of the effort. So when those May flowers start blooming and the temperatures rise, don't forget National Beef Month and get yourself some barbecue!