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Grill Your Way To A Healthier Life

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSA) - Warm weather means pool parties, family gatherings and, of course, backyard cookouts! The best part about grilling, besides the juicy burgers, flavorful kabobs and mouthwatering steaks, is that it's a healthy cooking method!

Providing generations of Americans with countless backyard memories, the grill can merge a low-fat diet into an essential part of any healthy lifestyle.

Grill Your Way To A Healthier Life
In fact, 29 cuts of beef meet government guidelines for lean, so the grilling possibilities are endless. Some of America's favorite lean cuts include tenderloin, T-bone steak and 95 percent lean ground beef-perfect for those juicy burgers.

Grill master Russell Woodward encourages Texans to get healthier this summer by enjoying the low-fat benefits that grilling provides. Follow the helpful tips below to grill your steaks and burgers to perfection:

Choose The Right Cut

The more-tender cuts-porterhouse/T-Bone, top loin, tenderloin, ribeye, rib, top sirloin, chuck eye and chuck top blade-are all ideal candidates for the grill and require only your favorite seasonings or rubs to boost the flavor.

  • Rubs are a blend of seasonings, such as fresh or dried herbs and spices. They are used only to add flavor, not to tenderize.

Apply rubs to the surface of uncooked steaks and ground beef patties just before grilling.

Less-tender cuts such as flank, skirt, top round and chuck shoulder steaks should be marinated for at least six hours or as long as overnight in a mixture containing a food acid or tenderizing enzyme.

  • Always marinate in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.

  • Marinating longer than 24 hours can leave a soft surface texture.

  • Never save and reuse a marinade. If a marinade is to be used later for basting or served as a sauce, reserve a portion of it before adding the beef.

  • Allow 1/4 to 1/2 cup marinade for each 1 to 2 lbs. of beef.

  • Marinate in a food-safe plastic bag or nonreactive container such as a glass utility dish.

Three Easy Steps To Grilling Beef

  1. Prepare charcoal for grilling. When coals are medium, ash-covered (about 30 minutes), spread in single layer and check cooking temperature. Position cooking grid over coals. (To check temperature, use a grill surface thermometer or cautiously hold the palm of your hand above the coals at cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away; four seconds equals medium heat.)

  2. Season beef straight from the refrigerator, with herbs or spices as desired. Place on cooking grid directly over coals.

  3. Grill to desired doneness using a thermometer. Cook burgers to at least 160 F (medium doneness) and cook steaks to at least 145 F (medium-rare doneness). Allow steaks to rest a few minutes before slicing or serving to reduce the loss of flavorful juices.

Tips To Master The Grill

  • Grilling at medium to medium-low temperatures-about 400 F-ensures even cooking. If the temperature is too high, beef can char and become overcooked on the outside before the interior reaches the desired doneness. Charring beef is not recommended.

  • Trim excess fat from meats to avoid flare-ups while grilling.

  • Use long-handled tongs for turning steaks; spatulas for burgers. A fork will pierce the beef causing a loss of flavorful juices.

  • For best results, use an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness. For steaks and burgers, insert the thermometer horizontally into the side (not the top) to check the internal temperature.

The delicious flavor and irresistible aroma of grilled steaks and burgers are perfect any time. Follow these simple steps and you'll be grilling like a pro for those holiday parties or even a simple weeknight dinner!


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