Discover the secrets to grilling mouthwatering cube steak with our easy-to-follow guide, ensuring juicy and tender results every time.
Are you tired of the same old boring steak dinner? Why not switch things up and try grilling some cube steak! This underrated cut of beef is perfect for grilling, as it’s lean and tender. Plus, it cooks quickly, making it an ideal choice for busy weeknights.
In this article, we’ll show you how to grill cube steak to perfection. From seasoning tips to cooking techniques, we’ve got you covered.
So fire up the grill and get ready for a delicious meal that will have your taste buds dancing!
Understanding Cube Steak
Cube steak is a cut of beef that has been tenderized by pounding with a meat mallet or running through an electric tenderizer. This process creates small indentations on the surface of the meat, which gives it its distinctive texture and name.
Cube steak can be made from various cuts of beef such as top round, bottom round or sirloin tip. It’s typically less expensive than other cuts because it comes from tougher parts of the animal that require more work to make them palatable.
Despite its humble origins, cube steak can be incredibly flavorful when cooked correctly.
Choosing the Right Grill
There are several types of grills available, including gas, charcoal, and electric. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Gas grills are convenient and easy to use. They heat up quickly and allow for precise temperature control.
However, they can be expensive compared to other types of grills.
Charcoal grills provide a smoky flavor that many people love in their grilled meats. They require more time to heat up than gas or electric models but offer a unique taste that cannot be replicated with other methods.
Electric grills are perfect for those who live in apartments or condos where open flames may not be allowed due to safety regulations. These models do not produce smoke like charcoal or wood-fired options but still deliver delicious results.
Consider your lifestyle needs when choosing the right grill for you – if you’re always on-the-go then an electric model might work best; if you enjoy hosting backyard barbecues then a larger gas grill could suit your needs better; while those who prefer traditional flavors may opt for charcoal instead.
Preparing the Cube Steak
Begin by removing the steak from its packaging and patting it dry with paper towels. This will help remove any excess moisture that could prevent a good sear on the grill.
Next, take a moment to inspect your cube steak for any unwanted fat or connective tissue. Use a sharp knife to trim away these areas as needed, being careful not to remove too much of the meat in the process.
Once you’ve trimmed your cube steaks, season them generously with salt and pepper on both sides. You can also add other seasonings at this point if desired – just be sure not to overdo it as this cut of beef has a delicate flavor that can easily be overwhelmed by strong spices.
There are many different marinade options available, from classic flavors like garlic and herb, to more exotic blends like teriyaki or chimichurri. When marinating cube steak, it’s important to choose the right ingredients that will complement the natural flavor of the meat.
One popular option for marinating cube steak is using an acidic base such as vinegar or citrus juice. This helps break down tough fibers in the meat and infuses it with tangy flavors.
Another option is using dairy-based marinades which can help tenderize while adding creaminess.
If you’re short on time but still want a flavorful meal, consider using a pre-made marinade from your local grocery store or online retailer.
Dry Rub Recipes
They’re easy to make, and you can customize them according to your taste preferences. Here are some dry rub recipes that will take your grilled cube steak from good to great:
1. Classic BBQ Rub: Mix together 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper.
2. Spicy Cajun Rub: Combine 2 teaspoons each of smoked paprika and cumin with one teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme leaves, dried oregano leaves, salt & black pepper.
3. Smoky Chipotle Rub: In a bowl mix together two tablespoons chipotle chili flakes or smoked paprika (if you don’t like it too spicy), one tablespoon ground cumin seeds; half tablespoon ground coriander seeds; half tablespoon garlic granules ; quarter cup brown sugar ; two teaspoons sea salt.
4. Tangy Lemon Pepper Rub: Mix together the zest from one lemon with three tablespoons freshly cracked black peppercorns in a small bowl. Add in quarter cup kosher salt.
Seasonings and Marinades
While the meat itself is delicious, a good seasoning or marinade can take it to the next level. When choosing a seasoning or marinade, consider what flavors you want to enhance in the meat.
For example, if you’re looking for a spicy kick, try using chili powder or cayenne pepper in your rub or marinade.
If you prefer something more savory and herbaceous, rosemary and thyme are excellent choices that pair well with beef. Garlic is another popular ingredient that adds depth of flavor without overpowering the natural taste of the meat.
When it comes to marinating cube steak before grilling it’s important not overdo it as this cut doesn’t require long marination times like tougher cuts do; 30 minutes up-to an hour should be enough time for most recipes.
For dry rubs on cube steaks apply them generously on both sides of each piece making sure they stick properly by pressing down gently with your fingers so they don’t fall off during cooking.
Grilling Techniques and Tips
It’s important to use the right grilling techniques and tips for optimal results. One of the most important things to keep in mind when grilling cube steak is that it cooks quickly due to its thinness, so you need to be careful not overcook it.
To prevent this from happening, make sure your grill is preheated before placing the meat on it.
Another tip for grilling perfect cube steaks is using direct heat instead of indirect heat. Direct heat will sear the outside of your meat while keeping its juices inside intact.
It’s also essential that you don’t flip or move around your steaks too much while they’re cooking as this can cause them to lose their natural juices resulting in dry and tough meat.
Overcooking can result in a tough and chewy texture, while undercooking can leave you with raw meat. The exact cooking time will depend on several factors, including the thickness of your steak and how well-done you prefer it.
As a general rule of thumb, grill your cube steaks for 3-4 minutes per side over high heat for medium-rare doneness. If you prefer your steak more well-done, increase the cooking time accordingly but be careful not to overcook it.
Overcooking can result in a tough and dry texture, while undercooking can lead to an unpleasant chewy consistency. The ideal internal temperature for medium-rare cube steak is 135°F (57°C), while medium-well should reach 150°F (66°C).
To ensure accurate readings, use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
It’s important not only to monitor the internal temperature but also maintain consistent heat on your grill throughout cooking. Fluctuations in heat can cause uneven cooking and affect doneness levels.
Ideal Grilling Temperatures
The ideal grilling temperature for cube steak is between 400°F and 450°F. This high heat will sear the outside of the meat, locking in all those delicious juices while creating a crispy crust.
It’s important to note that cooking times may vary depending on your grill and how thick your cut of meat is. A good rule of thumb is to cook each side for about three minutes before flipping it over.
If you’re unsure if your grill has reached its optimal temperature, invest in a reliable thermometer or use an infrared thermometer gun to check surface temperatures quickly.
Remember not to overcrowd your grill with too many steaks as this can cause uneven cooking and result in tough or undercooked meat. Give each piece enough space so that they can cook evenly without touching one another.
Here are some must-have items that will help you achieve perfect results every time:
1. Meat Thermometer: A meat thermometer is essential for ensuring your cube steak is cooked to perfection.
It allows you to check the internal temperature of the meat, so you know exactly when it’s done.
2. Tongs: Tongs are a great tool for flipping and moving your cube steaks around on the grill without piercing them and losing precious juices.
3. Grill Brush: Keeping your grill clean is important not only for hygiene but also because leftover food particles can affect how evenly heat distributes across its surface area.
4. Basting Brush: A basting brush helps apply marinades or sauces onto your meats while they cook, adding extra flavor and moisture as they sizzle away on hot coals or gas flames!
5.Grill Basket : If you’re planning on grilling vegetables alongside with Cube Steak, then a grill basket would be an excellent accessory that prevents small pieces from falling through into fire.
Overcooking can result in a tough and dry texture, while undercooking can be dangerous for your health. So how do you know when your cube steak is done? The easiest way to test doneness is by using a meat thermometer.
Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, making sure not to touch any bones or fat. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of 135°F (57°C), while medium should reach 145°F (63°C).
If you prefer well-done steak, cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). Another method for testing doneness involves using your fingers: press on the center with tongs or a spatula; if it feels firm but still has some give then its medium rare; if its firmer then its more towards being well done.
Resting the Meat
Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, resulting in a more flavorful and tender bite. To rest your cube steak, simply remove it from the grill and place it on a cutting board or plate.
Tent some aluminum foil over top of the meat for about 5-10 minutes before slicing into it.
During this time, you can prepare any sides or garnishes that will accompany your meal. This resting period also gives you an opportunity to check if there are any issues with cooking temperature or seasoning that need addressing for future grilling sessions.
There are plenty of options when it comes to pairing this delicious cut of meat with sides and sauces that complement its flavor. For a classic steakhouse experience, consider serving your cube steak with a baked potato and steamed vegetables like broccoli or asparagus.
You can also try pairing the meat with some grilled corn on the cob or roasted sweet potatoes for a more rustic feel.
If you’re looking for something lighter, consider serving your cube steak over a bed of mixed greens topped with cherry tomatoes and crumbled blue cheese. This is an excellent option if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake but still want something flavorful.
For those who love bold flavors, try topping your cooked cube steak with chimichurri sauce or salsa verde made from fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro blended together in olive oil.
Side Dish Ideas
When it comes to grilling cube steak, there are plenty of options for sides that will enhance the flavors and textures of your meal.
For a classic pairing, try serving grilled corn on the cob with butter and salt. The sweetness of the corn pairs perfectly with savory beef flavors.
You can also grill up some vegetables like zucchini or bell peppers for a healthy and colorful addition to your plate.
If you’re looking for something heartier, consider making baked potatoes or sweet potato fries on the grill alongside your cube steak. These starchy sides will help balance out any acidity in marinades or seasonings used on your meat.
Don’t forget about salads! A fresh green salad with tomatoes and cucumbers is always a great option when grilling outdoors during warmer months. Or try making a pasta salad loaded with veggies like broccoli florets or cherry tomatoes – perfect as an accompaniment to grilled meats!
Grilled Cube Steak Recipes
Whether you’re looking for something simple or more complex, there’s a grilled cube steak recipe out there for everyone. One popular option is to serve the grilled cube steak with a side of vegetables and potatoes, creating an easy and satisfying meal.
Another delicious way to enjoy this cut of beef is by slicing it thin and using it as the base for fajitas or tacos.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try marinating your cubed steaks overnight in your favorite marinade before grilling them up on the barbecue. This will infuse even more flavor into the meat while also helping to tenderize it further.
For those who prefer their meals on the spicier side, consider adding some heat with chili powder or cayenne pepper when seasoning your cubed steaks before grilling them up.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with some common issues that may arise during the grilling process.
One of the most common problems is overcooking or undercooking your steak. To avoid this issue, make sure to follow our recommended cooking times and temperature guidelines carefully.
Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness instead of relying on guesswork.
Another problem that may occur is sticking to the grill grates. This can happen if your grill isn’t hot enough or if you haven’t properly oiled the grates before cooking.
Make sure your grill is preheated adequately before placing your steaks on it, and use an oil-soaked paper towel held by tongs to grease up those grates.
Lastly, unevenly cooked steaks are another issue that many people face when they’re new at grilling cube steak. To prevent this from happening again in future cookouts try using thinner cuts of meat so they cook more evenly throughout their thicknesses.
Cleaning and Maintaining the Grill
This will not only extend the life of your grill but also ensure that it’s safe to use for future meals. Start by removing any leftover food debris from the grates using a wire brush or scraper while the grill is still hot.
Then, turn off the heat and let it cool down completely before wiping down all surfaces with warm soapy water and rinsing thoroughly.
For tougher stains or buildup on stainless steel grills, you can use specialized cleaners designed specifically for this purpose. Be sure to follow manufacturer instructions carefully when using these products.
Regular maintenance is also key in keeping your grill in top shape. Check propane tanks regularly for leaks or damage, replace worn-out parts as needed (such as burners), and cover your grill when not in use to protect against weather elements.
Always use heat-resistant gloves or tongs when flipping the cube steak on the grill. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies, and never leave your grill unattended while cooking.
It’s also essential to properly clean your grill after each use to prevent any potential hazards from leftover grease or debris.
When marinating meat, always do so in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature as this can cause bacteria growth that could lead to food poisoning. Make sure you’re using separate utensils for raw meat and cooked meat to avoid cross-contamination.
By following these simple safety tips, you can enjoy a safe grilling experience while savoring every bite of your perfectly grilled cube steak!
How do you cook cube steak so it’s not tough?
To cook cube steak so it’s not tough, brown it in oil for about a minute or two on each side, then slow cook it on low for six to eight hours with gravy.
Why is my cube steak always tough?
Your cube steak may be tough because you are not using the right cooking method, such as skillet preparation, as recommended by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Can you grill cube steak on a charcoal grill?
Yes, you can grill cube steak on a charcoal grill, heating it until you can comfortably hold your hand 3 inches above the grate for no more than five seconds, then lightly coat the grill with oil, season the steaks, and place them on the grill.
What is the ideal marinating time to tenderize cube steak before grilling?
The ideal marinating time to tenderize cube steak before grilling is 2 to 4 hours.
Which techniques can be used to ensure even cooking of cube steak on a grill?
To ensure even cooking of cube steak on a grill, use techniques such as pre-heating the grill, flattening the steak, and turning it frequently for uniform heat distribution.
How can you adjust the grilling temperature for optimal tenderness in cube steak?
To adjust the grilling temperature for optimal tenderness in cube steak, lower the heat to medium and cook it slowly to prevent overcooking and maintain tenderness.