From Caves to Backyards: Grilling the Perfect Steak

cocktail party from 1961 LIFE magazine- Grill the Perfect Steak

~from LIFE magazine, 1961.

It was first done in caves.

Now, it’s done in backyards, oceanfront estates, around pools, on patios and driveways, and even on rooftops.

One of the most basic human activities, cooking meat over fire, has evolved quite a bit from the days of the caveman. However, many of its results have stayed the same.  For those early chefs during the Paleolithic Era, not only did cooking free up time to hunt for higher quality food,  according to the Harvard Gazettte, the “newfound time could be spent on other pursuits, such as socializing.”

That is no different today. Some of our most precious and important moments in our lives and in our society occur in backyards with the smell of the grill in the air. It creates community and is such an escape from the binary, digital world in which so many of us live.

So, during the Memorial Day Weekend, call your friends, start the fires of the grill, and cook some meat!

Grilling the perfect steak can be simple.

For this weekend’s Memorial Day cookout, I went to our local market and talked with their butcher. Here are the tips from Jacksonville’s award-winning Pinegrove Market & Deli‘s butcher, Nader Bajalia:

Pinegrove Market & Deli- Grill the Perfect Steak

Pinegrove Market & Deli’s Butcher, Nader Bajalia

  1. Get a great cut of meat. At Pinegrove, all of their meat is personally dry-aged by Nader for 18-21 days.

  2. Prepare the steaks with a thin coat of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

  3. Turn the grill’s heat to high and sear the steak, one minute on each side.

  4. Turn the grill down to low and put the steaks on the top rack.

  5. Close the lid and DO NOT OPEN IT for 15-18 minutes if you want your steaks “medium.”

Escape the modern, return to the simple, and kick off summer with a return to the past. I could think of no better way to celebrate the sentiments of Memorial Day.

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