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22 Grilled Chicken Recipes to Devour This Memorial Day

22 Grilled Chicken Recipes to Devour This Memorial Day

[Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt, Shao Z.] If I show up at a barbecue and don’t trust the chef, I steer clear of any chicken I see—more often than not it’s going to be mediocre. But grilled chicken doesn’t have to be stringy and flavorless—use the […]

Special Sauce: Joe Yonan on Charting Your Own Path

Special Sauce: Joe Yonan on Charting Your Own Path

[Joe Yonan photograph: Lottie Hedley. Beans photograph: Vicky Wasik] In part two of my far-ranging interview with Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan, we talked about his career in journalism and the ever-evolving world of food media. Joe told me about his winding path to […]

How to Carve a Rack of Lamb the Right Way

How to Carve a Rack of Lamb the Right Way


Carving a rack of lamb by slicing between the bones

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

Carving a rack of lamb—whether pan-roasted or sous vide—isn’t as simple as sliding a knife between the bones. Whether you’re dividing a larger rack into smaller ones before cooking (like, say, turning an eight-bone rack into two four-bone racks) or slicing individual chops after cooking, you need to pay attention to how the rib bones and loin of meat align in order to divide them evenly.

A diagram of the bones and loin in a rack of lamb to show where to divide it

The ribs in a rack of lamb curve, which leaves more meat on one side of each rib than the other. Carve accordingly.

Taking a closer look at a rack of lamb, you’ll notice that the ribs curve at an angle, which means that they arc along the loin in a way that makes dividing it evenly more difficult. If you aren’t mindful of this, you’re likely to divide the rack improperly and end up with some rib bones that have almost no meat attached and others that have too much.

In the above photo, the yellow circles indicate where each rib terminates; as you can see, the bones don’t run in a straight line. Whether the bones curve to the right or left depends on which side of the lamb the rack came from. In the above example, you can see that the bones curve down and to the left, which leaves the loin right-shifted in relation to them.

Look at the rightmost rib: You can see that the meaty loin extends out to the right from it. This also means that the leftmost rib has little to no extra meat to the left of it. If you divide this rack into individual chops by slicing between the bones, and the knife rides closer to the bone that’s to its left, that rightmost rib will end up with an extra-thick medallion of meat on it, while the leftmost rib will have a thin flap dangling pitifully from it.

Therefore, the best way to carve the above rack is to ride the knife along the bones to the right; that will leave enough meat attached to the leftmost rib and an equal share on the rightmost one. Remember that these directions will be reversed on racks from the opposite side of the lamb.

The same logic applies if you’re splitting an eight-bone rack in half. If you ride the knife along the wrong bone, one of the four-bone racks will end up quite a bit bigger than the other, even though each has four bones on it.

Where to divide an 8-bone rack of lamb

Make sure to divide an eight-bone rack in the right place; otherwise, one four-bone half will end up with more meat than the other.

The lesson here is that since racks of lamb aren’t labeled with which side of the animal they came from, we have to look first to determine the curvature of the bones before making our cuts. That way, no one will feel like they got—erm—ribbed off.

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.



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Cumin-Scented Lentils With Sausage and Dandelion Greens Recipe

Cumin-Scented Lentils With Sausage and Dandelion Greens Recipe

3. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in lentils, tomatoes, chicken stock, and a healthy pinch of salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-high and simmer […]

Cumin Nature: All About the Spice That Goes With (Nearly) Everything

Cumin Nature: All About the Spice That Goes With (Nearly) Everything

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article by Max Falkowitz ran in 2010. It has since been updated with additional copy by Elazar Sontag. Cumin Flavor profile: Earthy, pungent, musky, and peppery. Goes well with: Gamey meats such as lamb or venison. Try it […]

18 Grilled Beef Recipes for Memorial Day

18 Grilled Beef Recipes for Memorial Day


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[Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Burgers are about as fancy as I get at most cookouts, but if I’m really celebrating I’ll ditch the ground beef and break out the steak—it’s hard to look at an open flame and not imagine a perfectly charred slab of beef. Our basic recipe will teach you how to get started, but a simple grilled steak is just the beginning. Whether you want an affordable mojo-marinated skirt steak, meltingly tender brisket, or a smoked porterhouse worth the splurge, you’ll find the perfect recipe in this collection of our 18 favorite grilled beef recipes for Memorial Day.

If you’ve got questions about your grilling set up, or you’re looking for more recipes, head over to our grilling hub for tips, tricks, and techniques.

Perfect Grilled Steaks

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

When it comes to grilling steak like a pro, there are only a few things you really need to keep in mind: start with thick steaks, salt them at least 40 minutes before cooking, reverse sear them over a two-zone fire, and check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Follow those steps and you’ll end up with perfectly cooked meat every time.

Perfect Grilled Steaks Recipe »

Barbecue Smoked Beef Chuck

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Barbecuing beef chuck isn’t as simple as sticking it in the smoker and letting it do its thing—the exterior of the meat dries out and becomes tough as nails. The solution is to wrap the chuck in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil partway through the cooking process, which traps in moisture and keeps the beef tender from edge to edge.

Barbecue Smoked Beef Chuck Recipe »

Sous Vide Smoked Brisket

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Barbecue purists might want to move to the next recipe, because here we’re making smoked brisket sous-vide style. We start by cooking the beef in a water bath for at least 24 hours (depending on the temperature), then we finish it on the smoker for a couple hours to give it a smoky bark.

Sous Vide Smoked Brisket Recipe »

Slow-Smoked Porterhouse Steaks

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Fast-cooking cuts like steaks aren’t generally good candidates for smoking, but with the right technique it’s possible to cook a porterhouse in a way that it ends up both smoky and medium-rare. To do it take thick steaks, set them on their sides and smoke them over a very low fire for a few hours. Once they just about hit about 115°F, take them on and finish them over a roaring flame.

Slow-Smoked Porterhouse Steaks Recipe »

Grilled Mojo-Marinated Skirt Steak

[Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Skirt steak is one of our favorite choices for grilling because it’s relatively inexpensive and comes out rich and tender when cooked over a hot fire. The meat has a loose structure that’s perfect for soaking up marinades, which in this recipe means a citrusy, mojo-style mixture of lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Grilled Mojo-Marinated Skirt Steak Recipe »

Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

For our version of classic Tex-Mex fajitas, we marinate skirt steak with lime juice, brown sugar, and chili powder. We also add one less traditional ingredient—soy sauce—to add extra savoriness. You can’t have fajitas without sizzled peppers and onions, which we cook in a cast iron skillet placed right on the grill.

Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas Recipe »

Dijon-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Dijon mustard, rosemary, and champagne vinegar come together to form an easy marinade that is also perfect for skirt steak. The acidity of the mustard combined with the vinegar helps tenderize the meat, and the marinade is salty enough to both season the steak and help it retain moisture on the grill.

Dijon-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak Recipe »

Black Diamond-Style Steak Marinade

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

A good steak really needs nothing more than salt, pepper, and heat (and the pepper is optional), but when there’s a parade of grilled beef coming off the grill, sometimes you want to mix it up. To that end, here’s a marinade recipe that will work with any steak you want to toss on the fire: a dark and savory mix made up of soy sauce, Worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, and onion and garlic powders. If you want some other marinade options, we’ve got two more that are similarly versatile: one’s a zippy combination of lemon zest, ginger, lemongrass, beer, and floral ground coriander; the other is an intriguingly bitter and buttery mix of coffee and chocolate, with a little bit of an added surprise from a hit of chili powder.

Black Diamond-Style Steak Marinade Recipe »

The Best Carne Asada

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

You have a lot of options when it comes to making carne asada, but it should always be buttery and moist and have a great crust. Our recipe is flavored with a marinade of citrus juices, soy sauce, dried chilies, and chipotles in adobo. We soak the meat in the marinade for several hours before cooking it on a super hot grill.

The Best Carne Asada Recipe »

Seekh Kebabs (Pakistani Spicy Grilled Ground Meat Skewers)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

While I usually prefer to make Pakistani seekh kebabs with lamb, beef works too if you prefer something a little less gamy. We flavor the kebabs with a long list of spices and aromatics. Most of them are easy to find, but sour amchur powder might be tricky—citric acid powder, tamarind paste, or lime juice are the best replacements.

Seekh Kebabs (Pakistani Spicy Grilled Ground Meat Skewers) Recipe »

Lomo al Trapo (Colombian-Style Cloth-Wrapped Grilled Beef Tenderloin)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Lomo al trapo is a wonderful dish for entertaining because it’s remarkably simple but incredibly impressive. To make it, just wrap a beef tenderloin in salt and a kitchen towel and throw it onto hot coals. The towel will burn up and leave you with a juicy, flavorful tenderloin. The meat will keep cooking quite a bit after you take it off the coals, so pull it well before it reaches your desired level of doneness.

Lomo al Trapo (Colombian-Style Cloth-Wrapped Grilled Beef Tenderloin) Recipe »

Argentinean-Style Grilled Short Ribs With Chimichurri

[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

If you see short ribs on an American menu, chances are they’ve been braised. In Argentina, though, short rib is often destined for the grill. Because short ribs are so fatty, they’re a pretty forgiving cut to work with—just make sure to cook them to at least medium-rare so that all of the intramuscular fat can start to melt. To complement the Argentinean technique, serve the beef with a classic Argentinean chimichurri.

Argentinean-Style Grilled Short Ribs With Chimichurri Recipe »

Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak With Scallions, Ginger, and Teriyaki Glaze

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

There’s nothing wrong with a simple grilled flank steak, but it’s not especially festive. To make it more impressive, try wrapping it up with scallions, ginger, and a teriyaki glaze before throwing it onto the grill. Or if that doesn’t sound quite your speed, how about a muffuletta-inspired version stuffed with cured meat, Provolone, and olive salad?

Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak With Scallions, Ginger, and Teriyaki Glaze Recipe »

Grilled Spinach- and Mushroom-Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Tenderloin is definitely tender, but it’s also on the bland side. We like to stuff it with other ingredients to add a little more flavor—in this case we go with mushrooms, shallots, and spinach. A reverse sear is the best way to cook a roast like this, so slowly bring the meat up to 120°F on the cool side of the grill before browning it on the hot side.

Grilled Spinach- and Mushroom-Stuffed Beef Tenderloin Recipe »

Grilled Strip Steak With Creamy Yogurt Sauce and Tomato-Cucumber Salad

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

When you’re grilling a steak, you need to make sure it’s at least an inch and a half thick so that you can get a great crust before it overcooks. A New York strip that thick can easy serve two people, so only buy half as many steaks as you have guests. To balance out the meaty steak, try serving it with a refreshing cucumber tomato salad and yogurt sauce.

Grilled Strip Steak With Creamy Yogurt Sauce and Tomato-Cucumber Salad Recipe »

Grilled Jalapeño-Marinated Steak Sandwiches With Charred Onions and Cotija Mayo

[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

If a plated steak sounds too formal for a cookout, then how about a sandwich instead? This one is made with grilled hanger steak marinated with jalapeño and lime, served on toasted baguettes with charred onions, fresh cilantro, and cotija mayonnaise. Be extra careful to cut the meat against the grain so that it doesn’t all come out of the sandwich at once when you take a bite.

Grilled Jalapeño-Marinated Steak Sandwiches With Charred Onions and Cotija Mayo Recipe »

Colombian-Style Barbecued Beef Ribs

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Beef ribs aren’t the most common cut, but if your butcher sells prime rib roast then they should have some for you. This bargain piece of beef is great for smoking—a few hours on the grill and they’ll be tender and smoky, with a great bark. In Colombia they serve beef ribs with a side of ají, and I strongly suggest you do the same.

Colombian-Style Barbecued Beef Ribs Recipe »

MOINK Balls

[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Wrap beef meatballs (moo) in bacon (oink) and you get MOINK balls, a tasty appetizer worth keeping on the table as your guests arrive. We season ours with a barbecue rub and serve with barbecue sauce for extra flavor. They grill up pretty quickly, but get plenty of smoky flavor thanks to hickory chips added to the coals.

MOINK Balls Recipe »

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.



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Sides Can Be Stars, Too: 18 Grilled Vegetable Recipes for Memorial Day

Sides Can Be Stars, Too: 18 Grilled Vegetable Recipes for Memorial Day

[Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt, Joshua Bousel] Burgers, steaks, and chicken are all well and good, but it’s probably not a great idea to just serve meat on Memorial Day; throwing some veggies into the mix will round out the meal and keep things a little […]

Thai Dried Chili–Vinegar Dipping Sauce Recipe

Thai Dried Chili–Vinegar Dipping Sauce Recipe

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik] This Thai-inspired dried chili—vinegar dipping sauce is a close relative of Thai jaew. But instead of using fresh lime juice, which begins to deteriorate in quality and flavor the longer it sits, this sauce gets its acidic bite from distilled white vinegar, […]

Thai-Inspired Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Feast Recipe

Thai-Inspired Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Feast Recipe


1.

The Day Before Roasting, For the Pork: In a small bowl, whisk together salt, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside. Using a sharp knife, score pork skin in a crosshatch pattern, with scores spaced 3/4 inch apart. Flip pork shoulder over, skin side down, and repeat crosshatch pattern on flesh side. Pat pork shoulder dry with paper towels, then sprinkle all over with salt mixture. Use your hands to rub salt mixture all over the shoulder. Transfer pork shoulder, skin-side up, to a wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, then refrigerate, uncovered, at least overnight and up to 2 nights.



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Feed a Crowd With This Thai-Inspired Roast Pork Shoulder Feast

Feed a Crowd With This Thai-Inspired Roast Pork Shoulder Feast

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] It’s a question as old as time: How can I host a kick-ass meal for a bunch of my friends without having to spend the whole party toiling away in the kitchen? Even though you’re entertaining, you should still be able to […]