In addition to some very funny anecdotes, and grilling war stories (including oil shot roulette, video below), Love mixed in quite a few valuable tips and techniques, which I'd love to share.
Those Fourth of July cookouts are just around the corner, so the timing is right for a little advice from Texas' top chef.
- Don't use olive oil on steaks before grilling. Love says the oil burns easily and gets bitter. He suggests using peanut oil or other vegetable oil with a high smoke point. Love was wearing a bright orange shirt during the demo, which he joked was a tribute to his friend, and lover of olive oil, Mario Batali.
- The meat should not be ice cold. Allow your steaks to sit out at room temperature to take the chill off. This allows for even cooking.
- Love says to always salt the meat before grilling to create a flavorful crust. His rule of thumb for home cooks is to salt the meat twice as much as you think is needed.
- When cooking for a larger group, Love suggests grilling the steaks ahead of time. Once they're cooked medium-rare, they can be held on trays at room temperature for several hours. When needed, simply reheat on the upper rack of the grill, or in a 400 degrees F. oven until hot.
- Once the steaks are ready to serve, Love suggests a little bit of acid, like a drizzle of lemon or splash of vinegar, which combines with the melted fat in the grilled meat to create a sort of vinaigrette effect, or as the chef called it, a "meat salad."
- Carefully check the marbling of steaks in the meat case, since its grade may not necessarily be accurate. Love explained that just because a steak is labeled "Prime," doesn't mean it is. When inspectors grade beef, they only evaluate the rib eye between the 12th and 13th rib. Whatever grade that section gets, every other cut on the steer get.
- For a change of pace, try skirt steak. Love says, if not over-cooked, it's easily the juiciest and most flavorful cut on the steer.
- And, of course, it wouldn't be a grilling tips list without the obligatory, "Never cut into a steak unless it has rested." Five to ten minutes seems to be the accepted standard for patience.
Like the Chef in the Clip Says, "There Ain't No Party Like a Tim Love Party!"
Below you'll see a brief video I shot at the end of the demo. If you don't know the story already, you can read a detailed account here, but long story short, last year Tim Love was accidentally served a shot glass of canola oil.
As he retold the story, without embellishment (this story needs none), he explained that the show would end with a round of oil shot roulette. In the fridge he had five shots of Patron tequila, and one shot of oil. Six volunteers were to be selected, blindfolded, and "randomly" handed the glasses. On the count of three, they would have to drink the shots.
After Love delicately explained the possible side effects of such a contest, he also revealed the "loser" would get a swag bag. Every loves a nice swag bag, and six contestants were soon assembled in front of the buzzing crowd.
Here are the results. You'll have to pardon the shaky camera, as I find it very hard to hold it still while belly laughing. Enjoy!