The Steak Cuts You Should Abstain From During Grilling Season

Nothing says grilling season is upon us like a juicy, mouthwatering steak complete with beautifully charred diamond grill marks. But while beautiful to the eye, not all pieces of meat are cut out for the grill grates. Some cuts of steak are best left for cozy winter dinners that spend hours getting tender in the slow cooker or Dutch oven. Such cuts include brisket, rump roast, chuck roast, and short ribs. The general rule of thumb is the tougher the cut of meat, the less suited it is for a quick char on a flaming hot grill.

Tender steak cuts tend to come with a higher price tag, but that doesn't mean that more affordable cuts of steak aren't as enjoyable or flavorful — it's all about how you cook them. And if you're really dead set on enjoying one of these tougher cuts in your backyard this grilling season, there's always cooking with a smoker. But it's best to keep them off the grill and in your oven instead. 

For tougher cuts, remember: low and slow

Time is a friend of tougher cuts of steak — a longer period of cooking time at a lower temperature allows the meat ample time to tenderize. Tougher cuts of steak come from muscles of the animal that were exercised more. Time allows the collagen to break down, thus softening the texture of the steak.

On the flip side, the best steaks for grilling are those that come from muscles less used (think tenderloin or T-bone) and those with more marbling. Marbling is simply fat woven throughout the muscles. As it heats and melts over that hot grill flame, it will impart flavor and juiciness to the meat which results in a tender texture. So save the brisket, short ribs, and roasts for a day when you've got the time to let your meat cook low and slow. But feel free to fire up the grill for that filet mignon, ribeye, sirloin, flank, or strip steak.