(Family Features) - Do you enjoy the flavor of steak hot off the backyard grill - even when the seasons change? If so, you're not alone. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 60 percent of grill owners cook out all year long, even during the winter months.
"More Americans want to grill year-round," said Kent Harrison, spokesperson for AngusPride premium beef. "They know grilling gives beef a great flavor, and they want to savor that distinctive taste at mealtime."
Pete Geoghegan, corporate chef with AngusPride premium beef, said winter grilling doesn't require much modification from your summer grilling routine. He recommends a couple of variations — and a jacket.
"If you're using a rub on your meat, throw in a little more 'heat' by adding some dried, spicy chili peppers to your seasoning blend to spice things up," he said. "And don't forget the side dishes with roasted root vegetables — carrots, parsnips, turnips or potatoes — that are plentiful in winter. Wrap them up in aluminum foil with just a little butter, salt and pepper, and cook them along with your steaks. You'll have a complete meal."
To get in and out of the cold quickly, Geoghegan recommends dishes that require minimal grilling. A recipe like AngusPride Rib Eye Steaks With Shoestring Fries has a cooking time of 8 to 12 minutes. If you just don't want to brave the elements but still crave steak, try AngusPride Herb Mustard Steak, which can easily be prepared indoors on the stove.
The one thing most cooking enthusiasts agree on is that great outdoor grilling, any time of the year, begins with high-quality meat.
"When choosing premium beef, look for cuts that have a rich, red color, firm texture and robust marbling," Geoghegan said.
For information on beef shopping and more recipe and menu ideas, visit www.anguspride.com.
Five Winter Grilling Safety Tips
You can still cook outside during wintertime, but keep safety in mind before you fire up the grill. Leslie Wheeler, spokesperson for the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, offers some basic safety guidelines for homeowners to follow when grilling outside during the winter months. Consider these tips:
- Allow a minimum of 10 feet of space between the grill and your home.
- Inspect gas lines, burners and the interior lid of your grill, and remove any debris.
- Don't allow oil and fat to build up inside your grill; the accumulation could cause a flare-up the next time you cook.
- Make sure your grill cools completely before it's covered and stored away.
- Never leave your grill unattended.