Tips for grilling best-tasting steaks

Betsi JamesOur Town Eats

The boss came to Newport to open our newest in-store Starbucks. On Aug. 8, Steven Smith was at the ribbon-cutting at 416 Eastern Plaza Shopping Center, Newport, Tennessee. This marks the company’s 40th Starbucks location with others planned to open soon. Starbucks offers blended hot and cold coffees and beverages, including seasonal favorites, as well as an assortment of tasty breakfast sandwiches and pastries.

We’re yielding the floor to our colleague Denise Masoner who compiles a monthly food column for Food City. If you find it helpful, let us know. We’ll start incorporating it in this column monthly.

Celebrate summer with grilling favorites

Warm summer weather usually means more time spent outside with family and friends, firing up the grill and cooking more dinners over an open flame. The grill is a valuable tool for preparing a delicious meal with minimal clean-up required and can also be a healthier way to cook since less fat is typically added in preparation.

Beef nutrition

The first thing that comes to mind for most people when thinking of summer grilling is probably the protein. After all, few things say summer like the sound or smell of hamburgers and steaks sizzling on the grill. For most Americans, protein is typically the centerpiece around which we build the meal, and beef happens to be one of the best sources of proteins. A high-quality, complete protein, beef provides all nine essential amino acids, which are essential for building and repairing muscle tissue and are the building blocks of all cells in the body. A three-ounce serving of beef supplies an average of 25 grams of protein or about 50% of the daily value. Beef also supplies essential vitamins and minerals, including zinc, iron and B vitamins. Alongside a healthy eating pattern that incorporates plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, beef can be included to help reach wellness goals.

Certified Angus Beef

When consuming red meat, it’s essential to think about quality and optimization of flavor. Food City is proud to do precisely that by serving Certified Angus Beef at the meat counter. All Certified Angus Beef adheres to 10 quality standards that ensure the best marbling for flavor and consistency in sizing, tenderness and appearance. For Certified Angus Beef’s Prime cuts, nine additional criteria are applied that other brands of Angus beef do not have to meet, resulting in the best quality, texture and taste. Some of the best cuts to throw on the grill at your next cookout include Ribeye, New York strip and T-bone. While the generous marbling of the meat provides flavor, some leaner cuts, like filet mignon, are also incredibly tender and flavorful and go great on the grill. A great option for feeding a crowd, top sirloin is the perfect blend of cost-efficient, flavorful and lean. This moderately tender cut will also grill well.

Tips for preparation

When meat is placed directly on a high heat source, such as grill grates, the proteins in the meat begin to break down and denature. These proteins interact with sugars resulting in browning and depth of flavor, known as the Maillard reaction. Drawing some moisture away from the meat by applying a salt rub at least one hour before grilling will produce a better sear on the steak. For even richer flavor and color, salt can be applied to the meat the day before and left uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

Marinating meats ahead of time will flavor the meat and result in a more tender and succulent steak. Marinades are typically composed of an acid, such as citrus juice, buttermilk, wine or vinegar, which work to break down the connective tissues of the protein. Pairing the citrus component with oil, herbs and spice helps balance the dish’s flavor. Alternatively, meat tenderizers can be applied directly to the meat. Proteolytic enzymes, such as bromelain found in pineapple or papain from papaya, are the active ingredients in meat tenderizers that break down collagen in the meat.

Herb marinated top sirloin steak

Serves 4


  • 1 lb. boneless Certified Angus Beef top sirloin steak
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce


  1. Cut steak 1-inch thick.
  2. Combine dry mustard, marjoram, oregano and basil.
  3. Slowly add broth, whisking to avoid lumps.
  4. Add vinegar, oil and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Place top sirloin steaks in zip-lock bag; pour marinade over steaks.
  6. Marinate for 2 to 3 hours, turning about every 45 minutes.
  7. Remove steaks from marinade and grill steaks to desired doneness.

Visit for more inspired recipes and grill-ready cuts. Betsi James is special events manager for Food City’s Knoxville and Chattanooga divisions.  

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