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Mastering the Grill

LOW AND SLOW is the way to grill a Munson Premium Angus Steak

There is a science and art to grilling.

We recognize some grilling extremists want to be experts and others just want dinner.  The best reasons to grill beef yourself is because live fire is inspiring, fun, and grilling is the oldest and most basic enactment of the principle of cooking food with heat.

High heat can overcook or char the outside of beef cuts while the interior remains underdone.  The temperature of any fire is determined by its ratio of fuel to oxygen.  Add plenty of fuel and oxygen and the fire gets blazing hot.  Increase the fuel but restrict the oxygen, and the fire burns slowly.  Increase the oxygen and restrict the fuel, and the fire burns quickly.  The outside air temperature and wind can also increase or decrease the temperature of the fire.

Indirect heating adds a few more variables:  the type of fuel (woods burn hotter than charcoal), the thickness of the coal bed, the amount of potential energy left in the coals (determined by their appearance), and the vents on the grills' firebox and lid.

Indirect Heat: Charcoal or wood grill
Temperature (F)
Coal Appearance
Coal Bed Thickness
Bright orange glow
4 inches
Orange glow; light ash
3 to 4 inches
Medium ash; visible glow
3 inches
Medium-thick ash; faint glow
2 inches
Thick ash; spotty faint glow
1.5 inches

Grate Height Vents Counting by Thousands*
2 inches 100% open 4 times
3 inches 80% open 5 times
4 inches 70% open 8 times
5 inches 60% open 10 times
6 inches 50% open 11 times

*At this temperature, you should be able to hold your palm about 4 inches above the grill grate and count by thousands (1 one thousand, 2 one thousand...) the number of times listed in the chart without having to withdraw your hand.
Steaks and Roasts
145 F
medium rare
160 F
170 F
well done
Ground Beef
160 F
170 F
well done
Other Grilling Tips:
Turn steaks with tongs, not with a fork.
**A fork pierces the beef, allowing flavor and juices to be lost.
Turn hamburgers with a spatula; do NOT flatten burgers.
**Pressing causes the loss of flavorful juices and results in a dry burger.
Salt beef after cooking or browning.  
**Salt draws out moisture and inhibits browning.
Nutrition researchers have found that a simple rinsing process can reduce the fat in cooked ground beef by as much as 50%.  This is an excellent way to take advantage of lower-priced ground beef such as 85% lean/15% fat or 80% lean/20% fat.
NOTE:  Munson Premium Angus Ground Sirloin and Steakburgers have natural juices that are characteristic of high quality beef.  Liquid juices will cook off the beef and impart a unique robust flavor.  Drippings are not entirely fat in content; juices are a naturally occurring characteristics of high quality Angus beef.  Because 90% and higher lean beef are lower in fat, rinsing will not produce the same results and, therefore, it is not recommended for our steakburgers and ground beef available for internet purchase.  (80/20 Premium Angus Ground Beef is available for purchase in our local retail store.) 
1.  Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink.  Stir occasionally to break beef into large pieces.
2.  Meanwhile, microwave 4 cups of water in a glass measuring cup or microwavable bowl on HIGH 5 to 6 minutes or until very hot (150 F to 160 F), but not boiling.
3.  Using a slotted spoon, remove beef pieces to a large plate or other container lined with three layers of white paper towels; let sit 1 minute, blot top of beef with paper towels.
4.  Next, put beef pieces in a fine-mesh strainer or colander.  Pour the hot water over beef to rinse away fat.  Do NOT run water directly from the tap because it causes the beef to break into finer pieces, which can affect the texture of your finished dish.  Drain 5 minutes.
For Burgers, Meatball, and Meatloaf:  For pan-broiled beef burgers, you can reduce the fat by removing excess fat as it accumulates, and by placing the cooked burgers on several layers of paper towels before serving.  For meatballs or meatloaf, place the beef in a pan on a rack so that the fat drips away.  After cooking, place the beef on a surface lined with several layers of paper towels.  You also can blot the sides and top of the cooked beef (if not glazed) for further fat reduction.