July's Top Story Ideas
Summer is officially here, which means backyard barbecues and picnics in the park – and you, equipped with your signature dish! While we all enjoy a good old-fashioned get-together and weekends full of fun in the sun, it’s important to consider food safety, handling and storage, especially during the hotter months. Check out a few of our favorite tips to beat the heat this summer and enjoy beef at its best.
How to Store Beef: Let’s start at the grocery store! A good rule of thumb is this: if it will take longer than 30 minutes to get your freshly purchased beef home, consider keeping it in a cold cooler. Curious about how to best store your fresh meat once you’re home? Refrigerate or freeze as soon as possible after purchasing, and always place beef packages on the lowest shelf in your refrigerator on a plate or tray to catch any escaping juices.
Handling Beef Safely: There are a few basics you should know when handling beef. Keep your work surface clean to avoid cross-contamination and prevent foodborne illnesses by washing hands well before and after handling raw meat. And don’t forget to clean your work space and cooking utensils thoroughly with hot soapy water before and after use!
How to Prepare Beef: How you prepare your beef is just as important as storing and handling. There are a variety of tips and techniques to ensure your beef is at its best! For example, when handling Ground Beef for burgers or meatballs, don’t over-mix the meat – it will result in a firm, compact finished product. Bringing your favorite beef dish to a cook-out? Just remember, perishable dishes must be refrigerated within two hours of cooking, or one hour if the temperatures are above 90°F.
Determining Doneness: Do you like your steak to be at its most tender and juicy? A meat thermometer and our handy doneness guide (equipped with beef cooking times and temperatures!) will tell you all you need to know about the perfect doneness for steaks, roasts and burgers.
1. Strip Steak: Available boneless or bone-in, this full flavor lean cut cooks up great on the grill! Try something new with our simple Smoky Strip Steaks with Mexican-Style Grilled Corn. Delicioso!
2. Top Sirloin Steak: This versatile cut is well-flavored, juicy and tender! We recommend Citrus-Marinated Beef & Fruit Kabobs – cubes of Top Sirloin are marinated for flavor (not that this cut needs it!) in a mixture of fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange peel, cilantro and smoked paprika. They are then grilled alongside skewers of watermelon, peaches, and mango. How about that for a tasty dinner?
3. Lean Ground Beef: You can never go wrong with the tried-and-true burger – a summertime favorite, for sure! Feeling adventurous? Our Fruit & Nut Burger recipe puts a unique spin on the traditional burger.
5. Flank Steak: Boneless and flavorful, Flank Steak really benefits from marination. But don’t worry – it’s worth the extra few minutes! Our Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak combines tangy balsamic vinegar, fresh basil and garlic, and Dijon mustard for a next-level flavor experience.
6. Tri-Tip: This grill-able roast is tender, boneless and offers rich beef flavor and versatility; it can also be found pre-cut into Tri-Tip Steaks. Originating on the west coast, this cut is gaining popularity nationwide. We love Grilled Beef Tri-Tip with Tropical Fruit Salsa – the sweet and tangy lime-honey glaze and quick salsa (including papaya, jalapeno and lime) brightens up the finished dish. No doubt it’ll be a hit!
For those that enjoy a traditional appetizer, we recommend Beef Pinwheels, Mini Meatball Appetizers with Apricot Dipping Sauce, Beef & Kale Queso Fundido or Beef Skewers with Garlicky White Bean Dip.
And finally, please the guests that love to experiment with new, ethnic flavors with a few of these tasty bites! Our flavor-packed Sesame-Soy Steak Stir-Fry on Wonton Crisps provide great texture with crispy wontons, stir-fried steak, crunchy cucumbers and toasted sesame seeds. Or How about Hoisin-Marinated Beef Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce are the perfect combo of sweet and savory!
Easy Beef Breakfast Rolls combine sausage, egg and cheese all wrapped up in a perfectly browned, pillowy roll – you really can’t go wrong with handheld dish! And Easy Mexican Beef Cornbread Muffins provide just the right balance of spicy Mexican beef sausage and slightly sweet cornbread muffins. Picky eaters attending? Shredded Beef & Egg Quesadilla will be their new favorite!
And it wouldn’t be a proper brunch party without waffles! For those sweet toothers, give ‘em these quick and easy Beef Breakfast Waffles with Mango Syrup. Use frozen waffles or make your own, and you can even customize your syrup, just swap in your favorite fresh fruit if you’re not the biggest fan of mango. Mix up waffle batter, beef sausage, cheese and green onion for our Savory Beef Brunch Waffles and serve with your choice of toppings like maple syrup, hot sauce or sour cream.
Beef's versatile flavors and preparation methods lend themselves to every season. Turn to us to get a jump start on the latest seasonal flavors and culinary trends, and be sure to check in for special calendar markers such as the summer grilling season. We'll inspire you with recipes that make the most of farmers' markets, home gardens and cooking methods that fit the season. Whether you’re planning a summer grilling story in December or an après-ski menu in August, we can help set your editorial table.