Heather Travis Beef Information Centre

Heather Travis, Beef Information Centre

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Heather Travis

A card-carrying carnivore and voracious vegetable lover, Heather Travis left life in the city for life in the country and now boasts an extensive rubber boot collection.

An avid home cook and trained eater, Heather is an expert in how to buy, cook, eat and enjoy Canadian beef.

Heather Travis is Director, Public Relations for the Beef Information Centre.

Beef Information Centre
Plaza 4, Suit 101, 2000 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario.
T: 905-821-4900 ext. 215
Toll Free: 1 866 953 0665 ext 215
F: 905-821-4915.

Current Article: May 2011

Summer Barbecue Myths and Truths

Heather Travis, Beef Information Centre

Photo Credit: www.beefinfo.org

Since prime grilling season is fast approaching, we thought we could sort out a few common grilling myths to help you enjoy summer grilling at its best.

Myth: Cook burgers until no longer pink inside and juices run clear.

Truth: Let’s put an end to this colour confusion. Numerous studies have shown you can’t judge beef doneness by looking at its colour or juices. Burgers can be brown in the centre even when they are not cooked through OR pink even when they are cooked. Cook burgers to an internal temperature of 160F/71C, testing internal temperature with a digital rapid-read thermometer to know if they are done.

Want to learn how to cook beef like a pro? Watch this handy video. We’ve also got handy burger cooking lessons and step by step instructions to help you out too.

Myth: Grilling is best done with the lid up.

Truth: Of course the barbecue needs to be closed when cooking by indirect heat or rotisserie roasting – how else would it cook like an oven? But cooking with the lid down even when grilling has advantages too. Keeping the lid down cooks the meat faster and more evenly. The more you lift the lid, the longer it takes to cook.

Myth: A Barbecue Fork is the perfect tool for flipping your steaks.

Truth: Using a barbecue fork is the easiest way to drain your beautiful Canadian Beef steaks of their precious juices. The best way to flip a steak is using tongs.

Myth: To cook a steak properly you should flip it frequently.

Truth: The perfect Canadian Beef steak is best flipped only once. This helps with even cooking throughout the entire cut of beef. Want to learn how to cook steak like the pros do? Check out the video.

Myth: Poking, prodding or cutting into a steak is the best way to check if it’s done.

Truth: No need to ‘nick and peek’ to know if your steak is done – a food thermometer takes out the guesswork. When close to being done, insert a digital rapid-read thermometer sideways into steak to know how well it’s done. Why? Because just like flipping our steaks with a fork, this lets out those precious juices. The handy doneness chart on this steak cooking page will help you use your thermometer to grill perfect steaks every time. And speaking of juices….don’t forget the best way to enjoy a steak is to let it REST. Once you remove it from the grill (with your tongs), place it on a cutting board to rest for at least five minutes. This lets the juices redistribute throughout, allows the steak to finish the cooking process and gives you a perfectly grilled steak ready to slice and serve.

Myth: Don’t salt a steak before cooking.

Truth: The practice of salting before cooking has long been debated, with concerns this would toughen and dry meat. We found that meat allowed to stand after salting did have increased loss in juices, however, we also noted benefits. Steaks salted shortly before cooking had lower cooking losses and scored higher for flavour, browning, juiciness and overall tenderness. An added bonus: you’ll likely find you need less salt for seasoning if done prior to cooking since more complex flavours develop, not just a salt flavour.

Myth: “let beef stand at room temperature prior to cooking”…

Truth: In a word – NO! We measured the internal temperature of roasts and steaks sitting on the counter and found this practice created food safety risks that far outweighed any small quality benefits – even with a standing time of just 15 minutes. So just say NO – keep meat refrigerated prior to cooking.



April 2011
Shoe Leather and a Side Salad: Ensure beef buying and cooking satisfaction by asking ‘how’

March 2011
Eat Local, Taste the Exotic: Go globetrotting with Canadian Beef without leaving home

February 2011
Top 5 Beef Tips to help you save money and time

December 2010
Grab your toques ‘Eh’! It’s Time to Toast the Roast! The BIC’s online cooking lessons help home chefs BBQ the perfect New Year’s Roast

November 2010
Mission Possible: Healthy Holiday Eating Healthy Holiday Eating Tips from the Team of Registered Dietitians at the Beef Information Centre

October 2010
How to Pack Hot Lunches Safely

September 2010
We’ve Got It Covered: How Beef Packaging Can Help with Meal Planning

August 2010
Ladies, follow these tips and you’ll have the men asking “What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin?’ while you wo-‘man’ the grill in style.

July 2010
What does cooking all-Canadian mean to you?

June 2010
Does Size Really Matter? With these sliders, its taste that counts

May 2010
Beyond Burger Basics: Take your beef burgers from basic to inspired

April 2010
Every day is Earth Day for Canada’s 80,000 beef producers

March 2010
A Trip to the Healthy Butcher

February 2010
For Best Results, Go Topless

January 2010
Perfect Pairings: How to pick the best wine for your beef

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