Tailgate Like a Champion Guide

Best Steak to Grill for my Tailgate?

[fa icon="calendar"] Feb 17, 2017 11:38:40 AM / by Ryan Jepson

 When ordering out anywhere today, the most expensive, most revered, star of any menu is the best cut of steak available.  Whether in a 5 star restaurant in New York City or the parking lot outside any of Americas many sports stadiums the steak reigns supreme.  For today’s parking lot partiers, there is only one means of cooking a thick slab of meat that will suffice, the grill.  The debate between the ease of propane gas and the flavor of real charcoal aside there is nothing more primal or manly than flipping thick slabs of meat while other men with painted faces look on drinking beer and commenting at every pop and sizzle.  But depending on what your budget is and how many people you are cooking for you need to answer "What is the best steak to grill for my tailgate?"


For the perfect tailgate steak, there are several factors to consider when at the store:


As mentioned before a good steak is the highlight of any menu, but with this can come a hefty price.  Depending on the sporting event that you have taken the time to drive to, buy tickets for, and pay for parking at, a good steak can be a minor expense.  Take time to weigh options at the grocery store and buy the quality and quantity of meat that fits your purpose.

Quality and Quantity:

Depending on the number of people you are cooking for and the budget that you allotted above there are going to be several options for any quality and quantity of meat.  Find the happy medium between buying a lot of poor meat and a small amount of high quality meat. 


Tenderness VS Flavor:

While anything from a flavorful sirloin to the delicate tenderloin filet can be grilled, it is best to settle somewhere in the middle to get a favorable combination of flavor and tenderness. Here are a few options to consider when looking for a cut in that flavor/tenderness sweet zone:

 Ribeye:  Bone in or without, a good-sized steak that can be cut to varying thicknesses to better serve your grilling purposes. 

 T-Bone: Also, known as a porterhouse, this cut is half strip and half tenderloin, the only cut that can provide the flavor/tenderness duality in what is two cuts in one. 

 Flat Iron:  This thinner cut takes less time to cook but also has a ton of flavor and the tenderness of some more expensive cuts. 


Other Factors to Consider:

Seasoning:  For any cut of steak a dry rub or a marinade will work depending on personal preference.  To let the meat itself shine try rubbing the steak with just some coarse salt and pepper prior to grilling. 

Grill:  As mentioned before gas grills are easier to use and can allow you to regulate the heat on the grilling surface more easily but some grillers believe they don’t add the flavor that a charcoal grill can provide.  Charcoal grills on the other hand can make it difficult to regulate the temperature because burning coals can’t be simply “turned down” they do however allow the fire and the smoke to flavor the meat as it cooks. 


Hopefully this quick guide can assist you by answering "what is the best steak to grill for my tailgate?"  When prepared correctly just about any cut of meat can taste like the best you’ve ever had.  So, change things up and experiment with different cuts, seasonings, and cooking methods. 


Happy Tailgating!

Ryan Jepson

Written by Ryan Jepson