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How 3 Pro Tips Killed my Fear of Grill-Roasted Beef

I had a fear of grilling beef roasts. I admit this reluctantly, since we raise and sell premium grass-fed beef for a living. But the truth is steaks and chops are easy for me (sear them over hot coals for a few minutes until both sides look right), and BBQ like pulled pork is so forgiving it’s tough to mess up (what’s another hour among friends, on a 12 hour smoke project?) But a beef roast is a fickle beast, so thick the outside says nothing about the middle, and 15 minutes too long can turn it into leather.

Then came a book by a man named Meathead Goldwyn (yes, that’s actually his real name.) Most recipes sport well-meaning estimates for time-per-pound at a given temperature, but Mr. Goldwyn instead shares basic principles to make beef roasting bulletproof. You should buy the book, but while you wait for Amazon to deliver, here are 3 pro tips (summarized in my own words) I found most enlightening to conquer my beef-roasting fears:

1. Realize that your grill is just an oven, fired by charcoal. To operate it for a roast, get a small, hot fire burning off to one side, and place the roast on the other. This indirect heat method lets your roast absorb mostly convection heat (hot air) at the temperature registered on your grill-lid thermometer, and very little of the faster but less predictable radiant heat (transferred short distances directly from the hot coals).

2. On the topic of a grill-lid thermometer, this is key. I went years with my trusty Weber without one, thinking I could operate it by feel. And that’s a romantic notion, but the truth is there’s nothing romantic about an over-cooked roast. So I ordered a real Weber-brand one from Amazon and drilled a small hole in my kettle; it’s the best $15 I’ve ever spent on dinner.

And a second best investment just might be:

3. Use a wireless meat thermometer. This takes any final anxiety out of the project. Stick it into the roast from the start, and then watch the degrees tick to a flawless 135f internal medium-rare while you select a perfect wine to pair with dinner. (Depending on ambient conditions, that will take about 90 minutes for a 3 pound roast with a grill at 250f. But the key here is to trust your meat thermometer so you don’t get derailed by variables.)

Countless recipes can advise on brine and rubs, and you likely have your own favorites. The roast in the picture is a prime rib, but the basic method works with any beef roast. And as growers and suppliers of fine, grass-fed beef, we can let you in on a secret: Most people don’t dare to grill a beef roast, so your new skills will let you tap into abundant supply.

We have a seasonal selection of grass-fed Black Angus available at the ranch, including plenty of roasts for holiday celebrations!



Christian Ahlmann

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