Grilling on July 4th? Here’s How to Pick the Perfect Cut of Beef!

The beef counter at your local shop can be a bit overwhelming. But not if you know exactly what you should pick up! Phil Carlson from Von Hanson’s Meat Market recently appeared on Twin Cities Live to offers his tips and tricks to picking the perfect cut.

Ribeyes and strip steaks are popular choices for holidays like the 4th of July. Phil also recommends a bottom sirloin. Once you’ve selected your cut, make sure the packaging is intact, cold and tightly wrapped. Not sure what the best cut is for you? Use the Interactive Butcher Counter Tool to help you pick your cut.

StkswTomTapenadeOnce you’ve selected your cut, you need to prepare it. Phil likes an all purpose spice, a garlic cracked pepper or just basic salt and pepper to season your beef. For the proper cooking time for your cut, check out this handy Reference Grilling Time Chart.

This Fourth of July, wow your friends and family with your grilling skills! For a seasonal flair, try the Ribeye Steaks with fresh Tomato Tapenade, or any of these other grilling favorites at Beef – It’s What’s For Dinner.

Stick a Fork In It – It’s Done!

Grilling is one of the best ways to celebrate beautiful summer weather, family get-togethers and outdoor grilling. Grilling steak to the right temperature can seem daunting at first, but with a little practice and a few of our tips, you will be a grilling like a pro in no time! The Beef Checkoff has provided a temperature chart to ensure safe and easy grilling:


The USDA recommends a meat thermometer for the most reliable source of safety and doneness. Check out this video for tips and tricks. Remember always cook hamburgers to at least 160 degrees. The color of the meat should not be used to determine doneness; your thermometer is your friend.

◊ For more information on how to check the doneness of beef, go to

◊ Looking for some new grilling ideas? Check out these Grilling Favorites at


From Daughter to Dad

A flipped over five-gallon pail, heavily embellished with dirt, rested inside the cab at the top of the combine stairs. Reaching out his supportive arm for me while hovering above the stairs was my grandpa, “Gramps.” I sat down on my bucket beside him in his worn leather seat and away we headed towards the field.

Becky Dad Grampa

Reaching out his hand was a common act of Gramps. In the most selfless ways, Gramps was loyal and dependable in all areas of his life – in practicing his faith, caring for his family and tending to his farm. I cherish the evenings we spent together feeding cows, the days we spent together baling hay and the hours we spent together praying at church. My grandpa built a foundation of core values for me at an early age, all of which I still hold close to my heart today.

Throughout my life, my own father has played a dominant role in strengthening those fundamental values while engraining new ones.

Getting up before sunrise to feed, wash and work with my show cattle, lambs and hogs was made easier with serene sunrises and smiles from my happy-go-lucky dad that were somehow always clear through my half-closed, sleepy eyes.

showing cows

After morning chores, we would head our separate ways for work before coming home to do it all over again.

Naturally, my sister and I crank up the radio during chores. It doesn’t end there. When you have a stack of hay bales for a stage and a pitchfork doubles as a moveable mic, our stellar dance moves naturally follow. My dad enjoys listening to music, but doesn’t always like to admit it. That is, until his favorite song comes on! Most days, Dad just shakes his head and smiles, but other times, he puts a little pep to his step too just long enough for us to notice. This is when he becomes the “cool” dad.

I’ll tell you what I love about my dad, what I really love.

Becky Dad

He encourages us. He is supportive, helpful and hard-working. Dad’s encouragement has helped my siblings and I both in and out of the barn. His encouragement has helped us pick ourselves up time and again after being drug through gravel by an ornery calf. His encouragement has shown through by the fact that he never missed an elementary school concert, high school sports game or college awards banquet.

He supports us. My dad is a caretaker for my mom, family, livestock and home. He is the hardest working man I know, never taking a day, or even a few hours, to rest. He sets an example for us that the capability of working hard is a blessing, not a punishment.

He teaches us. He has taught me patience while waiting for ewes to lamb and cows to calve. He has taught me faith in accepting that we are not always in control. That no matter what you do to save a life on the farm, sometimes, it is not enough. He teaches me acceptance, and that it is always more beneficial to move forward rather than dwell on the past.

The greatest lessons that I have learned from my dad, are the ones that have been unintentionally taught.

My father is someone who leads by example. Dad has taught me that life is not fair and that life is not easy, but that life goes on. He has now taken on the “Grandpa” title, and is filling the role just as Gramps once did.

Becky Dad2

While I know I cannot possibly thank Dad enough for all that he has done for me, I appreciate it all now more than ever before as the lessons that I have learned from him speak for themselves.

My dad may or may not lack in the cooking department. But, he has taught me how to fire up the grill! His Father’s Day dinner of choice? A big, juicy steak. This weekend, go ahead and grill a steak you love, with someone you love.

Thank you to my dad, and to all fathers out there, for everything you do. Your hard work, dedication and compassion does not go unnoticed.

About the Writer

Becky Church is serving as the Minnesota Beef Summer Intern. She is a Hastings, Minnesota native attending the University of Minnesota. She will graduate this December with an agriculture marketing and communications degree and animal science minor. Becky has enjoyed showing cattle, lambs and hogs throughout her 4-H and FFA years and now loves promoting the industry through her photography and design business.

And the Winner Is…

Who Reigned Supreme at This Year’s Twin Cities Burger Battle?

One sure sign of summer in Minnesota is the annual Twin Cities Burger Battle. This year’s battle brought together 25 of the best local burger joints and restaurants to serve up burgers for 2,500 attendees. Congratulations to this year’s Burger Battle Champion Red Cow with the Double Barrel Burger, featuring two in-house ground beef patties, house-made  American Cheese and a special sauce on a Wuollet hamburger bun.

Burger Battle Champ Red Cow

Twin Cities Burger Battle Champion Red Chow

Throughout the evening, guests also had the opportunity to cast their vote for the People’s Choice winner. Congratulations to this year’s People’s Choice winner, Peppers and Fries, with the Bangkok Burger, an all-American beef patty with cool cream cheese, house-made sweet Asian garlic sauce, creamy Sriracha coleslaw,  fresh jalapeno slices and cilantro on a buttered, toasted bun.

Burger Battle Peoples Choice Peppers and Fries

People’s Choice Winner Peppers and Fries

Another Minnesota burger favorite is the Jucy Lucy, which is basically a cheeseburger with the cheese inside the meat. The Juicy Lucy burger was invented in a south Minneapolis bar sometime in the 1950s, and depending on who you talk to, was either the 5-8 Club, who serves the Juicy Lucy, or Matt’s Bar, who makes the Jucy Lucy, and let customers know that “if it’s spelled correctly, you’re at the wrong place”.


Image courtesy of

We may never know who did it first, but these tips from can help you make a delicious Juicy Lucy at home!

What to buy: Fat equals flavor and moisture, so buy high-quality chuck with a fat content of 15 to 20 percent. While American cheese is standard in a Juicy Lucy, other cheeses that melt well, such as mild cheddar or pepper jack, can be substituted. Soft hamburger buns (skip brioche or crusty buns) work best with the simple flavors of these burgers.

jucy lucy

Images courtesy of

Toast those buns: If you’re grilling outside, toast the buns right on the grill while the cooked patties are resting. If you’re grilling inside using a grill pan, toast your buns in the oven, because the moisture left in the pan from cooking the burgers will make the buns soggy.

Don’t forget: Make sure the burger patties rest after cooking so that the juices redistribute in the meat and the cheese isn’t dangerously hot when you bite into the center.

For more great summer beef recipes, check out our grilling favorites and more at Beef – It’s What’s for Dinner.

Beef and Cheese? Yes, Please!

Beef-Tenderloin-Steaks-with-Blue-Cheese-Topping_VERTICAL-%281%29 (1).jpgJune is National Dairy Month

June marks the start of grilling season in Minnesota, and it is also National Dairy Month – a perfect time to “beef up” your favorite summer meals with some delicious dairy products! The Meat House presents some of the benefits (and tasty treats) when you combine beef with your favorite dairy products.

According to Midwest Dairy Association, those who enjoy three servings per day of low-fat dairy as part of a balanced diet are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. You can still enjoy your Beef Florentine and look great doing it- veggies, dairy and protein all in one!

Dairy like beef, is also rich in many essential nutrients including calcium and vitamin D for your bones, protein for your muscles, potassium for your blood, phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin and many more!

In fact, studies show that those who consume adequate amounts of nutrient-rich dairy are less likely to develop conditions like osteoporosis, hypertension, obesity, colon cancer, and metabolic syndrome. This also decreases their risk for more severe diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Dairy is important to a balanced diet and is simple to add to your favorite beef meals! Serve some Greek yogurt sauce with beef kabobs, smother your burger with your favorite cheese, and pair it with a cold, creamy milkshake, or top some salad greens with grilled steak and buffalo mozzarella! Who knew being healthy could be so delicious?

Need some inspiration? Check out Beef – It’s What’s for Dinner for recipes that combine delicious dairy and beef products. So “milk” the summer for all it’s worth and enjoy National Dairy Month!

Twin Cities Live 2nd Annual Unofficial Battle of the Burger

Unofficial Burger BattleIn honor of the Official Twin Cities Burger Battle, Twin Cities Live and the MN Beef Council bring you the 2nd Annual Unofficial Burger Battle! Watch as we bring together 2 competing chefs who go head-to-head to create the best burger of the year. Who will the audience choose?

Watch the video here.

The Capital City Burger from The St. Paul Grill is the 2015 Twin Cities Burger Battle People’s Choice Award Winner. Chef George Snyder recreates this crowd-pleasing burger, featuring thick-cut bacon, smoked Gouda, IPA-marinated fried shallots, Blonde Ale mustard aïoli and Maker’s Mark steak sauce on a pretzel bun. Delish! St. Paul Grill Burger

The Chef’s Loaded Burger from the Strip Club Fish & Meat is a newcomer to the 2016 Twin Cities Burger Battle. Described by Chef J.D. Fratzke as the “Chef’s loaded – this is what he wants on his burger!”, this beefy delight combines Pasture’s Pride White Cheddar Cheese, shredded red beef lettuce, deep-fried bell peppers and onions, Bushel Boy tomatoes and the Strip Club’s signature Fantasy Island dressing on a toasted, house-made milk bun. Yummy!chefs loaded burger


Which burger is your favorite? GET THE RECIPES!

Feel Good About Loving Beef

Celebrate National Beef Month

As we celebrate National Beef Month, the MN Beef Council encourages you to feel good about loving beef! The protein in beef is a powerful nutrient that strengthens and sustains our bodies, and evidence shows protein can help in maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle and fueling physical activity – all of which play an important role in a healthful lifestyle and disease prevention. In fact, there are TEN essential nutrients in beef, including zinc, iron, and niacin, that can support and sustain a balanced diet. Check out the infographic below to learn all the ways beef can be part of your healthy lifestyle!

10 Essential Nutrients in Beef


For more information on the health benefits of beef, visit the Beef Up Your Diet section of the MN Beef Council’s website. And we hope you celebrate National Beef Month with your favorite cut of beef!