Suzi's Blog

Grilling Temperatures for Steak from Virgil’s Barbecue


At Virgils’s Barbecue in Times Square in New York City, they do thousands of pounds of meat each and every day. Maybe more barbecue than you will do in your lifetime, or at least one busy summer.

The question arises: how do I know if my meat is done, especially if I want it rare or medium rare or … The table below gives the suggested temperatures from Virgil’s along with the recommended USDA temperatures. The USDA is safe. Virgil’s is delicious.

And, as you can see, USDA does not distinguish among all the “doneness” levels that we consider “natural.” With all that volume of meat, Virgil’s approach is scientific. They do not use folklore to test doneness, no “does it feel like some part of my hand” business. At Virgil’s everything is checked with an instant read thermometer.

If you do not have one yet, it’s a small investment. After all, that steak you are eying is going to cost you a fortune. 

Steak State  Virgil’s Recommends  USDA Recommends
 Rare  125 145
Medium Rare 130 145
Medium 140 145
Medium Well 155 160
Well 160 160



Cooking Corn in the Microwave


Here's a reminder from a past post here, a fast, easy way to cook corn and deal with all that mess from husking and watching the corn silk float about the room. You find silk strands in your kitchen for days, don't you? Or, if you shuck outside, you walk back into the house trailing silk. Who wants to shuck corn outside and then strip before reentering. My God, you'd think this was preventing the spread of ebola virus!

Instead, don't shuck. Put your whole ears of corn in the microwave, cook for 4 minutes an ear, remove the ears, and just cut off the bottom ends. Then you simply pick up each ear by the tassel end and the cooked corn slips right out of the husk. Okay, a vigorous shake or two may be needed, but that silk stays together while the corn lovingly slips away. No floating silk.

Suzen and I do this all the time now. Is there flavor impact? No. The corn is essentially steamed the same way it is when you grill corn with the husk on. There is no textural impact. The kernels are perfectly steamed, tender and show no hint of the "rubberiness" that happens when you microwave bread.

No silk, no way.

Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/3.5 for 1/30th second at ISO‑1250