Wet heat? Dry heat? Beef Roasts and Steaks 101

Greetings Carnivores,

It’s been a while for me and as such, Cyberspace has seen a significant void in the ‘ol Carnivore confidential blog but, I assure those of you whom have wondered … “Hey ??? Whatever happened to that guy??” Well … I’m ok.

The winter of 2014/15 was particularly tough up here in the Frozen, Great White North of Canada. We installed a new, wood burning, fireplace insert to help subsidize the high cost heating with fossil fuel then, promptly burned our way through 3x as much wood as we thought we might need to sustain us though the cold winter months.

Ah … the learning curve.

Between stoking the fire to keep the biting cold at bay from early December, well into the month of March (just made me want to hibernate), coupled with a SEVERE case of “Writers’ Block” (just couldn’t find anything meaningful to say), AND a major back surgery (I’m now the proud owner of a lower spine, fused with 6 screws and 2 steel rods) Well … like I said it’s been a tough few months.

Having said that, … the Earth has FINALLY turned on its axis, showing its Northern Hemispherical face to the lengthening hours of gloriously warm sunshine, the song birds have returned, and everything around us is waking up from a long winter sleep.

I too am feeling the rebirth of Springtime… even IF my aching, healing back will still not allow me sit in chair and type for very long.

So … let’s get on with it shall we?

Today I’m going to focus on Beef Roasts and steaks but, this discussion applies to Pork, Lamb, Veal wild game … everything.

You’ve heard me say that the amount of work a particular muscle does in life determines how tender it will be on the fork BUT … even a hard working muscle can be rendered fall apart tender with the correct cooking method. Click here:

Which brings us to the topic for today.

Cooking Beef roasts and steaks:

There are two types of cooking: Wet and Dry.

The important thing to remember is … which to use on which particular cut.


The Butchers Beef Carcass diagram

Dry cooking methods such as BBQ, Oven or Pan can be used successfully on the following cuts from the carcass chart above.

The Rib section:

Bone-in or boneless Rib Roast (Prime Rib, Standing Rib) or steak (including the Tomahawk and Rib eye, sometimes known as the Delmonico).

The Loin section:

Bone-in or boneless Top Loin Roast or steak (Strip loin, AKA New York Strip Loin) T-Bone Roast or steak, Wing Steak, Porterhouse Steak, Tenderloin Roast (Chateaubriand) or steak (Filet Mignon)

The Sirloin Section:

Bone-in or Boneless Top Sirloin Roast or steak, Bottom Sirloin steak.

Ground Beef actually fits into both wet and dry cooking methods since we all know how wonderful a burger on the grill is, as well as a slow cooked pot of Chili or Spaghetti sauce on the stove.

Everything else on the carcass drawing above fits into the wet category of cooking. The reason for this is the hard working nature of the rest of these muscles since they are all used for support and mobility.

The heavy fat and sinew density of these muscle groups means that in order to render them fall apart tender and wonderfully flavourful you must cook them low and slow with moisture and a lid.

I hope this sheds some light on the differences between these two methods of cooking and the particular ways these cuts, whether its a roast or a steak can be prepared.

Remember: There are no bad cuts … just bad ways of cooking certain cuts.

I hope you’ll give these a try and let me know how you make out … I LOVE getting comments and questions so, keep ‘em coming. 🙂

Stay tuned and … please click “follow” at the top of the page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

20 thoughts on “Wet heat? Dry heat? Beef Roasts and Steaks 101

  1. I’m glad to see you back and this is a really great post! I hope your back problem is not from hauling firewood – and trust spring is finally there. My lilacs are at full bloom which cheers me up to no end!

    • Hey there Frugal 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words. No, my back has always been made of glass. I broke it when I was a kid (compression fracture) and it’s only gotten worse with age. Bone loss and arthritis has made my life almost unbearable going forward so, I really didn’t have much of a choice. Anyway, … things are looking up now and I seem to be on the road to a new and improved me 🙂 Now, … I just pray I can go back to the things I love … skiing and riding my motorcycle 🙂
      Have a spectacular day 🙂

  2. I’m sorry you had to have lumbar surgery. I haven’t had it personally, but my late-father, brother, and a few uncles have had it. It isn’t fun. I hope you continue to improve. This post is worth bookmarking for reference. Nicely done!

    • Thank you so much Debbie … yes, back surgery isn’t very much fun but … I have been so miserable for years, my hand was kinda forced. Hopefully, going forward I can return to some of the things I’ve missed … skiing and riding my beloved motorcycle 🙂
      I LOVE getting feed back so, thanks for that as well 🙂
      Hope you’re have a spectacular day !!

    • Thank you so much Chef Jeff … yes, it’s been a bit of a challenge but, I’m on the road to recovery 🙂
      Means a great deal to me to have the support of a great chef 🙂
      I always look forward to hearing from you 🙂

  3. Thank you so much … take some time and look around … I’ll bet there’s a TON of useful info for you here … and thx for visiting. Follow me for instant updates every time i post something new 🙂
    Stay hungry 🙂

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