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Speed up your cooking with the butterfly technique

Part of the fun of grilling is hanging out with friends while the steak cooks. When the butcher asks my husband how thick to cut his ribeye, he answers “two beers thick” - in other words, thick enough that he can drink a couple beers while it cooks.

A thicker steak will take longer to cook through than a thinner steak. So if someone orders a thick cut and wants it well-done, they’re going to be at the grill much longer than someone who wants their steak medium-rare.

If you want everyone’s steak to come off the grill at the same time, you have a couple options. First, you could give everyone who wants well-done steaks a head-start. Let the medium-rare folks add theirs to the grill at least 5 minutes later.

The second option is to cut a thicker steak into a thinner steak through a technique called “butterflying”. We do this all the time at the restaurants, primarily on Filet Mignon, which you can see is a few inches thick.

Essentially, you make a cut across the steak, stopping before you cut all the way through it. When you open the steak up, it now has two matching sides, resembling a butterfly. Now the steak is only half as thick and will cook much more quickly. Butterflying a thick steak helps you get the inside well done without charring the outside.

The butterfly technique is easy to do at home and doesn’t require special tools - just a sharp knife! Watch as our butcher butterflies a filet mignon at the steakhouse. Feel free to ask us to butterfly your steak the next time you’re at our meat counter!

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