Los Angeles Times

The best insider tips for grilling beef this summer

If you think there's nothing new to learn about steaks, think again.

I recently asked Katie Flannery, the second-generation scion of Flannery Beef, a well-regarded Bay Area beef purveyor, to share her beef grilling secrets. She told me four things I found to be aha moments that make me excited to get back to the grill this summer, with recipes from Katie Flannery herself and two Los Angeles chefs who serve her beef on their menus.

First, be on the lookout for prime hanger steak. No matter how trendy it becomes, hanger is always more affordable than rib-eye, strip and filet_and it's always more flavorful. Buying it prime-grade_a subjective term that means a steak with the highest percentage of fat marbling_ratchets up the flavor even more. "All the extra fat that a prime hanger steak contains really mellows out any kind of gamey iron flavor that you might associate with hanger," Flannery says. "It's hands down my favorite steak, and if you ever see it, buy it without any hesitation."

Second, thinner is better with skirt steak. There are two different muscles sold as skirt steak. "There's the 'outside skirt steak,' which actually hangs inside the

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