Cook's Illustrated Recipes»Marinades»Southwest Tex Mex»Beef»Southwestern Marinade for Steak Tips Recipe

An unusual marinade is the secret to transformingrestaurant chain-style "steak tips" into grilledbeef that's really worth eating.

The Problem

This cut of meat has long been the darling of all-you-can-eat restaurant chains where quantity takes precedence over quality. Some are mushy, but most are tough and dry.

The Goal

Deep flavor and tender texture from an inexpensive cut of beef.

The Solution

The best cut of meat, we found, is referred to by butchers as flap meat. Use a soy sauce-based marinade to tenderize and flavor the meat and keep it juicy, and grill it over a two-level fire, which has hotter and cooler areas, to help cook this often unevenly shaped cut evenly. Let the meat rest for five minutes after grilling to ensure juicy meat.