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Survey reveals Americans disagree on what constitutes the ‘perfect’ steak

June 30, 2020 | 2:44pm Three in 10 Americans are still planning a cookout this Fourth of July weekend, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 Americans found 49 percent of respondents have a traditional cookout day during the summer and for those respondents, July 4 was revealed to be one of the top…

June 30, 2020 | 2:44pm

Three in 10 Americans are still planning a cookout this Fourth of July weekend, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 Americans found 49 percent of respondents have a traditional cookout day during the summer and for those respondents, July 4 was revealed to be one of the top choices (63 percent).

Results revealed the average respondent plans to attend six cookouts in the coming months — assuming social distancing guidelines are lifted.

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The survey looked not only at when Americans are scheduling cookouts but also at what they’re planning to eat.

Commissioned by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff and conducted by OnePoll, results found beef to be respondent’s favorite choice of meat to grill (37 percent).

But while they might be in agreement about that, what constitutes as the “perfect steak,” is up for debate.

When it comes to a favorite cut of steak, there was a close vote between several options — T-bone emerged at the top (16 percent), but porterhouse (11 percent), ribeye steaks (10 percent) and filet mignon (10 percent) were also high on the list.

Similarly, it’s all about personal preference when it comes to doneness. Though well-done was the favorite with 21 percent of the vote, it was closely followed by medium-well (20 percent) and medium (16 percent).

Results found some parts of respondents’ “perfect steak” might be easier to agree on than others. The “perfect steak” would be cooked on a grill — not in a smoker — and would use a wet marinade.

It would be topped simply with salt and pepper (43 percent) and paired with a baked potato (46 percent) to round out the meal.

“There isn’t just one right way to cook steak,” said Bridger Wasser, executive director of Science, Culinary and Supply Chain Outreach at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. “One of the reasons beef is the perfect choice for summer grilling is its great versatility — whether you like your steak well-done, or you prefer it a little rarer, there’s something for everyone and what matters most is enjoying the food and the company while at a cookout this summer.”

Respondents agree — the survey found 84 percent said cookouts are a good way to bring people together.

And for some, it’s a good time to show off their grilling skills: 60 percent of respondents feel confident in their ability to grill the “perfect steak.”

“Summer’s a great time to get together with friends and family — even if it needs to be virtually — and practice grilling your perfect steak,” said Wasser. “The survey showed beef is America’s favorite protein to grill and we love to celebrate its unique ability to unite friends and family.”


Check out Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. to get tips and tricks for your next cookout.

Respondents’ “perfect steak”

  • T-bone cut: 16 percent, porterhouse: 11 percent, ribeye: 10 percent or filet mignon: 10 percent
  • Cooked well-done: 21 percent, medium-well: 20 percent or medium: 16 percent
  • Topped with salt and pepper: 43 percent
  • Cooked on a grill: 57 percent
  • Wet marinade when grilling: 44 percent
  • Paired with a baked potato: 46 percent

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