Beringer Great Steak Challenge Giveaway

Beringer Vineyards and the Deen Brothers (Bobby and Jamie) are currently seeking grillmasters and cooks to help celebrate two things that go oh-so-well together… Steak and wine!


With the Beringer Great Steak Challenge, you can enter an original steak recipe, select a fantastic Beringer wine to pair with it, and win a trip to Napa Valley and $15,000! All this just to show off your love for grilling steak! Recipes will be judged based on the following criteria: 25% Taste Appeal, 25% Wine Pairing, and 50% Simplicity.


Here’s the rub, though… The cut off for entries is fast approaching! In fact, the deadline is already past for people living in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico… Hopefully, you got an entry in by May 31.


For people in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, North or South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia or Tennessee, you have until June 15, and all other states have until June 30. So get your recipes honed and get entered!

Beringer Vineyards is graciously offering a fantastic giveaway prize, exclusively on Livefire! The prize is one of nine Laguiole Carving Sets! These are French made, and Laguiole has a long tradition of fine corkscrews and cutlery. As we’re trying to get this giveaway underway quickly, I don’t have photos of the knife set yet, but will include them as soon as possible.

Rules for the giveaway:

The nine winners will be randomly drawn using a random number generator. To receive a chance to win:

On Livefire:
Add a comment to this entry and receive one chance to win. If you offer a steak recipe or a tip on grilling steak, you will receive two chances to win. That’s an easy 2 entries!

On Twitter and Facebook, tweet or update with the following:

Laguiole Carving Set Giveaway by #BeringerVineyards and #Livefire! Thks @BeringerGSC

Deen Brothers Spiced Mocha Steak Rub.jpg

The rules are that I have to deem the comments acceptable to my readers (meaning it has to be pertinent to the post and not contain language I wouldn’t print). The giveaway will run from June 4 through midnight, June 25, and I’ll post the winners the weekend of June 26. All winners will need to supply their real names and addresses privately (email, direct message or Facebook message) to receive their prize.

Note: Dates are extended!  Keep the tips coming!

That’s it! It’s a simple way to get a fantastic Laguiole carving set, courtesy of Beringer Vineyards (they also make some very, very nice wines!)

A tip I often give is simply to let the meat rest for 5 minutes when removed from the grill to keep more of the juices in the meat instead of on the plate. It’s nothing new, but a lot of people still ignore this one… So let’s hear some of your steak grilling tips and recipes!

(Photos of the Beringer wines and the Deen Brtoerhs in this post are copyrighted by Mary Steinbacher and used with permission.  Steak photo is copyrighted by Chia & Hon Photography and used with permission)


About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.


  1.  Steak With Chipotle, Bacon and Tomatoes
       1 or more dried chipotle chilies
       2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
       1/4 cup minced bacon
       1 medium onion, peeled and diced
       2 cups cored and chopped tomatoes, preferably fresh and ripe
       1 1/2 to 2 pounds strip sirloin, skirt or rib-eye steak
       Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Start a charcoal or gas grill; fire should be quite hot, and rack
       about 4 inches from the heat source. If using oven, turn it to its
       maximum temperature. Put chipotle in a bowl, and add boiling water
       to cover.

    2. Put olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; a minute
       later, add bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp,
       about 10 minutes. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally,
       until it is softened, about 5 minutes. Lower heat, stem and seed
       chipotle and add it (or a piece of it, to taste), along with
       tomatoes; adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily but not
       violently. (Reserve chipotle soaking liquid.)

    3. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Grill about 4 minutes on a
       side, or until they reach desired degree of doneness. If cooking
       steaks inside, heat a cast iron or other heavy skillet over high
       heat 3 to 4 minutes. Add steak, and, a minute later, transfer pan
       to oven; turn after about 4 minutes, and continue to cook to the
       desired degree of doneness.

    4. When tomatoes break up, taste sauce; add salt and pepper as needed
       and, if it is not hot enough, a bit of the chipotle-soaking liquid
       or reserved chipotle. When steaks are done, serve them with sauce.

  2. Dwayne,

    That’s more than a tip… Great sounding recipe. You should enter that in the contest, really!

  3. Rather than getting two separate steaks, try sharing one really nice porterhouse. Tom and I do this all the time and it works out very well.

  4. My tip is to always use kosher or sea salt to season your steaks. Table salt is just not the same! Even a “just okay” cut of meat tastes so much better with the best salt you can afford.
    soluckyducky at {gmail} dot {com}

  5. Prime Rib on the grill

    Prepare the prime rib with a rub of course salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs.

    Use 8-10 pounds of charcoal; your cooking time will be appr. 2 hours. Place the coals on one side of the grill and use the opposite side for the prime rib. Once the coals are burning hot, place the prime rib on the grill. Cover grill tightly, closing vents. Check frequently; if temp starts to drop, open the vents a bit.

    Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temp after about 2 hours. For rare, the internal temp should be about 115. For well done, the internal temp will be about 150.

  6. Under the tutelage of an old and wise steak connoisseur (and me in my late teens), I learned the finger/palm method of checking the done-ness of a steak. I’ve found a link to this online; and it’s accurate!

  7. Carla,

    I agree that a porterhouse is a great way to go for 2, or even 3, people.


    I agree that table salt is a bit too fine to use to season a steak, though I don’t use fancier salts, like fleur de sel, until serving… I think the fancier salts just become salt when you cook with them; they’re more finishing salts.


    That’s a good simple way of grilling prime rib… and it should be simple, I think, but the only time I’ll take one to anything over 125F is when I fall asleep while cooking! :) The finger/palm thing is a good way to check doneness, I completely agree… Great tips!

  8. If you are going to grill steak, or cook any meat, “invest” in a meat thermometer. Invest in quotes because they are SO cheap.

  9. Michael Ridout

    Here’s a recipe I really like;

    PepperCorn Steak

    The secret is to use cracked peppercorns, not ground. That solid pepper flavor is what makes this steak so great.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 10 minutes

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Yield: Serves 4


    4 1-inch thick NY Strip Steaks
    1/4 cup black peppercorns
    3 tablespoons Lime Pepper seasoning
    salt to taste

    Place pepper corns in mortar and pestle, coarsely crush until most of the corns are broken (you can use a coffee grinder or food processor for this step). Cover one side of steaks with crushed pepper and press in firmly, sprinkle with Lime Pepper seasoning and salt. Turn steaks over and repeat the same process . Place in refrigerator for 3 hours, uncovered. Heat grill, brush grate with vegetable or olive oil and place steaks over hottest part of fire for 3 minutes, turn the steaks over for another 3 minutes. Move the steaks to a cooler part of grill and continue to cook until done to your liking. Serve with steak sauce and a nice Beringer Cab.

    This is not as hot (spicy) as it sounds. The pepper seasons the steaks just right.

  10. Some of my “tips” — things I do always — have been mentioned. Kosher salt, using a meat thermometer. RESTING the meat before slicing….vital. Here’s my addition to that.

    When I pull the steak off the grill, I smear a bit of butter on it, allowing it to melt as the meat rests. Adds a wonderful creamy, rich smoothness to the steak.

  11. One tip I learned from Rouxbe for resting steaks is to rest them on a raised rack over the plate. They say that resting the steaks directly on a plate keeps the heat trapped between the bottom of the steak and plate, causing the fibers/cellular structure (can’t remember which) to relax, releasing more liquid. Keeping it up off the plate limits that.

    I did one test between two grilled ribeyes and low and behold, the raised steak (“raising the steaks”? lol) did have less juices collected in the plate. Of course I’d have to repeat that experiment 1000 times to make it relevant but it seemed to back up their claim.

  12. What’s with the staggered deadlines?! Why are some areas of the country penalized?

    I would have loved to enter, but I guess I missed the boat. Oh well…


  13. Bryan,

    I love my Thermapen thermometer!


    Peppercorn steak sounds great; why not enter that one?


    I’ve never tried the rack resting, but I’ll have to give it a shot, too. Great tip!


    I’m sorry you didn’t see it before, but the Great Steak Challenge has been going for a while; I entered a recipe in mid April. Why the dates are staggered, I don’t know, other than some of the regional competitions start in less than a month from now.

  14. 1 – Steak should be at room temp before it ever gets near the grill.
    2 – Salt and pepper should be the only seasonings in the kitchen at the time
    3 – All Natural Lump Charcoal is the new standard
    4 – Use the 5 second test to determine the grills readiness. (If you can hold your hand over the coals for 5 seconds, they aint ready)
    5 – A light brushing of olive oil prior to setting it on the preheated grill is always necessary
    6 – If you use a fork to turn your steak you risk being shot.
    7 – Only turn it once, using a pair of tongs or spatula
    Once desired doneness is achieved let rest for about 5 min and have at it!

  15. Best tip I ever got for steaks – meat thermometer.

    Never over or under-cook your steak again.

  16. Love reading all the tips – my husband grills the best steaks I have ever eaten (with some thanks to our local butcher!). Can’t wait to try Chris’ tip for resting them on a rack over the plate.

    My dad always put a pat of butter on his after grilling too, John and I do it too. My husband thinks I’m nuts, so I can’t wait to show him these tips.

  17. Pat,

    Number 6 scares me a bit! But good tips, of course!

    BBQ Dude,

    It’s tough to undercook a steak for me. :)


    Butter, like bacon, makes just about everything better, doesn’t it?

  18. Great contest, Curt! As for cooking steaks, I keep it simple. Super hot heat, course salt and course pepper cooked to medium rare and finished with a drizzle of nice olive oil!

  19. Thicker steaks offer the opportunity to use a reverse sear technique in preparing a steak that will allow you to impart more complex flavors than simply grilling a steak. By using steak cut 1.5 inches to 2 inches thick, you can smoke the steak over grape vines or fruit wood for about an hour at 225F. Once the steak reached 120F internal, you sear it over very high heat to caramelize the surface.

    I have some to more fully appreciate Napa Merlot as a pairing for steak and grilled meats in general, with a very short age on the bottle, you get well integrated tannins and a flavor profile that complements the meat. Taking it a step further, a simple Buerre Rouge combining Merlot, shallots and mounted with butter will tie the steak, sauce and wine together for a memorable pairing.

  20. Great contest Curt and thanks! I also went over and entered the Steak Challenge…

    I totally agree with grilling a steak HOT HOT HOT with a little salt and pepper! If you want a nice wine to go with it I like a nice Shiraz.


  21. Agree with landarc that the reverse sear is great.
    The one thing that has helped my steak quality has been to be sure steak is at room temp before cooking.

  22. 3/4 cup evoo, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, tbs italian seasonings, 1 tsp garlic powder, smoked sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. 2 18 oz ribeyes (about 1 1/2 inch thick)
    Cover steaks with the above, surround with slices of red/yellow bell peppers, place a few sprigs of fresh thyme on and rest in fridge for a couple hours. Bring out and let warm to room temp and reverse sear to 130 internal, foiling at rest for at least ten minutes.

  23. My steaks are prepared the same way every time. I have people comment with high praise when they eat my steaks.

    My #1 tip to preparing steak…marinade with Balsamic Vinegar for 3-4 hours prior to putting on the grill. To be more specific…

    1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
    1/4 cup of Teriyaki

    Put the steaks in a pan and pour this over them. Flip them around a couple times to ensure marinade has coated the steak on both sides. Cover pan with foil and allow to set in the fridge for 3-4 hours. Then remove the pan from the fridge and remove the foil. Flip the steaks again in your pan. Allow them to come close to room temp before putting on the grill.
    DO NOT allow them to marinade in this mixture for more than 6-7 hours.

    Try it – I’m confident it will be a method you decide to keep using.

  24. When I am going to grill a NY strip steak, I like to let it soak in a marinade that has red wine as it’s base (with worcestershire sauce and spices/seasonings). The soaking is usually no more than an hour or so before cooking. I then pepper the steak before putting it on the grill.
    The flavor of the wine greatly complements the flavor of the meat and is really excellent when you enjoy a glass of the same wine with the steak.

  25. Clint, you and I like steak the same way.. simple is better!

    Landarc, 120 is about when I take a steak off! :) But good advice.

    Bill C. I agree on the wine, though I typically go for Syrah… same grape, just not Australian.

    Deguerre, that’s a lot of stuff on a steak. I like to do that sort of thing with flank steak or skirt steak.

    Kent, Same as above; I don’t like to overseason ribeyes, filet, etc., but like to do that sort of thing with other cuts.

    Dan, I sometimes drizzle some red wine and olive oil on a steak while it’s getting ready for the grill, too.

    Great tips so far… keep them coming! Heck just repeat the ones that are already here if you want to! :)

  26. Oh Dan…I like the red wine idea and then having a glass with the steak. Very good idea – and so simple I’m surprised I haven’t done this yet. Great advice – thank you.

  27. The biggest thing about grilling a steak, is to let it rest after pulling it off of the grill. Give the juices a chance to get back into the meat.

    And, NEVER use a fork to turn any kind of meat!!

  28. Green Leaf BBQ Steak Basics:

    1. USDA Choice as a minimum requirement
    2. 1 1/2″ Thickness minimum
    3. 1/4″ minimum fat band around the steak
    4. Kosher or Sea Salt ONLY as the crusting agent – we cover the meat for at least 15 minutes with pure salt – then rinse and pat dry.
    5. After salt crusting, no more salt – cracked pepper only to season the meat.
    6. 650 Degree Temperature minimum – Cast Iron grill grate if possible.
    7. Tongs or Spatulas only – NO FORKS – to turn meat.
    8. After first flip – we baste with a compound butter (Garlic & Herb)
    9. Pull the steak after desired doneness is reached and apply second basting of garlic butter on the un-basted side.
    10. Rest for 5 – 8 minutes and re-baste with compound butter prior to plating.

    BBQ Styles: The Big Green Egg and use Wicked Good Lump Charcoal mixed with “Wine Infused Oak” smoke woods. or Santa Maria BBQ with Oak fuels.

    For us, this process works great. I’m sure many have processes and experiences that exceed ours.

    Thanks Curt for coordinating and promoting the “Craft Steak”!

    Tim Bryan
    Pitmaster, Green Leaf BBQ Competition Team

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