We caught up with Kari Underly, Author of James Beard Award-Nominated The Art of Beef Cutting, Butcher, and Principal of Range, Inc. to get her thoughts on what makes a perfectly cooked steak.


The Good News: Perfection is Relative

What does it really mean to create a perfectly cooked steak? Only you can answer that, because perfection is in the eye (and mouth) of the lucky eater. “Perfectly” cooked beef is an equation of these variables: amount of cooking (doneness) + flavor + food safety = perfect steak experience. Your palate will tell you when you’ve found the perfect steak. But the tips below may get you closer to achieving your steak masterpiece. 

  1. TENDERNESS: Let the Cut Determine the Cooking

The number one reason that steak may not be tender or flavorful is that we choose the wrong cooking method. It’s important to remember that meat composition is approximately 72% water, so cooking is really about managing moisture loss. Marrying the cut with the perfect cooking method means determining which grade of the cut you are going to buy—Prime, Choice, or Select—and then considering the type of heat (moist/dry; direct/indirect), marinades or other applications to tenderize or add flavor, and knowing which flavors ultimately enhance the flavor of your cut.

  1. FLAVOR: Kari’s Top 10 Flavors for Steak

For Select or Choice grades of steak, a good marinade, rub, or spice paste can be a huge boost. These flavors enhancers, when formulated with an acid—like citrus juice, yogurt, or wine—or an enzyme—like papaya or fresh ginger—can also tenderize your steak. Certain ingredients go particularly well with the natural flavors of beef, because they enhance the umami flavor. Include them in your marinade, rub or spice paste, or serve side dishes containing them for a great combination of flavors.

  1. Onion
  2. Garlic
  3. Tomato*
  4. Wine (mainly red)*
  5. Thyme
  6. Cayenne
  7. Soy Sauce*
  8. Cumin
  9. Mustard
  10. Ginger

* enhances natural umami flavor of beef

  1. DONENESS: It’s Done When It’s…

A dried out, tough, overcooked steak—especially an expensive Prime or local pasture raised cut—is a complete waste. Use this guide to doneness and a thermometer to prevent a tragedy. And in using your thermometer, make sure you remove your steak from the heat 5° to 10° before it reaches the desired level of doneness. It will continue to cook even after being removed from the heat. Then, as the fibers of the meat start to cool, they will relax and get stronger, thereby better retaining the natural juices. If you cut your steak too soon after cooking it, the steak’s juices will come flowing out. Of course the amount of time to rest depends on the size of the meat. For steaks, 10 minutes usually does the trick.  Please note the grass or pasture raised beef tends to cook a bit faster, do not leave your grill for long!




Cutlery + Steak for kari Blog










  1. NUTRITION: Steak is Good Food

Beef is natures multi-vitamin! Beef is rich with important nutrients and protein. The acronym “ZIP+B” is an easy way to remember the most important nutrients found in beef: Zinc, Iron, Protein and the B-vitamins. To get the equivalent nutrition in 3 oz. of cooked beef, you’d better be hungry, because here’s what you’d need to eat:

Zinc = 40 oz. of salmon

B12 = 22 oz. skinless chicken

Iron = 2 3/4 cups of raw spinach

Riboflavin = 13 1/2 oz. white tuna meat

B6 = 6 1/2 cups raw spinach


  1. PORTION: The biggest small change you can make

Many people think they have to eat organic, grass-fed beef to make a difference, but what if that isn’t available near your home and you still want to help the environment? The biggest small change you can make that really adds up is eating the right portion size.

The recommended serving of protein at one meal is 4 ounces raw (3 ounces cooked). That’s about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. If you eat the right amount, you can buy less meat. Slowing down the pace of animal production because of lower demand helps the environment. The added bonus is in helping your waist-line: you’ll be reducing your calorie intake if you eat the right portion size.










Be your #butchersbestfriend.   Ask for my favorite cuts.

  1. Beef Ribeye Cap Steak whole. Grill and cut across the grain.
  2. Prime Dry-aged Ribeye Filet. Use a two step cooking method.  Caramelize filets in a pan and finish in the oven.
  3. Picanha – Top Sirloin Cap Roast. Cook indirect on the grill, cut across the grain and enjoy!
  4. Berkshire Pork Tomahawk Chop. Use a two step cooking method.  Caramelize chops in a pan and finish in the oven.
  5. Farm Roast spatchcocked chicken. Cook indirect on the grill
  6. Bottom Sirloin Bavette flap. Marinate for flavor, grill and cut across the grain.
  7. Lamb Top Sirloin Chops. Simply grill, cooks in just a few minutes.
  8. Bison Burger. I like medium to medium rare!
  9. Flat Iron Steak. I have to have this one on the list, I helped introduce this cut to the market place.
  10. Pasture raised Pork Pluma. This is the whole short rib muscle like you would cut from a beef. This is an amazing cut, ask you local butcher for this one.

Now that you have Kari’s tips, butcher like a pro with her favorite knives, Victorinox Cutlery! Kari’s favorite knives and tools for butchering are:

  1. Victorinox 8″ Curved Breaking Knife, Rosewood Handle
  2. Victorinox 6″ Semi-Stiff Boning Knife, Rosewood Handle
  3. Victorinox Curved Granton Edge Cimeter, Rosewood Handle
  4. Victorinox 12″ Straight Butcher Knife, Rosewood Handle
  5. Victorinox 7″ Meat Cleaver
  6. Victorinox Performance Shield Cut Resistant Gloves
  7. 12″ Round Honing Steel, Combination Cut Black Plastic Handle

Want to take a Master Class with Kari and learn more about Cutting & Preparing Grass-Fed Beef? Kari will be at the Boston Public Market this Sunday, April 24th from 1-5pm. Details below, click here to register.

FINAL Butcher Flier










Follow Kari on social media!

Instagram and Twitter: @Kariunderly

Facebook: @KariUnderly2002

Victorinox in Montreal: Montreal en Lumiere

Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc. will be among the featured Swiss brands in the House of Switzerland during
Montréal en Lumiére 2015, the annual two week winter festival that celebrates the sounds, tastes and sights
of a different featured country each year. Switzerland is the official country celebrated during Montréal en
Lumiére 2015.

The House of Switzerland dome, featuring engaging ‘Swiss Experience‘ activities and gourmet fare for visitors from renowned Swiss brands such as Victorinox Swiss Army, SWISS International Airlines and Lindt, to name a few, will welcome visitors within a warm and modern atmosphere starting February 19, 2015.

Visitors to the Victorinox Swiss Army exhibit will have the opportunity to build a wooden Swiss Army knife and view the company’s exclusive heritage knife collection featuring design innovation evolution of the Swiss Army Knife from the early 1900s through to present day. This is a rare opportunity to see in-person the first-ever Swiss Army Knife design produced! Photos of the exhibit are encouraged along with social media sharing with hashtag #VxMEL2015.

To learn more about the House of Switzerland during Montréal en Lumiére, including exhibition schedule and hours of operation, please visit


Meat: An Education

For those that missed August’s event at Brooklyn Kitchen we had a lively discussion among the four panelists and Tasting Table moderator, Jamie Feldmar about the State of Meat in NY. While there were many revelatory insights about the nuances and challenges in sustainable farming and meat sourcing that came out of the discussion, one of the biggest consumer call-to-action themes for better understanding the meat they buy and eat, comes down to one key thing – the label.

When you go to the butcher, the supermarket or a restaurant and see words such as “organic” or “no antibiotics” or “all natural” to describe the meat you’re about to buy or eat, you expect a higher level of quality in both the sourcing and the processing of that meat, right?

And it’s true that sustainably run farms deliver us meat that is distinctively better tasting and we literally get more ‘bang for our buck’ with each and every bite. And yes, this meat is more expensive to procure but when you are nourishing your body isn’t ‘quality’ over ‘quantity’ a good rule of thumb?

Did you know you could actually help support more sustainable farmers bring quality meats to a market near you by buying less meat – but focusing that meat spend on only quality meats sourced from sustainably managed farms, whether they are within 100 miles, or 1000 miles. The key is, how is that farmer – or group of farmers – raising their animals. To eliminate the industrial agricultural model, we have to accept and support that sustainably raised foods of all types must cost more. Sustainable is not truly sustainable unless the farmer can afford to live on the land.

At DeBragga, we’ve long believed in the power of transparent information for the trade and consumers alike to make informed decisions about the meat they buy and serve.  This commitment to excellence enabled us to become the sole New York City-based distributor for “Certified Angus Beef” in 1982, which was one of the original branded heritage breed programs under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. This tradition continues still today as DeBragga is building its own local network with grass fed cattle in New York State, and raising its own heritage breed hogs with Amish farmers – Gloucester Old Spots, the rarest breed in America – and pure blood Berkshires. We also work with “local” networks of farmers around the country who share the ideal of protecting the land, respecting the animal, and earning a fair wage for their efforts. In some cases, the carbon footprint of working with a cooperative seven states away can be far less.

We invite you to help us keep the State of Meat in NY discussion alive and join us in this Meat education and information revolution. Our goal is to support a sustainable farming industry that can grow and flourish in the U.S., once again giving consumers the power of choice and better access to the best quality meats for themselves and those they love.

George Faison

DeBragga Meats

The Ultimate Two-Step for Meat Lovers – Say ‘Hello’ to Brooklyn Kitchen and The Meat Hook

Summertime is a prime time for enjoying all things meat. Be it backyard BBQs, meats on a stick at outdoor festivals, hot dogs at a baseball game, or entertaining family and friends at the beach or block party. And for those new to cooking meats, or those that are the go-to chef in the family, how do you know what you don’t know when it comes to using and choosing the right cutlery tools – and meats or cuts of meat – for the next meal you prepare?

Giving everyone access to the tools they need to cook anything they desire and the knowledge resources of interest to not only improve cooking and tools skills but also to use cooking ingredients with a conscience is the idea that Brooklyn Kitchen was founded on.

Here at Brooklyn Kitchen, as well as our partner The Meat Hook, we are committed to supporting and enabling a world of sustainable farming practices – or what you may know as #Farm2Table.

If you’d like to learn more about #Farm2Table and The State of Meat in New York we invite you to join us, in partnership with Victorinox Swiss Army, on Wednesday, July 30 at 7 p.m. ET at our 100 Frost Street, Brooklyn, NY store. We’ve brought together a standout panel of industry professionals to lead an interactive discussion that will be moderated by Tasting Table Senior Editor Jamie Feldmar.

The State of Meat in New York event panelists include;

If you aren’t local to New York and still want to participate in the discussion we’ll be accepting live questions during the event(!) via Twitter @thebklynkitchen.

And, of course no discussion on meat would be complete without delectable eats available for tasting along with beer from the Brooklyn Brewery.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Taylor and Harry, The Brooklyn Kitchen

The Meat Hook Team

Introducing Executive Chef Daniel Humm

Daniel Humm is a proud supporter of Victorinox Swiss Army’s Cutlery since he began his culinary training at the age of 14.   A native from Switzerland, Chef Daniel is the executive chef and co-owner of the three Michelin star-rated Eleven Madison Park in New York City, which was recently ranked among the ten best restaurants in the world on the San Pellegrino list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Chef Humm knew at the young age of 14 that it was his life-long dream to become a chef. His first set of knives, given by his father, were the Victorinox knives.  From the first moment he held these knives in his hands, Daniel knew that he would become a successful chef.  After completing his training (which he finished best in class, nationwide), Humm went on to cook at numerous renowned hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, where he began to win several awards.

The James Beard Foundation hands out the most prestigious culinary awards in the United States and is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  Chef Daniel, 35, is among the youngest winners of this James Beard award. Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have regarded Humm as one of the brightest up-and-coming culinary talents.

With the assistance of Chef Daniel Humm, we have selected a collection of Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery that would make any food preparation task an easy one in your home kitchen.  Many of these tools are used in the kitchen of Eleven Madison Park by Chef Humm and his staff.  From an award-winning restaurant to your kitchen, see Daniel Humm’s Picks, click here.

Awards for Eleven Madison Park and Chef Daniel Humm

  • The New York Times – Four Stars 2009
  • Michelin Guide – Three Stars 2012
  • Forbes Travel Guide – Five Stars 2010
  • S. Pellegrino – The world’s 50 Best Restaurants 2011
  • James Beard Foundation*
    • Outstanding restaurant award 2011
    • Angela Pinkerton, Outstanding Pastry Chef Award 2011
    • Daniel Humm, Best Chef of NYC 2010
    • Outstanding Wine Service Award 2008
    • Outstanding Service Award 2004


Best Chef’s Knives – The Best Chef’s Knives for Home and Professional Use

Chef's Knife by Swiss ArmyThe Best Chef’s Knives

What makes the best chef’s knife for home and professional use?  Victorinox Swiss Army has been the choice of professionals since 1884 for home use as well as in the commercial industry.  Available in Stamped or Forged and two different handle types, Fibrox and Rosewood, the Chef’s Knife is the must have kitchen cutlery item and has multiple uses.

Perfect for slicing, chopping, dicing and cutting up just about every food type in the home kitchen, our best in class chef’s knives are available for purchase online at and carry a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects.

By the time Karl Elsener created the Swiss Army Knife, he had been creating fine cutlery for 13 years and his business was already booming.  As it was then, our cutlery today is the choice of professionals right down the line.  You don’t have to be a professional to appreciate our beautifully balanced, perfectly weighted razor-sharp tools.  But you can put them to work just the same.

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