In Bryan's Words
This steak is the first cousin, twice removed, on the Mother’s side, of the Dry Aged New York Strip. It’s simply a New York with an attitude (a bone) left in. Unlike the round longer bone found in the Prime Rib and the Rib Steak, the bone in the Kansas City Strip is from the lower vertebrae, and therefore is thinner and wider than the rib. Picture a Porterhouse Steak; remove the Filet Mignon and the bone at the bottom of the Filet Mignon. What remains is your Kansas City Strip.
The topic of discussion here is whether or not the presence of the bone improves the flavor of the steak, beyond that imparted by the dry aging process, in the cooking process. I’d say the unwashed masses (as well as the washed ones) are split evenly on yes and no. I myself, not being one to take a stand, come down squarely on the no side.
Here’s the reason: I believe that the only time the bone comes into play (flavor wise) is in a braising environment. There, by virtue of the slow process and the liquid enveloping the meat you have an interaction and more importantly, a transfer medium (the liquid) that will draw out the essence of the bone (basically marrow) and impart it to the meat. On the grill, the transfer medium is absent. Additionally, being vertebrae, there is finite marrow when compared to the rib bone.
The second “bone of contention” (pun fully intended) is being able to chew on the bone. Probably not a good idea in a formal setting but great fun otherwise. But again I’m not truly a fan because since this is a thin wide bone, there is hardly any meat around it; certainly nothing like the amount found between the rib bones. You might have to wrap a twenty dollar bill around it to even get your dog to take it. Now, before those of you on the ‘yes’ side storm the parapet, let me wax poetically about leaving the bone in.
The presence of the bone, when the steak is cut thick enough (2”to3”) will allow you to grill it in the fashion of the Tuscan Bisteca Fiorentine; which is to sear both sides first, then finish indirectly with the bone side down. The presence of the bone serves the same function as the heat shield on a space capsule (ok, ok, that’s a bit of a stretch); it buffers the direct heat from below and prevents the side directly exposed to the heat source from overcooking.
See how even handed I can be!
Something to note about our Dry Aged Kansas City Strips is that you might notice the bones are darker than might see in a supermarket display. This color is a result of the dry aging process. Dry Aged Beef is exposed to the open air in a temperature controlled environment for extended periods of time, in our case a full 30 to 35 days. One of the visible difference of Dry Aged Beef is the darkened bones. These are the hallmark of a true dry aged beef product.
Contrary to what you might have heard, the best way to determine the cooking time on a steak is by the thickness, rather than the weight.
On the Grill:
1” – 8 minutes total; 5 and 3
1¼“ – 9 minutes total; 7 and 3
1½“ – 14 to 15 minutes total; 9 and 5
2” – 15 to 18 minutes total; 11 and 6
2½“ – 20 minutes total; 12 and 7
3” – 22 minutes total; 14 and 8