How to Pick a Perfect Steak

Written collaboratively by Amanda Blair, Holly Swee, and Adam Rhody.

As grilling season is getting into full swing many grillers are in search of the perfect steak. With so many different options out there it’s good to have plan before you head out to shop. Type of steak is a personal choice so if you know your preferences for flavor, tenderness or marbling that’s a good place to start. If you’re unsure we’ve put together a quick guide for finding the perfect steak to try.

Traditional Steak Options
A general rule of thumb is the more expensive the steak is the more tender it should be. But finding a great steak really depends on what you like. If your top priority is tenderness, a Tenderloin – also known as a Filet or Filet Mignon – is a great option. If you’re after an extremely flavorful cut a Sirloin should be on your list. Ribeyes and Strip Steaks have great beef flavor and are also tender. One reason that Ribeyes and New York Strips are so flavorful is the amount of marbling. Marbling is the small flecks of fat within the meat. The amount of marbling determines the grade. The USDA beef grades you will typically find in grocery stores or at restaurants are Select, Choice, and Prime and these are also related to price. Select cuts will have the least amount of marbling and Prime will have the most and typically be the most expensive.

Other popular beef items for summer grilling are fajitas and kabobs. Grocery stores will sell these items, but you can save a little money by cutting them yourself. A sirloin works great for kabobs since it is a tender, lean cut. For fajitas, try a beef skirt steak or flank steak that you can grill whole and slice thinly across the grain.

New Value Cuts
Speaking of price, the beef industry has developed several new value cuts over the past few years including the Flat Iron, Denver Cut, and Chuck Eye Steak. These cuts have great flavor and tenderness and generally sold at retail for less than more traditional steaks such as the ribeye. However, since they’re new to the market they may not always be available at retail so if you can’t find them ask your butcher or grocer, they are worth a try. The Flat Iron in particular is gaining popularity because it is very tender and flavorful, but they’re sold in the meat case cut a couple different ways. One cutting method results in an oval shape with a long section of connective tissue down the middle, which can lead to tenderness issues. The more preferred cutting method results in a rectangular shaped flat iron.

Lean Beef Options
Beef is a great option to add to your diet because it contributes important nutrients such as protein, iron and zinc. There are also plenty of lean beef options that can be incorporated into a balanced diet. In fact, there are over 37 cuts that meet the government guidelines for lean. Many popular cuts in the meat case qualify as lean such as Flank Steak, Tenderloin, T-Bone steak and 95% lean ground beef. A good rule of thumb is to look for the word loin or round in the name and that usually indicates a lean cut. The American Heart Association has also named 9 fresh lean cuts of beef that meet the Heart Check-mark certification.


National Guard to Host 34th Annual Golden Coyote Exercise

The South Dakota National Guard will host its 34th annual Golden Coyote training exercise in the Black Hills June 9-23 to provide military units with relevant training opportunities in support of overseas contingency operations and homeland defense.

Created in 1984 with the cooperation of the National Forest Service and Custer State Park, this year’s exercise will allow about 2,100 service members to conduct combat-support and service-support missions in a realistic training environment and provide valuable services to the public.

There will be about 30 military units from 10 states and two foreign nations (Denmark and Canada) participating in the exercise from multiple branches of military service – Army, Navy and Air Force – working together to create an invaluable training experience. Participating units conduct military operations, train on their equipment and employ tactics, and complete various humanitarian missions and engineer projects that help improve the forest and infrastructure of many communities.

Local residents receive numerous benefits from the many engineer projects conducted during the exercise. Units transport timber to Native American communities that use it as firewood, conduct building construction, repair and upgrades, identify hazardous wilderness areas and make them safe for public use, and resurface local roadways that have fallen into disrepair.

Units participate in many training tasks and battle drills such as combat patrols, urban combat operations, land navigation, first aid, casualty evacuation and convoy operations. This provides a valuable opportunity for units to train on skills needed for any future overseas deployment.

Residents should be aware of an increase in military traffic throughout the region and in the communities of Rapid City, Hill City and Custer and can expect an increase in noise levels due to military training. Aircraft will be operating throughout the area and will respond to real-world emergencies during the exercise and remain in an all-hours-ready status. The public is asked to remain at a safe distance from all moving military vehicles and aircraft to prevent injury to personnel or damage to property.

United States Supreme Court Sides with Religious Freedom Case Joined by Jackley

Attorney General Marty Jackley announced the United States Supreme Court, in support of a Colorado cake artist’s constitutionally protected right to religious freedom, has reversed a civil rights commission ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

“I’m proud to have stood with my fellow attorneys general to take a stand for religious freedom in this historic case,” Jackley said. “This is a victory for South Dakota, and I will continue to fight for the rights of all Americans to express their faith.”

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, appealed a state court decision he lost after he declined to create a cake because of his deeply-held religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

The Court recognized, the Commission’s treatment of Phillip’s case violated the State’s duty under the First Amendment not to base laws or regulations on hostility to a religion or religious viewpoint.

South Dakota joined a 20 state coalition of Attorneys General in an amicus brief in September 2017.


The 32nd Anniversary of the Spirit of Dakota Award will be celebrated in Huron this fall. The Spirit of Dakota Award Society is seeking nominations. The recipient will be announced at a banquet at the Huron Event Center on Saturday, October 6. The nine-foot bronze statue in front of the Event Center created by internationally known sculptor Dale Lamphere of Sturgis, is the inspiration for this award.

The 2018 Spirit of Dakota Award honoree will be chosen by a state-wide Selection Commission including First Lady Linda Daugaard of Pierre; Glenna Fouberg, Aberdeen; Julie Garreau, Eagle Butte; Jean Hunhoff, Yankton; Tona Rozum, Chair, Mitchell; Suzette Kirby, Sioux Falls; Marsha Sumpter, Kodoka; Ginger Thomson, Brookings; Judy Trzynka, Watertown; and Bev Wright, Turton. The nomination process is open to all interested individuals or organizations who wish to recognize an outstanding woman in their community.

This award is presented to an outstanding South Dakota woman who has demonstrated vision, courage and strength in character and who has made a significant contribution to the quality of life in her community and state. The nominee does not need to be a native of South Dakota, but must be a living resident of the state. There is no age criterion for this award.

Past recipients have included community leaders in business, government and civic organizations and have been described in newspaper articles as “the cream of the crop in terms of South Dakota’s best.”

Nomination forms are available by contacting the Huron Area Chamber of Commerce, 1725 Dakota Ave S, Huron, SD 57350 (1-800-487-6673) or online at