This Dec. 27, 2007 photo released by / Modernist Cuisine LLC shows seared steak. You don't have to go to some high-end steakhouse or shell out $200 a pound for ultramarbled Wagyu beef from Japan to get flavorful, tender beef for your next barbecue. Just keep three crucial factors in mind: the grade, the grain and the aging. A well-informed purchase and a couple of easy prep steps can make the difference between a so-so steak and one that sends your eyeballs skyward. (AP Photo/ Modernist Cuisine LLC, Nathan Myhrvold)

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