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IN THE KITCHEN

AROUND HOME : Steak, Right on the Button

September 25, 1988|RUTH REICHL

HAVE YOU NOTICED that there's been a deplorable dearth of steaks on the barbecue lately? Everybody's out there firing up the grill and debating the various merits of mesquite, vine cuttings and coals. But what you're likely to find draped over the fire is usually hamburger, chicken or occasionally a creature that once swam in the sea. What ever happened to the great American steak?

Steak may be the American way, but too often Americans got carried away and incinerated the poor piece of meat until its texture resembled something you'd rather wear on your feet. Who wants to spend a small fortune on meat and then find out that it's inedible? So many dads burned the steaks (of course, there were also a few who could never get them quite cooked enough) that steak got edged out of its rightful place on the grill.

But a new product may change all that. The Steak Button takes the guesswork out of cooking steak on a grill. It's a miniature meat thermometer that's been cleverly calibrated for cooking steaks. The little dial merely says Rare, Med and Well. You stick the button into your steak, throw the meat on the grill and wait for the arrow to hit the appropriate word.

It's such an ingenious little device that it's no wonder that Steak Buttons are suddenly available everywhere.

Charcoal Companion Steak Buttons cost about $4 and are available at all Vons stores, at Bristol Farms in Pasadena, at Kitchen World in Santa Monica and at all Williams-Sonoma stores.

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