MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The sizzle you hear on the grill could be record high prices we’re now paying for beef, which couldn’t come at a worse time: The start of summer grilling season.

Karen Schaefer is with the Minnesota Beef Council. She says last year’s devastating drought and soaring feed prices caused many ranchers to sell their herds.

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“Unfortunately, our supply is extremely diminished. We’re having record-low inventories and part of that is due to historic drought conditions primarily in the southern states, which are huge beef-producing states,” Schaefer said.

Meantime, other countries, like Japan, are importing tons more U.S. beef, which continues to drive up the price.

So, what’s a hungry griller to do?

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Meat managers suggest trying some less expensive cuts or at the very least, have those big, juicy steaks cut a little thinner.

“Instead of a 16-ounce rib eye, they’ll go with an 8-ounce. Try to stretch it out a little bit,” Bob’s Produce Ranch manager Greg Sederstrom said.

Steaks are great, but this summer, burgers just might taste a little better.

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Expect beef prices to remain high for the next couple of months and then moderate by Labor Day.