Ever wondered how to grill the perfect steak? Take the time to follow these simple steps and you will be rewarded with the juiciest, most impressive, best-grilled steaks you have ever eaten. Over the summer there are plenty of occasions to throw some steaks on the grill, from Memorial Day to Father’s Day to National Grilling Day. It’s time to sharpen your skills and up your grilling game with our Bottleneck grilling tips.
Choosing The Best Steak
Cuts of Steak: Choosing good quality steak is important. There are several cuts of steak that are good for grilling, some come with bones and some without.
- Tenderloin or Fillet (or Filet): the most tender, most expensive cut. It has no bone.
- Sirloin: often a large cut, and can include a bone or be boneless.
- T-bone and Porterhouse: both have a large bone, and are great for grilling.
- New York or Strip Steak: boneless and has strong beef flavor.
- Rib Steak (with a bone) and Rib Eye (boneless): cuts with a higher marbled fat ratio, and offer rich flavor.
- Top Sirloin: leaner and less expensive than Sirloin. Still a great choice for the grill.
- Rump Steak: comes from the upper part of the hindquarters. Tender and lean, and good for grilling.
- Skirt Steak: comes from the inner thigh and is best for slow cooking in stews. Try to get one of the other cuts for grilling.
Grades of Steak: Use the USDA grades beef into three categories to offer a basic guide as to the quality of the meat.
- Prime is the best but usually reserved for restaurants. It has the most marbling (the pattern of fat in beef steaks).
- Choice is the next best and is more commonly available. It still has good levels of marbling and is juicy and tender.
- Select tends to be very lean (little to no marbling), and often dries out very easily.
Preparing The Steak
A steak needs salting well, so don’t be afraid to go for it. Under-salting will end up with tasteless meat, so when you think you are done salting, add a little more for good measure. If you want to add any other spices or rubs to your steak, now is the time, but if you have chosen a quality steak, you will really get the most from it by using the most simple of ingredients; just salt and pepper.
Next, let the steak relax. By that, we mean let it sit at room temperature, ideally around one hour before you start cooking. A relaxed steak will cook quicker and more evenly, and won’t be cold in the center.
How To Grill The Perfect Steak
1: Fire up the grill, let it get it nice and hot. Good heat means there will be a beautiful strong charred color on the meat, and that color means flavor.
2: Oil up the grill, or the steak a little, so that it doesn’t stick, and place the steak on the grill.
3. Leave it alone. No prodding turning or poking. We are only going to turn the steak once, and do so using tongs.
4. Time it right. Of course, you are going to want to cook your perfect steak to your personal preference. Medium rare is popular and would be around 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Slightly less will give you rare, and slightly longer you will be getting into medium and well-done territory.
Another way to accurately gauge is to use a meat thermometer. Rare is around 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above.
5. Take your steak off the grill and let it sit for around 15 minutes before serving.
Serving tip: If you are going to cut your steak and plate it along with other foods, cut across the grain in even slices. Be sure to use a very sharp knife to do so.
Best of luck in your grilling endeavors! Check out Chef Paul’s other grilling tips here.