How To Grill A Steak
This is an easy and essential skill that every man must develop in his life. It can be an expensive skill to learn on your own – burning steaks gets costly. Hopefully this article will help you get it right the first time.
Before you Begin
In this article we are using a gas grill, because getting the temperature right with a charcoal grill is an art unto itself. However, once the temperature is correct, the steps are identical for gas and charcoal.
The first decision to make is what cut of beef you are going to grill. I love New York Strips, and that’s what we are cooking here. The basic rule of thumb for steaks is: The more marbling, the more flavor. Less marbling usually means less flavour, but the steak is usually more tender when cooked. Other popular cuts of steak are the Rib-eye, the T-bone, and the Cadillac of steaks – the Filet Mignon.
One quick note about doneness. The purpose of this article isn’t to try and convince you to eat your steaks blue-rare. However, most people tend to order their steaks medium-well or well-done. This is most certainly overcooked. When you order a steak cooked well-done there are no juices left in the meat, and you are being robbed of the flavors you paid for. Your meal is dry, and you are forced to smother the meat in steak sauce. I like steak sauce as much as the next guy, but when you use it you are only tasting the sauce, not the meat.
The best way to cook a steak is medium-rare or medium. Those two temperatures will leave the meat both juicy and flavorfull. Personally, I always strive for medium-rare. The great thing with steak is that you can’t really undercook it. I’ve had rare stakes when my grill ran out of gas, and I’ve thrown undercooked meat back on. Be adventurous and try something new. Just don’t eat it completely raw for safety’s sake.
All Right! Let’s Get Grilling!
Go outside and fire up the grill. Set the temp on high to get everything good and hot. Head back inside and grab the steaks. Before they go on the fire, you must season the meat. Some people prefer to use spice rubs and marinades, and those can be quite good, but I prefer to keep it simple.
Begin by pouring a small amount of olive oil onto the meat, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly rub the seasoning into the meat, making sure to get both sides. Let it sit for a few minutes. The salt and pepper will bring out the natural flavor of the meat and will form a nice crust on the steak.
Take the steaks back out to the grill and turn the temperature down. The backyard chef method to set the right temperature is to hold your hand above the grate. You should be able to hold your hand for two or three seconds before pulling it away. Adjust the temperature accordingly. Don’t be macho and burn yourself, and don’t actually touch the grill.
When the temperature is right, place the meat on the grill and shut the lid. This is where most people go wrong, and begin playing with their steak. Opening the lid lets the heat and juices out. The meat will lose flavor and take longer to cook. Leave the lid closed for four minutes (time it) and do not touch!
After four minutes, open the lid and take a look at the bottom of the steak. It should look like a great steak: nicely colored and with just a bit of char forming on the edges. Flip the steak over and shut the lid.
Leave the lid closed for another three minutes. When the timer runs out take stock of the meat. For a beginner, I recommend using a small meat thermometer and comparing it to the temperatures listed here:
Rare 120* to 125*F
Medium-rare 130* to 135*F
Medium 140* to 145*F
Medium-well 150* to 155*F
Well-done 160*F and above
Depending on the temperature of the grill and the thickness of the meat, you may already be finished.
If the steak s undercooked, close the lid for one minute and allow it to cook some more. When the steak is finished, push on it lightly with one finger. A properly cooked steak will have a certain amount of give to it when you push on it. By comparing the actual temperature to the feel of the meat, you will be able to learn to tell when a steak is cooked simply by feel. An alternative method to tell when a steak is cooked is to cut into the steak with a sharp knife and look at the color inside. This works, but if you do it too often you can allow the juices to leak out an leave you with a dry dinner.
When the steaks are done the way you want them, remove them from the heat and place them on a dish, then cover them loosely with tinfoil. Do not touch them for five minutes. During this time the steak will continue to cook slightly, and the natural juices will redistribute themselves throughout the meat for the perfect taste.
Plate it up with a baked potato and some mushrooms, and you have a meal made for a genuine man.