According to EatSmartProducts.com, there are 10 steps to grilling the best steak of your life. Since it’s summer and my family loves a great steak, I thought I would put their tips to the test. Follow along as I grill the perfect steak of the season.
Tip 1: The Perfect Cut.
Believe it or not, the most expensive steaks may not taste as good as more moderately priced cuts. You want to have some marbling in the meat to give it flavor, and ribeye or chuck steaks are best for home grilling. You also want the steak to be at least 1 inch thick, ideally 1.5 – 2 inches. Personally, I like a thick New York Strip but anything with good marbling will work well for grilling.
Tip 2: DON’T Trim the Fat.
Fat gives the meat flavor, so trim thick pieces of fat but don’t cut it all off. Make sure to remove that silvery-looking skin, as it will not soften up and doesn’t provide any extra flavor. New York Strip steak has a little marbling throughout but the fat cap along the edge is where the flavor really comes from. I like to trim any areas where it’s REALLY thick but for the most part, I trim any fat that didn’t cook down after cooking.
Tip 3: Let the Meat Warm-Up.
Placing a cold piece of meat on the grill results in meat that is cooked on the outside but raw on the inside. Before you fire up the grill, let the meat sit for 30 minutes or so to take the chill off.
Tip 4: Start with a Clean Grill.
Honestly, this will affect the taste of your steak more than anything else. Clean your grill with a wire brush after each use while it’s still hot. Before grilling, lightly brush the clean grill with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. I personally clean my grill just after it cools enough to handle with some balled-up aluminum foil. Those wire brushes can be a bit dangerous. The bristles can come out and stick to the grill and be ingested later. I recommend using aluminum foil (the thought kind) or a stone grill brush.
Tip 5: Heat The Grill Properly.
For an optimal, crispy sear you want the grill to be very hot. You should only be able to hold your hand over the grill for a second or two before you have to move it; this is about 450-500°F. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure that the coals have gone white and there aren’t any active flames. This is my struggle point. I feel like it’s going to get too cold if I don’t hurry so sometimes, I rush to put the meat on and burn it. Be patient.
Tip 6: Season Your Meat.
Now, this is where I disagree with EatSmart. They contend that meat on the grill does not need a lot of seasoning, so a brush of oil or clarified butter and some sea salt and fresh ground pepper are sufficient. But I think a good dry rub is a way to go. I pull my steaks out just after I start the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes before I season it. I love this Texas Roadhouse Steak Rub copy-cat recipe from TheCozyCook.com:
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, *See Notes
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a quart-sized Ziploc bag and seal it tightly. Shake it to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
Generously cover each side of the steak with the seasoning and let it rest for about 40 minutes. This allows the salt to penetrate through the surface (through osmosis) and actually helps break down the muscle fibers, which results in more tender meat. During this time, the liquid that initially surfaced has time to reabsorb, which makes the meat juicer.
Tip 7: Sear the Steak.
Cook the steak for 3 minutes over high heat and flip over with a pair of tongs. Sear the other side for 3 minutes and move the steak to a cooler spot on the grill. Don’t poke the steak or drag it across the grill, you will cause the juices to escape.
Tip 8: Monitor the internal temperature.
Precise doneness depends on the thickness of your steak. Check it with a digital meat thermometer to determine exact the temperature. The thin 1.5mm step-down probe will leave the juices inside the steak, ensuring your meat is tender and delicious. The thermocouple thermometer gives you an accurate reading in 7 seconds or less. Your steak will continue to heat once it’s off the grill so remove it when it’s 5 degrees less than the optimal temperature.
Tip 9: Let the Steak Rest.
We know you’re hungry and it smells divine but be patient. Letting the meat rest for 5 – 10 minutes allows the juices to redistribute. It will produce a much more tender and flavorful piece of meat, which is exactly the result you desire.
Tip 10: Add Finishing Touches.
You can eat the steak as it is, or you can some extra seasonings. I leave mine as is but You could also top it off with some herbed butter for a tasty flavor boost. I cooked some corn and baked potatoes right on the grill to go with my steak and it turned out great.
All in all these tips from EatSmartProducts.com were a success. A little bit of prep on my part and the addition of the recipe from TheCozyCook.com made this the best meal of the summer. I thoroughly enjoy getting back to the grill and can’t wait to see how these tips improve my other meals. Up next: Porkchops!