Fourth Position And Testing For Doneness
As you prepare to turn the steak for the last time, it’s time to start checking for doneness. The steak should show no red around the side and the top side should have a rich brown color. As you pick the steak up to rotate it 45 degrees , feel the density of the steak. A medium-rare steak should be firm but still have a good amount of give. Close the lid of the barbecue and continue grilling.
After this last position, turn down the heat on your grill and, if needed, test the temperature of the steak. The internal temperatures for different levels of doneness are:
- Rare: 120 to 130 F
- Medium Rare: 130 to 135 F
- Medium: 140 to 150 F
- Medium Well: 155 to 165 F
- Well: 170 F or higher
If your steak needs more cook time, leave it where it is and continue grilling on medium heat until done.
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 : 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 and Rib Eye : 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 .
- 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 , and often dries out very easily.
How To Cook Top Sirloin Steak
How to cook steak depends very much upon the cut you choose. Top Sirloin steak is always a favorite steak choice, prized for its hearty beef flavor. The best way to cook top sirloin steak is on the grill. But pan-seared top sirloin steak is also exceptional, and you can broil top sirloin steak in the oven as well. No matter which method you choose, our cooking instructions and video will deliver the tender and juicy steak you crave. Use a meat thermometer and you can be sure your steaks are cooked to perfection!
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Make The Steak Seasoning
Start by making the homemade steak seasoning. Trust me this homemade version is light years better than anything you have pre-mixed in your cupboard. Add rock salt, whole black peppercorns, minced dried garlic, minced dried onion, fennel seeds, and red chili pepper flakes to a mortar then grind it up with the pestle.
If you dont have a mortar and pestle, add the ingredients to a heavy duty Ziplock bag, squeeze all the air out then crush with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or heavy bottomed skillet.
Bring The Steaks To Room Temperature
Too many people take their steaks directly from the chilly fridge to the hot fire. You will not get an evenly cooked steak this waythe outside of the meat will cook faster than the inside. It is best to take the steaks out of the fridge about half an hour before you plan to cook them remove the wrapping, place on a plate, and let them come up to room temperature on the kitchen counter.
A good piece of meat doesn’t need a lot of seasoning and will be quite delicious with a generous sprinkling of kosher salt. Once the steaks are at room temperature, sprinkle with salt or another seasoning of your choice.
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How To Cook Steak In The Oven
Broiling steak in the oven gives you grill-like results in the kitchen. Broiling is like grilling turned on its head, with the high heat coming from above the meat instead of below it. Both grilling and broiling are fast and easy. Here’s how to broil in 5 easy steps.
1. Before turning on the broiler, remove thawed steaks from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Then pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season the meat as you like.
2. Trim excess fat from the meat to avoid grease flare-ups. Make a few vertical cuts along the edges of the steak to keep it from curling under the broiler.
3. Situate the top oven rack to just below the broiler coils. Turn the oven on to broil. Allow it to preheat for 5 minutes.
4. Place steaks on a broiling panor if you don’t have a broiling pan, make one: line a shallow baking sheet with foil and set a flat rack on top of it. But do not use a glass baking pan under the broiler it will break under the high heat.
5. Slide the steaks under the glowing coils. The distance between the top of the steaks and the heat source should be between 3 and 5 inches. If the top rack position is too close to the coils, lower the rack to the second position.
7. If the outside is nicely crusted but the inside is too raw for your liking, turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees F and roast until done. Remove and let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
How Do I Season A Steak For The Grill
The best grilled steaks are seasoned two ways: with salt, before cooking, and with butter, added to the steaks while they rest.
Youll start by generously seasoning each steak on all sides with kosher salt before you even light the grill. Plan on at least 1/2 teaspoon per half pound of steak. For thick strip steaks that weigh in about 12 ounces each, thats roughly 3/4 teaspoon per steak, but dont fuss too much over exact measurements just salt generously. Once salted, return the steaks to the fridge, uncovered, for at least 2 hours or overnight if needed. As they sit, the salt permeates the steak, making them juicy. It also draws some of the proteins and sugars to the surface of the steak, giving it that crave-worthy crust youre after.
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The Food Lab’s Definitive Guide To Grilled Steak
Summer’s here and I’ve got a brand-new backyard to grill in, so now seems like as good a time as any to reexamine some of the things we know about grilling beef.
Sure, we can all agree on what our goal is: A perfect steak should have a crusty, crunchy, well-browned exterior surrounding a core of perfectly pink, juicy, tender meat that spans from edge to edge. A perfect steak should have a nice contrast between the smoky, almost charred exterior and the deeply beefy interior. A perfect steak should be chin-drippingly juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender.
We all know where we want to go. The real debate is, what’s the best way to get there? You’ve just dropped $50 on some prime aged beef, and you’re rightfully nervous about screwing it all up. After all, there’s a lot at… ahem, wait for it… steak.
Want to know how to grill a steak? Here’s my advice: Do not do it the way they do it at steakhouses. It seems counterintuitive: Surely a restaurant with years of experience cooking hundreds of steaks a day knows a thing or two about how it’s done, right? Well, yes. They know how to cook a steak in a steakhouse setting, where their goal is consistency, quality, and, more importantly, speed. Hungry customers don’t want to have to wait for their meat, and a steakhouse has equipment and techniques designed to meet those needs.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
Grilling The Best Steak
I wanted a juicy steak with a nice crust that was big enough to slice and serve family style, and that had a little finesse.
While cooking, I basted the steak in an herbed butter sauce. The sauce added a fresh, light flavor that balanced the richness of the meat. In the end, I had a steak everyone raved about, and that felt special but not overly fussy. It was the perfect main course for my Fourth of July party plans.
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Sizzling Science: How To Grill The Best Steak
Want to learn how cooking transforms beefâs flavor? Meat scientists have the answers.
Summer has arrived, and itâs time to fire up the backyard grill. Though many of us are trying to eat less beef for environmental reasons, itâs hard to resist indulging in an occasional steak â and youâll want to make the most of the experience.
So, whatâs the best way to grill that steak? Science has some answers.
Meat scientists have spent whole careers studying how to produce the tenderest, most flavorful beef possible. Much of what theyâve learned holds lessons only for cattle producers and processors, but a few of their findings can guide backyard grillmasters in their choice of meat and details of the grilling process.
Letâs start with the choice of meat. Every experienced cook knows that the lightly used muscles of the loin, along the backbone, have less connective tissue and thus give tenderer results than the hard-working muscles of the leg. And they know to look for steaks with lots of marbling, the fat deposits between muscle fibers that are a sign of high-quality meat.
âIf you have more marbling, the meat will be tenderer, juicier, and it will have richer flavor,â says Sulaiman Matarneh, a meat scientist at Utah State University who wrote about muscle biology and meat quality in the 2021 Annual Review of Animal Biosciences.
Sirloin, in contrast, has less oleic acid and more fatty acid types that can yield less appealing, fishy flavor hints during cooking.
From The Right Temperature To Resting Time
It seems that people approach grilling steak one of two ways: either in a casual manner or paying perhaps too much attention. Some will heat the grill with abandon, throw the steaks on, flip once, then pull them off, and serve others will fret and worry, cutting into the meat every two seconds wringing their hands over whether the meat is done or not. Both techniques do have some merits but a method somewhere in the middle is ideal.
Grilling a delicious steak is easy, as long as you follow a few simple steps. As with anything, a bit of practice always helps, too. Follow some advice, grill a few steaks, and you’ll be serving up perfectly cooked juicy steaks in no time.
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Let The Steak Rest Briefly Then Serve
“You always want to account for carryover cooking in the time that it takes to get the steak off of the grill and on the table,” says Epi Food Director Rhoda Boone. Let the meat rest for about 5 minutes, and it’ll be ready to slice or serve whole so that your hungry guests can attack it with their own knives.
How To Cook Steak On The Grill
We won’t get into the fiery debate between charcoal versus gas grills here we’ve covered that in depth. But for certain, great grilling can be had with either charcoal or gas.
We’ve also covered how to pick the best steak for grilling. The good news is, the perfect steak doesn’t need to be the most expensive. If breaking the bank isn’t part of your barbeque plan, consider less spendy sirloin, hanger, flank steak, and skirt steaks.
Choose cuts that are at least 1-inch thick. If the steak is too thin, the interior gets cooked well-done before the exterior can develop the crave-worthy crust. If you can, choose steaks of even thickness so they’ll be done at the same time. Also, meat near the bone will take a little longer to cook.
The ideal steak marinade combines acid, fat, and seasonings. The acid creates a tangy flavor foundation and tenderizes the meat the fat adds flavor, seals in juices, helps keep the meat from sticking to the grill, and promotes caramelization and the seasonings complete the flavor profile. Here’s a breakdown of The Best Steak Marinade in Existence.
Some Favorite Grilled Steak Recipes:
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How To Make Perfectly Grilled Steaks:
- Pat steaks dry with paper towels and place on a rimmed baking sheet or cutting board.
- Lightly coat with olive oil, kosher salt and coarse ground pepper on both sides.
- Prepare a grill fire to 400° using hickory, oak or pecan for smoke flavor.
- Sear steaks over direct fire for about 5 minutes with the grill closed, lowering grill temperature to about 350°.
- Flip the steaks and continue to cook until desired doneness is reached. A digital meat thermometer is the best way to know when to pull the steaks off of the grill. We pulled ours at about 130°.
- Remove steaks to a clean baking sheet. Tent with foil and rest 5 -10 minutes before serving.
- Top your grilled steak with homemade Steak Sauce and serve them up with fries or garlic butter baked potatoes and grilled garlic bread for a complete meal.
How To Grill A Thick Steak
When grilling steak that is 1 ½ inches thick or more, the best way to get the perfect char on the outside and desired doneness in the center is to do the reverse sear. You will cool the steak until it is almost done over indirect heat, then move it to the hotter direct-heat section of the grill for the final sear.
You will want to make sure the indirect heat section of the grill is around 225 degrees F. Then add the steak to the cooler part and cover the grill.
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How To Buy A Good Steak
Q: Prime, Choice, or Select. What do they mean?
Cattle are graded after slaughter according to the degree of marbling, as well as the cow’s age.
All beef that’s sold in the U.S. is graded by the United States Department of Agriculture on a scale according to its tenderness and degree of marbling. At the top of the heap is Prime, which denotes an abundant degree of marbling in a cow under 42 months of age. Only about 2% of the beef sold in this country is designated Prime, and most of it goes to restaurants, specialty butchers, and high end supermarkets. Below that is Choice, followed by Select, which are the two grades you’ll find in most supermarkets.
The grades continue to go down all the way to Canner, which generally comes from very old cows with little fat in their tough meat. Luckily for us, you won’t find that grade in stores .
While checking the grade is a quick and easy indicator of the quality of the meat, what you should really be checking for is the degree of marblingthat’s the interstitial fat that shows up in white spiderwebs throughout the meat.
Why, you might ask, is marbling important? Two reasons: moisture and flavor. As well-marbled meat cooks, the fat will slowly melt, adding juiciness built right into the meat. Non-marbled meat might have plenty of fat on the exterior, but it doesn’t enhance the steak in the same way. Sort of like the difference between drinking a glass of chocolate milk or drinking the milk then shooting the chocolate syrup.
Best Steak Marinade For Grilling
In this particular grilled steak recipe, were using our favorite grilled steak marinade. Its made with some of our favorite ingredients. Heres what you need:
- garlic: minced garlic is such an amazing flavor for pretty much any marinade.
- Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire sauce is tangy with a punch of vinegar and its so necessary.
- balsamic vinegar: balsamic adds a hint of sweetness with too much sweet.
- lemon juice: a little citrus goes a long way and really brightens up this steak marinade.
- olive oil: olive oil will help keep things nice and juicy.
- lemon pepper: I love that you get the traditional pepper flavor, but also a lemon zest punch with lemon pepper.
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Want To Learn How To Cook The Best Steak You’ve Ever Had After Chatting With The Executive Chef Team At Longhorn Steakhouse We Think We Know What It Takes
Not too long ago, we met up with the finalists of LongHorn Steakhouses Steak Master Series. Before the chefs went head-to-head in an epic grill-off, they shared a few secrets to cooking the best steak youve ever eaten. Theyre trained to cook nine different cuts of steak, so we couldnt wait to hear their tricks!