How To Make Perfect Grilled Steak
Want to make a perfect grilled steak every single time? The key to perfect, crusty on the outside, juicy on the inside grilled steak is right in your pantryand your freezer!
Once upon a time, the Southern husband and I thought we knew how to grill a nice plain steak. How hard could it be, really?
We would pick up a good looking rib-eye or sirloin at the meat counter, crank up the grill and toss it on there. And it tasted fine.
At least, it tasted fine until we added a couple of steps that seemed very simplebut that transported our steak supper from fine to just plain mouthwateringly, crusty on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, perfect.
And ever since that fatefully delicious date we have never looked back, steak-wise.
There are two steps to steak perfection before you get to the actual grilling part, and here they are:
1. You want a perfectly dry surface on your steak. That dry surface is going to give you a gorgeous crusty exterior and that tender juicy pink interior. But just patting your steak dry isnt going to get you there you need to mix together a combo of cornstarch and salt and rub your steak all over with it.
The cornstarch-salt mixture is going to absorb every last bit of moisture and give you the nice searable surface you are looking for. And in case you are worried, I promise you wont taste one single bit of cornstarch its all going to cook off when the time comes.
Now go grill some steak!
- 12 tablespoons coarse salt
How To Grill Steak:
Begin by dry brining your steak for up to 24 hours. To do so, remove the steaks from their packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Transfer them to large plates or a baking sheet and sprinkle both sides liberally with sea salt.
Place the steaks in your refrigerator uncovered for at least one hour, up to 24.
When youre ready to grill, preheat your gas grill to 500 degrees F or fire up your coals in a coal chimney then transfer them to one part of your grill so that you have the option for direct heat and indirect heat.
Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with garlic powder and black pepper.
Transfer your steaks to the grill, placing them over direct heat. Sear the steaks for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until they have a marvelous char.
You want to avoid big flare ups, as they cause burning on the steak and youre aiming for golden-brown rather than burn marks. The flames are fairly unavoidable as the fat begins to render, so just try to minimize the amount of time the steak is in a flare.
Use a wireless thermometer to check the temperature of the steaks. For medium-rare, aim for 125 to 130 degrees F, for medium aim for 135 to 140 degrees F.
Remember that meat always continues cooking after you remove it from its heat source, so dont be afraid to take it off a few degrees early so that you end up with your perfect level of done-ness after it sits.
How To Serve Steak
After you let the steak rest for at least five minutes, you have a decision to make: to slice or not to slice. You can certainly serve steak whole with a steak knife and let the eater cut it themselves. We often prefer to slice the steak before it makes its way to the plate. This allows you to portion one steak to multiple eaters, cutting down on the cost of dinner without making it obvious that each person didnt get their own steak. It also ensures that the meat will be sliced against the grain, creating the juiciest, most tender bite.
To identify the grain, look for the long strands of muscle fibers running parallel to each other. Position your knife in a T to the fibers, creating slices perpendicular to the grain. Then, plate the steak with a killer side dish. Drizzle the slices with your favorite steak sauce if you like garlic butter or chimichurri are always good choices.
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How Long To Cook Steak
- Blue: Should still be a dark colour, almost purple, and just warm. It will feel spongy with no resistance.
- Rare: Dark red in colour with some red juice flowing. It will feel soft and spongy with slight resistance.
- Medium-rare: Pink in colour with some juice. It will be a bit soft and spongy and slightly springy.
- Medium: Pale pink in the middle with hardly any juice. It will feel firm and springy.
- Well-done: Only a trace of pink colour but not dry. It will feel spongy and soft and slightly springy.
Its very important to consider the size and weight of your steak before calculating the cooking time. If youre unsure, take advantage of the expert eye of your butcher who should be able to tell you how long you need to cook your meat.
How To Know When Steak Is Done
The time needed to cook a steak varies depending on its thickness, and how you like it. Dont be tempted to cut into a steak to see if its done. This allows the precious juices to escape, making the meat tough. Instead, press the centre of the steak with the back of your tongs if its medium the meat will spring back. Use this guide for cooking times and to tell when its ready.
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How To Cook Steak In The Oven:
- Let steak rest out on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes, to reach room temperature.
- Next, line a baking sheet with foil and set a rack over the baking sheet.
- Blot steaks dry with paper towels and rub both sides of steak with oil. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Grill in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on how you like it cooked.
- Cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet with oil.
- Next, remove the steaks from oven and transfer to the hot skillet.
- Continue cooking steaks for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned and a bit crisp.
Cut, serve, and enjoy!
- Use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer.
- 125F to 130F internal temperature for RARE
- 135F to 140F internal temperature for MEDIUM RARE
- 145F to 150F internal temperature for MEDIUM TO MEDIUM-WELL
- 160F internal temperature for WELL DONE
Prepare The Barbecue Grill
The cooking surface must be clean and oiled so your steaks will have good contact with the grill without sticking. Prepare the grill while it’s finishing heating up.
The easiest way to oil the cooking grate is with an oil-soaked paper towel and the metal brush used to clean the grill. Fold a paper towel in half until it is the size of your grill cleaning brush. Soak it with oil that has a high smoke point, like canola or grapeseed oil. Brush this over the cooking grates evenly. It will smoke some, but enough oil will remain on the grates as long as you don’t let the grill sit at its highest temperature for too long before grilling.
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When In Doubt Oversalt
When youre grilling steak, its not the time to be shy about overseasoning! Its always best to use sea salt or kosher salt, and then some pepper if youd like.
When adding pepper, add about the same amount as you did for the salt.
And once again, when you think its enough the first time, its PROBABLY NOT. So add a little bit more!
Always Pat Your Steak Dry
The golden rule to achieving steak with a deep-brown, flavorful crust? Eliminating as much moisture as possible from its surface. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness. Thats because moisture slows down Maillard reactions, the process responsible for turning steak brown and crispy. Whether youve marinated your steak or not, youll want to blot it all over with paper towels before you season it. Doing so prevents seasoning from melting and inhibits steam from forming when you cook the steak.
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How To Grill Steak With A Cast Iron Skillet
A cast iron skillet gets scorching hot and stays that way, hitting steak with the same sort of powerful heat that a grill does.
Frequent Flipping So You Don’t Flop
Want faster and more even cooking? Flip the steak frequently with tongs during the sear. This is a more modern grilling technique. It results in an even flavorful brown crust, rather than distinct grill marks, which can end up tasting bitter.
This also means that you don’t need to temper the meat for even cooking. Flipping frequently promotes even cooking on both sides and a juicier steak. It does require more hands-on attention, but what else would you rather be doing, right?
Flip every 30 to 60 seconds during the sear.
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Is It Important To Let The Steaks Rest
Yes. The steak actually continues to cook during those few minutes. This continuation of cooking is great because it doesnt dry out the steak, as it would by simply leaving it on the grill longer. Cutting into the steak interrupts that last little period of cooking by releasing the heat inside the steak. Trust me, let it rest a few minutes and your steak will turn out perfect.
If you like this recipe, you may also be interested in these other delicious grilling recipes:
How Do You Cook A Filet Mignon On An Electric Grill
Cooking a filet mignon on an electric grill is definitely possible, even if it might be a challenge because of the thickness of the cut. Youll want to start by seasoning and marinating your steak. After two to four hours, youll take the steak out of the refrigerator and pre-heat your grill to about four seventy-five. From here, youll want to cook the steak for at least six minutes, flipping it once about halfway through. Check the temperature with a digital meat thermometer to determine when it is done.
Salting Early Pays Off
You might have heard the warning that you shouldnt salt meat too far in advance of cooking because it can draw out moisture. Its true that salt draws moisture towards itself, but over the course of 20 to 30 minutes thats a good thing, because the salt begins to dissolve into that little bit of moisture.
When the steak hits the hot cooking grate, the sugars and proteins in the moisture combine with the salt and other seasonings to create a delicious crust. Any moisture you might lose is well worth the flavor of that crust.
Tips For Grilling The Perfect Steak
- Season, then chill: I apply the same technique I use for getting crispy chicken and turkey skin to grilling this steak: season, then let it chill in the fridge uncovered for up to 48 hours. This essentially dry brines the steak while also letting it air-dry. This approach allows the surface moisture to evaporate while the seasoning has time to penetrate the meat resulting in deeply flavored steak that sears beautifully and develops a nice crust on the grill.
- Start with clean grates: Just like you use a clean skillet with a little oil to cook dinner on the stovetop, you want to start with clean and oiled grill grates.
- To flip or not to flip? Flip your steak to your hearts content. Harold McGee, food science writer and author of On Food and Cooking, discovered that frequent flipping creates a steak that cooks more evenly and quickly than those flipped only once.
- Grilling directly on coals: Raichlen seemingly knows an infinite number of ways to grill meat, and theres one in his new book, Project Fire , that I particularly like: he cooks steak directly on hot coalsno grill grates necessary. I love the idea, and its on my list of things to try in the near future.
|*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
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Dont Flip Your Steak More Than Once
Weve all seen it happen, or at least, weve made the same mistake at least once in our lives.
But really, please refrain from overturning your steak. Doing so might overcook the meat, thus resulting in burnt parts.
Ideally, you should only be turning the steak ONCEon each side. And yes, only flip it once!
How To Grill A Thin Steak
When grilling steak that is 1 ½ inches in thickness or less, the best way to get the perfect char on the outside and desired doneness in the center is to sear over direct heat. You simply grill. the steak over the direct heat until it reaches the desired temperature, flipping it about every minute. This will ensure that the surface gets nice and golden brown and that the middle wont cook too quickly. Take the steak off of the grill once it reaches the desired temperature and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.
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How To Grill Steak Under The Broiler
Broiling is an easy, fast way to achieve steak that tastes like it was made on a grill. And this totally makes sense because a broiler is essentially like a mini grill built into your oven. Its a hot direct heat source often an open flame that shoots out to cook the meat quickly. Heres what to do.
Simple Broiled Flank Steak with Herb Oil
Although flank steak is a relatively lean cut of meat, it’s packed with flavor. This preparation is low-fuss and yields charred, juicy steak that tastes like it was pulled off the grill.
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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How To Cook A Perfect Steak Indoors
The barbecue may be hibernating, but that doesn’t mean you have to take a break from grilled steak.
By Kristen EppichUpdatedFebruary 13, 2019
Ill be the first to sport a parka and boots and face the elements on a cold winter night if it means a juicy steak for dinner. However, there are times when you just want steak without having to bundle up.
The classic method of pan-cooking a steak involves searing it for about two minutes per side in a hot pan, then sliding that pan into a hot oven to continue cooking. This method works reasonably well, but when dealing with thicker cuts they tend to cook unevenly dry on the outer edges and undercooked in the centre. In order to correct this, its time for a little rethink.
The method below begins in the oven and finishes in the pan. Slow-roasting the steak first allows heat to evenly penetrate the meat, giving the interior a chance to begin cooking without overcooking the outside. Its crucial that the meat is roasted on a rack, allowing all the surfaces to be exposed to air. This helps to dry the surface in preparation for pan-searing, which will result in an unbelievably delicious crust on the steak. Give it a try, youll love it. And who knows maybe next summer you wont even bother dragging the barbecue back out again.