How to Grill Steak the Right Way

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Grilling steak is both an art and a science. To get it right, you need to consider several factors: the cut of the meat, its thickness, the heat of the grill, and your desired level of doneness. Follow these tips and techniques to become a master at grilling steak.

1. Choose the Right Cut and Quality:

The best steaks for grilling have a good amount of marbling (fat throughout the meat) because it melts during cooking, adding flavor and juiciness. Popular cuts include ribeye, porterhouse, T-bone, strip steak (also known as New York strip), tenderloin (filet mignon), and sirloin. Higher grades of beef (such as USDA Prime or Choice) will generally yield better results.

2. Bring Steaks to Room Temperature:

Allow your steaks to sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour before grilling. This step ensures your steak cooks evenly.

3. Season Generously:

Right before grilling, pat your steaks dry with paper towels to remove moisture that could hinder searing. Season generously with salt—heavier than you might think is appropriate. Salt is critical for flavor and creating a crust on your steak. Some people like to add freshly ground black pepper as well.

4. Preheat Your Grill:

Whether you’re using charcoal or gas, giving your grill plenty of time to preheat is crucial. Aim for a temperature around 450–500°F, which is typically considered high heat.

5. Searing is Key:

Place your steaks on the grill and leave them undisturbed for a few minutes to achieve a good sear—the sear locks in flavors and creates the coveted grill marks. Then flip them only once during cooking.

6. Use a Meat Thermometer:

To ensure you cook your steak to your preferred level of doneness (rare, medium-rare, medium, etc.), use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature rather than guessing or relying on timing alone.

Here’s a quick guide:

– Rare: 120-130°F

– Medium Rare: 130-135°F

– Medium: 140-150°F

– Medium Well: 150-160°F

– Well Done: over 160°F

7. Let It Rest:

Always let your steak rest for about five minutes before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that every bite is moist and flavorful.

8. Finish with Flair:

For an extra touch of flavor, brush your steak with butter after flipping it or top finished steaks with herb compound butter or a spoonful of resting juices before serving.

Mastering these steps will set you up for grilling success every time and impress both yourself and your guests with perfect steaks off the grill.

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