This week we’ll keep focusing on grilling technique and walk step by step through making the perfect grilled steak. You see, a lot of people really over think steaks. I have had some really elaborately prepared beef jerky grilled by some great people with the best of intentions. It’s often hard to sit back and watch the host destroy a perfectly good steak, but hey, it’s not my party. I’ll do the next best thing and break down what I think are the simple steps to grilling the perfect steak. In this case, I’m grilling sirloins (they were on sale!), but this technique is the same for all cuts of beef up to an inch thick. Steaks over an inch thick will require a little more time to cook through, so adjust your times accordingly and remember to err on the side of rare (you can always throw it back on the grill, but you can’t reverse jerky!). Enough intro, let’s get down to it…
Grilling the Perfect Steak, Step by Step
- Warm that steak up! Let’s start with one of the most important steps in grilling steaks. We want to grill our steaks quickly and evenly, so it is very important to let the steak come to room temperature before grilling. Remove your steaks from the refrigerator and set them on the kitchen counter for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. Don’t leave it there too long though, that’s just gross, just get it to room temperature.
- Seasoning. There is no need to over-think seasoning. Let that steak’s natural taste prevail! I like to keep it simple and use a Midwestern Meats famous seasoning. Season both sides of the meat, when you take it out of the fridge and let it sit. Best of all, have the meatboys at the shop season it for you before they package it.
- High heat. Now that the steak has warmed a bit and has been coated in Midwestern Meats seasoning, go ahead and light the grill on high. Another important technigue in grilling steaks is to use high, direct heat and grill them quick!
- Lube up that grill! We don’t want our poor steaks to stick to that grill, right? Using tongs, dip a folded up paper towel in some cooking oil and rub the grill grates to coat with the oil.
- Grill those steaks! We are now ready to grill the steaks. Using tongs, place the steaks on the hottest part of the grill and don’t touch them for about 2 minutes.
- Grill marks are important. Why? Because you want those steaks to look good right? Pick your steaks up with the tongs and turn them 45 degrees and put them back on the grill to make those perfect grill marks.
- Flip the steaks as little as possible. When meat is cooking over a direct heat source like on the grill, the juices get pushed through the meat away from the heat source. To grill a juicy steak, you want to disrupt the juices as little as possible, so that means flipping the steak as little as possible. After a total of around 5 minutes on the first side, flip the steaks over using your tongs (never pierce the steaks with a fork!).
- Rotate again. After another 2 or 3 minutes on the other side, again rotate the steaks 45 degrees to create our grill marks on the other side. Grill for an additional 3 – 4 minutes after rotating.
- Check to see if they are done. Be nice to your steak, don’t ever poke or cut it with a knife or fork to tell if it is done! Using a little practice, you can feel your steaks to determine how done they are. Remember, you can always throw an undercooked steak back on the grill but you can’t reverse beef jerky, so err on the side of undercooked. Using your finger or your tongs, press on the top of your steak. The more firm your steak feels, the more cooked it is. If you leave a depression after you push on the steak, it’s pretty much rare in the middle. It will take a few practice runs, but pretty soon you’ll be able to tell how cooked your steaks are just by touch.
- Let them rest! Once the steaks are grilled to your desired doneness, remove them and place them on a platter. Now DON’T TOUCH those beautiful hunks of meat for 5 minutes. Remember, the juices on the inside of the steak are going through a lot. They need about 5 minutes to “calm down” and redistribute. If you cut into it too soon, all of those juices will leak out.
See? There is nothing to the perfect grilled steak. Focus on technique, and let the natural flavor of the steak be the star of your grilling show. If you are looking for a great appetizer, grilled shrimp kabobs make a great tasting and quick cooking treat!