How to Grill Steaks

Wondering how to grill steaks? Read on....

I don't care what anyone else thinks or says, I like my steak well done - actually medium well. Still a little pink, and juicy, but no blood.

Not everyone has the same preference, but how well done you have your steak is one of those things like, which BBQ sauce is the correct one to have with some given cut of pork. It arouses strong opinions, derision, and mild insults. In the case of steak, usually heaped on those who prefer well done steak, by those who prefer rare.

Incidentally, the word steak is from an old norse word meaning to roast. So there you go.

Which cut of steak is best?

There are lots:

  • Ribeye
  • Porterhouse
  • T-bone
  • Sirloin
  • Tenderloin (leanest and most expensive)
  • Strip steak
  • Flank steak
  • Skirt steak (cheapest cut)

These are some big pieces of meat. Whichever cut you like, but get the best quality you're prepared to pay for. Argentina is famed for the quality of it's beef, but that's mainly because the cattle is fed exclusively on grass on the flat Pampas region.

So, take their lead: organic, grass fed beef is best if you can get it.

Personally I think the thicker cuts e.g. ribeye, porterhouse, T-bone give better results because of the marbling of fat which keeps it juicy.

Preparing your steak

Firstly, light you grill - whether charcoal or gas, it needs to be very hot. Hold your hand about six inches above the grate - if you can keep your hand their for no more than 3 seconds, it's hot enough. Lower the grate if need be.

In truth steak doesn't need much prep, salt and pepper is as much as many chefs bother with. I have heard that it's best to season after grilling, but I couldn't tell the difference when I tried it.

Some tips for adding flavor

wood chips or logs: mesquite or oak

Cooking your steak to perfection

Being great at this takes experience - which means practice.

When the grill is hot enough, oil the grate, and using tongs, place a steak on.

If you want press down on the steak with a spatula, this will give the meat nice sear marks - and half way through cooking each side, turn the meat 90 degrees. With practice you should be able to make a nice cross hatch pattern every time.

If there are any flare ups, move the steak to a cooler spot or squirt the flames with water.

Rare steak takes something like 8-10 minutes on each side for a thick piece of meat like a porterhouse steak. A thinner piece like a strip steak shouldn't take more than 3 minutes on each side

If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be somewhere around 125F. If you press the meat with your finger it should be soft and yielding i.e. your finger will sink in to it. Cut into a piece and it will be hot all the way through, though mostly red in color, with only a surface layer of grey-ish brown.

I know plenty of people who would consider this to be a perfectly cooked steak.

If you like it well done read on!

If you want you steak more done than that, just keep it on the grill for longer. Every 30 to 60 seconds press the meat with you finger to gauge how it's doing.

The firmer it is the more well done it is - actual well done steak will be almost hard to the touch. None of this is exact and only experience will tell when it's ready.

When it is done to your satisfaction, wrap the steak in foil and let it rest for 5 minutes or more before serving it.

Related Pages

Beef recipes

pork chops

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