We’ve been grilling steaks every time we prepare for competitions, and these simple tips will guide you on how to grill a steak.
Take your favorite steak at room temperature and place it on a grill and preheat to 500°F. Cook the steaks for 2-3 minutes and rotate 45 degrees and cook for another 2-3 minutes before turning the steaks and repeating the same procedure. Cook the steaks to a medium-rare internal temperature of 135°F and then let the steak rest before cutting.
Choose the cut of steak.
There isn’t a better smell than a steak sizzling on the grill, and with these simple rules, we guarantee that your next cookout will be the highlight for your friends and family. There are several different cuts of steak that all grill up tender and tasty and come in a variety of price ranges. No matter your budget, there are plenty of options, and you can’t go wrong with these steaks.
- Flat iron
- Filet mignon
- New York Strip
- Prime rib
- Round/London broil
The most important thing, no matter what cut of steak, is marbling. Marbling is thin steaks of fat that you can see running through the flesh of the meat. The fat is what adds flavor and tenderness to the steak. You want to have an even consistent marbling throughout the cut.
Find a cut in your price range. There are three different grades of steak in US supermarkets: Select, Choice, and Prime.
Select is going to be the typical steaks that you will usually find on sale every week. Select grade meat is just above what the USDA deems edible, so it isn’t the best cut of meat, and don’t be surprised if it isn’t as tender as expected. Choice and Prime are going to be more expensive, but I always think it’s worth getting Choice over Select. The flavor and tenderness are just that much better, and we justify the extra price. Every supermarket doesn’t carry a prime grade, but if you are lucky enough to find it at your local grocery store, it is by far the best.
It depends on the cut of steak, but we like to have our steaks around an inch and a half in thickness. This thickness will allow a real nice sear on the outside while not overcooking the inside and drying out the steak.
If you can’t find a particular cut and grade that you are looking for, then don’t be shy and ask the butcher for help. Most supermarkets can fulfill any special requests assuming they have the product in stock.
Allow the steak to get to Room Temperature
Get the grill ready and up to temperature
Trim the Steak
With some cuts, there will be excess fat on the edges. Take some time to trim off the excess fat because most of this will not cook-off and eventually needs to be cut anyway. Removing the fat chunks on the outside will help reduce flare-ups, as well.
There is some debate about removing the fat before you grill because the fat does add to the flavor. Still, in my opinion, that is the marbling, not the solid fat chunks that are on the edges of the steak.
Season the Steak
Traditional seasoning is coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. I like to use salt, pepper, and garlic or SPG seasoning. Start by patting dry the steak with a paper towel and then apply a little bit of olive oil to the steak before adding a generous amount of seasoning. The oil will act as a binder for the seasoning and will stick to the steak after cooking.
If you pre trim and season your steaks, still make sure to let them get to room temperature before placing them on the grill.
If you decide not to use oil as a binder during seasoning, brush the grates after preheating with some oil before you place the steaks on the grill.
Place the steak on the grill
Place the steak in the center of the grill or the hottest part on the grill. Depending on the thickness, you may want to close the lid, but I keep it open and watch for flare-ups. Keeping the top open will also only allow one side of the steak to cook.
Turn and Flip Timings
We like to get a cross-char, so we rotate the steak 45° after two and a half minutes before flipping and doing the same thing on the other side. When you flip the steak, move it to a different part of the grill if possible. Using a different part of the grate will ensure the grate is still hot enough.
After flipping, try adding some rosemary and garlic. If you choose to add some butter on the steak at this point, watch out for flare-ups and grease catching fire.
Check the Temperature
Pull the steaks and check the temperature to verify the steak is cooked to your likeness. Steak temperatures are 130°F for rare, 135°F medium-rare, 145°F medium, 150°F medium well and 160°F for well done. Keep in mind the steaks will continue to cook a little after pulling them from the grill.
Let the steak rest
Set the steak to the side for at least 5 minutes. I usually let it rest closer to 10 minutes. Allowing the steaks rest will allow the meat to settle, and it will soak back juices and redistribute through the steak. I like to put some butter on the steak the last minute while on the grill. Try to keep as much butter on the steak after pulling it from the grill, so it soaks back into the steak.
To lean how to clean your grill after use, view our post on how to clean a grill.
Different Cooking Methods
If you want to try a different grilling method, try a reverse sear. Smoke the steak at 250°F until the steak reaches 120-125°F, and usually takes around 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the steak from the smoker and place on a preheated grill for a minute each side. Giving the outside a quick sear will provide a nice crunch outside while keeping the majority of the juices inside the steak.
Pull the steak and allow them to rest then enjoy.
If you don’t know how to use a smoker or want to learn more, view our post on how to use a BBQ smoker.