Knights Steak Grilling Tips

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Few things are better than a properly grilled steak. Smokey, juicy, with a lightly crisp crust, an entrée worthy of a celebration meal”–Paul Ebeling

People approach grilling steak 1 of 2 ways: either in a casual manner or paying perhaps too much attention. Some will heat the grill with abandon, throw the steaks on, flip once, then pull them off, and serve; others will fret and worry, cutting into the meat every 2 secs wringing their hands over whether the meat is done or not. Both techniques do have some merits but a method somewhere in the middle is ideal.

Grilling a delicious steak is easy, as long as you follow a few simple steps. As with anything, practice always helps, too.

Follow my advice, grill a few steaks, and you will be serving perfectly cooked juicy steaks in no time.

No matter what you are grilling, you should always begin with clean grill grates. Not only does this make it easier to flip and remove the food from the grill but it also does not impart any flavors from previous grilled meals, such as barbecued chicken, into the steaks.

Make sure to clean your cooking grate using a stiff wire brush. It is best to do this after you’ve finished grilling while the grates are still warm, but you can also clean the grill while it is preheating if you discover caked on residue. Taking the time to brush off old bits of cooked-on food will pay off when your steaks release from the cooking grate with ease.

You also want to coat the grates with a neutral-flavored oil before heating the grill. Pour a little bit of oil on a paper towel and rub onto the clean, cold grill grates.

Many people take their steaks directly from the fridge to the hot fire. You will not get an evenly cooked steak this way—the outside of the meat will cook faster than the inside. It is best to take the steaks out of the fridge about 30 mins before you plan to cook them; remove the wrapping, place on a plate, and let them come up to room temperature on the counter.

A good piece of meat does not need a lot of seasoning and will be delicious with a generous sprinkling of kosher salt. Once the steaks are at room temperature, rub with salt or another seasoning of your choice.

To achieve a crust on the outside while keeping the interior of the steak cooked to your liking, you need to have 2 different temperatures set on your grill. In order to get those nice grill marks, you need to heat your grill to high heat to essentially sear the steaks. To determine the heat is hot enough, you should be able to hold your hand about an inch over the grill grate for 1 sec before it feels too hot and you must pull it away.

You also want a cooler, medium heat area of the grill to move the steaks to once they are seared and crispy on the outside. If you have enough burners and space on your grill, set them to a lower heat; if you do not have enough room, turn off the burner. If you are using a charcoal grill, one side should have a hot fire while the other a smaller, cooler flame.

Note: thin steaks, they will only need a short time over high heat.

Chefs and the cooks who know their way around a kitchen know how meat feels when it’s raw and when it is cooked. The only way to learn this is to basically poke the steaks at different stages of cooking. Raw meat is almost squishy, rare meat is quite soft, medium rare meat resists your poking a bit, and medium meat springs back. Once meat feels firm, it is at least well done, if not completely overdone. Gently press a finger onto your steaks to teach yourself the difference.

Yes, you should touch the steaks to test for doneness, that does not mean that you should be flipping and moving and poking a lot. Steaks should only be turned once, and only moved once from a higher to a lower heat. And do not poke them with anything but your finger! Put the meat on a hot grill—they should sizzle immediately—and leave them there until they release on their own accord. If you’re pulling or struggling with them, they are not seared and not ready to turn.

Once ready, flip them once and cook until they feel done. Do not stab them with a fork, which will release their flavorful juices into the flames below. Do not press down on them with a spatula. Just let them cook.

Perhaps the most important step that most people do not do is allowing the steaks to rest once taken off of the grill. The steaks need to rest for 5 to 10 mins before serving or cutting them. This gives the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the steak, which both helps it finish cooking evenly and keeps the meat moister and more flavorful. Place the cooked steaks on a cutting board or platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Once rested, either slice or serve the steaks whole.

My choice: The rib-eye steak(pictured above) is perhaps the finest of all steaks, offering a combination of luxurious tenderness plus big, beefy flavor. Whether you opt for the boneless or bone-in version, ribeye steaks are ideal candidates for the grill.

Have a super Independence Day, Keep the Faith!