“Hearing the call of the grill, craving the flavor of a perfectly grilled steak but do not know how to make it yourself? Not to worry, just follow my directions”— Paul Ebeling
The Big Q: How do you choose a good steak?
The Big A: A Steak” is not 1 one thing, there are lots of great cuts of beef, each with a unique flavor profile, cooking style, tenderness, and size. The more you get to know beef the further you can dive into customizing steak cuts. As a beginner, know this choose beef of the highest quality.
- Filet Mignon: The most tender steak with very mild flavor. Barrel shaped, usually between 4 and 9 ozs.
- New York Strip: Well-marbled steak with firmer texture. Bone-in or boneless, usually between 8 and 14 ozs.
- Top Sirloin: Naturally lean, signature angular cut. Usually between 5 and 10 ozs.
- Ribeye: The most marbling, and the richest steak flavor. Usually between 8 and 14 ozs.
- T-Bone: 2 steaks in 1, filet mignon and NY strip. Iconic “T” shaped bone in the middle. Big steaks, usually 18 ozs or larger.
Whichever steak you choose for your 1st grill session, you’ve got to feel confident in the quality. Buy your steak from a butcher because the grocery store cannot guaranty satisfaction.
If your steaks are refrigerator temperature, place them out on the kitchen counter about 45 mins before you plan to grill them. This is a good time to season your steaks. A warm steak helps with timing.
My favorite seasoning is sea salt and cracked Java black pepper. Choose a chunky salt and freshly cracked pepper and generously season your steak about 30 mins before cooking. This gives time for the salt to work its way into the beef and further break it down and create more flavor. I rub a bit bit of extra virgin olive oil on their steaks to help seasonings stick.
You can grill steak on a charcoal grill or gas grill.
It is the heat that matters, not how you create it. Get your grill ready to cook on HIGH heat in one area and LOW heat in another. That means 2 burners on high and one on low for gas grillers, or a three-zone cook for charcoal grillers.
- Do let your grill pre-heat so the grates are hot when you add steaks.
- And brush your clean grill grates with olive oil
Once your grill is running hot and the grill grates have pre-heated, and your steaks have been seasoned, and put those steaks on the grill
Carefully place your steaks on the hot, oiled grill grates, directly over the heat source.
You’re officially grilling…
The best thing to do to a steak on the grill is to leave it alone. Flip it once, and do not poke, prod, or press it… let the heat do all the work. Flip the steak over once, at about 60% of the total cooking time. I call it the 60/40 rule, and it is going to help make sure your steak is evenly cooked. For total cooking times, use this chart.
The reason that grilled steaks are so delicious is two-fold. (1) The grilled, flavorful outside and (2) The juicy inside. Over high heat and open flame, the crispy, darker-colored, smoke-kissed outside of your steak has undergone what’s called the Maillard reaction – a chemical reaction that creates flavor. The inside has become juicy as the marbling melts into the beef. The secret to great steak is 60/40 timing that lets both of these things happen.
The “doneness” of a steak is determined by the internal temperature of the beef. Every cook and every eater has a preference, but if you ask the butcher… medium rare is best. If you ask me it is Black & Blu or Philadelphia Style, aka blood rare.
Use a high-quality meat thermometer for reliable, accurate results and follow our steak doneness guide below. There is no fancy trick, just measure.
Here are the standard temperatures and why people love them.
- RARE: 115-130F
- MEDIUM-RARE: 130-140F
- MEDIUM: 140-150F
- MEDIUM-WELL: 150-160F
- WELL-DONE: 160F+
The best grillers take their steaks off the grill when they’re about 5 degrees below the target temperature. Then, the let the steak sit.
Rest. Breathe and you can, too. The steak’s temperature will rise a few more degrees on the plate, and another important thing will happen – the juices will redistribute throughout the meat. You don’t want to eat a steak blazing hot. Take your time, and slice your steak when you are and ready.
Have a happy, healthy holiday weekend, Keep the faith!