Written by Shaina of Food for My Family.
In our home the grill is generally dominated by my husband. He cleans it, maintains it, claims it as his own. When I want something done out there, I usually just set it on the table and he’ll head outside to light the grill without a word passing between us. This is definitely his territory.
Still, there are times when he works late, when business trips interfere with my meal planning prowess, and when I am the one in charge of the outdoor cooking as well. (Truthfully, there are also times when we simply disagree on the method and final desired product, too. Such is the life of two people with strong opinions about the food they prepare and eat.) It’s those times that it’s important for me to know my way around the outdoor kitchen just as I know my way around the indoor one.
Of course, I may just want to surprise my husband or my dad or my father-in-law with a perfectly grilled steak for Father’s Day, too.
Most of my apprehension when grilling came into play where expensive pieces of meat were involved. A bratwurst, corn on the cob, asparagus every which way, chicken legs, pineapple skewers, and peaches for dessert were all done with ease, but I never felt the same sort of confidence when staring at a piece of marbled and butchered beef that had been pastured and raised and butchered just for our family. Instead, I felt anxiety.
This, I imagine, is why people choose to spend their dollars for the perfectly cooked steak at steakhouses across the country. Instead, I took that as a challenge that needed to be met head on, so I simply asked my husband for help.
- Start with a hot grill. You can’t just turn the grill on and toss the steak on. A grill is like an oven in that you need to preheat it first.
- Start with a room temperature steak. Letting your steak warm up some will make for even grilling. If the interior of your steak is cold, for example, it will take longer to reach the right temperature and lead to a tougher exterior.
- Keep the lid closed. This allows heat to build up all around the meat, and again, it results in a shorter cooking time.
3 Steak Seasonings
When it comes to seasoning your steak there are different routes and methods you can take. Letting the beef shine through is always a good option, particularly if you’ve splurged for a dry aged piece of quality beef. Maybe you want your steak with a bit of a kick, or perhaps you rely heavily on seasoning in a bottle. Here are a few ways to switch it up.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, medium ground
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, finely ground
1/3 teaspoon cumin
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
minced fresh cilantro for garnish
Real Lemon Pepper
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper, coarse ground
2/3 teaspoon kosher salt
|Grilling Steak and Seasonings||
- 4 six- to eight-ounce steaks (strips, t-bones, rib eyes, filets)
- seasoning of choice (see above)
- Preheat your grill on the highest setting, aiming for around 500º F. Season both sides of the steak. Place the steaks on to sear for about two minutes. Flip and cook an additional two minutes. Flip, turning 60º for diamond grill mark patterns, and move the steaks to a cooler part of the grill. Continue to monitor until the desired level of doneness is achieved.
- Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the steak, and remove the steaks from the grill about 5º below the target temperature. Cover the steaks with foil, and let them rest for five to ten minutes. This will allow the carryover heat to bring the steaks up to the necessary temperature and will redistribute the juices. Serve immediately.
Use the following guide to determine the proper temperature:
::120 to 125º Rare
::130 to 135º Medium-rare
::140 to 145º Medium
::150 to 155º Medium-well
::160º+ Well done
What are your favorite sides to pair with steak?