QUICK OVERVIEW: How To Grill A Steak To Perfection
- Season the steak with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt at least 40 minutes before grilling.
- Preheat your grill to a high temperature to promote even cooking and form a nice crust.
- Place your steak over direct heat on your preheated grill and sear each side for about 2-3 minutes, keeping the grill lid closed.
- Move the steak over to indirect heat to finish cooking, using a meat thermometer to achieve the perfect internal temperature.
- Take out the steak from the grill and let it rest for at least five minutes before serving.
- Why You Should Learn How To Grill A Steak
- Which Cut Of Steak Is Best For Grilling?
- How To Grill Steak Like A Pro
- What Can You Serve With Grilled Steaks?
- Grilled Steak Recipe
- Dalstrong Tools You Will Need
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why You Should Learn How to Grill a Steak
Knowing how to make a perfectly grilled steak is a valuable culinary skill that transcends the confines of seasonal cooking. It's not just about summer barbecues or sizzling away on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It's about mastering a timeless technique that enables you to bring out the best in a quality piece of meat, regardless of the season.
Everyone loves a perfectly grilled steak.
I think my Dad was prouder of me for learning how to grill a steak than for graduating college. I'm only half kidding; once you've mastered the grill, you're no longer just a cook – you've become an artist. A craftsman. You've conquered the pinnacle of food. The searing heat, the sizzle of the steak as it hits the grill, the enticing aroma that fills the air—all of these elements converge to create an immersive, sensorial experience that transforms cooking from a mere task into a fulfilling, joyful process.
When served, a grilled steak is an immediate sensation. Your friends, impressed by your grilling prowess, will start making regular requests for steak nights. Your family, unable to resist the mouth-watering allure, will relish every bite. And most importantly, you'll get to enjoy the very best version of steak whenever you want, appreciating the medley of flavors that can only be achieved through grilling perfection.
A perfectly grilled steak is a healthier choice.
The art of grilling steak isn't just about impressing others or satisfying your culinary aspirations. It's also about a healthier choice. Yes, you read that right! Grilling can indeed contribute to a healthier diet. This cooking method allows excess fat to drip away from the meat, reducing overall saturated fat content. Additionally, it retains the meat's essential nutrients better than other cooking methods, resulting in a leaner, nutrient-packed cut that doesn't compromise on flavor.
Grilling enhances the steak.
Beyond that, grilling helps to enhance the steak's natural flavors, unlocking a unique taste profile that's robust, slightly smoky, and undeniably delicious. It brings out the inherent sweetness of the meat, creating a depth of flavor that's hard to replicate with other cooking techniques.
Cooking outdoors is fun!
Toiling away in the kitchen can be a thankless task. Who can resist the allure of a meal cooked outdoors? There's something profoundly satisfying about stepping out of the confines of your kitchen and cooking in the open air. The sunlight, the gentle breeze, the natural surroundings – all of it adds an extra dimension to your grilling experience, making it even more enjoyable and memorable.
So, learning how to grill steak isn't just a skill – it's a journey well worth embarking on, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.
2. Which Cut Of Steak Is Best For Grilling?
When it comes to grilling, you've got plenty of options. There are diverse cuts to choose from, each with its unique attributes of texture, flavor, and tenderness. Let's dive in and uncover the perfect cut for your grilling endeavors.
First in the lineup is the much-loved ribeye, highly regarded in the grilling community for its rich marbling and robust flavor. This cut comes from the rib section of the cow, and it's the marbling – those little white flecks of fat – that makes this cut such a winner. The fat melts during grilling, infusing the meat with flavor and keeping it juicy. It's a top choice for those who appreciate a steak that's hearty and full of flavor.
New York strip
Also known as the strip steak. This cut strikes a perfect balance of tenderness and flavor. It's leaner than the ribeye but still has enough fat to bring out a fantastic flavor. Originating from the short loin (behind the ribs), the New York strip is less marbled but offers a firm, satisfying texture, and it's even more flavorful. It's an excellent option for grilling, particularly for those who enjoy a good chew without compromising on taste.
For those seeking a more luxurious grilling experience, the filet mignon might be the way to go. Known for its exceptional tenderness and subtle flavor, filet mignon is a piece from the smaller end of the tenderloin, making it the most tender beef cut available. Its delicate flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture make it a gourmet favorite. While it lacks the pronounced marbling of a ribeye or New York strip, its buttery texture more than compensates.
Thick steak cuts like these – the ribeye, New York strip, and filet mignon – hold up well to grilling, especially if you prefer your steak at a level of doneness beyond medium-rare. (Curious about the different levels of doneness? Read our article about how to cook a steak to perfection)
If you're on the lookout for something leaner, perhaps with a view to health or diet, then flank steaks or skirt steaks are excellent options. While these cuts lack the marbling of the pricier ribeye or New York strip, they make up for it in other ways. Flank and skirt steaks come from the cow's belly and chest areas, respectively. They are long, flat, and known for their strong beefy flavor.
These cuts take on marinades exceptionally well due to their coarse texture, soaking up flavors and turning them into juicy, flavorful delights after grilling. This makes them not just versatile but also incredibly tasty, especially when grilled to perfection.
3. How to Grill a Steak Like a Pro
Grilling a steak to perfection is less about following a set recipe and more about understanding the nuances and stages of the process. It's a journey of flavor, heat, and timing.
Start by seasoning well.
Might seem obvious, but this is a step that people often miss. Consider the initial stage of seasoning as the foundation of your steak's flavor. A abundant sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper can transform your beef by enhancing its natural taste. Allowing the seasoning to settle for at least 40 minutes not only flavors the meat but also breaks down muscle fibers. This process, paired with the use of steak seasoning or marinades, can bring an added depth to your steak's flavor profile.
Set the stage: preheat your grill.
Achieving that delectable crust and juicy center involves dealing with high heat. Whether you're using a charcoal grill or gas, it needs to be preheated to a high temperature. This practice encourages even cooking and forms that flavorful crust that locks in the juices.
The main event: grilling the steak.
Once the grill is heated, it's time to introduce the star of the show: your steak. Begin by searing the steak over direct heat. This quick, high-heat process forms a crust on the steak and seals in its juices. To maintain the heat, minimize flare-ups, and promote even cooking, remember to keep the grill lid closed during this stage.
Keep your eye on the temp.
After the steak has been seared, it's moved to indirect heat to complete cooking. This transition ensures the steak cooks evenly without burning the exterior. The duration here will depend on the thickness of the steak and how well-done you like better for your steak. For a fail-safe check, use a reliable meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.
Rest the steak.
You're done making your steak and you want to carve into it right away. But the last step in the journey is about patience: letting the steak rest. This period allows the meat fibers to relax and the juices to redistribute, creating a tender, flavorful steak. Despite the temptation, it's vital to resist cutting into the steak right away, letting the rest time enhance your steak's quality.
Understanding the journey of grilling steak requires both patience and passion. With these insights, you're not just following a recipe; you're embracing the art of grilling steak to perfection.
Read about how to cook medium rare steak, here.
4. What Can You Serve With Grilled Steaks?
With your steak perfectly grilled and resting, it's time to think about accompaniments. A great steak can stand on its own, but the right side dishes can take your meal from excellent to extraordinary. And here's the exciting part: when it comes to what you can serve with grilled steaks, the sky's the limit! Let's explore some tantalizing pairings to complement your grilled masterpiece.
No guide to grilled steak would be complete without acknowledging some classic side dishes. For a meal that screams summer, pair your steak with grilled asparagus. Lightly rubbed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and grilled over high heat, asparagus turns tender-crisp and slightly charred. A perfect accompaniment to your steak.
If you're leaning towards a fresh and light option, consider a vibrant salad. An easy green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can balance out the richness of the steak, while a hearty Greek salad or tomato-mozzarella salad can stand up to the strong flavors of the meat.
Mix it up with more grilled goodies
For those wanting to level up their grilling game, why stop at steak? You could venture into grilling chicken thighs or pork chops for a mixed grill extravaganza. The smoky, savory chicken thighs or tender, juicy pork chops can offer a delicious contrast to the rich beefiness of your steak, providing a fantastic feast for those with a hearty appetite. Even some grilled fruit and veggies will pair nicely with your juicy steak.
Pair with potatoes
Finally, we can't forget about steak's best friend: the potato. Whether it's a baked potato loaded with sour cream and chives, creamy mashed potatoes, or crispy roasted potatoes, there's no denying the magic of this combination. The heartiness of the potato complements the steak perfectly, rounding out the meal and leaving everyone satisfied.
Your perfectly grilled steak is undoubtedly the star of the show, but that doesn't mean it has to shine alone. Whether you opt for classic side dishes, add more grilled items to your menu, introduce a sweet element, or stick with trusty potatoes, your options are truly endless.
5. Grilled Steak Recipe
Alright, it's time to take all that steak knowledge and put it into action. We're going to walk through a classic grilled steak recipe to help you achieve steak perfection every time. This recipe features the fan-favorite ribeye steak, known for its rich flavor and beautiful marbling. Remember, grilling times may vary determined on your grill temperature, the thickness of your steak, and your desired level of doneness. So, having a reliable meat thermometer handy can make all the difference.
We're going to take the tips we shared earlier and put them into practice. Without further ado, let's get grilling.
- 2 ribeye steaks
- Koshering salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Herbed butter for serving
Season the steaks: Start by generously seasoning your ribeye steaks with salt and black pepper. Make sure to season all sides, rubbing the seasoning into the meat for the best flavor. Once seasoned, let the steaks sit at room temperature for about 40 minutes. This step will let the seasoning to penetrate the meat and brings the steak to a temperature that promotes even cooking.
Preheat your grill: While your steaks are resting, preheat your grill to high heat. Remember: whether you're using a gas or charcoal grill, you want it hot to get that perfect sear on your steaks.
Oil the steaks: Just before you're ready to grill, rub your steaks with a little bit of olive oil. This helps to prevent the steaks from sticking to the grill and promotes an even sear.
Grill the steaks: Place your steaks over direct heat on the preheated grill. Char each side for 2-3 minutes with the grill lid closed. This direct high heat will help to create that delightful, flavorful crust we all love on a perfectly grilled steak.
Finish cooking: After searing, move your steaks to indirect heat to finish cooking. This allows the steaks to reach your preferred level of doneness without burning. Recall to check the internal temperature of your steaks to ensure they're cooked to your preference.
- Rest and serve: Once your steaks have reached their perfect temperature, remove them from the grill. Top each steak with a lump of herbed butter for an extra layer of flavor. Let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes to let the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This small step ensures your steak will be juicy and flavorful from edge to edge.
And there you have it: your guide to grilling the perfect steak. Print this recipe, save it, or add it to your ever-growing recipe index. It's a simple, classic approach that's sure to deliver a mouthwatering steak every time. Fire up the grill and enjoy the art of the perfect grilled steak.
6. Dalstrong Tools You Will Need
You need something to handle the meat on your grill. Aptly named 'The Impaler', this 7" double-pronged meat and carving fork will revolutionize the way you handle your meat during meal preparation. Made with high-carbon stainless steel, this razor-sharp fork makes it effortless to stabilize your meat or poultry as you slice and carve with precision.
- Handcrafted from food-grade 430 stainless steel, ensuring rust and corrosion resistance and a long lifespan.
- Pairs seamlessly with all types of kitchen knives for smooth slicing and carving.
- Handle is made from military-grade G10 Garolite, known for durability and resistance to temperature extremes.
- Built to last with heat and stain-resistant properties.
- Requires hand washing and careful drying for maintenance.
- Its intense design may not appeal to beginners or those who prefer less aggressive-looking tools.
The Valhalla meat fork features the perfect blend of power and elegance. Crafted with precision, this stainless steel fork is not just functional but a statement piece in itself. Its standout features include extra long, sharp tines and a uniquely textured handle for superior control and grip.
- The handle, a blend of celestial blue resin and stabilized wood, is comfortable and can resist extreme conditions.
- The mirror-polished, sandblasted stainless steel blade features extra-long tines for effortless food handling.
- The celestial blue handle offers a unique aesthetic appeal.
- Unlike The Impaler, this fork includes a Valhalla-embossed leather sheath for safe storage.
- Color variations in each handle might not appeal to those who prefer uniform kitchen tools.
- Requires hand washing, careful drying, and special maintenance for the unique resin handle to retain its gloss and color.
Talk about a cool-looking meat fork. The Shadow Black 8.5” Meat Fork is robust, precise, and awesome-looking. Made with high carbon, vacuum treated steel and a black titanium-nitride coating, this fork merges style with functionality with its ergonomic G10 resin handle and stealth fighter-inspired design.
- Crafted from durable high carbon 7CR17MOV-X vacuum treated steel with a unique black titanium-nitride coating for increased corrosion resistance and non-stick properties.
- Offers a longer 8.5-inch reach, ideal for handling larger meat cuts and ensuring controlled carving.
- Features a stealth fighter-inspired design with a comfortable, anti-slip handle.
- The G10 handle provides exceptional grip for enhanced control.
- The fork's unique aesthetic may not suit everyone's preference, especially those drawn to traditional or colorfully unique utensils.
- At 8.5", this is the largest meat fork listed here, and might be a little too large for some home cooks.
This mighty blade is not just a barbecue essential but an all-around kitchen companion. With its ultra-premium Japanese high-carbon AUS-10V steel Damascus blade, this Pitmaster knife efficiently slices through your favorite meats, making it a great grillside companion. Its unique forked-tip design and built-in bottle opener offer enhanced functionality for a seamless barbecue experience, ensuring that you're well hydrated while you grill steaks perfectly.
- The knife's unique forked-tip design is perfect for flipping meat directly on the grill, adding convenience to your cooking process.
- Incorporated with a built-in bottle opener on the spine of the blade, it makes the knife a multipurpose tool, ideal for barbecue sessions.
- The blade is precision forged from ultra-premium Japanese high-carbon AUS-10V steel with 67-alternating layers of SUS410 Damascus cladding, offering enhanced stain resistance and durability.
The knife features a meticulously constructed G-10 Garolite handle, a strong military-grade material highly impervious to both heat and moisture, ensuring life-long durability and a comfortable grip.
- The inclusion of a bottle opener, although handy, may not appeal to those seeking a more traditional knife design.
- The complex construction and high-grade materials of the knife make it a little harder to sharpen.
Once you've grilled the perfect steak, it's time to enjoy it with friends and family. And for that, you'll need a nice set of steak knives. This awesome knife set comes with four 5" high-carbon steel blades and military-grade G10 Garolite handles that offer precision, comfort, and longevity.
- Hand-sharpened, straight-edge design provides effortless slicing and clean cuts, preserving meat's flavor and juices.
- Made from high carbon German steel for a longer-lasting, sharper edge.
- Features ergonomic, ambidextrous G-10 Garolite handles resistant to heat, cold, and moisture for comfortable, non-slip handling.
- Includes 4 steak knives and protective sheaths, perfect for family meals and small gatherings.
- Straight edge requires more frequent honing or sharpening than serrated blades (check out this set of serrated steak knives if you prefer).
- The set might be towards the pricier side due to its premium materials and craftsmanship, but its performance and quality make it a worthwhile investment.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
What's the ideal steak thickness for grilling?
Generally, a steak that's about 1 to 1.5 inches thick is ideal for grilling. This thickness allows for a good sear on the outside while ensuring the inside can be cooked to your preferred level of doneness.
Can I grill frozen steaks?
While it's possible to grill frozen steaks, it's not recommended. Thawed steaks cook more evenly, ensuring you get that perfect grilled steak every time.
Do I need to oil my grill grates?
Oiling your grill grates helps prevent your steak from sticking and helps achieve those beautiful grill marks.
Is it better to grill with the lid open or closed?
For high-heat searing, it's best to keep the lid closed. However, when cooking the steak over indirect heat, you can open it if you need to control the temperature.