How to grill a steak

Now that you have your grill, it’s time to buy a steak and cook it. But before you preheat the grill, peruse these tips I’ve picked up during my years as a professional chef. After all with the price of steaks, don’t you want to ensure that every grilled steak is a wonderful meal?

• Steaks for the grill need to be tender cuts. Choose rib eye, filet mignon (tenderloin), strip loin, T-bone and porterhouse varieties.
• For optimum tenderness, choose steaks that have plenty of marbled fat (don’t worry, most of this fat renders out as the steak cooks leaving only flavor and moisture behind, not extra calories) in the flesh and a modest amount of white fat (known as leaf fat) surrounding the flesh.
• Avoid buying steaks that are cut thinner than 3/4-inch (1.5 cm) thick since they are often dry and difficult to sear without overcooking.
• If steaks are very thick (more than 1 1/2 inches/4 cm) cut notches in the surrounding fat so that the steak doesn’t curl as it cooks.
• Bring steak to room temperature before cooking.
• Although marinating tender steaks is optional, all steaks taste better if lightly brushed with oil and sprinkled generously with salt and pepper just before cooking.
• Preheat the grill on high before adding meat.
• Place a 1-inch (2.5 cm) rib eye, porterhouse or T-bone steak on your hot grill. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, turning only once, for 6 to 7 minutes for rare (135F/57C), 9 to 12 minutes for medium (155 F/68C) and (I’m cringing, but if you must), 12 to 15 minutes for well-done (166 F/72C).
• Still worried about cooking to the perfect doneness? Use an instant read thermometer. I’ll be talking more about them tomorrow so if that term just confused you, check back in 24 hours.
• Flank steaks benefit from being marinated overnight and should never be cooked beyond medium. Place a flank steak on a preheated grill and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, turning once. After resting, cut across the grain into thin strips.
• Tenderloin or filet steaks should not be marinated for longer than 1 hour and, because they are so lean, should not be cooked beyond medium doneness. Place a 1-inch (2.5 cm) medallion of tenderloin on a preheated pan and cook, turning once, for about 5 minutes for rare or 6 to 7 minutes for medium.

One Response to How to grill a steak

  1. Amy says:

    Yum Dana – you read my mind – steak is on the menu this week!

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