Ah, summer! The time of year when you spend a lot of time cooking and dining outdoors. Whether you’re grilling for yourself or hosting a party, when you invest in high-quality pieces of meat, you want them cooked to perfection. Do you struggle to make sure your steaks are done just right when grilling? If you’re unsure about how long to cook your favorite meat over an open flame, we understand your trepidation. There is an art to cooking steak, and without the proper attention to detail, it can easily be served too rare or overcooked.
Follow these 10 simple steps to cook delicious steaks every time you grill:
#1 Start with the right cut of meat
Believe it or not, the most expensive steaks may not taste as good as more moderately priced cuts. You want to have some marbling in the meat to give it flavor, and ribeye or chuck steaks are best for home grilling. You also want the steak to be at least 1 inch thick, ideally 1.5 – 2 inches.
#2 Don’t trim off all the fat
Fat gives the meat flavor, so trim thick pieces of fat but don’t cut it all off. Make sure to remove that silvery looking skin, as it will not soften up and doesn’t provide any extra flavor.
#3 Let the meat warm up to room temperature
Placing a cold piece of meat on the grill results in meat that is cooked on the outside but raw on the inside. Before you fire up the grill, let the meat sit for 30 minutes or so to take the chill off. We’ve included this tip along with more important cooking advice, in this blog post: 13 Common Cooking Mistakes You’re Probably Making.
#4 Start with a clean grill
Honestly, this will affect the taste of your steak more than anything else. Clean your grill with a wire brush after each use while it’s still hot. Before grilling, lightly brush the clean grill with oil to prevent meat from sticking.
#5 Heat the grill properly
For an optimal, crispy sear you want the grill to be very hot. You should only be able to hold your hand over the grill for a second or two before you have to move it; this is about 450 – 500° F. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure that the coals have gone white and there aren’t any active flames.
#6 Season your meat
Meat on the grill does not need a lot of seasoning, so a brush of oil or clarified butter and some sea salt and fresh ground pepper are sufficient.
#7 Sear the steak
Cook the steak for 3 minutes over high heat and flip over with a pair of tongs. Sear the other side for 3 minutes and move steak to a cooler spot on the grill. Don’t poke the steak or drag it across the grill, you will cause the to juices escape.
# 8 Monitor the internal temperature
To prepare your steak to the ideal doneness, cook it on one side for 5 minutes and the flip the steak over with your tongs. Precise doneness depends on the thickness of your steak. Check it with your Precision Elite Thermocouple Digital Food Thermometer to determine exact the temperature. The thin 1.5mm step down probe will leave the juices inside the steak, ensuring your meat is tender and delicious. The thermocouple thermometer gives you an accurate reading in 7 seconds or less. Your steak will continue to heat once it’s off the grill so remove it when it’s 5 degrees less than the optimal temperature.
#9 Let the steak rest
We know you’re hungry and it smells divine, but be patient. Letting the meat rest for 5 – 10 minutes allows the juices to redistribute. It will produce a much more tender and flavorful piece of meat, which is exactly the result you desire.
#10 Add the finishing touches
You can eat the steak as it is, or you can some extra seasonings. Coffee based rubs pair nicely with steak as do chipotle, cinnamon, and brown sugar. You could also top it off with some herbed butter for a tasty flavor boost. And since you’re already grilling, we suggest cooking your side dishes and even your dessert on the grill! For tasty ideas, visit our blog post: 15 Delicious Non-Meat Foods You Need to Grill This Summer.