If you are someone who is invested in showing off his grilling skills this summer, there is no better place to start than with a steak. While just about anyone can grill hamburgers or hot dogs, grilling a steak is perfect way to show that your barbecue is a cut above the rest. What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that grilling a steak is pure simplicity if you only keep a few things in mind. Once you know the trick to grilling a steak, you’ll find that you can turn out perfect slabs of meat time after time.
Start by getting your grill hot. If your grill is cool and you have to cook the steak for too long, you are going to discover that your steak ends up too dry and tough. Instead, if you are cooking on a charcoal grill, wait until the charcoal looks like it is coated with ash. If you are cooking on a propane grill, turn it up as high as you can go.
Check your steaks and make sure that they are about 1 ½ inches thick. This allows the meat to cook well without becoming too dry. Good steaks for grilling are generously marbled with fat, which keeps the steak moist as it cooks. If you are worried about your steaks drying out, take a moment to talk with your butcher or the meat counter at your local supermarket for recommendations.
Season your steaks lightly on both sides if you wish. While some purists insist that steaks should be grilled completely bare, a light sprinking of salt and cracked black pepper bring out the steak’s best flavors. If you do season your steaks, let them sit for between three to five minutes and rest before grilling.
Lay your steaks flat on the grill and listen for a sizzle as soon as they hit. If the grill is hot enough, the steaks make this sound immediately. Allow the steak to cook for two minutes on each side. Close the grill between turns to make sure that the steaks stay as hot as possible. If you want the steak to have an attractive cross-hatched grill pattern on the surface, rotate them by 90 degrees halfway through each grilling time.
Make a small slit in the steak to check on how done it is. While some people like their steaks nearly bloody on the inside, other people prefer it cooked all the way through. Leaving the steaks on the grill for a total of four minutes provides most grillers with steaks that are roughly medium rare. If you wish to be very precise, use a meat thermometer inserted into the slit in the steak to determine how well the meat is cooked. For a rare steak, look for temperatures between 115 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit, while a medium steak comes in between 135 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. For a medium rare, take the steaks out when the reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
People say that cooking a steak is an art, rather than a science, but the truth of the matter is that if you follow these steps, you are going to get some perfect steaks. Use your common sense, and remember that plenty of people like their steaks cooked to different degrees. Ask ahead of time and make sure that you remember whose steak is whose.
Finally, remember to let your steaks rest for about five minutes before serving them. Not only does this allow the steak to cool to a point where it is easily eaten, it also enhances the flavor of the meat.