We told you in our last post about grilling no-fail, delicious chicken that we wouldn’t leave out the red-meat lovers, so this one’s for you!
Just in time for your 4th of July celebrations, we’re going to share our tried-and-true tips for cooking a perfectly grilled steak.
Gas vs. Charcoal
Many people have moved to gas grilling because of the convenience, but there’s little argument that using charcoal produces a more flavorful meat. We all love convenience, but what if you could have hot coals in the same amount of time that it takes to heat up a gas grill? You can by using a charcoal chimney! We use one and we love it. If you want to learn more about it, you can read about it here.
The charcoal chimney gets started by using either lighter cubes or newspaper. Since newspaper can sometimes be hard to get your hands on right when you need it, you can buy unprinted newspaper in bulk at your local moving supply store (like U-Haul). Keep a box of it in your garage, and you’ll always have it on hand to get your fire started.
Gauging the Temperature of the Grill
Grilling at the right heat level is probably more important than any other aspect of grilling. You can’t expect great results if you just grill everything at the same temperature.
If your grill has a thermometer in the lid, then it’s easier to be sure you’re cooking at the correct heat level. If you’re using a charcoal grill, however, it may not have a thermometer. Then you can use the old-school hand test instead.
To use the hand test, extend your palm over the charcoal at a safe distance. Imagine a soda can standing over the cooking grate. If your palm was resting on the top of the can, it would be about five inches from the cooking grate─just where you should measure the heat of the charcoal.
Always pull your hand away from the heat BEFORE it hurts.
And be sure that nothing flammable, such as a sleeve, is dangling from your arm!
- If you need to pull your hand away after 2 to 4 seconds, the heat is high
- If you need to pull your hand away after 5 to 7 seconds, the heat is medium
- If you need to pull your hand away after 8 to 10 seconds, the heat is low
We’re going to share tips here, but we also want to let you know that we occasionally host grilling classes. We not only demonstrate our tips for grilling success, but everyone has a lot of fun, too.
We provide the instruction and drinks, and those attending get to sample a variety of food from the grill as we cook. To keep an eye out for future grilling classes, “like” our Facebook page or fill out your contact information. Just put grilling classes in the box for event description.
In the meantime, we’re going to share our tips on grilling the perfect steak. It all starts with a good cut of meat…
Perfectly grilled steak
To grill the perfect steak, you only need three ingredients: a good cut of steak, a small amount of oil, and your seasoning.
Steak cuts we recommend for grilling:
Boneless rib-eye, 1.25 to 1.5 inches thick, about 12 ounces each
New York Strip steaks, 1.25 to 1.5 inches thick, about 12 ounces each
Filet mignons, trimmed, about 8 to 10 ounces each
For oil, you’ll need 2 tablespoons canola or extra-virgin olive oil (per every four steaks)
Lastly, you’ll need your favorite steak seasoning or seasoned salt.
What we recommend for steak seasoning
Over the years we’ve developed our own house blend seasoning, but you can make a delicious, simple blend on your own. We recommend one of the following:
- Equal parts of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt + Mrs. Dash Seasoning
- Equal parts Lawry’s Seasoned Salt + Montreal Steak Seasoning
Apply seasoning liberally before grilling the meat. We recommend using about twice as much seasoning blend as you would if you were using just salt alone.
Steps for grilling the perfect steak:
About 20 minutes before grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let sit, covered, at room temperature.
Heat the grill to high.
Brush the steaks on both sides with oil and season liberally with your steak seasoning.
Place the steaks on the grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn the steaks over once, and continue to grill until they reach the perfect amount of doneness. (What that means is up to you!)
- Cook about another 3 to 5 minutes for medium rare (an internal temperature of 135 degrees)
- Cook about another 5 to 7 minutes for medium (an internal temperature of 140 degrees)
- Cook about another 8 to 10 minutes for medium well (an internal temperature of 150 degrees)
Transfer the steaks to a platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 5 minutes before serving or slicing.
Have fun grilling
The most important thing is to just enjoy working on your grill skills! Attack your outdoor grilling as a fun experiment, not a chore. Most things in life that require skill don’t come naturally, so cut yourself some slack and be ready for trial and error. Take notes on what you do so you can make adjustments or do the same things next time, depending on the outcome.
And if you’re worried about ruining dinner, then just keep a package of good ol’ tube steaks (hotdogs) on hand as a backup!
Have a safe and happy July 4th!