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Steak grilling secrets

steak grilling secrets

Steak Grilling Secrets

The GrillJunkie team is happy to share with you a few of our Steak Grilling Secrets! As grilling and BBQ addicts, we’ve had our share of some amazing steaks as well as some epic failures….some of which, admittedly are from our own handiwork! So, learn from our experience and mistakes and read on as we share some Steak Grilling Secrets. Eating a perfectly cooked steak is a transcendent — some would say salacious — experience for carnivores. There’s that unmistakable and memorable first bite — the outside crusty, briny, seared and caramelized; the inside, beefy-tasting, juicy, sanguine, and earthly tender. But let’s face facts: Not even high-end steakhouses get it right all the time. It’s no wonder backyard grillers face raw steak with hesitation. As the great steak-master himself, Stephen Raichlen of barbecuebible.com states:

“You’d be surprised how many people know their way around brisket and ribs, but can’t consistently grill a good steak.”

And yes, there is a difference between BBQ and Grilling. In a nutshell, BBQ is a ‘low and slow’ method of smoking foods, wherein, grilling is more ‘hot, fast and seared’. Yes, much can go wrong at every stage of the process, from the procurement to the plating. But armed with the 10 strategies below, you can nail a great steak every time.


Steak Grilling Secrets – Top 10

  1. Choose the right cut of steak: A Porterhouse is the best of both worlds, consisting of a New York Strip and a filet mignon united by a slender T-shaped bone. Other top cuts include rib eyes, T-bones (a smaller version of a Porterhouse), and new cuts, like the flatiron. Don’t overlook tougher, meatier cuts, like sirloin, hanger steak, skirt steak, and flank steak — just be sure to thinly slice across the grain before serving.
  2. Keep it in the refrigerator until grilling. This runs contrary to many theories, but no steakhouse worth its salt leaves meat out at room temperature in a hot kitchen.steak grilling secrets
  3. Build a 3-zone fire: Use the hot zone for searing, the medium zone for cooking, and have a safety zone where you can move the steaks to dodge any flare-ups.
  4. Season Simply: Season generously with coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper right before grilling. (The salt helps form a satisfying crust.) Or for a more complex flavor, sprinkle on your favorite steak rub.
  5. Remember the Stephen Raichlen grill master’s mantra: Keep it hot. Keep it clean. Keep it lubricated. (The grill grate, that is!) A hot, clean, well-oiled grate prevents sticking and
    gives you killer grill marks.
  6. Get good marks: Arrange the steaks on the grill grate all running the same way slightly on the diagonal to the bars of the grate. Rotate 90 degrees after 2 to 3 minutes to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks. To get the best marks, use a cast iron grate.
  7. Turn, don’t stab: Use tongs, not a fork to turn the steaks. The only purpose served by stabbing a steak is to drain out the juices. Enough said. By the way, look for beads of blood that form on the top of the steak a few minutes after it goes on the grill. That tells you it’s time to turn.
  8. Poke your food: Use your index finger to poke the steak. If it’s soft and squishy, it’s rare; gently yielding, medium-rare; springy and firm indicates well-done. (Not that you’d want to cook steak well-done.) And remember, large steaks continue cooking after they come off the grill.
  9. Give it a rest: Always let steaks rest on a platter or plates for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute themselves — resting gives you a juicier steak.
  10. Enrich your steak: Enrich it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pat of butter or compound butter, melted beef fat, or even a slather of your favorite steak…unless you are from Texas, where it is forbidden!

Steak Grilling Secrets – Grilled NY Strip Steak Recipes

With the top 10 Steak Grilling Secrets at your disposal, let’s tackle a recipe! New York Strip is one of the GrillJunkie team’s favorite steaks to grill.  Grilling recipes for steak don’t get any simpler, succulent and enjoyable than this!  As with many high end steak cuts, less is more when grilling NY strip steaks.  The best way to grill this kind of steak is over direct high heat.  This method is ideal for NY Strip Steak as it seals in the juices and cooks the steak quickly, not allowing the steak to dry out. We encourage you to read this great article entitled 31 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Steak”. We believe it will fire you up!

Tip 1: Keep the Dry-Aged NY Strip Steaks dry by patting with paper towels before grilling…otherwise any excess moisture steams the meat leaving a tough chew!

Tip 2: Look for meat with the most marbling, i.e., visible grains of fat running through the steak. As the steak is cooking, the fat melts, naturally tenderizing the meat and building in flavor. (Avoid vein steaks — the ones with a half-moon-shaped vein running through the cut — because they’re too tough.)

Click Here for the New York Steak Strip Recipe


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Comments ( 2 )

  1. ReplyTodd

    Great list! If you don't mind, could you shed some light on #2. I've read both thoughts - sit it out 15 -30 min to come to room temperature and others that have said keep it in the fridge until cook time. I've not researched the different thoughts though. Do you know if it effects flavor and/or cooking? Or just best to keep it in the fridge until cook time to protect it from bacteria? Thanks for a great post!

    • ReplyGrill Junkie Staff

      Hi Todd, Thanks for the feedback and for your question. Here's a deeper dive into the concept of letting your steak come up to room temperature before grilling. In essence, our perspective was more about food safety. But here is a bit more about the Myth, Theory and Reality from the team at serious eats.com: Myth #1: "You should let a thick steak rest at room temperature before you cook it." The Theory: You want your meat to cook evenly from edge to center. Therefore, the closer it is to its final eating temperature, the more evenly it will cook. Letting it sit on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes will bring the steak up to room temperature—a good 20 to 25°F closer to your final serving temperature. In addition, the warmer meat will brown better because you don't need to waste energy from the pan to take the chill off of its surface. The Reality: Let's break this down one issue at a time. First, the internal temperature. While it's true that slowly bringing a steak up to its final serving temperature will promote more even cooking, the reality is that letting it rest at room temperature accomplishes almost nothing. The Takeaway: Don't bother letting your steaks rest at room temperature. Rather, dry them very thoroughly on paper towels before searing. Or better yet, salt them and let them rest uncovered on a rack in the fridge for a night or two, so that their surface moisture can evaporate. You'll get much more efficient browning that way.

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