You can grill almost anything, but the real star of any barbecue is the steak. Yes, burgers can be fantastic. Yes, corn on the cob is to die for. But a perfectly cooked steak can make birds sing, mermaids leap for joy and fireworks spontaneously burst in the sky. Well, not really, but you get the idea. The thing is, a perfect steak doesn’t just happen. It takes careful consideration and skill throughout the entire process to turn an ordinary cow into a heavenly slab of barbecued goodness. Nervous yet? Don’t be. We’ve pieced together everything you need to know to dub yourself a grill master and wow everyone you know with your incredible steaking skills.
Picking the perfect steak
When you’re picking your steak, you want it to be the best quality possible (in your price range) and the best type for barbecuing. You want to look for marbling in the steak (little lines of white fat running through it) which means it will be tender and flavourful once it’s cooked. According to Charbroil.com, the best cuts of steak for the grill are flat iron, ribeye, T-bone, filet mignon, porterhouse and New York strip.
Yes, you’ve picked a flavourful steak, but there isn’t anything that can’t be improved with a little seasoning. For best results when marinating, you’re going to want to let your meat sit overnight in the marinade. If that’s not possible, it needs a few hours at least. Here are some of the best marinades we know of, or use these tips to freestyle your own creation.
Your grill needs to be HOT to sear those steaks and make the magic happen. Have your grill up around 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, you want it to be smoking.
How do you like your steak?
While the whole grilling a steak to individual preference thing may seem a little daunting, it really isn’t that difficult. Plus, there’s a ‘handy’ trick you can use to make it easier. You can tell how well-done a steak is by its internal temperature. The image below offers a good measure of what your steak should look like and the temperature it should be.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer (or that just seems like too much work) you can compare the firmness of the steak to the feeling of your palm. If you touch your index finger to your thumb and feel the part of your palm below your thumb, that’s what rare steak should feel like. Your middle finger to your thumb is medium-rare, your ring finger is medium and your pinkie is well-done. According to real chef, Michael Hunter, this trick actually works.
Let it rest
Letting your meat rest after cooking (and before cutting) gives it time to reabsorb its juices so they don’t all run out when you slice into it. You want that steak to be juicy so let it sit covered for five to ten minutes after you take it off the grill.
Don’t forget your sides
While some people might be okay with just eating a plain steak, it’s usually frowned upon to serve it on it’s own (you do you though). Don’t worry, that doesn’t have to be complicated at all, you can generally throw your sides on the grill too. Check out these things that you might not have thought of grilling.
Now you’re ready. Go forth and grill the perfect steak. Your guests and taste buds will thank you.