Grilling a steak in the backyard is a great American pastime. Enjoy it even more by knowing exactly how to grill the perfect steak. This grilling guide will help you beef up your skills in no time.
Buy the Best
The most tender and flavorful steaks are Prime grade, but you won’t see them often at the grocery store. The next best quality is Choice. Good selections in the Choice grade are filets, rib eyes and porterhouse steaks. If you have access to a butcher, take advantage of their expertise. There are ranges within each grade and a butcher will know if your steak is at the top end of the Choice grade or the bottom. The top of the range will give you beef that’s very close to Prime quality.
Warm It Up
Make sure the steak is at indoor room temperature. If you put a cold steak on the grill, the exterior will burn before the interior cooks to the desired temperature. Do not let the steak sit at indoor room temperature for more than an hour before cooking.
Oil the Meat, Not the Grill
Spray oil is a griller’s best friend when it comes to cooking steak or any kind of skinless protein. An evenly applied coating of neutral oil such as vegetable or canola on both sides of the steak will ensure the steak doesn’t stick to the grill.
Get It Hot
Preheat your grill on high. And then do the hand test. Carefully put your hand over the grates. You shouldn’t be able to leave it there for more than two seconds. You want to hear that sizzle when the steak hits the grill. That high heat will give your steak a perfect crust.
Know When It’s Done
This is the most nerve-wracking aspect of learning to grill the perfect steak. Invest in a digital meat thermometer. It will take all the guesswork out of knowing when your steak is done. For rare steak, the internal temperature as measured in the middle of the steak is 125 degrees. For medium rare, it’s 130-135 degrees and well done is 155 degrees.
Let It Rest
Never cut into a steak that’s hot off the grill. Pull it off the heat, tent it with foil and let it rest about 8 minutes. While it is resting, the steak’s fibers will relax, the juices will redistribute back to the center and the temperature will come up.
Tip: If your steak is around 2 inches thick, it will continue to rise in temperature even when it’s off the grill. A good rule of thumb is to pull it off five degrees before target.
Happy grilling! Enjoy your Labor Day.
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