A sizzling steak is a surefire sound of summer, and the flavors achieved from one that’s perfectly grilled are hard to match.
Before you fire up your grill, consider these five basics for cooking a chef-worthy steak:
Prepare Your Cut
Taste preferences (and prices) may differ among sirloins, ribeyes, T-bones and more, but the way you prepare steaks likely won’t change much from cut to cut. You’ll want to trim the thickness down to 1/2-1 inch for proper cooking, and setting the meat out ahead of time allows it to warm to room temperature before hitting the grill. Placing a refrigerator-cool slab on hot grates works against you in two ways: first, the cold meat instantly chills your previously warm grill, and second, the inner portion of the steak will take longer to grill.
Add Some Salt
Feel free to add any spices that you prefer, but remember a good steak typically doesn’t require fancy seasoning – a pinch of salt works just fine. Add your salt anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours before grilling time to help retain moisture and improve flavor.
Aim for High Heat
Grilling a steak correctly actually isn’t just about maintaining a sweltering flame. A two-zone fire is usually the way to go – one side of the grill should be hot (using direct heat) with the other side not quite as warm (indirect heat). This allows you to create a sear over direct heat before finishing cooking through – without burning – over indirect heat.
Sear and Slide
Speaking of searing: Cooking your steak over direct heat 1-2 minutes on each side is normally about right for creating a proper sear. At this point, depending on the thickness of your steak, you’ll want to check for doneness. If it’s not quite to the temperature you’re looking to achieve, simply slide it over to the indirect heat for a finishing touch.
Keep in mind these general guidelines for doneness: 120-125° F is rare, 130-135° F is medium-rare, 140-145° F is medium, 150-155° F is medium-well and 160-175° F is well done.
Finally, as hungry as you may be at this point, resting steaks is an important last step before diving in. Giving your steaks 5-10 minutes (foil or no foil) allows flavors to redistribute and moisture to be retained in the meat.
Find more cooking tips and recipes at Culinary.net.
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