Steak Grilling Tips

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Warm weather is here to stay, so get out those grills and let’s grill some steaks!  The perfect steak starts with flavorful, ethically raised beef.  Whether you like your steaks simply salted, with a marinade, or with a seasoning rub–these grilling tips will help you impress your friends and family.  So, grab the charcoal and let’s get started!

  1. Lay It Out. A room temperature steak is how the pros do it.  Lay out your steaks about 1 hour before grilling.  Allowing them to come to room temperature on the kitchen counter will produce perfect rare, medium-rare, or medium steaks according to suggested grilling times.
  2. Not All Steaks Are Created Equal. The cut of meat will determine your grilling time.  A steak cut to 1 ½ – 2” is a must for that perfect char on the outside and the perfect pink center.  Thinner cuts of meat like flank steak require much less time over coals than a thick ribeye, porterhouse, or sirloin.
  3. Salt Is a Must For Crust.  There are many schools of thought on when to salt your steaks.  Professional chefs and grill masters suggest salting the steaks, letting them sit for an hour, patting them dry, and then salting again. The salt reacts with the water in the cells and helps to form a lovely crust.  If you are using a rub or marinade, ensure that the meat is salted during this process.  It’s okay to apply some finishing salt over the steaks or steak slices, too.  We use kosher or medium coarse sea salt for the best results.
  4. Apply The Two Zone Grilling Method.  For a great crust on your steaks, the grill needs a hot zone for searing; however, to continue cooking a thick steak to the desired doneness, the grill also needs a medium zone.  When is the grill ready? Charcoal: when flames have died down to glowing coals; Gas: start grill on high or preheat then turn to medium-high.  If you can only hold your hand over the hottest part of the grill for about 2 seconds, it’s ready.  Be careful checking it though!
  5. Don’t Move That Steak.  The sear is the most important part of the steak grilling process. It helps form the crust and seals in the juices. Tongs are the best tool to move steaks around the grill.  Once you place the steak over the coals, don’t move it until the suggested time for flipping. The steak will release easily at that point. If it sticks, give it a bit more time. **Note: to control flare ups, we suggest moving the steak away from the flame until the flare up dies down.  Avoid spraying with water or simply putting the lid on the grill.
  6. Are We There Yet? Your steak is not done cooking when you take it off the grill, which means that desired doneness can be tricky.  The rule for temperature is that 125℉ equals medium-rare. Many pros warn against sticking a thermometer into the steak and releasing juices, so there is a “feel test” for doneness.  Here is a guide from Chef Bobby Flay: a rare steak feels soft and spongy, medium springs back a bit when pressed, and well-done feels firm. 
  7. Let It Rest.   Remember, your steak is still cooking a bit when you take it off the grill.  The fibers need to relax and re-absorb the juices. If you slice in to it now, you won’t be happy with the result.  Let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Once it has rested, be sure to slice it against the grain for a tender steak experience.