Before we begin on
how to grill a steak, we must know how to select a succulent steak. Beef cuts
with marbled fat throughout the meat will cook better over direct high heat.
Prime and choice grades will give you a better value for flavor and quality.
Tender steaks come from the center (rib and loin sections) and are best cooked
grilled. Premier tender steaks include top loin (strip), T-Bone, Porterhouse,
ribeye, rib and tenderloin. These are the cuts I prefer when I grill. If you
pay for a good cut of beef, you want to taste the meat. Try to stay away from
marinades or rubs. I recommend freshly ground pepper and kosher or sea salt.
The most popular
method is the way most of us are familiar with. I cook the steak directly over
a fire (charcoal or gas) on a hot grill grate that is 4 to 6 inches above the
flame. This is the method you want to use to sear the surface and cook through
the steak. I normally grill steaks on my gas grill because it is easier to set
up and clean up afterwards. To set up a gas grill for direct grilling, simply
heat it to the desired temperature, which is usually medium-high heat (450-500
degrees Fahrenheit). Make it easier to control the heat by setting up two to
three areas on the grill for high, medium and low heat. On a charcoal grill,
rake the hot coals into a bed that’s three to four inches thick on one side and
one to two inches thick on the other. Use the higher-heat area to sear your
steak. Closing the grill lid traps heat and smoke, which speeds up the cooking
process and infuses the steak with a smoky flavor. I recommend you close the
lids when direct grilling. There are vents on the top and bottom of the grill.
Those are to control the airflow. The more air flow throughout the inside of
the grill, the hotter the fire will grow. Maintain the bottom vent open and the
top halfway when grilling to maintain the fire.
Now the fun part.
Preparing and grilling the steak! Even a steak with marbling benefits from
adding extra-virgin olive oil. It gives it added flavor. Rub the oil evenly all
over the steak to prevent them from sticking to the cooking grate. The oil also
helps the seasonings to stick to the meat. I recommend you use coarse salt and
freshly ground pepper. It is simple and delicious. Bring the grill temperature
to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. A hot cooking grate will sear the steaks quickly.
One the cooking grates are smoking hot, they are easy to clean with a stainless
steel-bristle brush. Lay the steak on the cooking grate over high heat. After a
couple of minutes, lift each steak with tongs and give it a quarter turn. Do
not flip steak just yet. Do not use a fork. Piercing the meat will cause you to
lose juice. After a couple more minutes, flip the steak. You will notice those
awesome cross grill marks. Give the steak another quart turn after a couple
The key now is to
finish the steak, with the lid down, without overcooking it. For a medium-rare
steak, you will look for an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit. If
you want to cook it longer, I will go only as high as 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
You do not want a tough and chewy steak. Keep in mind that as the steak rest
for about five minutes, the internal temperature will climb about 5 degrees.
The steak is now ready to be serve. You will first notice a beautiful seared crust
and as you cut through the steak, a nice pink and juicy middle. Yum! Serve on
and plate with your favorite side and enjoy. Bon Appétit!