Nothing beats the taste of a great steak. The anticipation of that first bite and its soul satisfying melt-in-your-mouth tenderness has fueled mankind for years. While going to your favorite steakhouse is always fun, it can be expensive and therefore typically reserved for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. However, you don’t have to deny yourself that great meal to a handful of days during the year. The more affordable alternative is to create a steakhouse quality steak at home! Be sure to get a good cut of meat, prime if available, and follow these tips for a great grilled steak every time.
Salt and Pepper
Use kosher salt, the bigger grains make for a superior crust. Cracked pepper not only adds an element of spice to steak, but also adds crunch. Season the entire steak generously with kosher salt first, then follow with cracked black pepper. Pat seasonings into the steak so that they adhere well. Salt helps the cells retain water, guaranteeing juicy meat.
Warm It Up
Let steaks stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. They will cook faster all the way to the center and stay juicer. If the steak is too cold, the interior might require so much cooking time to reach that perfect doneness that the steak overcooks deep below the surface, turning gray and dry.
Searing for Flavor
Lock in flavors and aromas on the surface of steak by searing it. Place steak over high heat for about 2½–3 minutes, rotating it 45 degrees at the halfway point for crosshatched, diamond sear marks. Then flip steak over and repeat the process for same amount of time. Once the searing process is complete, let the steak cook over the low heat for 4-5 minutes.
Consider the Thickness
If your steaks are much thicker than an inch, consider the sear and slide approach. After you have seared both sides nicely over direct high heat, slide the steaks to a part of the grill that is not so hot, perhaps over indirect heat, and finish cooking them safely there.
The “doneness” of a steak is determined by the internal temperature of the beef. A temperature of 125º F means medium-rare. Instant-read thermometers guarantee you’ll get it right. Use a high-quality meat thermometer for reliable and accurate results.
Let It Rest
Meat continues to cook after it comes off the grill. Remove steaks when they reach 5 degrees below your target temperature. If you want your steak to be at 125˚F, take it off the grill when it reaches 120˚F. Ten minutes of resting does wonders for a steak. Fibers relax, juices spread, colors are recalibrated, and flavors retained.