There’s something genuinely magical about sinking your teeth into a perfectly grilled steak. The succulent flavours, the tender texture, and the mouthwatering aroma all combine to create a dining experience like no other. But achieving steak perfection is an art that requires skill and patience.
Grilling a steak to perfection requires more than just a hot grill and a slab of meat. It’s about understanding the science behind cooking, harnessing the right tools, and applying the proper techniques.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be easy to mess up your meat and waste your money. To grill the perfect steak, you need to do a few simple things. Keep reading for the easiest way to make sure your steaks are going to taste amazing.
Selecting the Perfect Cut
When selecting a juicy steak, most restaurant chefs prefer a one-inch or thicker cut. This thickness will allow for juiciness and even cooking. Look for marbling which will ensure the steak is juicy. If you opt for a leaner cut of steak, look for fine marbling to maximize flavour.
Additionally, check that your steak is fresh and has no discolouration. Once you have chosen your cut, it is time to season. Always season the steak on both sides with just enough salt to bring out the flavours.
Look for an even, ruby-red hue, which indicates a fresh, high-quality cut. A good steak should be firm and have a nice springiness when pressing it down. Additionally, the steak should have a succulent mouthfeel with a clean smell. Purchasing from an artisan butcher shop will ensure you get the freshest and tastiest cuts of steak, allowing you to achieve perfect grill results every time.
Preparing the Steak
To prepare a steak for the grill, start by allowing your meat to come to room temperature. This can take up to an hour. Once your steak has reached room temperature, lightly coat it with high-quality olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Rub the oil and seasoning gently into both sides of the steak. Depending on how you want your steak cooked, you may also add other seasonings or herbs. Allow your steak to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours for maximum flavour.
Pre-Heating the Grill
If you’re using a gas grill, preheat it to medium-high heat. For a charcoal grill, allow the coals to burn until they are covered with white ash. If you have a cast iron grille, it’s a fantastic choice for grilling a steak due to its excellent heat retention and even distribution.
Turn the knobs on the burners to high heat and allow the grill to heat for at least 10 minutes or until the temperature reaches 500-550°F (260-288°C). Before you put the steak on the grill, brush the grate with a stainless-steel wire brush to clean it off. Use an oven mitt or long-handled spoon to brush the grate to avoid getting burned.
When the grill is hot enough and the steak is ready to cook, place it on the hot grate. You will hear the sizzle and smell the delicious aroma as the steak is cooking.
Achieving the Perfect Sear
Place the steak on the preheated grill and let it sear for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Avoid moving or pressing down on the steak during this time, as it can interfere with the searing process. Searing locks in the juices and creates a flavorful crust on the outside of the steak.
For an ideal crust, allow the steak to sear until dark charred spots appear, approximately three to four minutes. Flip the steak over and cook until it reaches the right degree of heat, using a meat thermometer to check for doneness easily.
As the steak cooks, the juices will naturally start rising to the top, allowing the steak to brown evenly and become the perfect sear. When the steak has reached your preferred doneness, simply remove it from the heat and get ready to cascade in flavour.
Controlling the Internal Temperature
To achieve the desired level of doneness, it’s essential to monitor the internal temperature of the steak. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.
For a medium-rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 130°F (54°C), while medium should reach 140°F (60°C). Remember to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak without touching the bone.
A swift and accurate reading of the temperature can avoid over or undercooking the steak. The desired internal temperature should be achieved within 3-5 minutes. For thicker steaks, leaving the thermometer in the steak and monitoring the temperature throughout the grilling ensures the steak is perfectly cooked.
Letting the Steak Rest
After removing the cooking steak from the grill, allow it to rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. Resting allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, ensuring a juicy and flavorful bite. Cover the steak loosely with aluminium foil to retain heat during this crucial resting period.
Letting the steak rest also gives time for the steak to continue to cook due to carryover heat. Carrying overheat is very important because the steak will continue to cook while it rests, and if you cut into it too early, the steak may end up overcooked and dry. To ensure you enjoy the juiciest steak, let the steak rest after grilling to maintain flavor and texture.
Serving the Perfect Steak For Your Meal!
Grilling the perfect steak is an art that demands attention to detail, but the rewards are well worth the effort. By following these steps, you can achieve a steak that is juicy, tender, and bursting with flavour, truly the epitome of a perfect steak.
For steakhouse-quality results, use high-quality steaks, get the grill temperature right, use an accurate meat thermometer, and let the steak rest after cooking. Everything else is up to you to perfect your grilling technique. So grab your steaks and fire up the grill; give it a shot, and you won’t regret it.
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