Grilling a steak brings together all the principles of manhood. Fire, danger and gluttony. But too many of you savages do it wrong. I watch in horror as you invite me in for a light beer and a dry, lifeless flank steak. I guess technically it’s supposed to be lifeless but you know what I mean.
So here are some basic principles for grilling the perfect steak:
LEVEL AND CUT The most important choice you will make. At least until dinner the next day. First, know that the best cuts for grilling are T-bone, sirloin, homemade porter and filet mignon. NY Strip is pretty decent but not my favorite (maybe because it has NY in it?) Basically, the further away from the horns and hooves you can get, the better you look.
Then you need to choose your grade. The first is Prime, which is restaurant quality and these bastards buy most of that stuff. You might still be able to find it, if you know your butcher, but it’s difficult and you can expect to pay $ 15-25 a pound. Then there’s Choice and that’s what you’ll typically get in the grocery store and on the butcher’s counter. Pretty good for me. If you are looking for Select quality, I suggest you give up and make burgers. Steak may be right beyond you. If you’re too cheap to pay for Select, you’re out of luck. Anything less can only be served in prisons or elementary schools.
WARMTH FOR WIN- Before you start grilling, you want it to be hot. Hello warm. Very hot. If you can hold your hand 4 inches above the grill without tearing, it’s not hot enough (Chuck Norris is excluded from this test). The main reason your steaks are dry is that your grill is not hot enough, forcing you to cook it for too long.
PREPARE YOUR MEAT FOR THE GRILL, LIKE A GLADIATOR FOR THE ARENA- First of all, you should have your meat at room temperature for at least half an hour before you throw it on the grill. Cold meat does not cook well, the blood cannot move. Then generously season your steak with KOCHER salt and pepper. You can rub some olive oil on the slab at this point. It can help form that nice crust on the outside that we are looking for.
Also, keep in mind that marinades are great if you use cheap meat (I’m looking at your flank steak), but they spoil the good stuff. If you cook me a filet mignon with a lime and tequila flavor, I will personally punch you in the throat.
DO NOT COOK, SEAR- Cooking your well cut and seasoned steak on your super hot grill will take you about 3 to 5 minutes per side depending on: A) the thickness of your steak and B) the heat of your grill. Remember to return only once. Now, how do you know if it’s done?
Well the only way to really know is to open it up, but it ruins the steak. It doesn’t make steaks on a grill worse, not sub-optimal, it ruins it. Like getting pregnant with a supermodel.
You will therefore have to experiment several times on your grill. Buy 3 cups overnight, cook one for 3 minutes per side, one for 4 and one for 5.
Note: Undercooked steak is great for reheating the next morning for steak and eggs and overcooked steak can be cut into thin slices to make a bad ass steak sandwich.
Warning: Do not use a meat thermometer. Poking holes in your steak is a travesty and against the law in all civilized countries. He lets out all the juice and gives an $ 11 a pound hockey puck.
REST YOUR LAURALS- It is imperative that after cooking you let your steak rest for 10 minutes. 5 if you’re starving but 10 is so much better. I know you are hungry. I know it smells good. But if you put it on a plate and cut it up, you’re going to let out all that juice. Give them time to consolidate, slow down and spread out. If you’re worried the steak will cool, wrap it in foil. Not letting it sit is the second most likely reason your steak is dry.
HUNGER IS YOUR SAUCE- Let me say this, now and forever. Steak sauce is for guys who lost their sense of taste in a bottled rocket crash. The caveat being that this is a good way to drown out the taste of a cheaper cut of meat (I’m not over removing the meat from the discount bin). But if you paid the money for a decent cut, wouldn’t you want to taste it and not A1?
Note: A1 is, however, great to mix with your burger patty.
So if you follow these principles and invite me in, I will give my blessings to your steak. And by giving blessings, I mean consuming.
Also make sure to call it grill and be sure to label it BBQ. The barbecue is its own special and sacred event that I will cover in a later article, not something you can do with just propane and a metal grill.