Grilled Steak

steakOne thing I really enjoy about the warmer months with later sunsets is the opportunity to use my grill. For many years, though, I was a little intimidated at the prospect of grilling steak for fear of getting it wrong and ruining a good (and expensive) cut of meat.

However, with the right equipment and just a little practice, I’ve discovered that steaks are one of my favorite things to grill. Below is my method, distilled from numerous sources.

EQUIPMENT:

A good quality grill, preferably with cast iron grates. I prefer propane for the ease of use, but I won’t argue with purists who insist on charcoal. However, I think the cast iron grates, due to their good heat retention, make a big difference.

A small, tightly-rolled towel, tied with baker’s string and soaked in oil, to oil the grates.

Barbecue Tongs, for moving things on the grill without poking holes.

An instant-read thermometer.

INGREDIENTS

Steak(s). Every type I’ve tried works well on the grill, but they should be thick cut (preferably at least an inch)
Oil. I usually use a good quality olive oil.
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. About an hour before you start cooking, remove the steaks from the fridge, pat dry, and place on a cooling rack. (I usually put it over a baking sheet to catch any drips.)

2. Coat both sides with oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Let the steaks rest at room temperature.

3. Heat the grill on high and allow the grates to warm up to full temperature.

4. Clean the grates if necessary, and coat with oil, using the oiled towel. Let the grill get back up to temperature.

5. Place the steaks on the grill. If you want to get fancy and have crossed grill marks, put them so the long way is at about a 45degree angle to the grill. Keep the lid on/closed as much as possible while cooking.

6. Adjust the timing depending on the thickness of the steak and how done you want it. Approximate times for medium-rare: 3-4 minutes per side for a 1-inch steak or 4-5 min. for 1-1/4 inch. Rotate 90 degrees halfway through to get that pretty crossed grill mark.

7. Flip the steaks, and cook approximately the same amount of time on the second side, again rotating for the grill marks.

8. In the end, the timing is just a guess, and you take the steak off when the middle has reached the right temperature (this is what the thermometer is for). Remove the steaks at 130 to 135°F for rare, 140°F for medium rare, 155°F for medium, or 165°F for well done.

9. Let the steaks rest for a good 5-10 minutes before slicing, on the bias.

 

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