For an aspiring chef, few achievements feel as good as the first experience of cooking a truly delicious, mouth-watering steak. Grilling steak on the BBQ presents some unique challenges compared to cooking other meats. You can use this guide to navigate the process of grilling a steak.
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Selecting Your Perfect Steak: What Cuts to Grill
How do you grill a perfect steak? The process of cooking a steak begins with selecting your cut, and it depends on picking the right meat for your purposes.
What sort of beef should you use? For grilling, the best options are, generally speaking, strip, tenderloin, or rib-eye. If you prefer, you can choose a cut with the bone still inside, but be aware that it will likely take longer to cook.
Selecting Your Perfect Steak: What are the Signs of Quality
At this stage of the game, your cues will be visual, and you may need some practice to trust your own judgment about which steaks will cook and taste the best. Don’t worry – as the process goes on, some of the guesswork will be eliminated.
You should try to pick a steak with nice marbling. “Marbling” refers to the visual presentation of the white streaks and streaks of fat within the lean sections of meat. Generally, a more pleasant visual texture, or a more “marbled” steak, will get better results.
Ideally, your cut should be about 1 ½ – 2 inches in thickness. This will make it less likely to overcook and more likely to result in a tasty charred crust.
Whichever cut you choose, it’s essential to monitor the temperature as it cooks. Undercooked meat is a health hazard, and, when overcooked, even the best cut will acquire a tough “hockey-puck” taste and texture. The best way to watch your temperature is with a highly accurate digital meat thermometer like the ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10. If you’re using the Finaltouch X10, you can gauge the perfect temp every time.
How to Prepare Your Steak
When you prepare your steak for the grill, you should put it on a pan lined with a paper towel. Then, use another paper towel to pat your meat until it’s fairly dry. If it’s too moist when it hits the grill, you’ll end up with too much smoke and not enough searing.
If your steaks are marinated, make sure you give them some extra patting and drain away from the marinade before you put them on your BBQ.
Then, wait. Cooking a great steak takes some patience upfront. By the time they touch your grill, your cuts should be at room temperature. If they’ve been refrigerated, this can take around 20 minutes. Putting room-temperature steaks on the grill, rather than steaks that are cooler, will ease the process of grilling.
Prepare Your Grill For Your Perfect Steak
To ease the process of cooking a delicious steak, make sure your grill is well prepared and ready to go before you get started.
Before you begin grilling steak, make sure your grill is clean. Use a grill brush to get rid of any food residue, dirt, and other unwanted material. Periodically cleaning your grill is necessary for safety reasons and to get better results from cooking your steaks.
Then, lightly coat your grill grates with olive oil or another similar cooking oil. You don’t need to use too much oil. You should not use so much that the oil is dripping.
Now, you are well on your way to cooking a mouth-watering steak.
Cooking Your Steak: Getting the Perfect Temperature
When cooking steaks, or anything else, two things are all-important: time and temperature. When grilling steaks, there’s another factor you need to consider, and that’s creating two separate “zones.” One zone should be hotter, for charring and searing your steak. The other should be a bit cooler, for gentler cooking.
If you’re using a gas grill, you can turn the burners up further on one side. If you’re cooking with charcoal, push your coals onto one side and leave the other empty.
Now, cover your grill and preheat for about 15 minutes until it reaches a high cooking temperature of around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. To monitor your meat’s temperature during the cooking process, have your precise Finaltouch X10, the best meat thermometer standing by.
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While cooking steak, you should keep the top off of your grill. This allows you to pay close attention to the process of cooking. For checking your temperature as you go, use your digital meat thermometer.
How to Know When Your Steak is Done
How long it will take to cook your steak to perfection is a variable process. It depends on the cut of your meat, how thick it is, and other factors. Do not attempt to judge your steak’s doneness by eyesight alone! This can be, at worst, a health hazard, and at best can result in a steak that is too well done, or not quite done enough. That’s why even the world’s top chefs get precise temperature measurements using the best digital thermometer for grilling steak, like the ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10.
As a general rule, your ideal temperatures, depending on how well done you want your steak to be, are:
- Rare steak temperature: 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium rare steak temperature: 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium steak temperature: 145 degrees Fahrenheit
- Well done steak temperature: 155-165 degrees Fahrenheit
If you’re just starting out, cooking your steaks until they’re medium or well done is usually the best policy.
Remove your steaks right before they reach your target temperature. Then, give them about ten minutes to “rest” before serving them to your guests
The Perfect Steak Recipe