Nothing is better for summer cookouts than a couple of juicy steaks. Here is an easy, step-by-step guide to grilling them up.
1. Choose the right kind of meat. The best individual steaks for grilling will be well-marbled and have a minimum of tough connective tissue. While T-bones and porterhouses are reliable favorites, I find rib-eyes have a wonderful beefy flavor at a faction of the price. If you have the option, you should always opt for a bone-in, rather than a boneless steak, as the meat is likely to be fresher and more flavorful.
2. Once you have your steaks, it is time to light your grill. If you are using gas, light your burners and allow your grill heat up fully. If you use a charcoal grill, ignite your briquettes and allow them to turn gray. Clean your grill grates with an iron brush.
3. While your grill is heating up, remove your steaks from the refrigerator and let them reach room temperature. This allows your steaks to cook faster, and as a result, will retain more juice.
4. Season both sides of your steaks with a liberal amount of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Kosher salt is necessary as it will help give the meat a nice, crisp texture, rather than simple table salt which will simply be absorbed by the meat.
5. Place the steaks on your hot grill. If you like your meat rare to medium-rare, turn each steak 90 degrees after 90 seconds to two minutes. This will ensure your steaks develop checkered grill marks. After another 90 seconds to two minutes, flip your steaks and repeat the process. If you like your meat more well-done, increase the total cooking time by two to four minutes.
6. If you prefer to use a more scientific way to measure doneness, you will need a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (making sure not to touch the bone) and take a reading. A medium-rare steak will register between 120-126 degrees, medium will reach 135 degrees, and a well-done cut of beef will exceed 145 degrees.
7. Once your steaks have reached their desired doneness, remove them from the heat and let them rest for five minutes. This will allow the juices to be reabsorbed by the meat and prevent them from being lost when you begin to cut it.
Remember, when grilling steak, the meat is supposed be the star. Buy a high quality piece of beef, season it minimally, and grill it quickly. If you follow these easy steps, you’ll be the hero of your next barbeque.