It takes a lot of practice to grill a juicy steak with the perfect doneness. Aside from high-quality meat, rubs, and other whatnots, what makes a good steak is how you prepare it. In this post, we will give you some of our secret tips for the best way to prepare steak for grilling. This way, you can enjoy your grilled meals even more.
High-quality meat is crucial
If you’re shopping for steaks, look for a cut with lean meat and a little bit of fat. You should select tender cuts with a small amount of connective tissue and an average amount of marbling fat. The meat itself should have a fine grain.
Most of all, choose freshly cut Angus beef. If possible, opt for grass-fed beef for the right amount of fat and juicy meat.
As for the cut, you can opt for a bone-in strip steak, boneless steak, Porterhouse steak, or T-bone steak. It’s all about your preference. The most common is filet mignon since it’s the most tender cut, although it has a washed flavor as compared to tough cuts.
Let it thaw
One of the sins of grilling steaks is putting the meat right into the heat without letting it thaw. Cold and frozen steaks take time to cook. And since it’s exposed to the heat for long, more and more juices evaporates from the meat. What you’ll get is rubbery and tough steak.
If your steaks are frozen, let it that until it reaches room temperature. This way, you can season the meat cuts properly.
Take note that you should also let your steaks thaw even if it has marinade. You wouldn’t want to defeat the purpose of marinating by rushing in with your grilling.
Get the right thickness
Many newbie grillers don’t know the importance of having the right thickness for steaks. Too thick, and it will be hard to cook, too thin and you won’t nail your preferred doneness.
The best steaks are a quarter of an inch thick. You must trim excess fat so your steak will not be too oily while grilling. Still, you should leave a small amount of fat enough to prevent the meat from sticking on the grates.
A quarter of an inch is enough to sear your steaks and get a nice crust without ruining its overall doneness.
If you don’t want to cut it on your own, you can purchase pre-cut steaks in most supermarkets.
Marinade your steaks
If you want to taste a burst of flavors, one of the old but gold tricks is marinating your steaks. Feel free to use the condiments and rubs that you like to achieve the best taste.
Take note that you must marinate your steaks hours before grilling. Letting the steaks soak in the marinade overnight will give you the best flavors.
If you don’t want to marinade, you can also use rubs. For rubs, make sure that you apply it an hour or two before grilling so the herbs and spices will mix with the meat’s juices.
Don’t overdo the seasoning
When it comes to seasoning your steaks, salt and pepper would usually suffice. Although simple, it will let the juices of the meat unleash without overdoing the flavors.
Also, you should avoid using the wrong type of salt. For steaks, Kosher salt is a rule of thumb for all grillers. Never use iodized or any fine-grained salt because it tends to over-season the steak.
Nevertheless, rubs are totally fine. However, you should avoid overdoing it, too. When you’re using rubs, avoid making it too thick because it will only burn and cause a bitter taste after grilling. Whatever sticks to the meat is enough.
Melted butter is the secret
If you’re not using oils, one way to prevent steaks from sticking to the grate is by rubbing it with a small amount of butter. Just apply a thin layer enough to make the meat shiny, but not dripping.
The butter will add a nice flavor to your steaks without ruining any seasoning you applied beforehand.
A thermometer is a must
Regardless if you’re a pro griller or not, a meat thermometer is a must. This is the only way to know if your steak has the right doneness. Every pit master will agree that when it comes to steaks, you simply can’t estimate visually.
Steaks can have different levels of doneness: rare, medium-rare, medium, medium well, and well done. One thing that separates these levels of doneness is the internal temperature of the meat.
Make sure that your thermometer has a meat probe that you can stick to the steaks. Take note that a grill temp gauge is different from a meat thermometer/probe.
Never poke holes on your steak
This is a common mistake among grillers. Poking holes on your steak will surely let the seasoning enter the meat, but it will also let juices escape. If you want more flavors for your steak, you might as well prepare a glaze that you will apply once your steak is close to being cooked.
You should avoid poking holes on your steak before and during grilling. Also, don’t slice the steak just yet after you remove it from the grill. Let it rest so the juices will stick to the meat grain.
Prepare the grill
Aside from preparing the meat, you should also ensure that the equipment is ready for cooking. When it comes to steaks, you should pre-heat your grill at 450F to 500F. This searing heat will give your steak a nice crust.
Also, you should oil the grates before putting the steaks on it. Melted butter will also work here as well as olive oil. This is the drill regardless if you’re grilling the perfect steak on a gas grill, charcoal grill, or electric grill.
The best way to grill thick steak always includes the right choice of meat, proper seasoning, and the right grill temperature. Preparing your steaks well will give you sumptuous meals at home while saving a lot of money from eating out.