Lightly charred and browned on the outside, tender and juicy inside, a perfectly grilled steak has the ability to make anyone go weak in their knees. But sadly, most people do it the wrong way and the result is dry, overcooked steak, or a tentatively cooked steak with no crusty edges. Cooking perfect steak is not really difficult if you do it the right way, and if you now wish to know how to grill the ultimate steak, just follow the steps given below.
Opt For the Right Cut
This is the most important step. Most good steaks will be expensive, so there is not much that can be done about it. You must be ready to spend a little more for a premium cut, and it surely will be worth it when you take that first delicious bite. Also, be careful about the thickness.
To get the best results choose steaks that have a minimum one inch thickness, and if you can get one which is 1 1/2 inch thick, then even better. While choosing your steak, see it in the middle. Try to avoid the end cuts with the gristle. They are not bad, but they are not as good as the non-cut ends. Here is a list of some of the most popular grilling steaks that you can choose from
T-Bone: these are two steaks in one. This offers tenderloin on one side of the bone and a strip steak on the other. It is generally a thick cut with great flavor and marbling. Usually comes with a price tag.
Porter House: this is like the t-bone, but with larger tenderloin
Rib Eye: you can get rib eye with or without the bone, though the one with bone has better flavors. You will have to cut around quite a lot before you reach the meat, but it will all be worth the efforts.
Strip Steak: this is slightly leaner, but has good marbling. It has great flavors and is slightly firmer than the other steaks mentioned before. It usually is more affordable, but just make sure not to over cook it.
Top Sirolin: does not have too much marbling, but is one of the most affordable one. Its texture, however, can be tough.
Tri-Tip: it tastes quite like strip steak. Though hard to find, it is quite popular.
Trim Excess Fat
Once you buy your steak, the next step is to trim excess fat. Fat is not bad, but excess fat present around the outside only melts on the grill, and this can result in flare-ups, and thus can burn your steak.
So, trim the steak around the outside edge using a sharp knife. You do not have to remove all fat, leave behind a thin layer. It is easier to cut fat when cold, so make sure you start trimming as soon as you take the meat out of your refrigerator. After this, allow the steak to stay at room temperature for approximately 15 minutes.
You need to use fresh cracked black pepper and sea or kosher salt to season your meat, and make sure to be very generous. The pepper and salt helps create crust, and you should use a bit more than you think you need.
You are cooking big chunks of meat, so do be generous. Marinades have there own importance but you could use them for tougher/cheaper cuts of meat that actually needs them. But you can use spice rubs here. Try to avoid anything too strong, but grill seasoning mixes work well with things like pepper, salt, garlic, onion, etc.
While you are preparing things, following the steps given above, allow your grill to preheat. If you are using a charcoal grill, you need very hot charcoals. You can test them by holding your hand above the grill. You should not be able to keep your hand there for more than 2 seconds before it is very hot.
Once your grill is hot, move the coals to one side of the grill, so that you can use both indirect and direct heat. If you plan to use a gas grill, then you need to make sure the temperature is really high. Once your grill is pre-heated (allow at least 10-15 minutes for the gas grill to heat up well) move your meat around using a tong, it should be tongs and not those big forks. If your steak is punctured with a fork then the juices will run out, and thus make them tough and dry.
Now, place the steak on the grill, but do not move. Do not keep on moving it and flipping it every now and then. A steak should be flipped only once. Keep the steaks on the hot grill to sear. Do not move for about 2 – 3 minutes. If you desire diagonal hatch marks then you can rotate the steak 45 degrees after few minutes, and complete charring. With the help of the tong flip the steaks and let it char on the other side.
Apart from coal and gas grills, you can also use pellet grills to cook your steak. You can search the net for the best pellet grills available, and get the one that you find best.
If you are cooking at very high heat throughout, then the outer side of the steak will be burnt by the time its center cooks. So, once you are done with charring, move the steaks to the side where it receives indirect heat from the charcoals, or turn your gas down to medium heat, and finish cooking.
When you remove your steaks off the grill, do not start cutting them immediately. It is important to allow the steaks to rest so the juices can redistribute properly. Cover them with foil so that they stay warm, and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes.
Now that you have grilled the most amazing steak, it is time to devour them. You can add some extra sea or kosher salt or pat a little herbed butter, and relish every bit of the juicy, delicious, steak.