How to Grill the Perfect Steak

How to Grill the Perfect Steak, According to a Professional Chef

Summer is almost here, so now is a great time to brush up on your grilling skills. Grilled steak is a classic dish for summer cookouts, and it tastes great.

However, the process can be a little scary. What should you get? How can you tell when a steak is done? With the help of chef Chris Frothingham of Great Road Kitchen, a new American restaurant in Littleton, Massachusetts, we’ll answer these questions so you can be a grill master just in time for barbecue season.

How to Buy Steak

You should know what you want in a steak before you go to the butcher or grocery store. Different cuts have different qualities, and one may fit your needs better than another.

For example, flank steak is a good go-to if you want a cheap cut that cooks quickly and is easy on the wallet. On the other hand, filet mignon is a good choice if you want to splurge on something expensive and hearty.

Still, the most important things to look for in a steak are an even, bright color, which is a sign of fresh, high-quality beef, and a thickness that is as even as possible, so that each part cooks at the same rate.

When you go shopping, you should also remember that steak is a type of meat that is always expensive. What you pay for is what you’ll get.

Follow these seven tips to make a pan-seared steak that tastes like it came from a restaurant.

Here are some basic tips for grilling steak from chef Frothingham that you can use with any cut.

Clean your grill and add seasonings.

Before you start, make sure your grill is clean and oiled with a high-heat cooking oil, like canola oil. You don’t want too much extra oil because it can cause flare-ups and change the taste of your steak.

Brush the grates before and after each use to keep them clean and ready for the next time you want to use the grill.

Take your time with charcoal.

Be patient when you use charcoal. Let the coals get to a nice, even heat, and your patience will be rewarded with the delicious, smoky flavor of a charcoal grill.

Cook the meat.

Warm up the meat before you put it on the grill. Let it sit out at room temperature for about an hour before you start grilling. This will help the steak cook faster and more evenly.

Don’t be cheap with spices.

Always add kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to steak to bring out the flavor of the meat.

Don’t Touch the Steak

Leave the steak alone once it’s on the grill! You could dry it out if you poke it, and if you move it around too much, it won’t get a good crust or grill marks.

And let it rest.

Let the steak rest for about half the time it took to cook, after you take it off the grill, before you cut into it. During this stage, the juices move around, which makes the meat more tender.

Now that you know how to grill steak in general, let’s talk about how to grill different cuts of meat.

How to Grill a Flank Steak

Flank steak is a thin cut of meat that cooks quickly on a hot grill because it is lean. Since flank steak has less fat than other cuts, the best way to add flavor is to marinate it. Frothingham suggests a marinade with garlic, lime juice, canola oil, jalapeo, honey, shallot, oregano, and salt, with cilantro as the main flavor. Save some for when the steak is done cooking!

  1. Let the flank sit in a marinade for at least 10 hours.
  2. Get the grill hot. Once it’s hot, drain the flank to get rid of any extra marinade and keep a fire from starting.
  3. Put the flank steak on the grill. There should be a nice crackling sound.
  4. Cook the flank steak for about four to five minutes on each side, or until it’s as done as you like it. Chef Frothingham likes a temperature of 135 degrees on the inside.
  5. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain and serving it. The flank steak goes well with the cilantro marinade that was saved, grilled onions, and warm tortillas.

Skirt Steak: How to Grill It

The cut that Chef Frothingham likes best is skirt steak, which is long and thin and has a slightly chewy (but good) texture. That goes well with sauces for grilling.

  1. Put the steak in a marinade for at least 10 hours.
  2. Get the grill hot. Once it’s hot, drain off any extra marinade from the skirt so that flames don’t start.
  3. Cook the skirt steak for about three to five minutes on each side, or until it’s as done as you like it. Chef Frothingham likes a temperature of 130 degrees on the inside.
  4. Let the steak rest before slicing it against the grain and serving it.

How to Cook a Rib-Eye Steak on the Grill

Rib-eye is a flavorful cut of steak with a lot of fat. Rib-eye can be marinated if you want, but it tastes great with just salt and pepper before it goes on the grill. “This is where less is more,” says chef Frothingham.

  1. Get the grill hot.
  2. Add a lot of salt and pepper to the rib-eye.
  3. Cook the rib-eye for about four to six minutes on each side, or until it’s as done as you want it. Chef Frothingham likes a temperature of 125 degrees on the inside. Rib-eye is a cut with a lot of fat, so be careful of flare-ups.
  4. Let the steak rest, and then eat it.

How to Cook Filet Mignon on the Grill

Filet mignon is what most people think of as the most tender cut of steak. It has a fine grain and melts in your mouth when it’s cooked. Since filet mignon doesn’t have a lot of fat, it’s important not to cook it too long. Chef Frothingham likes to cook a filet on a grill in a cast-iron pan. Simple butter, rosemary, and garlic make a great sauce.

  1. Get the grill ready (with the cast iron skillet on top).
  2. Salt and pepper the steak a lot before putting it on the grill.
  3. Add a little cooking oil for high heat to the pan.
  4. Cook the filet mignon for about four to five minutes on each side, or until it reaches the doneness you want. Chef Frothingham likes a temperature of 120 degrees on the inside.
  5. Let the steak sit for a while before you cut it and serve it.

How to Grill a Strip Steak (or New York Sirloin)

Strip steak is juicy and well-marbled. It has a strong, beefy flavor and the classic shape of a wide top and a small bottom. All you need to do is season it with salt and pepper, but a rich Béarnaise sauce would also be lovely.

  1. Start the grill and season the steak well with salt and pepper before putting it on the grill.
  2. Cook the strip steak for about three to six minutes on each side, or until it’s as done as you like it. Chef Frothingham likes a temperature of 122 degrees on the inside.
  3. Let the steak sit for a while before you cut it and serve it.

How to Cook Sirloin Steak on the Grill

Even though sirloin doesn’t have as much marbling as rib-eye or strip steak, it’s still a great cut for the grill because it’s hearty and can be used in many ways. Chef Frothingham says that a sirloin can be at least 10 different cuts. The main difference between a New York strip steak and a sirloin is where it comes from on the cow and how much fat it has. He likes sirloin on steak sandwiches or grilled and sliced over a big, fresh salad. You could put sirloin in a marinade or just use salt and pepper.

  1. Put the steak in a sauce (optional).
  2. Start up the grill.
  3. If you didn’t marinate the steak, add a lot of salt and pepper to it before grilling it.
  4. The sirloin steak should be cooked for about four to seven minutes on each side, or until it reaches the doneness you want. Chef Frothingham likes a temperature of 128 degrees on the inside.
  5. Let the steak sit for a while before you cut it and serve it.

Tri-Tip Steak: How to Grill It.

Tri-tip steak is a triangular cut of meat that is on the leaner side, so it’s best to marinate it for a while before grilling it. Tri-tip is a good choice if you want a steak that is a little less expensive but still tastes like beef. Chef Frothingham likes to make a miso marinade with honey, sesame oil, sriracha, canola oil, rice wine vinegar, and yellow miso paste.

  1. Marinate the steak in a sauce of your choice for at least an hour and up to a day ahead of time.
  2. Get the grill hot.
  3. Cook the tri-tip steak for about four to six minutes on each side, or until it’s as done as you like it. Chef Frothingham likes a temperature of 128 degrees on the inside.
  4. Let the steak rest before you cut it and serve it.

How to Know When a Steak Is Ready

People have different tricks for testing how done meat is, but an instant-read meat thermometer is the best way to know when steak is done.

You can find inexpensive ones that will give you peace of mind that your steak is cooked just right. Make sure to put the thermometer in the middle of the steak and make sure it doesn’t hit a bone.

If you’re grilling more than one steak at a time, check the temperature of each one before taking it off. Depending on their size, shape, and where they are on the grill, they may cook at different rates.

Lastly, remember that your steak will continue to cook for about 5 degrees after you take it off the grill because of the residual heat.

Here’s an easy way to grill the perfect steak:

115-120 degrees (to be served at 125 degrees)

Medium-rare: 120-125 degrees (to serve at 130 degrees).

Medium: 130–135°F (to be served at 140°F)

Medium-well: 140-145 degrees (to serve at 150 degrees)

Well: 150-155 degrees (to serve at 160 degrees).