After a long round in the sun, a cold beer and a perfectly grilled steak can easily erase the memories of errant swings. To get the most of your post round steak you need to adhere to some basic grilling tips that will not only please you, but your guests as well. The success or failure will depends on a series of key moves outlined here…

steak

The first element you must master is the selection process. If you stare blankly at the meat aisle and then end up selecting your cut by price please have a quick look at this tutorial.

 

THE SELECTION PROCESS:

FILET (TENDERLOIN)

This cut is the most tender, however will likely be the most expensive cut. The filet contains little to no fat and has the least amount of flavor. You will often see bacon wrapped filet as the bacon adds the fat component lacking from this cut.

Choose this cut if: You have some lighter eaters or those that are easily impressed by you saying filet mignon.

STRIP LOIN (also called a new york or strip steak)

More economical than the filet , and easily identified from a long fat cap running lengthwise along one side. This steak has more flavor, than the filet and is still very tender. If you choose a strip loin, don’t go less than an inch thick as it can dry out quickly. Chefs often call this the tastiest steak and the most common in restaurants.

Choose this cut if: Your guests want a medium sized steak that they are accustom to getting at a steak house. Cross grill this steak for a beautiful presentation.

T-BONE (also called porterhouse)

A “T” shape bone separates the two cuts noted above (filet and strip loin) giving you both. Not suggested for the amateur griller as getting two different cuts and a bone cooked to perfect doneness is difficult. My advise is to choose one or the other.

Choose this cut if: Your guests are loud and real characters.

RIB EYE

In my mind, this is the only steak. If you have had a beautiful prime rib roast, this is that but cut into a steaks before it has been roasted. This steak will give you big flavor with fat marbling throughout the cut. Its also an easy steak to get right once you have done it a few times. You can go HOT with the grill or slow roast.

Choose this cut if: You are the real deal and your guest enjoy the full on steak flavor experience.

TOP SIRLOIN

The top sirloin is a large steak and makes an attractive presentation when grilled whole and sliced to serve four or more. You would most likely marinate this cut overnight or before heading to the course as it is a little tougher than rib and loin cuts. This is that big thick beauty that you grill, rest and cut into at the table.

Choose this cut if: Budget is in mind but presentation needs to be high.

THE PREPARATION

Getting your steaks to room temperature is one element that most amateur grillers don’t do. You must remove your steaks from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to cooking and allow them warm up. A medium rare steak is ideally 130 degrees, you would much rather take it there from room temperature (70 degrees) instead of fridge temperature (35 degrees). It’s just science, trust it. Just leave them on the counter and resist the urge to start seasoning them. DO NOT season your steaks until they are ready to hit the grill as most seasonings contain salt and salt draws out the moisture if applied to early.

Most experts opinions vary on the use of oil. Some rub the meat while seasoning and others rub the grill with a little oil just before cooking. I will leave that up to you but I prefer to lightly oil the grill as oil on the meat tends to reduce the intensity of the grill marks.

If there is excess fat on your steak, You MUST trim to 1/4 of an inch. Large amounts of fat do not have the time to render in your short cooking time.

SHOW TIME

The 3 rules I live by when BBQing a steak are

1. HOT. Get the grill as hot as you can and leave it there

2. DON’T FLIP. You flip once, you don’t move it around the grill

2a. DON’T CUT. Do not cut into a steak to see if its done.

3. REST. AS much time as your steak cooked, you need to rest it that same amount.

Think of your steaks as needing hot heat and a less amount of time. Your grill needs to be screaming hot and ready for a steak so get it up on full heat and close the lid. This is arguable a 3-4 minute per side cooking session so it needs to be ready to go. Avoid the urge to flip and move the meat. Just let it sit there and do its thing. A steak’s juices rise away from the bottom and come out the top. You flip once to trap those juices in. If you flip many times you just dump the juices out onto the grill. If you have concerns over doneness, please buy a cheap meat thermometer. Cutting into the steak while on the grill ruins the process. Finally, when it comes off the grill you must REST the meat. Your steak is sitting at 130 degrees and it must come down in heat before you can enjoy. No need to “tent” with foil, just leave it.

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