Memorial Day Weekend is upon us once again, and that can only mean one delicious thing: Barbeque! Ladies and gentlemen, brush out the grills, and sharpen those knives, because grilling season is now open! We show you the way to your best Memorial Day barbeque, with tips, tricks and techniques to grill perfect, juicy, sizzling steaks, all summer long! We consulted with the experts and prepared the essential how-to guide to grilling like a pro.
Step 1: Get the best meat possible
This is perhaps the simplest and most important thing to do to achieve the perfect steak. Look for high grade cuts with lots of marbling (the white fat than webs across the meat). That beautiful marbling means gorgeous flavor and lots of juiciness. Also look out for grass-fed beef, as it’s more intense and flavorful than grain-fed.
Step 2: Fire It Up
In the battle of man versus meat, the most powerful weapons in your arsenal are…a grill and good, hot fire! Keep in mind that as soon as you start putting meat, the grill will start cooling down. Pre-heat your grill well before tossing those steaks on top. Get it really hot, so hot you can barely put your hand over it, and then start grilling. Next, create grill zones using the 2-Zone technique, where you have a hotter side of the grill (direct radiant heat), and a less hot zone on the other size (indirect convection heat).
Smoked sea salt
Step 3: Seasoning
Keep it simple. Season on BOTH SIDES with salt and pepper, which will help it develop that beautiful brown crust. If your meat is high in fat and marbling (like Wagyu beef, for example), it already has enough natural oils to develop the crust, so don’t brush it with olive oil, as it will only hide that delicious flavor. Don’t start with a steak right out of the fridge; let it come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Step 4: It’s Grill Time
Your steak is seasoned, your grill is hot, and it’s game time! First, make sure that there’s plenty of room on the grill that you can move the steaks from one heat zone to another, otherwise there’s no point to the 2-Zone technique. Second, leave it alone! Don’t move the meat around the grill or flip it around until it’s good and ready, or otherwise it will stick to the grill, and you won’t get that delicious flavor from the grilling. Only move it from one zone to another, and to flip it. We consulted our expert, The Reluctant Gourmet, who recommends: “start with the hot side for a quick sear, and then finish cooking on the indirect side”.
Step 5: Cooking Times
How long do you cook a steak for? The Reluctant Gourmet had this to say about proper grilling times for steaks, “I start by grilling for 2 1/2 minutes, then turning it 90 degrees and cooking for another 2 1/2 minutes, flip the steak over to it’s other side and repeat the process thus giving the steak the classic grill marks”.
THE TOUCH TEST
To test if the steak is done, you’ll compare it with how the fleshy part of your hand feels in certain positions.
Rare: a rare steak should feel like the fleshy, spongy triangular area between your thumb and index finger (relax your hand when doing this).
Medium: make a loose first, and touch that same triangle area. See how much firmer it is? That’s the feel of a steak when it’s medium-done.
Well done: make a hard fist, and try again. The area is now tight and hard, which is how a well-done steak should feel like.
Step 6: Rest
Once the steak is done, take it out of the fire and set it on a plate. And wait. At least five minutes. We know you’re hungry, but trust us; it’s worth the wait. The juices need to settle inside the steak, if you cut into it too soon, you’ll lose those delicious juices.
Step 7: Eat!!
You now have the perfect steak, cooked to perfection, enjoy!
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Our grilling expert: The Reluctant Gourmet is G. Stephen Jones, a self-taught chef and stay-at-home dad from Philadelphia, attempting to overcome his own “reluctant” tendencies in the kitchen. You can find more great cooking info on his website, http://reluctantgourmet.com/.