There’s a few important things to consider when grilling steak, which can have a big impact on the final outcome. Although many people have their own “tricks of the trade,” it’s really important to consider what cut of steak you’re cooking before firing up the grill….not all techniques are appropriate for every cut. These easy grilling tips listed below are perfect when cooking cuts like filet mignon, porterhouse, and new york strip steaks.
However, other cuts of beef like chuck steak, beef short ribs, or brisket would require completely different grilling methods for the best outcome. You should always consider the cut of beef and its properties before slapping it on the grill.
6 Basic Grilling Tips
1. If you’re using a steak rub to season your steak then keep it simple – use only finely ground seasoning powders. Do not use fresh herbs or large garlic chunks as they will burn on the grill. If you want an easy seasoning idea, check out our Big Tasty Steak Rub, which can be easily created using simple ingredients found in most kitchens.
2. This one is so simple but often overlooked: Clean the grill grate with a strong wire brush. Don’t skip this step, it’s important. If you don’t clean the grill before cooking, you can end up with charred bits from the previous use on the steak, which will give it a bitter flavor.
3. Get the fire hot – very hot! The best steakhouses heat their grills or broilers hotter than 900 degrees farenheit. I think I can get my outside grill to somewhere between 600 – 750 degrees. You should not be able to hold you hand 6″ above the grill for more than just a few seconds.
4. Use jumbo lump charcoal – not briquettes. Jumbo lump charcoal is real petrified wood. That’s it…there’s no additives at all. Briquettes are made from pressed wood shavings but there’s often ingredients that are added to help it light quickly and prolong burning time. There also seems to be a difference in the heat that jumbo lump charcoal produces…it tends to burn much hotter, albeit much faster. Most importantly, I believe there’s absolutely a noticeably better steak flavor achieved when using lump charcoal.
5. Do not put the steaks direct from the fridge to the grill. Let them sit for a bit and reach room temperature.
6. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes after grilling. If your inner fat boy is telling you to eat it right away – I can totally relate. This is the toughest part of the process but it’s very important. Allowing it to “sit for a bit” will help the steak retain its juices and subsequently its flavor.
NY Strip Steaks are one of my favorite cuts of beef. I employed the easy grilling tips listed above and did a little taste test between store bought choice strip steaks and grass-fed, grain finished all natural strip steaks. You can find our full write-up here:
All Natural Steak vs. Store Bought Steak – A Cook-Off