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grilled rib steak on cutting board
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5 from 5 votes

How To Grill The Perfect Steak

There's something groan-worthy about taking that first bite of a perfectly cooked tender, juicy well seasoned steak. Here are the steps and tips for how to grill the perfect steak based on years of grilling and research.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Rest time before and after37 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 1
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 good quality steak at room temperature, Note 1 (ideally between 1 1/4 to 2 inches thick, about 1 -1 1/2 pounds/450-675 grams)
  • neutral olive oil
  • kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper (garlic powder - optional)

Instructions

  • HEAT GRILL: Spray grill grates with oil or use a cloth dipped in oil to grease the grills. This will help avoid sticking and enhance grill marks. Heat grill to High heat for 10-15 minutes.
  • PREPARE STEAK: Season room temperature steak JUST before grilling OR an hour or more before - not in between. First pat steak dry with a paper towel, brush with oil, then season steak very generously with kosher salt and pepper on all sides (some will fall off during grilling). Sprinkle on garlic powder if using. Pat down seasonings into steak with your hand.
  • GRILL STEAK: For a steak 1 1/4 -1 1/2 inches (3.2-5 cm) thick, the total grill time will take about 4-6 minutes for medium rare (a little longer for thicker steak or to cook to medium). Note 2 for grill hatch marks. Place steak on grill. Close lid. Grill steak for 2-3 minutes. Flip once. Grill for another 2-3 minutes depending on thickness. Instant meat thermometer will show an internal temperature of 130F/54C for medium rare (temperature will rise to 135F/57C when resting). Note 3 to check for doneness.
  • REST STEAK AND SERVE: Remove steak to a plate or cutting board. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness. Don't skip this step. Note 4. Serve plain or with your favorite toppings, Note 5

Notes

  1. What steak to buy: The best steaks will be labelled Prime, AAA or Certified Angus Beef. Choice is next best. Higher end cuts include a well-marbled ribeye steak (with or without the bone), New York Strip Steak (leaner), Porterhouse steaks, T-Bone or Filet Mignon, also called Beef Tenderloin (very lean, tender and expensive).
  2. Grilling Technique for Hatch Marks: For nice cross hatch marks, start the steak at a 45 degree angle and move it to the opposite angle half way through - on each side. Don't keep the gas grill lid open too long or the steak will not brown as well due to heat loss. 
  3. Check for Done-ness: The best way to check the temperature of the steak for desired doneness is to use an instant read thermometer through the side of the steak. Medium-rare steak will be 130F/54C. Medium steak 140F60C. I always take my steak off at 5 degrees lower than what I'm aiming for as the temperature will continue to rise when the steak is resting. If you don't have a thermometer, here's a video for how to check for done-ness without a thermometer
  4. Slicing steak: If you're cutting the steak into slices or pieces, cut it across the natural grain of the steak for greater tenderness. 
  5. Topping options for steak
    • mushrooms sautéed in butter with balsamic and garlic
    • melted butter, parsley (or chives) and thyme
    • chimichurri
    • lemon herb compound butter
    • gremolata (chopped garlic, parsley and lemon zest)
    • dare I say steak sauce
  6. Make steak 60-90 minutes ahead of serving
    • Season and sear steaks on the grill or in a pan on high for just 2 minutes on each side. 
    • Transfer to a wire rack sitting over a pan (this will keep them from steaming and cooking more).
    • A half hour before ready to serve, put the steaks in a 325F (163C) preheated oven and cook for about 10-20 minutes (depending on thickness) or until an instant thermometer reads 130F (54C) for medium rare. 140F/60C for medium. 
Nutrition values are estimates and will depend on size of steak, amount of salt, etc. 
Calories: 508kcal | Protein: 47g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 816mg | Potassium: 710mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg