It is practically summer time, which means it’s grilling season! Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to light up the grill and cook delicious steaks with your friends and family. Not the grill master in your neighborhood? Don’t you worry because we are here to help you out if you ever find yourself wondering: “What is the best way to grill steak?” or “What temperature should my grill be at?” or “How long do I cook my steak on the grill?”
Gas or Charcoal Grill?
Grilling steaks all begins with one big decision that will change the overall flavoring. Gas or charcoal? If we were to choose based off pollution contribution, charcoal grills put out more carbon monoxide and soot so we would suggest gas. But then again, many people prefer the smokier, rich taste of the meat cooked on a charcoal grill. There is an option of additive-free lump charcoal that is simply charred wood. These have less sodium nitrate, borax and additives like paraffin. We also suggest trying to avoid using lighter fluid because it can leave undesirable residue on your food and also is dangerous if not used properly. It is all up to you in the end but the difference is definitely noticeable.
About 15 or 25 minutes before you plan on grilling you want to preheat the grill to the correct temperature. When you place the meat down it should sear on contact while also keeping the insides moist and should never stick. High heat on a grill is considered 400-450 °F, 350-400 °F is medium-high, 300-350 °F for medium, and 250-300 °F for low heat.
Bonus Tip: You can also gauge the temperature by placing your hand about 5 inches over the grill rack and if its high heat you will remove it in 2 seconds. If the heat is medium, you can last about 5 seconds and if it is low you can last 10 seconds.
Cleaning the Grill
Once the outdoor grill is pre-heated, it is actually much easier to clean off charred debris from your last meal with a long-handled wire grill brush. Remember to scrape off again directly after taking your meat off to keep it clean and ready for your next go-round!
Marination Station (We Know, Marination Isn’t a Word)
Whether you choose to use a liquid marinade, a spice rub, or just use salt and pepper, seasoning your steak is really based on personal preference.
Liquid Marinade: This liquid mix typically contains three components:
- An acid such as vinegar, citrus juice or wine.
- An oil which protects the meat from drying out.
- Flavorings such as herbs, spices and vegetables.
If you go with marinating steaks, Always double check the recipe for timing. When marinating your steaks, most of the benefit occurs in the first few hours, but overnight or 24-hour marinating is fine as well, and often the most convenient. If you forgot to prepare last night, no worries! Even if a few minutes in a marinade will add a delicious flavor.
Spice Rub: This mixture of salt, spices and herbs is rubbed onto the surface of meat before cooking. Spice rubs can be dry or mixed with oil for easier application.
Bonus Tip: Recipes will differ but the general consensus is to allow your meat to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Use only salt and pepper on the best steaks, and if you want to take it up a notch, make a pan sauce or baste with butter!
When Can I Flip?
Most grilling experts would suggest keeping the meat on one side for about four minutes and then flipping. Leave the steak for another three minutes on the other side and then repeat. It is important to remember that the meat keeps cooking even after you take it off the grill so stay on the safe side and aim for the lower amount of time. Of course, this all depends on how well done you want your meat as well as the thickness of the steak. Check out this chart to get the exact time length in regards to how thick your steak is and the doneness you want and remember to always use a thermometer to check for doneness!
Bonus Tip: Steak grilling times are very important for grass fed beef, as it leaner and cooks much quicker than conventionally raised, grain fed beef. So if grilling steak that is grass fed, you should cut down the cook time. Also, here’s a great recipe for dry-brining grass fed steaks by Primally Inspired: Tender Grass Fed Steaks.
How Do I Know My Meat is Done?
There are a couple different methods to check meat doneness. The most fool proof is using an internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Another way to spot check is by using your hand and fingertips. To start, you want to get used to the “feel” of steaks. This method applies for all types of red meat!
Put your thumb and appropriate finger (depends which one for each doneness level) together slightly and then with your other hand lightly poke the ball of your palm, the lower half of your inner hand. The “feel” or resistance indicates how firm the steak should be in correlation to your desired doneness. There are four different doneness levels, so if the firmness on the ball of your palm is the same as the steak for the level you want then it is time to take the meat off to rest.
Rare: Bring your index finger to your thumb and form a circle shape. Press the ball on the palm portion of your thumb. Steaks with that same soft and springy feeling will be medium-rare.
Medium-Rare: Bring your middle finger to your thumb and form a circle shape. Press the ball on the palm portion of your thumb. Steaks with that same soft texture will be rare.
Medium: Bring your ring finger to your thumb and form a circle shape. Press the ball on the palm portion of your thumb. Steaks with that same springy feeling will be medium.
Well Done: Bring your pinky finger to your thumb and form a circle shape. Press the ball on the palm portion of your thumb. Steaks with that same firm texture will be well done.
And if all else fails, you can always check out the SteakMate Smartphone App that helps take out the guesswork of cooking times for steak. Because now there literally is an app for everything. We still recommend double-checking for doneness with a thermometer.
Always let your meat rest for about ten minutes before you dive in so that the juices can distribute evenly.
With all these tips, grilling can be an easy and social activity for any day of the week. Serve up a grass fed ribeye steak or go a little fancier the next time you fire up the grill with a filet mignon from Western Grassfed Beef. Our cattle spend their entire lives on pasture and are never confined to a feedlot. The use of added hormones and antibiotics are strictly prohibited, and we require our producers to raise their cattle humanely, in low-stress environments to produce a quality beef for you.
We’re confident you will taste the difference in your very first bite. Give us a call at 844-668-8920 to place your order or click here to shop online.