Day 7- Grilling the Perfect Steak

If you are going to spend the money on good steaks you want to make sure you have done everything in your favor. Here are a few tips to help you.

Pick the right steak

The meat counter can be filled with an over whelming amount of beef cuts laid out on the beef.

meat counter
But, when it comes to wanting to grill steak, don’t just be a price shopper. Lately, I have noticed a lot more recipes for flank steaks or skirt steaks. These steaks are not the best choices. These cuts come from the outer parts of the animal’s body. The best cuts of meat come from the middle part of the cow’s body. Look for ribeyes, New York strips, T-bones, or porterhouses. Bone-in steaks often times also have better flavors as the bone helps add flavor during grilling.

USDA Choice Beef Grade

The other thing to look for is the grade of steak. The grade is based on the amount of fat on the steak. There are four quality grades, the most desired is prime, followed by choice, then select, and least desired is standard. You may have noticed advertising or signs that will say select ribeyes or choice ribeyes on sale. Their is a ranking system for beef grades. The more fat, the more flavor. You especially want to see flecks of fat in the muscle of the meat, not just the outside. My recommendation is to only by Choice steaks. Even if select graded steaks are cheaper, you won’t regret the extra flavor and juiciness in a choice steak.

Thickness is also important, if you like your steaks with no pink in the middle, thinner steaks, less than 1 inch thick will be fine. If you like your steaks medium-rare, pick a thicker steak that is over 1 inch.

Prepping the steak for the grill.

If you have an inch thick steak, you want to pull your steak out of the fridge an hour before it hits the grill. If it is 3/4 inch, then 45 minutes. If it is 1 1/4 inch then an hour and 15 minutes before grill time. Make sense? If you ended up getting a choice steak, there is no need to marinade to add flavor or tenderness. If you bought a select steak, then you may want to use a marinade to add flavor as well as tenderize the steak. So, if you just have choice steak, you just need to season it.

Montreal Steak Seasoning
My favorite seasoning is Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormicks. Plain salt and pepper would be just fine as well.

Grill Time

High heat on the grill is key. You need the grill to be hot when you put the steak on it to sear the steak, allowing it to lock in the juices and char the steak. A little flame isn’t bad either. Just make sure you don’t have huge flames. Don’t get flip happy either. You really want to just flip the steak once. Period.

steak griling

How to tell when your steak is done?

Sure, you can just temp your steak when you are grilling it, but then you have to puncture the steak and watch juice run out. Instead, you can just do the palm test. That’s right, you can tell doneness of steak based on what it feel like. Here is what you need to do. Began by having your hand open relaxing your fingers. Press on the inside of your hand below the thumb. This should feel similar to your raw steak. Start your baseline here. Then, decide on the doneness you like for your steak and touch the corresponding finger to your thumb based on the descriptions below. But, basically the closer the finger to your thumb, the more rare your steak.

How to tell steak temperature palm test

Let it Rest

As tempting as it is to cut right into the steak as soon as it is pulled off the grill, let it rest. Resting it for several minutes allows all the juices to redistribute throughout the steak. If you cut right into it, the juices will just run all over your plate. The steak could continue to cook after it is pulled off the grill, so to avoid it from being over cooked, set it on a wrack so air can cool it from all sides.

Be sure to check out the other tips and food tidbits as part of the 30 Days on the Prairie Farm Series.

30 days on the prairie farm


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  1. says

    We usually have our steaks cut 3/4 of an inch when we have our meat processed, but thicker steaks are yummy. We just want to get more out of our quarter or half of beef. Love your recommendations on the cuts. Flank steaks are ok, but our rib-eyes are gold in this House of Beef 😉


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