One of my passions is grilling meat in the summer. It doesn’t really matter what kind of meat, pork, chicken, sausage, ribs, roasts, however my favourite is BEEF. Not just any beef mind you, Canadian AAA Western Beef, aged to perfection and full of flavour.
I often get asked “how do you cook the perfect steak on the BBQ?” It’s not rocket science, nor do you have to be a gourmet. The way to cook the perfect steak is to follow a few simple steps that I learned decades ago.
Start with a quality cut of meat. Beef needs to be aged a minimum of 28 days and most of the beef you buy at your local butcher will be aged even longer. Your steak needs to have marbling throughout. The important thing to remember is that steak needs to come up to room temperature before it is cooked so take your steak out about a half hour before you plan to grill it.
2. Prep your meat
It is up to you what you put on your steak but I believe in the K.I.S.S. principle ( Keep it simple Stanley) when seasoning a cut of beef for the grill. I add only two spices to the steak prior to cooking, salt and ground pepper. I coat each side moderately and let it sit on the meat for at least 15 min prior to cooking
3. Prep the Grill
Your grill needs to be hot, if you are using charcoal briquettes make sure you give yourself enough time for the embers to glow. On a gas grill turn it on to high. Make sure you brush your grilling surface. Most gas grills take more than ten minutes to reach a sustained temperature of 400 (f).
4. Cooking Step One
This is the hardest step that many back yard grill gourmets can’t seem to master. Place the steak on the grill and (this is the hard part) leave it alone. Don’t be “Freddie the flipper” or “looky-loo”. Trust me steak does not need your intervention every 30 seconds to enable the cooking process and since teleporting hasn’t been invented yet the steak will probably still be on the grill since the last time you peeked.
5 Cooking Times
Cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to grill 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare (an internal temperature of 135 degrees F), 5 to 7 minutes for medium (140 degrees F) or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well (150 degrees F). If you don’t have a thermometer it is a good investment and you can get one for less than $10.
Many people like to sauce their steaks (including me from time to time). I have found that if you sauce your steak towards the end of your cooking time you will have better results. It really depends on what is in your sauce and what you are trying to achieve by adding sauce. Quality beef does not need any saucing for its natural flavour to shine through.
No matter what meat you are cooking (on the grill or not) it is important to let the meat rest. For steaks or chops they should rest 5 to 7 min before you slice it. (larger cuts like roasts take 10-20 min to rest).
Why should you rest meat you ask? Simple, the meat will lose less juice when you cut it and when you eat it the meat will be juicier and tastier.
There you have it, follow these steps and you too will have the perfect steak every time.
The Everyman Gourmet