Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to grilling steak, whether it’s in the form of a complex seasoning process or complicated grilling techniques. With the wide range of confusing hacks and contradicting tips out there, it can be very difficult to cook the perfect steak. However, the process is actually much easier than you think - all you have to do is follow a few of these simple tips and throw some steaks on the grill to practice. You’ll be ready to lead the next family barbecue in no time! So, without further ado, here are 7 simple tricks to turn your steak from detestable to delectable.
This may sound obvious, but many people turn a blind eye to this step - it’s always best to start the process with a clean canvas. Kicking things off with a pristine grill will overall ensure the flavours of the meat aren’t affected or compromised, and will make it much easier to flip the steak when the time comes. When you’re cleaning the grill, use a stiff wire brush while the grates are still warm. This will help remove any waste with ease. Although this task is rather remedial and obvious, it’s an integral aspect of grilling that’ll pay off down the track.
Before you start cooking the steak, it’s very important to remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature. If you were to start grilling straight from the fridge, the steak wouldn’t be able to cook evenly. The outside would cook much faster than the inside, which would make it much harder to get the steak to your exact liking. Instead, be patient and take the time to remove the steak’s chill.
While you’re waiting for the meat to reach room temperature, take this time to season the steak with salt. Using sea salt is recommended as it works better with the meat when compared to traditional table salt. This can be a risky task if it’s not done at the correct time. Many grill-masters make the mistake of salting the steak too soon, which overall draws out the moisture and effects the grilling process. Anything shorter than 40 minutes is considered too soon. If you find yourself pressed for time, season the steak immediately before you intend to grill.
While the meat is cooking, avoid moving it around too much. All that’s required is a single flip and a slide from higher to lower heat (if you’re cooking a thicker cut of meat). If you want to have a look to see how the inside of the steak is cooking, use the tip of a knife to cut Into the centre. However, you should avoid doing this unless it’s completely necessary otherwise you’ll be releasing a lot of the meat's juices and flavours, ultimately effecting its tenderness.
Many steaks can simply be cooked over a direct heat source while only requiring a single flip, although thicker steaks are going to need more attention. While they’re grilling, the outside will likely burn before the inside is cooked to your liking. Instead, consider taking a sear-slide approach. This means cooking the steak until both sides are seared, then sliding the meat to a cooler section of the grill to finish cooking the inside.
This one is crucial - avoid grilling your steak for too long to avoid compromising its tenderness. As the meat grills, it’ll lose moisture - including the fats and juices that offer all the flavour and texture. The most important aspect of grilling is removing the steak from the grill before too much of this moisture is lost. The ideal time to take the meat off is between medium rare to medium or from medium to medium well. For accurate results, consider using either a thermometer or a timer. Only use a thermometer on cuts of meat thicker than 1 1/2 inches.
Finally, a little bit more patience is required before you can dig into your masterpiece. Before you start serving the steak, let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes after you take it off the grill. This will help the juices spread, which will allow the meat to finish cooking evenly. While this process is occurring, consider placing the meat on a board, tented with aluminium foil.