How To Grill the Perfect Steak
By Stacey Marmalejo, RV and Camping enthusiast
It’s that time of year again… The time when the sun sits higher in the sky and allows people who enjoy the outdoors to appreciate a few more hours of the day. One of the things I love most about this time of year is that it allows me to grill the perfect steak outside and bask in the sun while doing so.
Grilling the perfect steak is really much easier than most people think. The key to a perfect steak is timing, timing, timing… But I’ll get to that a little later. First you’ll have to pick the size and cut of your steak, which mostly boils down to personal preference. One of my favorites is a good old-fashioned sirloin, about 1.5 to 2 inches thick. When grilling steak for two or three people, I look for about a 2-pound cut of meat.
Seasoning the perfect steak is the easiest part. Keep it simple. If frozen, the steak should be thawed in a fridge or cooler. Then take the steak out of the fridge/cooler and remove its wrapping. Let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. This will help the steak cook evenly. Next, gently brush a thin coat of olive oil onto each side. Once both sides have been brushed, season with cracked pepper and kosher salt on both sides of the steak. Any salt will work, but I prefer kosher salt, as the grains are slightly larger and irregular, and to add a nice crust to the steak.
As far as grills go, you can use either a gas or charcoal grill. I personally prefer a smaller charcoal grill in which the grate sits about 5 inches above the coals. If you’re using charcoal, be sure to let the coals reach optimum temperature before putting the steak on. You can tell the coals are ready when they have turned light gray in color. There should be little to no black showing on the briquettes. I’ve found it takes 20 to 30 minutes after igniting the coals before they are ready. Once the coals are ready, distribute them evenly across the bottom of the grill. For a gas grill, set it to medium-high with the lid closed for 15-20 minutes to heat the grate.
When the grill is ready for cooking, place the seasoned steak on the grate and leave the lid open for 60 to 90 seconds. Then close the lid and let the steak cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness. For a 1-inch steak, leave the lid closed for about three minutes. For a 2-inch steak, leave the lid closed for about 5 minutes. Once your steak has cooked on one side for the specified amount of time, flip it and repeat the steps from the first side (60 to 90 seconds open and then 3 to 5 minutes closed). Flip the steak only once. Check the meat’s temperature by sticking an “instant-read” cooking thermometer in the center of the steak (do not cut the steak with a knife). A medium-rare steak should measure 130ºF, medium will measure 140º, and well done will be 160º or more.
Once you’ve grilled both sides of the steak, remove it, place it on a plate and loosely cover it with foil for about 10 minutes. This will allow the juices to re-enter and distribute evenly. It may be hard to just sit and stare at the perfect steak for 10 minutes. I find that this is the perfect time to crack my favorite beer and prepare for the feast.
There are variables that affect cooking time, such as type of grill, size of grill, cut of steak, thickness of steak, etc… So experiment with your own preferences, but this should give you a good guide if you’re wondering how to grill the perfect steak.