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Aug 29, 2007 05:31 PM

teach me how to grill a steak...

This weekend my husband and I are celebrating a milestone. We just got back from vacation, and I'm sick of eating out. I told him I would make a special dinner. I would love to just be able to grill some steaks, but honestly, I don't know enough about steak to do it right. What kind is best for grilling? I was thinking I would put together a caprese salad with tomatoes from our garden. What other sides would you suggest? We have a gas grill and he doesn't like skirt or flank steak.


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  1. I'd say ribeye is best. NY strip second. Get a good, thick cut. Rub with coarse salt & pepper. Maybe garlic. Get your grill really hot. Put the steaks on for just a couple minutes each side - just until seared on the outside but still red inside.

    11 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      yes, yes, yes... agree. one more thought. after searing, the middle may be too rare for some. have one of the zones of the grill off, then after searing on both sides, you can move the steaks to the off zone, cover the lid, then the steaks can slowly come up a bit to a nice med-rare or med, depending on your taste. right before finished, add a little garlic butter over the top. do some halved small red potatoes in the oven, salt, pepper, EVOO and rosemary.

      1. re: woodburner

        Holy moly, this sounds sooo good.....

        1. re: woodburner

          Or you could cook the taters right on the grill, which I've found is even better. Toss your halved or quartered small red potatoes and some coarsely chopped onions with salt, pepper, and olive oil - sure, rosemary, too - and put them in a metal pan that fits on your grill. I use a square cake pan, 8 X 8, I think. They take longer than the steak, so put them on while you're preheating the grill and they'll be done at about the same time. Stir them once in a while, and drool as the onion caramelizes and the potatoes crisp up on the bottom.... Really good, and you don't have to heat up the house with the oven.

        2. re: mojoeater

          I am so confused, I have been under the assumption that you salt a roast, but never salt a steak before putting it on a grill. I usually have to use all of my restraint in order to not salt, and now I find out that I could have just salted away! Steaks for dinner tonight!

          1. re: Snowflake

            Yeah, I'd heard that too, but after trying it both ways I can't tell the difference. I season before grilling now, and my steaks come out fine.

            1. re: Bat Guano

              Salt would have to be on a steak for a period of several hours before causing the steak to lose much liquid. Some people say that the little bit of liquid that does seep out helps to form a good crust, but I'm not so sure about that. Any opinions? I usually salt mine right before putting on the grill.

              1. re: ewallace001

                A dry steak with salt makes a great crust. Here's a great chart for meat doneness, from martha stewart which I can't access now because the site is down. I'll post it asap.
                It gives restaurant temps vs. USDA temps for doness....big difference.
                Enjoy your steak.
                ps.....I recommend a hangar steak


              2. re: Bat Guano

                If you salt 1-3 days before, the salt draws out moisture (mainly water), the salt mixes with the water and salty water is absorbed back into the steak.

                If you want to season the steak, add some sugar and spice to the salt. 1/4t salt per pound of meat.

              3. re: Snowflake

                Salt that steak before you grill. Salt added only afterwards never is the same.

                As the poster said below, salt does draw out some liquid, but it isn't significant and takes a little while. If your concern is that it won't sear, if you have a super hot grill, then you won't have any problem regardless.

                Also, the fear over drawing out liquid is a bit weird anyhow. Remember that dry aged beef has lost a LOT of it's liquid... which concentrates flavor, among other things... so losing a bit of liquid is not, in and of itself, a bad thing.

                If you have enough time, salt it the night before and spread some mashed garlic on it too. The salt will draw out the liquid a bit, then reabsorb it along with some of the garlic. That allows the meat to be seasoned on the inside too. Gotta love equilibrium.

                - Adam

                1. re: adamclyde

                  That all makes perfect sense, thanks everyone!

                2. re: Snowflake

                  I was also raised to never salt a steak before cooking, but after having had steaks done both ways I have to say it tastes better if the steak is seasoned immediately before cooking, and it does not dry out the meat to any noticeable extent. It does seem to form a better "crust" that way. Perhaps drying the outer 1/16 inch of the meat is not a bad thing.

              4. Try a New York Strip or a Ribeye, an inch or more thick. Look for a good quality choice (or prime, but its more pricey and harder to find) that is a deep red and has a good amount of fat streaked through out the meat (well marbled). Let the meat come up to room temperature before grilling. Putting a cold steak on a hot grill cools down the grates, making it hard to get those pretty grill marks. In my opinion there are two cardinal sins in cooking steak... over seasoning and overcooking. Salt, pepper and MAYBE some garlic powder or onion powder; a few red pepper flakes if you like a little spice. Brush with oil of your choice to promote searing and not sticking. Preheat the grill (we'll leave the gas/charcoal debate alone) then place the meat. Grill times vary by thickness of meat. Medium rare is around 130-135 degrees, and at this point the meat will still feel soft but will have a little "springiness" when poked with your finger. Take the meat off the grill and let it rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy! The caprese salad is a wonderful idea, and perhaps some grilled corn or squash would be a good accompaniment since the grill will be going anyway. Hope this helps.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ewallace001

                  I agree with the posts above, but I'll offer my own 2 cents. I'd stick with a ribeye as well. If you can get one bone-in, all the better. If you can get a whole bone ribeye go for it. I'm talking 3(ish) inches thick. This should quite obviously be 1 steak for 2 people - basically a hunk out of a standing rib roast. Let the steak come to room temp as wallace says. This means take it out of the fridge and leave it on the counter for WELL over an hour depending on thickness. The reason (in my opinion) is for even cooking, not necessarily because it will cool the grates. If your grill is hot enough, you'll get grill marks even if the steak is frozen! Preheat the grill to as hot as it will get - I mean rip it. Plenty of salt and pepper please! Really sear the steak over super high heat to get a good crust. They can take it, especially bone it steaks. Once seared, then move them to the cooler part of the grill like woodburner says, to the desired doneness. You say you have gas; you probably have a second shelf grate above the regular grates. Now is the time to use it! Of course turn down the flame as well. This is for slow cooking farther away from the high heat. In the event you can find a super huge steak, let it rest for 10-15+ minutes and then slice it in large 1/2 inch slices and stack it back next to the bone.

                  ***This is the most important part... Remember that whatever temperature you read on the grill, it will carry over 10 to 15 degrees EASY, maybe more. That means if you take the steak off at 130-135 as wallace says, you'll end up with a temperature of 140 to 150 by the time you sit down. Not good eats. For medium rare, DO NOT WAIT until 130 or 135 to take them off the grill!!!!! Pull the steaks off at 115 to 120, for medium rare. Sorry wallace, there's no arguing this in my opinion! In any situation, steaks are great fun and make a wonderful Saturday night dinner. They will call you super-wife from now on ;-)

                  1. re: HaagenDazs

                    It's been so long since I used a thermometer that I did neglect the carry-over. I go by the feel of the meat to avoid piercing. :-)

                    1. re: ewallace001

                      I use the thenar (thumb) muscle test for doness. I'm pretty spot on with flank steaks!
                      Here's an illustration. Really, you'll never need a thermometer for individual steaks. I still use one if I'm cooking a whole filet. Yes, I love filet mignon especially for party, served cooled down a bit with horseradish sauce. Yum!


                    2. re: HaagenDazs

                      Great advice and can't stress enough the importance of letting it rest for a good 10 minutes before cutting into that steak at all. Cutting it immediately after it comes off undermines all your good efforts!

                  2. Our new favorite grilled steak recipe is :

                    "Grilled Korean-Style Steaks with Spicy Cilantro Sauce" on the Food Network Web site:


                    has received rave reviews with family and friends.

                    I marinate two tri-tips in a large pyrex pan overnight. We choose to grill tri-tip sirloins on aluminum foil, removing from foil towards the end for some char. Don't use a fork to lift the meat off of the grill, rather use tongs to save the juices. If you fashion your aluminum foil properly, you will also have plenty of juices from there as well.

                    We love the cilantro habenero sauce and it improves over time with leftovers. This
                    Speaking from experience don't get the sauce in your eyes. I made a wrong move with my napkin and paid dearly for 20 minutes.