Love the idea of grilling, but think it’s too complicated? We’re sharing the basics you need to get your grill on with our Girlfriend’s Guide to Grilling a Steak!
Thank you to Market Street for helping all of us girls (and guys) get our grill on with this sponsored post.
Isn’t it funny that so many mamas take on the world (literally) every day, but when it comes to grilling think it’s too hard or should be left to the guys?
Just answer me this: Do you like the idea of biting into a juicy, sizzling steak? Do you like to entertain? Want to make a special meal for your special someone? Then you need to know how to grill a steak.
…But don’t worry, it’s not near as hard as you think it is. Now don’t get me wrong, grilling is just as much an art and a science as it is skill. I have the utmost for those that have mastered it, but we don’t have to be the best to have a really good steak dinner. And before you get any further down, here’s your real disclaimer: Grilling is subjective and everyone does it different.
However, we’re gonna give you the absolute basics to get your first steak from purchase to plate without much work, hassle, or slaving over a grill for hours. (Besides, who has time for that!)
Girlfriend’s Guide to Grilling a Steak
1) It’s all in the meat.
No matter what marinade you use, what you cook it on, or what you pair with it, you need to pick a great piece of steak. I honestly didn’t have a clue except that there was steak and there was hamburger meat. So off to Market Street I went to figure it all out when the butcher came out to help me (he must have seen the scare in my eyes!) He explained the cuts of meat so I knew what I was looking at and how best to cook it.
There are three basic classes you should know when it comes to your beef: Prime (best), Choice (better) and Select (good.)
When it comes to flavor, it’s all in the marbling or the little white flecks in beef – is key to flavor. The higher the amount of marbling, the higher the quality of beef.
When it comes to the meat, Rancher’s Reserve is always a great choice with 100% Angus beef that is juicy, tender and full of flavor.
Now for the fun stuff, the cuts! These four steaks all come from the same general area of the cow – the short loin, tenderloin, and the ribs.
TENDERLOIN // aka filet mignon / Boneless cut from the short loin and sirloin. / Most tender and most expensive cut of steak.
T-BONE // aka Porterhouse / Bone in cross section of the unfilleted short loin with combo of f tenderloin and NY strip. / Great taste but difficult to cook with two different cuts.
NY STRIP // Boneless & sometimes bone-in short loin behind the ribs. / Fine grained texture with some marbling.
RIBEYE // aka Delmonico /Boneless & bone-in cut from the rib cage. / Lots of marbling and fat pockets for the juiciest flavor.
The Ribeye is by far the best choice for new grillers. It’s more tender than the other cuts of beef and has lots of marbling, which means lots of juicy flavor!
When it comes to the cut, you’ll want to aim for 1 1/4 inch – 1 1/2 inch cut.
Don’t see any in the case? Then ask your butcher to assist you! Market Street will cut it to your specifications!
2) Season and Sit it Out.
Alrighty…this is where there are all kinds of opinions on the best way to make your steak taste perfect. What you put on it, how long you let it sit on the steak and how long you choose to put the steak in the fridge or at room temperatures varies as much as there are different opinions on how best to soothe a crying baby. There’s been tons of research, experiments, and lots of hot-headed opinions but for this first-timer’s steak: we’re keeping it basic. You’ll find your own way after you do it for the first time.
Take your steak out of the fridge at least thirty minutes before you plan to cook your steak. Pat your steak with a paper towel.
Add LOTS of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to both sides (it’s going to seem excessive, but this will add the simple seasoning your steak needs. (Put it in your palm and let it fly!)
Let the steak sit at room temperature for around half an hour.
3) Get your Grill Going.
The biggest question here is: How are you planning to cook this thing!
Gas: By far the easiest way way to grill is on a gas grill. Turn on the tank, turn the burner, ignite, and close the lid for around 10 minutes when the grill hits around 425-450 degrees. Now you’re ready to roll!
Is it time to cook? Hold your hand about about four to six inches above the grill grate, palm down. If you can hold it one to three seconds before you need to pull your hand away, you’re at high heat.
Charcoal: Yes, you’re going to have to light it up! Starting with a clean grill like this one, lay your self-starting charcoal (it has lighter fluid in the briquettes so you don’t have to deal with it) in a grid pattern. Then light each corner and let it go! Close the grill and either using a thermometer or the hand method (see above), wait until the charcoal has lost its flame and beginning to turn gray.
Pan-fry: It never seems to fail that you make plans to grill and Mother Nature makes another plan! When you’re in a rush or weather doesn’t permit outdoor grilling, go with the iron skillet! Just put it on high and let it go (I also like to add a little oil and butter to the pan for even more flavor!)
4) Let’s Get Cooking.
Alright, Alright, Alright! We’ve reached the big show!
If you’re making your steaks on the grill, then you’re going to wait to cook your steaks until they get to your specific level of doneness.
Rare // 120 degrees Medium Rare // 130 degrees Medium // 140 degrees
Medium Well // 150 degrees Well Done // 160 degrees
5) Dinner is Done.
To cut or to sit out, that is the question! One of the biggest controversies (yes, it’s that big of a deal) is whether you need to let your steak sit before serving. While there is all kinds of rationales for why you should and why you shouldn’t, but for me it’s simple: If you wait about 5 minutes after you take it off the heat, there’s less juice therefore less mess. So that’s my win-win.
Now let’s eat!