Summer is in full effect and that means grilling season has finally arrived! Backyards across the country are quickly becoming the destination of choice for one of the hottest menu items of the season – grilled steak! We’re here to help elevate your grilling game from meat-iocre to marvelous with tips from MasterChef Finalist Ashley Mincey. Read on for Ashley’s best tips for grilling the perfect steak, from prep work all the way to the finishing touches.
How to prep
Bring your steak to room temperature by removing from the refrigerator 60-90 minutes before you’re ready to grill. A room temperature steak is your best friend because it cooks evenly, leaving a flavorful crust on the outside and making it easier to achieve the exact level of doneness you prefer on the inside.
Keep seasoning simple
Less is more! I’m usually the biggest advocate for fresh herbs and spices, but when it comes to steak, I’m a cheerleader for minimalism. First, rub the steak with olive oil, then season both sides liberally with coarse ground kosher salt and fresh cracked ground pepper – they are the best vehicles for a super flavorful crust.
Bring the heat
Use whichever type of grill you like, but make sure it can get hot! We’re talking extremely hot – the internal temperature of the grill should be around 600ºF, so you’ll need to preheat your grill 30 minutes to an hour before you’re ready to start cooking. For charcoal grills, you should be cooking directly over the coals.
Fun Cooking Fact: Let’s talk about the Maillard reaction. You know that sizzle we all crave when a steak first hits the grill? Well, that’s the start of the Maillard reaction. The second your steak meets the heat, the flames begin to slowly melt away the steak’s marbled fat, forming salt crystals that create the rich, golden brown crust we all love. So make sure your heat is high enough or you might be missing out on one of the best parts!
The 10 and 2 technique
Cross marks add restaurant-quality flair. Place your seasoned steak on the grill at “10 and 2” positions – imagine the times on a clock if you forget! For steaks requiring six minutes of cooking on each side, spend the first four minutes with the steak facing “10” position then turn the steak and finish the last two minutes at “2” position.
Compound butters equal flavor, and flavor equals an unbeatable barbeque. How do you make a compound butter at home? It’s easier than you’d think! In a bowl of softened butter, toss in some herbs such as parsley or chopped rosemary (yum!) and aromatics like garlic or sautéed onions, then refrigerate until the butter hardens. Add a dollop of the compound butter to your steak while it’s on the grill and the flavor will melt into every bite.
Lastly, just when you think you are done, let the steak rest on a cutting board or plate for half the time it was on the grill. It’s hard to be patient with a freshly grilled steak looking you in the eye, but this step is crucial. Resting allows all the juices to redistribute evenly, resulting in a tender and juicy steak.
Apply all these tips and, boom, you have the perfect steak!
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