We've scoured the internet for advice from America's top chefs and industry partners on how to grill the perfect steak! Here's what we've found!
1. Salt your steak an hour ahead of time. Salt helps pull out juices from the steak. When applied an hour ahead, it will pull out the juices and then the steak will reabsorb them back in, giving you more concentrated flavor. If you don't have an hour, salt immediately before and you'll be enjoying that restaurant-quality crust you notice when you eat out.
2. Allow your steak to reach room temperature before grilling. Starting your grilling session with room temperature meat helps for quicker grilling, and more importantly, will provide you an even cooking temperature throughout your protein.
3. Pre-heat your grill. One of the worst mistakes people make is not giving the grill enough time to heat up. If you're cooking with coals, think 30 minutes with the vents open. A 3 minute high-temperature sear on each side right away will hold in tasty juices.
5. Start with a clean grill. Use a sturdy metal brush to remove any buildup on your grates. This is easier when your grill is hot. We recommend turning your grill up to a high temperature burn first, and then using your grill brush to remove any buildup. Do this both before and after each grilling session so build up is not sitting on your grilling grates in between grilling sessions.
6. Less flipping is better! One to two flips is ideal for most meats. If it's sticking to the grates, wait a bit longer. It will not stick when it's ready to flip.
7. Keep a spray bottle handy for flare-ups. Too much flame equals unpleasant charring and uneven cooking, two of the biggest culprits of bad taste. Simply spray water on flareups to dampen them while not interfering with your temperature. Too many flare-ups may be an indicator that it's time to clean the inside of your grill.
8. Undercook slightly! Food continues to cook about 5 degrees after it leaves the grill. Anticipate this carryover cooking at the table while you are giving your meal time to rest before serving.
9. Let the meat rest for 5-15 minutes. Resting your meat gives the juices an opportunity to redistribute into the steak!
10. Use a meat thermometer! The technology exists, why miss and end up with an overcooked meal? You may be tempted to use it in your thickest steak (similar to inserting into the thickest part of meat when oven cooking), however, we contend choosing the quickest cooking steak. Once you hit medium on that piece, your other steaks will be hovering in the medium-rare range you're shooting for (at least, that's how we like it)!
Sources: Foodnetwork, Salon, Serious Eats.