If you’re new to grilling steaks or you keep on ending up with disappointing results, then here some fast and easy tips from BBQ pros that should really help:
Don’t Ignore the Thickness of the Meat
When you’re slicing the meat, do your research as to how thick the meat should be. This depends a lot on the cut of steak you’re grilling. So, for example, you might want a thickness of 1.5 to 2 inches for cuts like the New York strip. This isn’t an arbitrary determination—it’s just the right thickness for the particular cut that makes sure you get just the right char on the outside, right at the same time the inside reaches the right temperature.
Let the Meat Warm Up
Don’t take the steak out of the fridge and then just start grilling right away. There are several preparatory steps you need to take, and letting the steak warm up for about an hour is one of those steps. This will get you much better results.
Salt and Salt
The salt isn’t just for the saltiness, mind you. The salt helps the meat to retain water, so it keeps the meat juicy.
Several hours before you start grilling, lightly sprinkle some salt on both sides of the meat, then place it on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet.
Then right before you set the meat on the grill, use paper towels to pat the meat dry, and then (generously this time) salt the meat again. You might want to use kosher salt, as its larger grains give you a better crust.
Finally, you might want to sprinkle a bit of fleur de sel on the slice of meat for a bit more flavor.
Add Some Fresh Pepper
For best results, you might want to go the extra mile of using a heavy skillet to crush whole peppercorns inside a resealable plastic bag. This gives you a nice combo of large, medium, and fine pieces of pepper. The pepper adds a bit of crunch, along with some nice spice.
Use Real Charcoal
You want something that comes from a tree, and not some manufactured stuff. You get some nice natural flavor instead of chemicals.
Use a 2-Zone Fire
There should be a hot side for searing the meat, and a side that’s not so hot, for the finishing touches. This is actually easy with a 2-burner gas grill, since you can go full blast for one burner while the other one is on low.
The 2-2 Rule for Ready Coals
When are the coals hot enough? When the flames die down and the coals are nicely orange, you can use the 2-2 rule. Set your hand 2 inches over the hottest part of the coals. If you can hold your hand there for exactly 2 seconds (no more, no less), then you’re good to go.
Deal with Flareups Properly
Don’t just put the lid on the grill, as this won’t put out the fire fast enough. Don’t use a spritz water bottle, as you’ll just kick up ash.
Just slide the meat gently to a flare-free area with your tongs, until the fire subsides. And don’t just throw the meat around, since you’ll just shake out more dripping flammable fat and start another flareup.
Use a Meat Thermometer
Guess whether the meat is done is just not worth the risk. Know for sure with a meat thermometer.
Let It Rest
Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before you serve the steak. This allows the fibers to relax and the juices to spread.