With summer coming it’s time to dust off the old barbecue that has been sitting in the garage and get down to some serious grilling. One of the biggest favorites is of course steak, but a lot of people have trouble getting it just right and end up with a steak that’s good, but could be better. Let’s take a look at how to cook the perfect steak.
Preparing a good steak starts way before you even set eyes on the barbecue: in the store. You have several options to choose from depending on what you like and what you’re willing to spend. Those with a bigger budget can opt for a cut of prime meat, while others can choose to have skirt and hanger steaks; as long as you cook it well, you’ll be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
Once you’ve bought the steak you want and have taken it home, make sure your grill is good and clean: a dirty grill will make even the best piece of meat taste like ash, a real waste. Clean the grill, then set a hot fire on it: don’t let the steak anywhere near the grill until it’s as hot as it can be. This will char the meat instantly, sealing in the flavor and making it taste all the better when it comes off.
Meanwhile, as the grill heats up, take the meat out of the fridge and let it warm up for a while: a cold steak right out of the fridge won’t cook as evenly as a room-temperature one will. A good chef controls whatever he is cooking by both checking the temperature of the meat as well as that of the grill or pan. This way, you won’t get any nasty surprises in the form of under- or over-cooked meat.
With the grill hot and the steak at room temperature, you’re ready to start the actual cooking. Do not use oil on a grill: it causes flare-ups, which can burn the meat or cook it unevenly; in either case the flavor is not as good as it could be. A good steak will have enough fat that it won’t stick to a hot grill, which is why you’re making it so hot.
As the steak cooks, make sure to not only turn it, but rotate it as well: grills aren’t the same temperature everywhere so make sure your steak cooks evenly by moving it around a little. The object is to ensure that the meat cooks evenly and that it’s the same flavor no matter what part you eat.
Last but not least, and this really is the hardest part, when you’re done, when the steak is cooked to perfection and you’re ready to tear into it, let it rest for a few minutes. It’s painful, but letting it rest seals in the flavor, making for a better experience overall. Patience is rewarded – bon appetit!