Grilling the perfect steak is an essential skill for meat lovers, but it’s tricky to master. Don’t worry, though! We’ll tell you the kind of mistakes you should avoid, so you’re en route to prepping a mouth-watering steak right at home.
Let’s first address the question that brought you here: why is my steak grey? A well-heated grill or skillet creates beautiful char marks on your steak. So if your steak appears to be grey in color, your pan just wasn’t hot enough. As a result, the meat was steamed rather than grilled.
Disclaimer: you have to be very brave to cook a steak. And Make sure the pan is as hot as it can be.
Grilling a Steak to Perfection
To cook a steak to perfection, you must be mindful of some dos and don’ts.
Let the meat rest once it’s out of the fridge.
No matter how eager you are to grill that steak, you should always make sure it’s at room temperature beforehand. If not, its exterior will char, and the interior will remain undercooked. Or it may require so much time to be done that the steak will be dry and grey underneath the surface. Neither of these is ideal. When grilling a steak, you have to aim for the inside to be juicy and tender, whereas the outside must only be lightly charred.
Always pat the meat dry with a paper towel.
One of the many appealing aspects of grilling steak is the beautiful crust that results from contact between the meat and hot grill grates. In case you skip the pat-down, you will be attempting to cook moist meat. And here’s the tragedy: the meat will steam, and you won’t see the crisp outer crust you had in mind. In short, dry meat forms the best crust
Be generous with the seasoning.
Anyone scared of seasoning a steak is on the path to doom. Here’s the deal: steaks are pretty thick, an inch or more usually. Due to this, the flavor doesn’t penetrate through the middle if you don’t marinate it. Hence, to make up for all the lost seasoning, you should put enough of it on top.
Although you need to season the steak well, you won’t require much. All you have to do is brush the steak lightly with olive oil and sprinkle some salt, and pepper, right before you grill it. If you’re really in the mood to pump things up, you can add spices like paprika, garlic, or chili powder to the mix.
Only flip it once
Have you ever come across the term Maillard reaction? It’s basically a chemical reaction that takes place between amino acids and sugars. All you need to know is that it’s super important. It’s the reason why charred food has an extraordinary flavor. And also why we go through hell and high water to get that beautiful sear on our steaks.
But what you should keep in mind is that turning your steak too much counteracts the sear. Our goal is to char the outside until it’s brown and to lock in the juices. To achieve that, you must be patient. Put your steak on a hot grill till it begins to caramelize, and flip it just once. Trust us, you’re better off doing that than flipping it every few minutes.
Don’t fling it without a thermometer.
You may convince yourself, after years of mastering a grill, that you don’t need a meat thermometer. However, testing your steak’s doneness is a very delicate matter. Judging it by color or by hand won’t do!
We recommend using a meat thermometer to take the guesswork out of the picture. Generally speaking, beef should have an internal temperature between 145 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use this chart to find the right temperature, depending on how you want your steak.
What Type of Cut is Best for Steak?
A good steak starts with a good cut. You want one that’s tender and has plenty of marbling. We’ve compiled a list of the best beef cuts for steak. Keep reading!
T-bone steaks give you the best of both worlds. They have a butterfly tenderloin on one side of the bone and a beefy New York strip on the other. So understandably, serious meat-lovers are fond of t-bone steaks.
You may have guessed it from the name, t-bone steaks always come with a bone. They’re very delicious but can be a bit complicated to work around. Since they contain two polar types of meat, one side cooks pretty fast, while the other doesn’t.
Protip: position the strip side closer to the heat than the tenderloin, cooking it indirectly. That way, you can balance off the heat between both sides.
If you are on the lookout for a remarkably juicy, beefy flavor, go for the rib-eye. These are super fatty and individually cut prime rib roasts. The fattiness enables them to retain their juiciness, even over high heat.
Now, if you’re shopping for a ribeye, try to find a thicker cut with evenly distributed marbling (we’ll dive further into this later). It usually comes both boneless and bone-in, but the flavor and cooking methods are identical, so we’ll leave this one up to you!
➔ Fillet Mignon
This one comes from the sharp end of the tenderloin. It is undeniably tender in texture, making it easy to eat. It also makes it the most expensive cut in the market!
Fillet Mignonusually available in two to three inches thick small circular pieces. These cook perfectly on the grill or even a skillet on the stove.
➔ New York Strip
You may also know this one as top sirloin or Kentucky City strip steak. It is cut from the short loin and isn’t as tender as a rib-eye or tenderloin but does offer a strong beef flavor and a great combination of meat and fat.
While shopping for a New York strip, stay on the lookout for pieces that have thorough marbling and large chunks of fat around the edges.
Be careful: the top sirloin is cut from a muscular area so it can instantly toughen even if it’s slightly overcooked. For the best results, aim for a medium-rare cook.
Wine, cheese, and red meat have one thing in common: they’re all culinary delicacies and taste better with age. Have you ever heard of dry-aged beef? This description isn’t very appetizing, but dry-aging is a controlled decay method. In this process, moisture is drawn out of meat, making its flavor even beefier.
If you’re lucky enough to find a butcher shop with dry-aged beef, we suggest you try anything aged between 15 to 30 days until you become acquainted with the flavor.
How Thick Should Steak Be?
An inch and a half is the perfect thickness for a steak. If it’s too thin, you run the risk of overcooking it and miss out on a luxuriously juicy steak. On the other hand, if it’s too thick and you’re not careful, you run the risk of undercooking the inside. Plus, let’s not overestimate our abilities: chewing on a steak as thick as two inches is anything but a fun experience.
At some point in your life, you might have seen two steaks at a meat shop and noticed one costs more than the other. Chances are, the pricier one had more marbling. Marbling refers to the little patches of fat that occur naturally within the meat’s muscle. The more the marbling, the more the flavor.
- Is it better to cook steak with butter or oil?
Oil. It has a higher smoke point compared to butter, which would help you cook the steak better. Whereas, putting a tablespoon of butter in a pan hot enough to sear your steak will burn it.
- How long do I wait to cut my steak?
Wait for a minimum of 5-7 minutes before cutting your steak. If you’ve cooked a thick cut of meat, let it rest for up to 20 minutes. Use this ratio to calculate the waiting time: 5 minutes per inch of thickness.
- What’s the proper way to cut my steak?
Against, or perpendicular to, the grain. By doing so, you’ll cut through the muscle fibers, making them simpler to chew.
- How do I clean my grill grates?
You should always clean your grill while the grates are still hot. First, remove the waste using a wire brush. Then soak a paper towel in some vegetable oil and evenly wipe the grates. In future use, this will keep food from sticking to them.
- Should I trim the fat before or after cooking my steak?
Trim the fat after you’ve cooked the steak. The fat unleashes a lot of flavor into the meat during the cooking process, and you don’t want to miss out on that!