Filet Mignon is often considered the greatest steak cut of them all. It’s unmatched in tenderness. Has a somewhat mild flavor, compared to other cuts, and when cooked right, it nearly guaranteed to please. I’ll frequently cook my filet in the oven, but once it gets warm enough, it’s time to bring the Filets out to the Grill.
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How to Grill Steak
Best Steaks to Grill
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New York Steaks are sometimes called New York Strip Steak, Kansas City Strip Steaks…or just the abbreviated Strip Steaks. It’s is one of the most common cuts in restaurants, from the most expensive Steakhouse to the restaurant chain down the street from you. For good reason. New York Steaks have a great flavor (typically more than a Filet Mignon), while still being very tender and juicy.
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When it’s time to cook a steak at home, Skirt steak is pretty much always one of my favorite cuts. It’s a fairly lean cut, that has a ton of natural flavor and is great on both the grill and the stove top. Generally skirt steak has a bit more flavor, than the more expensive cuts like filet mignon, New York Strip, and ribeye, but is still tender enough to appeal to just about everyone.
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Growing up, the only way I knew how to cook steak was on the grill. And I gotta admit that bringing flame to meat was, and still is, a satisfyingly primal expression of the culinary arts. However, over the years, I've found that great steaks can indeed be cooked on the grill, and so each time it's time to cook a steak, I gotta make the grill or not to grill call.
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While I love to cook steaks indoors, in a cast iron pan, getting out over the open flames, on a grill satisfies a primal need to bring fire and meat together. It also, joyfully, imparts an awesome flavor to a great steak. But alas, how to grill a perfect steak still eludes many folks, and I've seen and eaten to many prime cuts of beef, that were tortured on the grill.
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T-Bone Steak, also called The Porterhouse, is my goto when whenever I’m feeling a bit indecisive. I love a New York Strip, and I love Filet Mignon, but when I want both, I go to the T-bone, where one side of the “letter shaped” bone is the filet, and the other the strip; I get the best of both worlds.
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Ribeye is one of my favorite steaks, and Mushrooms are one of my favorite steak sides. Why not combine the two? In this recipe video, I show you to make a grilled ribeye steak, along with grilled balsamic portobello mushrooms.
How to Grill A Perfect Steak
Grilling is probably the most common way to cook steaks for the average American home cook. And for good reason. The grill gives strong direct heat that gives the outside of the steak a nice crust (that’s the maillard reaction) and the open flame gives nice flavor to the meat (just ask Burger King).
Not to mention, there’s just a little something powerful & caveman-esk about taking fire to raw steak.
Making sure your grilled steaks come out perfect every time is not that hard…but it does take a bit of know-how, and a bit of practice. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with all the grilled steak recipes you’ll need, as well as, the cooking techniques to make sure they come out great. Below is my summary for perfectly grilled steaks, but please browse around, as you’ll find a ton of great flavor combinations and tips.
Which steaks are best for grilling?
When I’m talking about grilling, I’m NOT talking about BBQ’ing, where you may cook a piece of meat for hours over low heat. Instead, I’m talking about high heat cooking, directly over the flame.
Because grilling is high heat, short cooking time, the more tender cuts of steak tend to do best on the grill. You’ll have great results grilling Filet Mignon, New York Strip, T-bones & Porterhouse Steaks, Strip Steak, Ribeye, Flank Steak, Sirloin, Hanger or FlatIron, Tri-Tip steaks.
All of those cuts are naturally tender, and are generally served rare to medium; so the hot heat of the grill develops a great crust, without over cooking.
I’d stay away from cuts like brisket, short ribs, chuck roast, eye round….or any cut with a lot of connective tissue that requires a long cooking time to become tender.
What type of Grill should I use?
Some swear by charcoal, some gas…frankly I don’t care a ton, as both can produce a great grilled steak. Hardwood charcoal is generally the hottest, and can provide some great flavor, but it’s more work than gas. So frankly, use what you have…what you want.
That said, you do need to make sure that your grill gets hot. I like to turn on a gas grill on about 20 minutes before cooking the steak, (charcoal grills will be good to go once the coals settle down) and letting it get as hot as it can go; generally over 500 degrees.
How long do I grill steaks?
This is the most common question among steak cooks, and sadly the most un-answerable. Time not only depends on your personal preference, but also on the cut of steak, how thick it is, and how hot your grill is.
My general rule is that people think it will take longer than it actually does. If you’ve got the right temperature grill, cooking a 2 inch thick T-bone, should only take about 10 – 12 minutes. So I say it’s best to err on the shorter time period…it’s even better to use an instant read thermometer.
How often do I flip the steaks once they hit the grill?
Less often than you think. Again, if your grill is the right temp, there shouldn’t be any reason to flip more than once.
After laying the steaks down, let them sear on one side for several minutes. Despite what you may think, it’s VERY unlikely to burn. Once you’ve got a deep char/crust on that first side, flip it over and sear the other side.
If the steak needs to continue cooking after searing the second side, turn down the heat, close the grill lid (essentially creating an oven) to cook to the right temperature.
The best way to tell when the steaks are done, is to use an instant read meat thermometer.
What are the most absolute MUST-DO’s when grilling steak?
- Bring the steaks to room temp before cooking
- Get the grill very hot
- Oil the steaks & season with salt & pepper
- Don’t overcook them!
- Let them rest for 3 – 8 minutes (depending on size) before serving