How to Grill a Steak

How to Grill a Steak

Ross Morrone

There are hundreds of techniques on How to Grill a Steak. High heat, low heat, sear, indirect, direct, over gas, over charcoal - literally, the list goes on and on. Really, it comes down to preference of the eater for how they want the steak cooked. When I learned how to grill a steak, it took a lot of flame ups and screw ups until I found my perfect technique. The funny thing is, because I am married, I have two techniques to cooking so that I can get the right steak temp. 

Step One of How to Grill a Steak - Identify Your Hot Zone

The simplest step for grilling a steak is to know the hot zones of your grill. If you have an expensive grill, it may have even heat across the grates, but if you have a lower end model, there may be a hot zone right in the middle or favored on one side. Identify this, because that is the most important part of cooking.

Step Two of How to Grill a Steak - Choosing the Cut of Steak

Your second lesson is choosing the right cut of steak. For as many methods of grilling a steak, there are just as many steaks to grill. When I want a good steak, I go with the Porterhouse Steak. It's the best of a NY strip and a filet, all in one cut. Find your cut, and make sure you cook it often, so you know consistency. 

Step Three of How to Grill a Steak - Pre-Op Your Steak

Let the steak get to room temp? Season first? There are a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to preparing your steak for the grill. I have tried it all, and found that simpler is better for the steak. I always rub my steak down with olive oil. Not just any olive oil either, I use California Olive Range olive oil. It's as pure as you will find in the states and available in most retails. Once lightly coated, I season with sea salt and cracked pepper. The pro tip here is to lightly season the salt, but be generous with the pepper. This will come into play later. Other than this, I don't do anything else to the steak. Never soak your steak in dressing or olive oil with seasoning. Your just asking for a fire and burnt steak. 

Step Four of How to Grill a Steak - Heating the Grill

I am a big fan of high heat grilling for steak. If you have a sear station, fire it up. Let it get to high heat (450 - 500) before you drop that steak on. 

Step Five of How to Grill a Steak - Grilling the Steak

This is the most important step for the steak. Drop your steak on the grill and keep your eyes and ears open. Watch the steak for flare ups - moving the steak when you have to or backing down the heat. Let your steak cook without moving it otherwise for 5 - 7 minutes. 5 for med rare, 7 for med - well. Once you hit your time, rotate 45 degrees and let sit for 2 - 3 more minutes. This will help the heat distribute into the meat, and also give you nice char marks, also known as flavor. Once you hit the end of that time, flip the steak and cut both those times in half with the same rotation point. Again looking for char marks and even heat. 

Now, if you want to cheat to make sure you get to temp, get a thermometer and poke it in the meat. Know you meat temps for doneness. Here is an easy steak temperature chart to go by:

Steak Doneness
Remove from Grill at this Temperature
Final Cooked Temperature
130 to 135°F
130 to 140°F
Medium Rare
Well Done


Step Six of How to Grill a Steak - Resting and Final Seasoning

Now that your steak has reached temp, remove from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes. Does letting your steak rest matter? Yes, it really does. 10 minutes will allow the steak to continue to cook without losing too much heat. That high temp searing has locked in the juice and now the steak will redistribute it out. The steak may leak a little bit onto your plate, but this is normal for those that are left towards med / rare. The final step would be to throw a light seasoning back onto the steak. Grab a pinch of sea salt and black pepper per steak and spread it out. This will add a nice final touch to the overall taste. 

Happy cooking!