Friday, January 7, 2011

Grilling The Perfect Steak (The Sear and Indirect Method)

The biggest mistake people make when attempting to grill a steak with good flavor and the desired doneness is using the same heat setting during the entire cooking process. We here at Now THAT'S Scrumptious! like to use an indirect method after searing. I see people grill steak one of three ways:

They cook it on high heat the entire time which gets you a good sear flavor with good grill marks but overcooks the steak rendering it well done or worse, burns the steak up. Poof! There goes ur Cash and Steak!

They cook it on high heat initially then drop there heat to medium or low, still ending up with a lot of overcooked and dry steaks.

Or they cook it on medium or low the entire time and have a searless, flavorless steak.

Now if you have used any of the above method's do not feel bad as I have too. The same holds true with any skill: Persistence and practice is the key to perfection!

Before I get to my method I want to first note that if you buy a bad cut of steak it really doesn't matter how well you know how to cook it. You can't expect to buy a New York Strip steak and have it come out tasting like Falay Megnon. In my opinion the best cuts from best to worst are: Falay Megnon, Rib-Eye, T-bone (Half Falay Megnon, half New York Strip), Top Sirloin, New York Strip and I don't really go any lower of grade than that unless making stew.

If you love steak buy a slab of it!:

Go to the butcher at your local supermarket and tell them how many pounds you want, I've gotten 7 pounds of Rib-eye for $40 bucks. Depends on how good there price's are but you will get a better quality steak as it's not sitting around on display for however long it takes to sell it. Another bonus is you can have them cut it or cut it yourself to the desired thickness.

Gettin in good with the butcher:

Get in good with the butcher! Strike up a convo with him/her when visiting the supermarket when he/she is not busy. Even just waving to him with a smile will help your odds of getting in good with him for cheaper steak! Show him respect and he'll return it by giving you more steak or cheaper steak.

The method I have developed over the years:

(Good for any type of steak listed above)


(I season right before flipping and right after) My preference is Black Pepper and Salt (Preferably Kosher or Sea Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper (I buy grinders). This is what most Steak Houses use as well. I also like to throw some Worcestershire Sauce on there too.

1. Get your steak's out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temp on the counter for 5-10 minutes while preheating your gas grill on high heat or get your charcoal lit up and ready (Should be orange) Very important to have a very high heat! If you can hold your hand a couple inch's from the grate for over 3-4 seconds it's not hot enough!

(Leave the lid of the grill up/off until step 4!)

2. Throw your steak's on, For rare: Cook for a minute or so till you get a good sear. For Medium: Cook for 2 minutes. For well-done: Cook 3-4 minutes. This is important when cooking for multiple people that have different preferences on doneness. Don't worry about flareup's that is where your flavor is coming from also don't panic and turn your grill off! If cooking to Medium or Well-Done lift the edge of the steak's once in a while towards the end to check that it's not getting too dark and overcooked.

3. Flip and do the same as step 2.

4. Now if using gas turn one burner completely off and move your steak's over onto the section that is turned off, leave the other burner on high. Or if using charcoal shift your charcoal to one side of the grill (Get an extra spatula or another metal utensil to do this) I use an oven mit to lift the grate off with the steak's and set it aside and another utensil to move the charcoal) Don't tilt the grill! You'll get sut all over your steaks. Now put your grate back on and set your steak's over the area with no charcoal. This is called indirect cooking and will ensure that your steak's will not be overcooked. You've got your sear (flavor), Now were just finishing to the desired level of doneness.

5. Continue cooking until desired doneness:
Hold your hand out and feel the fleshy area between your thumb and index finger on the palm of your hand (the part that's kind of puffy on your palm), with an open hand, that is what rare feels like. Now tighten your hand only half way, that's medium. Make a fist and feel, well-done. Now do the same on the steak's by pressing with your index finger, It will feel the same and will help you determine the doneness.

6. When your done cooking take your steak's off and let them rest for 5 minutes which settles the juice otherwise if you cut right into it the juice will just spill out leaving you with a dryer steak's.

Now THAT'S Scrumptious!!!

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