How to Grill Steak
Whether you’re new to grilling or have a history of grilling prowess, there’s always room for improvement. Perhaps you’ve mastered burgers but are still a little cautious when it comes to how to grill steak. If so, fear not. To become a better griller of steaks, you just need a little know-how. Here are some of the most popular cuts, along with easy grilling tips to help you cook each one perfectly.
The tenderloin is perhaps the most impressive cut of steak. It’s typically more compact and thicker than other steaks, and it’s always boneless. It is long, and one end is much wider than the other.
Tenderloins come from the sirloin, which is located under the rib section, and they don’t just come as one cut. Instead, they’re separated into two different steaks. From the small end of the loin, filet mignon is the most popular cut, but you may also know of Chateaubriand, which is cut from the larger end.
Many steak lovers opt for the tenderloin because of its texture and flavor. It’s very lean but also tender when cooked correctly. In fact, some people consider it the tenderest cut of all. It also has a mild – yet still beefy – flavor that sets it apart from fattier steak cuts.
How to Grill Tenderloin Steak
Tenderloin steak is arguably the most difficult to grill (Check out this article for tips on how to grill a steak), mostly because of its thickness and leanness. First, cut off any excess fat. Most people expect tenderloin to be as lean as possible. If you’re cooking a whole tenderloin, make sure it’s the same thickness throughout so cooking is even. Generally, one end will be much thicker than the other. Double a thinner end over, if necessary, to even the steak out, and tie it with butcher’s twine. Season the steak as desired an hour or more before it’s time to grill.
If you’re cooking with a gas grill, preheat it, and then lower the temp to medium. For a charcoal grill, the coals should be at medium heat before you place the steaks on top. Cook the meat uncovered on a charcoal grill or covered on gas one. A 1-inch fillet will take about 12 to 15 minutes at medium heat. The internal temperature should be 160 degrees F if you’re using a meat thermometer. Medium rare takes 10 to 12 minutes and should be 145 degrees F. The key with tenderloin is to avoid long, slow cooking, as this can dry the steak out. Quick and steady is the best way to lock in juicy flavor.
New York Strip
New York Strips are usually boneless, but they’re not quite as lean as tenderloins. Still, there shouldn’t be a substantial amount of fat on a strip. Instead, it should be lightly marbled throughout the meat. These steaks come from the short loin, which is located behind the ribs of the cow.
New York Strips are pretty tender, though not nearly as tender as tenderloins. They have a stronger flavor, though, and they also have a bit more fat.
How to Grill New York Strip Steak
Like tenderloins, New York Strips should be cooked quickly (Check out this delicious New York Strip Recipe!) to lock in juices. First, season the steak with your choice of spices, and then let it rest for at least half an hour. The grill should be between 450 to 650 degrees F when you place the steaks on top. Sear each side for three minutes. Turn the grill down to medium heat, and finish cooking the steaks in indirect heat (on the grill rack, for example). For a medium-rare steak, the temperature should be 130 degrees when you remove it from the grill. Let each steak rest for a few minutes before serving. Remember, when you’re cooking New York Strip, you want the grill to get nice and hot so those grill marks are perfectly seared into the meat.
Porterhouse and T-bone steaks are very similar, with one small difference. While they are both bone-in steaks that are taken from the short loin, a porterhouse includes at least 1.25 inches of tenderloin, while the T-bone has a half-inch or less. A bone runs down the middle of these cut. Both have plenty of marbling and may have large sections of fat, as well. These steaks are well-known for their full, juicy flavor.
How to Grill Porterhouse and T-Bone Steaks
First, rub the steaks with olive oil and your seasonings (peppercorn is a popular choice). Let them rest for at least half an hour. You can also use meat tenderizer if you desire. Turn the grill on high heat — the grate should already be lightly oiled. Cook each steak on high heat for a few minutes on either side. The internal temp should be 130 degrees F for medium-rare.
The largest issue you’ll face with these steak cuts is the fat content — it can cause flareups while you’re cooking (Check out this article for tips on how to prevent flare ups). In order to prevent flare ups, make sure you trim as much fat as possible and don’t use oily marinades. Your grill should be clean and away from any wind. If grease causes flareups anyway, remove the meat quickly and turn the grill up to high heat to burn the excess grease away. Then, you can resume cooking.
Now that you’ve got the right tricks up your sleeve, it’s time to show off your skills. Invite your friends over, and prove that you’re a master griller who knows how to cook any cut of steak. Check out Grillaholics grilling accessories to step up your grilling game!