How to grill steak

perfectly grilled steaksGrilling steak is one of the most popular methods for several cuts. But, it’s no secret that grilling times for steak can vary greatly, depending on the cut of steak, its thickness, and how done you like it. There’s no clear-cut answer for how long to grill a steak, but our guide will cover some of the most popular cuts so that you can get a better idea of how to grill them to perfection.

Keep in Mind…

Once you have a good sear over high heat, you can move your steaks to a lower heat to make sure they don’t dry out quickly. To do this, sear both sides over high heat for a couple of minutes on each side, and then move to low heat. Only flip your steaks once the full time for one side has been reached. Flipping too often on the grill can ruin the cooking process and dry out your steaks faster.

Also, always allow your steaks to rest. You should plan to rest your steak for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the juices to move back through the meat for ultimate flavor and tenderness.

If you do use a meat thermometer to better gauge your time for steaks on the grill, make sure you remove your steaks when its internal temperature reaches about five degrees below your desired temperature, since it will continue to cook a bit after you remove it from the grill. If you want your steak to be medium rare at 125 degrees, then remove it when it hits about 120 degrees.

Steak Grill Charts

FILETS MIGNON & BONELESS RIBEYES

Thickness Rare 110° To 120° F Medium Rare 120° To 130° F Medium 130° To 140° F
1.5″ 3 min EACH SIDE 3.5 min EACH SIDE 4 min EACH SIDE
1.75″ 3.5 min EACH SIDE 4 min EACH SIDE 4.5 min EACH SIDE
2″ 4 min EACH SIDE 4.5 min EACH SIDE 5 min EACH SIDE

SIRLOIN STRIP STEAKS, BONE-IN RIBEYE STEAKS & PORTERHOUSE STEAKS

Thickness Rare 110° To 120° F Medium Rare 120° To 130° F Medium 130° To 140° F
1″ 5 min First Side3 min Second Side 4.5 min EACH SIDE 6 min First Side4 min Second Side
1.25″ 5 min First Side4 min Second Side 5.5 min EACH SIDE 7 min First Side5 min Second Side
1.5″ 6 min First Side4 min Second Side 6 min EACH SIDE 7 min EACH SIDE
1.75″ 6 min First Side5 min Second Side 6.5 min EACH SIDE 8 min First Side7 min Second Side
2″ 6 min EACH SIDE 7 min EACH SIDE 8 min EACH SIDE
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Tips for Grilling the Perfect Steak

  • Seasoning is important.
  • Make sure the meat is dry.
  • Keep the grill hot.
  • Don’t cut to check doneness.
  • Cast iron is your steak’s best friend.
  • Let the meat rest before enjoying.

Season, Season, Season

Be sure to generously salt your steak in advance and let it sit, uncovered, for a few hours or (if possible) overnight in your fridge. This helps to season the meat all the way through. It also draws out some of the moisture in the meat, which will result in an even better sear. You could use pre-made seasonings, but if you’re cooking up a high-quality steak, it’s always best to let the flavor of the steak shine through. You can have some steak sauce handy for after, but let the salt (and maybe some pepper) do its thing during the actual cooking process.

ribeye steak raw Photo by Amy Ellis Photography

Make Sure the Meat is Dry

After salting the meat and letting it sit, pat it dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Some salt on a steak is a good thing, but a ton of salt on a steak will send you to the nearest gas station looking to buy all of the cheap beer in an attempt to quench your thirst.

Steak Temperature

Preheat your grill to medium-high or high to make it hot! The heat helps you avoid sticking and achieve the perfect sear. Here’s a quick guide to temperature based on your preferred level of doneness:

  • Rare: 125 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium rare: 135 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium well: 150 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Well-done: 160 degrees Fahrenheit
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How to Tell When the Steak is Done

To see if a steak is finished, many chefs use the age-old trick of touching themselves. Not like that (get your mind out of the gutter — it’s grilling time!). Understanding how different parts of one’s hand feels is a quick and easy way to judge the relative doneness of one’s steak.

To do the hand trick, first make an OK sign.

  • Rare: Using the original okay sign, touch the pad at the base of your thumb. It should feel spongy with very little resistance.
  • Medium Rare: Press your middle finger to your thumb and again touch the pad below your thumb. Search for the same sponginess.
  • Medium Well: Press your ring finger to your thumb, then feel the area below your thumb.
  • Well-Done: Press your pinky to your thumb. It should feel firm with no give. (Note: Please don’t ruin your steaks by cooking them this long.)

The skin you’ve just been pressing gets progressively firmer with each finger tap. A medium steak (140 degrees Fahrenheit) would fall, obviously, between the firmness of medium rare and medium well. If all else fails, don’t be afraid to use a meat thermometer.

ribeye steak Photo by Amy Ellis Photography

Cast Iron is Steak’s Best Friend

If you aren’t confident in your grilling skills or don’t have an outdoor space and you want that fool-proof steak, cook your meat in a cast iron skillet. It’s one of the best surfaces for getting a perfect sear and crust. As a bonus, you can transfer the cast iron from stovetop to oven seamlessly, leading to quick and easy cooking without having to dirty more than one pan. (If you’re using cast iron, remember to clean it properly when you’re done.)

Let it Rest

After cooking, let the meat rest before cutting and serving. This lets all of the juices to settle so the beef stays moist. Ideally, you want to let the steak rest for about five minutes for each inch of thickness. Most steaks you will get from the market are around 1.5 inches thick, so you’ll be looking at a seven- to eight-minute rest time.

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And now, with all of this fresh steak knowledge, it’s time to put it to work by cooking up this bone-in ribeye recipe.

Mastro’s Bone-In Ribeye

how to grill steak bone in ribeye Mastro's

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone-in ribeye steaks, 22 oz each
  • 1 oz butter, melted
  • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
  • Steak rub of choice (Mastro’s uses a blend of fine sea salt, spices, starch, and papain extract)

Method:

  1. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. (Tip: since you want an evenly-cooked steak, the closer you can get your steak to its final cooked temperature, the better.)
  2. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill (or preheat the broiler and position a rack 4 inches from the element). Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable oil cooking spray. The coals should be medium-hot for the charcoal grill. The burners should be on high for the gas grill.
  3. Season the steaks by dredging them on both sides in the steak rub. Shake off the excess.
  4. If using a charcoal grill, cook on one side for 10 minutes. Turn using tongs and grill the other side for 10-12 minutes for medium-rare, or until the desired degree of doneness. If using a gas grill, grill for 7-8 minutes. Turn using tongs and grill the other side for 6-7 minutes for medium-rare, or until the desired degree of doneness. If using the broiler, broil 4 inches from the heat source for 8 minutes. Turn using tongs, and broil the other side for 6-7 minutes for medium-rare or until the desired degree of doneness.
  5. Remove the steaks from the heat and let sit for 8-10 minutes.
  6. To serve, slice the steaks into .75-inch-thick slices, place on a hot plate, and drizzle with melted butter and fresh chopped parsley if desired.
  7. Eat that perfectly-cooked masterpiece and give yourself a pat on the back.

This article was originally written by Amanda Gabrielle on March 26, 2018. Last updated by Sam Slaughter on September 24, 2018.

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