7 Tips to Grilling The Perfect Steaks

The weather is warmer which means grills are about to get a workout. We've put together seven tips that will help you grill restaurant quality steaks.

1. Let meat come to room temperature.

Make sure your steaks are at room temperature before grilling. This will allow for even heat distribution. 20 minutes prior to grilling is ideal.

2. Know your grades of beef.

There are three grades of beef readily available - USDA Prime, Choice and Select. Go for the best you can afford and is available.

Prime: The best grade... the juciest, tender and flavorful. However, you probably won't find this at your local market, though. Typically this is served only at the finest steakhouses.

Choice: This is a step below Prime. It has less marbling so make sure to choose a cut from the loin or rib to maximize tenderness. But still a wonderful choice of beef.

Select: You'll typically find Select meats at your local grocer. It has even less marbling than the other grades so may not be as juicy.

3. Look for marbling.

The more marbling you see in a cut of meat, the juicier the steak will turn out. Marbling is the white streaks of fat you see in a steak. Remember, fat = flavor.

4. How long should I grill a steak for?

Times vary based on thickness and if the steaks are bone in, but here are approximate cooking times for a 1" steak.

Boneless: 8 min for rare, 9 min for medium rare, 10 min for medium, 14 for well done; flipping once

Bone-In: 9-10 min for rare, 10-11 for medium rare, 12-13 for medium, 18-19 for well done; flipping once

5. How do I know it's done?

A meat thermometer is your best friend while grilling. Based on how you like steaks cooked, this is what the internal temperature should be.

Rare: 130 F

Medium Rare: 135 F

Medium: 145 F

Medium Well: 150 F

Well Done: 160 F

6. Let it rest.

Don't slice your steak as soon as it comes off the grill otherwise, the juices will escape. Let it rest for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute.

7. Cut against the grain.

Certain cuts of steak, like flank, hanger, and skirt, are naturally a tougher cut due to the muscle fibers in the meat. But, by slicing against the grain, you'll get delicious pieces of meat. When cutting, look for the grain of the meat and cut in the opposite direction.

Diane Ashworth - Jun 8, 2017
I'm glad to learn about the time required for the various grades and bone, bone-in cuts. The 3 adults in this house each likes their steaks at different degrees of doneness (my personal taste is so rare that it will "moo" if slapped). I love, love, love the tips.
kathy graham - Jun 8, 2017
Some great tips!!! Thank you!!
Vicky Cleveland - Jun 8, 2017
Thank you for your coaching on this. The only thing I really knew was that it had to sit out at 2 room temperature. The rest was what I needed to know.
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