Grilling The Perfect Steak


Whether its charcoal or gas, grilling is one of the best summer activities. Nothing beats a tender, juicy, perfectly grilled steak.

Most people however have a hard time getting that steak to perfection. They end up with a steak that is either charred, tough, rubbery, or way to juicy. So whats the deal? How do you grill a steak like a pro?


Grill Set-up

A key thing to remember in grilling is cleaning the grill. Before every use the grills lid, hoses and grates should be checked and maintained for rust, wear-and-tear, and other issues. Along with a maintenance check, the grill should be cleaned of whatever you last had cooking, old buildup will add flavors to your steak that will ruin the experience.

Once cleaned comes the fire. Now a lot of people just heat the charcoal up or ignite the gas to high and are ready to go. This method only creates direct heat, which is also one of the biggest ways to get a nice over charred steak. Not that you can’t grill a good steak with direct heat only it just raises your chance for failure.

A two-zone heat method helps with this charring problem, and allows for the inside to be cooked to preference without the risk of over-charring the outside. The methods turns the grill into a convention oven, circulating the heat throughout the grill. This is done by moving the direct heat to one side of the grill, either by moving the hot charcoals to one side or having the burners only high on one side. The direct heat side is meant for searing, caramelization, and color while the indirect side cooks the inside.


Preparing The Steak

One of the most overlooked grilling mistakes for steaks is preparation. A steak should be pulled from the refrigerator and reach room temperature, about 30 minutes, before it hits the grill. This lets the enzymes and proteins in the steak break down which helps the steak become tender.

During this time brining is also a good idea. By liberally applying coarse sea salt to both sides you trap the flavors into the steak.

Seasoning is all by preference. A steak really only needs salt and pepper to enhance the flavor, but you can always experiment with other seasonings and herbs as well as marinades.

Once the steak has been brined and seasoned they’re ready for the grill.


The steaks should be first seared on the direct heat side of the grill about two to three minutes on each side. The seared steak should then continue to cook on the other side of the grill away from the direct heat, here it doesn’t need to be flipped and cooks to your desired doneness.

There are many different ways to check for doneness. And it is ill advised to cut the steak to check if it is done or not. Don’t do it. Instead to the finger trick.

By placing your fingers to your thumb and feeling the base of your thumb you can get a good idea of how well done the steak is.

Your index finger to your thumb is medium rare.

Middle finger to thumb is medium-well.

Pinky to thumb is well-done.

If you have a thermometer the temperatures should be:

130° rare
135° medium-rare
145° medium
150° medium-well
160° well-done

After you take the steak from the grill resist the urge to dig in, as your not done yet.

A steak needs to rest after you grill it. This is done by placing aluminum foil over the steak and allowing it to rest for about five minutes. Resting lets the steak soak in all juices and avoids having that juicy mess when you cut into the steak.


Once rested the steak is ready to enjoy.


Bon appetit!