4 Simple Steps to Grilling a Perfect Steak!

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I just love me a good steak!:) It has finally warmed up a bit here in Wisconsin, so it is time to bring out the grill! Here I am going to dive into how to cook a perfect steak. I understand that everyone has a different preference when it comes to how they like their steaks done, so I will show you how to cook a steak for every desired temperature.

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As you can see, I like my steak medium-rare. The picture above almost looks rare, but it was really closer to medium-rare. This steak sat a few minutes awaiting its photo shoot. As a steak rests after cooking, it may become more red in color. Let's dive into the four easy steps to cooking a perfect steak!

Step 1: Leaving the Steaks Out at Room Temperature

The first thing you want to do is trim any excess fat that you don’t want on a steak and then allow the steak to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. This is a very important step when grilling a steak!

Putting a cold steak onto a hot grill will not create the desired sear that you are looking for in a grilled steak.

After the steaks have sat out at room temperature, season the steaks with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder or garlic salt. As you can see, we generously season ours.

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Note in the picture below that our steaks are about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick. We decided to cook a filet mignon for its flavor and tender cut. You can go thicker or thinner, but note that your times will change with the thickness of the steaks. Looks like someone is looking forward to these steaks!:)

 

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Step 2: Getting a Sear on Your Steak

Preheat your grill on high for about 10 minutes. It is important to have a hot grill!

Now place the steaks on the grill and close the lid and allow the steak to sear for exactly 2 minutes. Take a timer out. We use our iPhone stopwatch to measure the exact time.

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After 2 minutes flip the steaks over. This is what your steak should look like with a nice sear. Sear the other side on high with the lid closed for exactly 2 minutes again!

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Step 3: Cooking the Steak to Your Desired Doneness

After the 2 minutes is up for the second side, turn the grill temperature down to medium-low or low. Remember, all grills are different and this might take some practice to find your grill's best temperature.

If you are using a charcoal grill and not a gas grill, move your steaks closer to the edge of the grill where the temperature is cooler.

Flip the steak over one more time. Put the lid on and cook for 4 minutes undisturbed for a medium-rare steak.

Here are the times to create your desired doneness after you have seared both sides for 2 minutes per side:

  • Rare: Cook approximately 3 minutes on medium-low to low with the lid closed.
  • Medium-rare: Cook approximately 4 minutes on medium-low to low with the lid closed.
  • Medium: Cook approximately 5 minutes on medium-low to low with the lid closed.
  • Medium well: Cook approximately 6 minutes on medium-low to low with the lid closed.
  • Well: Cook approximately 7 minutes on medium-low to low with the lid closed.

You could also use a meat thermometer to reach your desired doneness. Refer to the "Judging Doneness" chart from the Healthy Butcher for a temperature guide (you may have to scroll down to find the chart).

Keep in mind, if you are using a thermometer, pull your meat off the grill 10ºF under the desired temperature because the steak will continue to cook and rise 10ºF when the steak is resting in step 4.

Another way to test your steak is doing the finger test. Below I link to a great tutorial showing you how to tell your steak is done by using your fingers to test for doneness. Note that when you press on the flesh below your thumb, this is what your steak should feel like when reaching your desired temperature.

Note: All grills are different.

It is important to get to know your grill. With some practice you will discover how your grill distributes heat and how to properly cook on your grill.
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Step 4: Allowing Your Steaks to Rest

Once your steak is cooked, here is a very important step: Do not take your steak from the grill to the plate and eat right away, all your juices will run out of the steak and will create a dry, almost tough steak.

Instead, allow your steak to rest for 10 minutes. Simply tent your steak with some foil and allow it to rest undisturbed and uncut for 10 minutes. This allows for the muscle fibers to reabsorb the juices creating a delicious and juicy steak.

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That’s it! Not hard at all! Once you try this method, you will never want to cook your steak any other way!

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