BrewnBBQ: How to Grill a Steak like a Steakhouse

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July 23, 2012 by burkej09


I used to just light the grill and throw the steaks on. After about 2 beers I figured they were done. I have learned there is a method to turning restaurant style steaks out on your grill!

First of all, we all need to understand that most restaurants have special equipment that broils steaks at extremely high temperatures (around 1,000 degrees!) and they finish them by putting the pan with the steak in an oven to desired doneness. However, we can replicate a great tasting steak at home with some simple steps.

Steaks on a grill

1. Pour Some Salt on it

At least an hour before you plan on putting the steaks on the grill, drop a little salt on both sides of the meat. The salt penetrates the steak and tenderizes it a little. Don’t add pepper until the very end of your cook time.

2. Low and Slow

If you’re using charcoal, move the coals to one side and put the steaks on the other side. This is using indirect heat. If you’re using gas, put the burners on low and let the steaks cook. No need to flip or rotate, just let the middle cook as if they’re in the oven. When I use my cheap Brinkmann gas grill, I have a hard time getting the temperature to stay under 250 so I put a water pan directly above the burners and prop the lid open about 4″ for constant airflow.

3. Sear the Outside

You know how restaurants put those sweet lookin’ grill marks on their steaks? Here’s how you do it. With the grill piping hot, spread some olive oil on the steaks and sear them for one minute, then rotate them 45 degrees to get those grid marks. After one minute, flip the steaks again and repeat. Searing the steaks for 4 minutes will crisp the outsides and trap the juices inside the steak. If you’re using charcoal, try to get the coals as close to the food grate as possible. If you’re using a gas grill, crank the burners up and allow the sugars to caramelize.

4. Cook to doneness

If you’ve been grilling for awhile, you will know what your steaks look like when they’re done. However, if you want to impress your guests, get a meat thermometer and follow these guidelines.

Rare – 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit

Medium Rare – 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit

Medium – 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit

Medium Well – 155 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit

Done – grab another beer and just keep cooking

The steaks will keep cooking for a few minutes after you take them off the grill. Expect the temperatures to rise about 5 degrees after you remove them from the heat.

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