How to grill the perfect Steak


Grill the Perfect Steak

Grilling steak can be intimidating—especially when everyone has a different opinion about how cooked it should be (medium rare!). But I promise you that, in reality, it's easier and faster than grilling chicken. Below is our basic guide for how to grill steak. Follow our rules and cooking times, and you'll be a grill boss in no time.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time20 minutes
Course: Braai, Main Course
Cuisine: South Africa
Keyword: Braai, grill, meat, steak


  • 1 kg Steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • FLANK STEAK - Grill steak over direct heat 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare.
  • SKIRT STEAK - Grill steak over direct heat 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  • RIBEYE - Grill steak over direct heat 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  • FILET MIGNON - Grill steak over direct heat 5  to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  • SIRLOIN - Grill steak over direct heat 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  • TRI-TIP - Grill steak over direct heat 5 minutes per side over direct heat, then 7 to 10 minutes per side over indirect heat for medium-rare.
  • STRIP STEAK - Grill steak over direct heat 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.


Pick your cut.
Our all-time favorite for grilling: the ribeye. Thick and beautiful, with the ideal amount of marbling of fat (aka flavor!), it doesn’t need a marinade. We also included steps for other insanely tasty cuts like flank steak, skirt steak, filet mignon, sirloin, tri-tip, and strip steak. Each cut boasts a different combo of fattiness and tenderness. 
If you're working with a leaner cut, marinate it!
If you've got time (even just 30 minutes!), marinate the meat, especially for flank and skirt steak. It's really easy to make your own. Start with olive oil, then whisk in something bold (like balsamic vinegar + mustard), something fresh (herbs, citrus, or a combination of the two), and something sweet (brown sugar or honey). Sirloin also takes well to marinade!
Remove the chill.
Steak right out of the fridge will cook unevenly. Set yours out at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling
Create a crust.
Guarantee a crispy exterior by seasoning with—repeat after us!—a THICK blanket of kosher salt and pepper. Any true steak lover and tell you salt and pepper are enough but if you want to amp up the flavor, try an all-purpose seasoning like our adobo seasoning or creole seasoning. Season the steaks right before putting them on the grill. Letting salt sit on the surface of the meat for too long will start to draw out moisture, making the surface of the steaks soggy and not ideal for grilling. 
Oil the grill (not the meat).
Give your grill grates the cast iron treatment for a non-stick start. Use your tongs to brush the clean grill grates with a high smoke point oil (like canola or peanut) on a paper towel. Heat the grill on high heat until the oil starts to smoke, then rub the grates once more, creating a slick coating on the grates.
Be direct.
Direct heat means you're cooking something directly over the flame (whether it be gas or charcoal). It's what gives grilled meat that beautiful dark char. Indirect heat means you're cooking the food to the side of the heat source. For steak, you're mainly dealing with direct heat. (Indirect heat is better for slow-cooking foods like ribs.)
Temperature matters more than time.
The next thing to consider is temperature. You might fight the urge to look for a magic number of minutes required to cook steak on the grill but using temperature instead of time to determine doneness means you'll be able to grill any cut (even the scarier ones like tri-tip) to perfection every time. If you're not super comfortable in the kitchen, yes, you should go buy a meat thermometer if you don't have one already. If you like your steak medium-rare, 130-135° is your range. For medium, it's 135-145° and for medium-well, 145-155°. Please don't go any higher than that! For all you grill bosses out there, a good way to check if the meat is done is by touch. It should give in a little bit in the middle but bounce back quickly after you press it…but seriously, nobody will care if you use a thermometer, especially if the perfect medium-rare is on the line. 
Grill temperature matters just as much as internal temperature. You want to get the grill screaming hot to ensure the surface gets beautiful char marks and develops a ton of flavor.
Don't touch that lid.
For a quick-cooking steak over direct heat, it's best to skip the lid entirely. Closing the grill lid is best for large cuts that require indirect heat.
Flip or don't.
While there's plenty of debate on the ideal number of times a steak should be flipped during cooking, it truly just comes down to what you want. The myth that flipping more than once causes extra juices to leak out has been debunked so what's the real benefit, if any? We found that flipping a steak just once allowed a much higher chance for creating pretty, professional grill marks, while flipping multiple times gave us a higher chance of a more even crust.
Let it rest.
Don’t even think about slicing into your steak until it’s had a minimum of 10 minutes to seal in all its glorious juices. Lightly tent the meat with foil so that the heat doesn't escape into the room too quickly.
Slice against the grain.
The "grain" of the meat describes the appearance of the muscle fibers on raw or cooked meat. The grain will look slightly different depending on your chosen cut but it will always signify the direction of the muscle fibers. Cutting against the grain perpendicular, to the direction of muscle fibers, not parallel, ensures a more tender bite. The goal is to shorten the length of the fibers, making it easier for your knife, fork, and teeth to get through.  
Store any leftover steak in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat steak without overcooking it, reheat in the microwave at 60% power in 30-second intervals.


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