It’s no secret in my family that I prefer cold weather. That’s a good thing considering we live in Toronto and Winter 2015 lasted nearly 6 months with -40 chillin’ our bones. Of course I have a true appreciation for the fruit and veg warm weather brings. Tomatoes may be the best thing ever created – BUT – I love quilt weather a good cup of hot chocolate. Reading in a cozy place is more my thing than volleyball on the beach.
That said – I love grilling. The smell of charcoal sends me back in time to New Jersey in the 80’s. My Dad was a whiz with steak and my mom made the most amazing grilled potatoes. These potatoes would knock your socks off. She sliced ’em thin and put them in a tin foil packet with onions, garlic, butter, salt and pepper. Needless to say, I have tried to replicate those potatoes many, many times to no avail. I swear you have to be my Momma or my Gram to make them work. It’s just one of those mysteries.
So, what is the key to killer steak? I can’t count how many barbeques I have attended where the meat was well – to put it bluntly – dry. What happened to the juice? I wonder if people really enjoy burgers and steaks that are charred within an inch of their life. To be honest – I used to! Yup. I would request my meat super well done. Thankfully over the years I have come to the conclusion that mid-rare steaks are far superior.
In honor of the end of summer I am sharing with you my secrets to killer steak:
- Source your meat properly. I prefer grass fed from reputable farms – but be forewarned grass fed is leaner meat which means you need to treat it with kindness to get the best out of it. Hot and fast may not be the best method.
- I personally like rib eye steaks that are about 1.5 inches + thick.
- Leave the steaks out until they reach room temperature
- Salt, season and oil well in advance of cooking (you can never salt enough IMHO)
- Heat the grill till it is sizzling HOT. If you are using a gas grill turn all but one of the burners off when it gets to this point.
- Sear the meat for about 2 minutes on each side over a direct flame with the lid down.
- After you sear the meat, move the steaks over to the part of the grill that is not lit and cook for another 15 minutes or so with the lid down or until the steaks reach about 125F (mid rare). I rely on the finger test for “doneness”. You can check it out here (Simply Recipes): The Finger Test to Check for Doneness of Meat”
- The most important part is to wrap the steaks in tin foil and let them rest for at least 10 minutes (ignore anyone who tells you to let it rest for 5). This uniformly distributes the juice throughout the steak – which means the juice will stay in your steak and not flow all over your plate. There is a great article about the science behind this here (Food Lab): The Food Lab the Importance of Resting Meat