How to Choose the Correct Steak

How to Choose the Correct Steak

Who doesn’t love the taste of food cooked on the grill, it is one of the joys of summer? One of the most popular meats to cook on the grill is steak. There is an art to grilling the perfect steak and it all begins with choosing the perfect cut of steak. It is important that the steak be of the same thickness so that it cooks evenly. You can ask your butcher to cut the steaks just the thickness you prefer.

Whether you prefer gas or charcoal, the steak is sure to be the star of any summer barbecue or picnic.

Choose your cut

While you can choose just about any cut of steak to cook on the grill there are some that naturally lend themselves better to grilling than others. If you choose a tougher cut like chuck or sirloin, you will need to marinate the steak. A simple marinade of one small bottle of Italian Salad Dressing placed with the steak in a Ziploc bag and allowed to sit for several hours will make the steak much more tender. To add additional flavor, add three cloves of minced garlic to the marinade.  For a steak that will shine without marinade go with a ribeye, porterhouse, New York strip or T-bone.

Room temperature

Never freeze your steak if you can avoid it. Buy the steak as close to cooking time as possible. If the steak has been refrigerated, take it out and bring it to room temperature before grilling. With a brush apply a thin coat of canola oil to the steak and then your seasoning, Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper or one of the delicious steak rubs available at the grocery store.

Heat the grill

With a gas grill, pre-heat the grill at high for twenty minutes. If you use charcoal, let the charcoal briquettes get to half gray ash.

Season the steak

There are many commercial steak seasonings and most are quite good. I prefer the Montreal spice and if not that then a thin layer of spicy mustard on one side of the steak adds great flavor. If you are a purist, grill it up plain.


Insert the grill thermometer and place the steak on the grill. Cook on first side until you have good grill marks. Always use tongs to turn the steak over, no forks are allowed. The following temperatures will tell you when you steak is done:

* 140 rare
* 150 medium rare
* 160 medium
* 165 medium well
* 170 well

Meat will continue to cook after it is removed from the grill and remember that it is recommended that meat be cooked to at least 160 degrees.

Allow the steak to rest for at least five minutes before serving. While it is resting, place a pat of plain or seasoned butter on top and be prepared to eat the best steak ever.