Grilled Steak Basics


August 31, 2013 by Lauren

Steak6I’ve had several requests for a post on steak.  As I got to thinking what’s important to know when cooking a steak I realized it’s MUCH more than just sticking it on the grill/in the pan.  It’s a labor of love.  Picking out the right steak (or cutting your own), deciding on the cut, the size, and any flavorings are half the battle and that’s before it makes it to the grill.  The goal is a meaty, flavor packed, and slightly charred exterior that’s not cooked until it’s shoe leather.  Fair warning, I like my steak medium rare (and sometimes rare) and can’t stand overcooked steak.  But follow my steps (and cook yours a little longer) if you want it more “done.”  Keep in mind, your steak won’t be quite as moist if you cook it that long.


Click on any picture below to see them larger and get a play by play (click any picture to close and return):


Grilled Steak

Active Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Cook Time: 1-5 hours
  • Your steak of choice (ideally NY Strip or Ribeye)
  • Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Soy Sauce (optional)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
  • Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Marinating a steak is up to you.  Typically I will marinate my strip steaks and thick steaks, but not my ribeyes or steaks that are cut thinly.  Marinate your steak based on thickness.  Even 30 minutes gives it a little zing.
  2. Combine worcestershire, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a gallon ziploc bag (about 1/3 cup of each liquid and a tablespoon of mustard).  Add the steaks to the bag and allow to marinate in the fridge 1-3 hours (or less).
  3. Remove the steaks from the fridge and preheat your grill to high, indirect heat.  If you have a gas grill, turn on the side burners to high and leave the middle off.  You’ll want your grill in the 500-600 degree range.
  4. While your grill is preheating remove your steaks from the marinade (if you did that).  Salt and pepper the outside of the steaks generously and let your grill preheat at least 20 minutes.
  5. Set your steaks in the middle of the grill and grill about 4 minutes per side.  Move them as little as possible, checking for doneness by poking.  It’s true, this method, works really well.  You can also use a thermometer (rare is 125, 140 for medium well).  Remember your steak will go up 5 ish degrees when resting.
  6. Once cooked, remove your steaks to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes.

Once you get the hang of cooking a steak properly you’ll never go back.  Make sure to stand by your grill the first time — everyone’s grill is different and fat can light up real fast.  What’s your favorite steak cut?

Quick tip: if your steaks are thin (and you just can’t control it) — you can still have pink in the middle steak!  Just don’t let the steaks hang out before putting them on the grill.  Take them out of the fridge, salt and stick them on the grill.  That will give you a bit more flexibility and time to keep them on the grill.


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