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How to Grill the Perfect Steak

When perfecting your steak technique, add salt after cooking to minimize juice loss.

Proper temperature
Test your grill temperature with the hand-count method. Hold the palm of your hand just above the grill grate at cooking height. Count the number of seconds before the heat causes you to pull away. Four seconds is the ideal target time.

Hand Count Grill Temperature

2 seconds

Hot

3 seconds

Medium-Hot

4 seconds

Medium

5 seconds

Low


For gas grills:

Step 1: Preheat gas grill for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 2: Set grilling temperature at medium heat.

 

For charcoal grills:

Step 1: Place charcoal in bottom of grill in a grid-like fashion. All briquettes should be touching. For approximately 45 minutes of grilling time, build a double layer of charcoal in an 8 x 8 grid.
Step 2: Cover coals with lighter fluid and light. Let it burn down about 30 minutes, coals will look ash white. The grill is ready at medium heat.

 

Distance from the heat

  • Be sure grill grate is 4 to 6 inches from heat source.
  • Open grill vents so air circulates to fuel coals and cook steak evenly.

Handle steak with care

  • Turn only once halfway through cooking time.
  • Use tongs. Don't pierce with a fork because juices will run out.
  • Test the steak for doneness with a meat thermometer.
  • Salt after cooking to minimize juice loss.

How to get perfect grill marks

Place your steak directly onto a hot grill for a few minutes. Then, using tongs or a spatula, give your steak a quarter turn to create the second set of marks, resulting in a crisscross pattern. When it's time to flip the steak, repeat the process of grilling for a few minutes and then give it a quarter turn.

Some grill masters claim that lightly brushing the grill with olive oil results in nice dark marks.


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