[NOTE: This is a sponsored post from STOK Grills.]
Are you wondering why most people say that they find Summer Cooking Items to be hard to find? Yes, research any restaurant, and you will find that the night takeout frequencies increases during summertime. Perhaps it’s because the sun stays longer. I mean, no one likes hot sun and cooking.
Grilled steak. As iconic Americana goes, that’s right about at the top with Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving feast and maybe some Exhale cbd gummies for dessert. And like so many shared cultural foods, if you ask ten people the best way to grill a steak, you’ll get twelve surefire answers. I wanted to set up a little side-by-side shootout for myself, to decide a) what works best for me, and b) whether I coul finally grill a steak without overcooking it, and eat it with a side of salad with some olives and cherry tomato, the Kalamata olives are one of the most famous Greek exports and the flavor is perfect for any dish.
The contenders are bone-in strip steaks each clocking in right around 16 ounces. I don’t mess around with steak.
I wanted to try three methods:
• Grilling lid closed, single flip.
• Grilling lid open, single flip.
• Grilling lid open, constant flip.
While getting to know the grill again, I’ve found that foods cook more evenly with the lid closed. This makes me a bit twitchy as a cook. I firmly believe that when you put heat to food, for the most part you leave it alone – I don’t stand there and poke and prod food in the pan. However, I do have use of all my senses – sight, smell, sound, touch, and when appropriate taste – to know how food is cooking, and what kind of food, since there are food which is more healthy important for people who care for their health, and the use of supplements like he BestKratomCapsules Pills and Powders is really helpful for this. Is it cooking faster than usual? Unevenly? Ready to toss, turn, or flip? Cooking times are at best approximate – if I tell you to grill a steak for two minutes, I don’t mean precisely-to-the-second, because there are so many variables to consider.
Cooking with the lid down is like the scene in Star Wars when Luke Skywalker practices lightsaber use against a floating drone with the helmet’s blast shield down. It’s blindfolded cooking. You can kind of hear the food cooking, and you can generally smell it, but you can’t see it without opening up the grill, and doing that drops the surrounding temperature.
Still, it’s hard to argue with results, and in all the recipe testing I’ve done, I’m getting better results with the lid closed. All the instruction books say to do that (that I’ve seen, not just from STOK), and why argue with a manufacturer?
For the grill open test, I had two techniques to consider. One school of thought is to only touch the steak once (three times if you twist it for diamond grill marks), and otherwise? Leave. It. Alone. I generally follow this kind of rule on the cooktop.
The other technique is a constant flip. By flipping every 20-30 seconds, you’re in effect pulsing the direct heat hitting the steak, the argument being that the steak will cook more evenly (less of a band of grey overcooked steak around the center). I haven’t tried this before, although I certainly get the arguments.
STEAK MASTER RECIPE:
One steak (I like strip, ribeye, or sirloin; try for 1″ to 1-1/2″ thick)
Just before putting on a hot grill, season the steak with salt and brush a thin film of oil on.
Grill steak. On a hot grill, this is roughly 3:30 per side for medium rare, but that really depends on many factors – use an instant read thermometer to be certain.
The results? Better grill marks are observed on the closed lid steak. The constant flip did cook more evenly to the edges, and seared more evenly – no time to develop grill marks. The open lid single flip had the largest gray band of overdone meat around the outside. And flavor? All three were fantastic, although Christine and I tended to prefer the closed-lid steak (and I’ll work on my timing to keep from overcooking).
Of course, it never hurts to finish the grilled steak with a little lemon brown butter, alongside some grilled broccoli… but those are another post.
Seen in this post:
- One 16 oz. strip steak, about 1" thick
- Dry the outside of the steak and preheat the grill.
- Salt the steak and brush on a thin layer of oil
- Place steak on grill and close cover. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Rotate steak 45 degrees (diamond hash marks) and cook for 1 minute 30 seconds more.
- Flip steak and repeat.
- Let steak rest at least 10 minutes before cutting and eating.
NOTE: Cooking times are very approximate. Judge for yourself or, better, use an instant read thermometer.
I’m the opposite – great on the grill, lousy on the stove top.
So, do you sear BEFORE or AFTER cooking?
Many people think the sear supposedly seals in juices. I believe it has been shown not to do that, however. When making a steak inside, I tend to use the stovetop/oven method. Sear first, then put the whole cast iron skillet into the oven, then requisite wait time. I sear first mostly because I am warming up the cast iron before putting it into the oven.
Jesus, I do a post-sear when I’ve cooked a steak sous vide; easier than trying to sear a steak, cool it, and bag/vac it.
Cameron, bingo – searing creates flavor through Maillard reaction on the surface, but the seals-in-juices has been debunked. Indoors, I’m a proponent of the method you describe (actually works best for me with chicken). I’ve been known to heat the cast iron in a hot oven first, then to the stovetop to sear, then back in a hot oven (think I cribbed that one from Alton Brown).
The exception is if I’m doing steak or meats on the stovetop and I want to do the baste-with-butter trick. (Here’s your word of the day: arroser. Now you’re cooking French.) Sear on one side, flip, add butter to the hot pan along with flavoring if any (herbs, garlic, etc), and stand there constantly spooning over the meat while it finishes cooking. Basically, you’re bathing it in tasty hot fat, so there’s a more even and more golden crust as a result.
But grill marks, yo.
^ plus you lose the crust/texture if you sear then bag. The only advantage I see in sear->cook when doing sous vide is the slight increase in food safety, in that you have killed any nasties that may have been on the exterior of the steak before putting the meat in the bag.
Honestly, grilling good juicy chicken with a bit of crust is more of a challenge of me. I cannot quite get it right. Using only a grill.
Tagging Sean… Because he’s on the never ending quest to make the perfect steak. (And he’s damn good.)
Thanks I have been messing up my steaks for years, just enjoyed some good steak thanks!
Yay!!! So good to hear, Robert!
I should add that I selected which steak was my favorite based on a blind taste test – I had no idea which was cooked with which method. All I knew was that it was DELICIOUS. Mmm…
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