A bit of a departure today: A true-blue, all American GRILLING recipe. Yes, that's right a grilling recipe on a blog about barbecue.
Well, I may be a barbeque purist when it comes to the traditional meats and methods, for example I would never tolerate boiling your ribs, but there's nothing wrong using your grill to grill occasionally.
So here today are six easy steps for grilling steaks.
1. Choose the right piece of meat. Just because the supermarket has labeled the steak "good for grilling" doesn't mean that it is. Lean meat does not do well. You want a piece of meat that has marbling throughout. The best cuts fillet mignon (tender but fairly tasteless), rib eye (my favorite), porterhouse, a T-bone or the classic New York strip; basically the same cuts that you'd be offered in a good steak house. Don't skimp when buying a steak. Buy the best cut of meat you can afford.
2. Next, build the proper fire. Since you'll be using charcoal, light your coals in one pile in the middle of your cooker. When they are all lit and covered in the grey ash, spread 2/3 of the brickettes on one side and 1/3 of the brickettes on the other. This creates a two-tiered fire with a hotter side for searing the meat and a cooler side for cooking the meat. If you are using a gas grill, go read a different blog.
3. Next, Cut open a head of garlic. (Thanks Alton Brown for this tip) Rub both sides of the steak with the exposed cut of garlic. Then Rub both sides of the meat with olive oil and cover with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Be generous with the salt and pepper because most will fall off during the grilling.
4. Place your steak on the hot side for searing. Cook on each side for three minutes to sear the meat and seal in the juices. To check for the proper fire temperature, you should be able to hold you hand over the fire for 3 seconds.
5. Once the steak is seared, place your meat on the cooler side of the grill to finish. The hand test for the cooler side, is 6-7 seconds. Do NOT cut the meat to see if it's cooked. Use the hand method. What's the hand method?
- If you want a very rare steak, compare the texture of the meat to the firmness of the muscle at the base of the thumb of your completely relaxed hand. If they feel the same, the steak is 'blue-rare' to rare.
- For medium-rare, touch the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb of the same hand. Feel the firmness of the muscle at the base of the thumb. Check the meat to see if it is the same firmness. If it is, the steak is medium-rare.
- For medium, press the tip of the middle finger against the thumb of the same hand and feel the muscle at the base. That is what a medium steak will feel like.
- For medium-well, use the ring finger
- For well-done use the pinky, as above.
Enjoy with some grilled vegetables, corn on the cob, baked potatoes and a nice blue cheese dressing.