There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a Perfectly Grilled Steak, and knowing how to achieve that elusive combination of tenderness, juiciness, and flavor is a skill that any grill master should have in their arsenal.
» Also see our guide on the perfect steak temps to make sure you hit the mark.
Making a steak perfectly on the grill requires a few key steps to ensure that it is cooked to your desired level of doneness and is flavorful and juicy.
Since there are many different cuts of steak that you can grill, the amount of time and the technique might vary a bit, but every steak follows the same cooking guide. We’ll get into that after we talk about cuts.
Different Cuts of Steak
There are many different cuts of steak that can be grilled outdoors, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Here are some of the most popular cuts of steak for grilling:
- Ribeye is a flavorful and tender cut of steak that comes from the rib section of the cow. It’s known for its marbling and rich flavor.
- New York strip is a lean and tender cut of steak that comes from the short loin section of the cow. It’s known for its bold flavor and meaty texture.
- Filet mignon is a tender and lean cut of steak that comes from the tenderloin section of the cow. It’s known for its buttery texture and mild flavor.
- T-bone is a large and flavorful cut of steak that comes from the short loin section of the cow. It’s named after the T-shaped bone that runs through the center of the steak.
- Sirloin is a lean and flavorful cut of steak that comes from the sirloin section of the cow. It’s known for its meaty texture and bold flavor.
- Flank steak is a lean and flavorful cut of steak that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s known for its beefy flavor and chewy texture.
- Skirt steak is a flavorful and tender cut of steak that comes from the diaphragm muscles of the cow. It’s known for its beefy flavor and loose texture.
These are just a few of the many cuts of steak that can be grilled outdoors. Each cut has its own unique flavor and texture, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your preferences and cooking style.
Steps for Cooking the Perfect Steak
- Choose the right cut of steak: Look for a steak that is at least 1 inch thick and has good marbling (fat running through the meat). Ribeye, strip, and filet mignon are all good options.
- Season the steak well: Sprinkle both sides of the steak generously with salt and pepper. You can also add other seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, or dried herbs if you like.
- Preheat the grill: Heat your grill to high heat (around 450-500°F) and oil the grates to prevent sticking.
- Let the steak come to room temperature: Take the steak out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling to allow it to come to room temperature. This ensures that it cooks evenly.
- Grill the steak: Place the steak on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or longer if you prefer it more well-done. Use tongs to flip the steak, and try not to pierce it with a fork, as this will release the juices.
- Check the internal temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. It should be 135°F for medium-rare, 145°F for medium, and 160°F for well-done.
- Let the steak rest: Once the steak is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures that the steak is tender and juicy.
- Serve and enjoy: Slice the steak against the grain and serve with your favorite sides, like roasted vegetables or a baked potato. Enjoy your perfectly grilled steak!
How to Get Grill Marks
If you’re looking for those perfect grill marks on your steak, there are a couple of steps you need to follow closely to get them.
- Pat the steak dry with a paper towel before adding it to the grill. This will help create a better sear and more defined grill marks.
- Place the steak on the grill at a diagonal angle to the grill grates. This will create diamond-shaped grill marks on the steak.
- Once the steak is on the grill, resist the urge to move it around. Let it cook for a few minutes on one side before flipping it over to the other side.
- Use tongs to flip the steak over to the other side. Don’t use a fork or knife, as this can pierce the meat and release its juices.
- Once you’ve flipped the steak over, place it back on the grill at a diagonal angle to the grill grates. This will create a crosshatch pattern on the steak.
Our Top Grill Recommendation
I chose this grill based on quality, performance, and features. It’s pretty much got it all (large cooking area, plenty of BTU, high-quality cooking grates, and it’s priced well. If you’re feeling fancy, you can upgrade it to add more burners, smart grilling technology and grill lighting.
Steak Internal Temperatures to Reach
To cook your steak to perfection, it’s crucial to understand the various internal temperature ranges for different levels of doneness. Since you might be cooking your steak at a different temperature each time, you need to rely on a meat thermometer to give an accurate reading.
Using an instant-read thermometer is the most accurate way to ensure that your steak reaches the desired temperature.
- Rare: 120-130°F
- Medium Rare: 130-135°F
- Medium: 135-145°F
- Medium Well: 145-155°F
- Well Done: 155-165°F
Resting the Steak
Resting a steak before cutting into it is an important step in the cooking process that can make a significant difference in the final flavor and texture of the meat. Resting a steak allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.
When a steak is cooked, the heat causes the juices to move towards the center of the meat. If you cut into the steak immediately after cooking, the juices will escape onto the plate, leaving the meat dry and tough. Resting the steak allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and juicy steak.
The amount of time needed to rest a steak varies depending on the size and thickness of the steak. As a general rule, a steak should rest for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. This allows the juices to settle and the meat to relax, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.
Before You Go
Since you’re interested in grilling and steaks, here are a few more of our articles we think you might like:
- Flank Steak vs Skirt Steak: What’s the Difference?
- How to Slow Grill Tri Tip Steak
- Best Grill/Smoker Combos
- Can You Grill Frozen Steak?
Like this recipe? We’d love for you to share it on your Pinterest board! Click to follow our Pinterest boards so you can find all our recipes!
Instagram it! If you try this recipe please tag #legendsofthegrill on Instagram or Twitter. We love to see your photos of our recipes! Also follow us on Facebook to keep up on what we’re cooking up.
Perfectly Grilled Steak
- 4 steaks 1 1/2″ thick, 6-10oz each (ribeye, sirloin, filet mignon)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cooking oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Remove the steaks from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before grilled to come up to room temperature.
- Preheat the grill to high heat (about 400-450 degrees F).
- Rub the steaks with oil, then season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
- When the grill is hot, place the steaks on the grill and cook for 3 minutes, without touching. Turn the steaks over and continue grilling for 3-5 minutes for medium rare (135 degrees F). Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature. You want 135°F for medium rare, 140°F for medium, and 150°F for medium-well.
- Transfer the steaks to a plate. Tent loosely with foil and rest 5 minutes before serving.
- You can use any cut of steak you want. Thickness will determine the total cook time. Always check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure you hit your desired doneness.
- You can also season the steaks with a rub, if desired.
Like it? Pin it on Pinterest!
Laura is a passionate home cook and grill enthusiast who has spent years perfecting her culinary skills, with a particular focus on grilling techniques and flavor combinations. Her fascination with the grill, smoke, and the mouthwatering results they produce has led her on an exciting journey to discover the best methods for grilling delicious and unforgettable meals.