How Long Do You Grill Steak

Are you craving a delicious steak but not sure how long to grill it? Don’t worry! We will walk you through the steps on how to grill the most delicious steak you’ve ever had! Just follow the steps below and you can’t go wrong. 

How long you should grill your steak depends on the cut of your steak as well as the internal temperature you prefer. A steak is typically grilled between 3 to 8 minutes. 

There are many delicious cuts of steaks on the market, ranging from filet mignon to T-bone, which all cook differently on a grill. Also, different grills function differently so you may have to adjust your grilling time depending on your own brand or type. 

Credits: Paul Hermann

What Do You Need To Grill Steak?

To get started, you will need a few key items before you grill your steak. To grill steak you will need a gas or charcoal grill, a meat thermometer, paper towels, and spices/seasonings of your choice. 

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Selecting The Right Cut

Grades of Steak

Did you know that there are three grades of steak? Do you know there are multiple cuts of steak? With so many options, it can seem a little overwhelming. Never fear! We’ll give you a definitive guide of grades and cuts to help you make the most informed decision about the steak you want to grill. 

Steaks come in three grades: 

  • Select
  • Choice
  • Prime
  • Select: Select grade is the type of steak you’ll typically find at the grocery store. It’s just above the lowest grade of what the USDA will deem edible for human consumption. It is also leaner than Choice and Prime. 
  • Choice: This is a higher-grade meat but with less marbling than Prime. They are juicy and flavorful. 
  • Prime: Prime is the best grade of meat. You will more likely get these cuts at restaurants. They are produced from well-fed, young beef cattle. They have abundant marbling. 

Cuts of Steak

Steaks are generally defined as “fast-cooking” cuts of beef. They are considered fast cooking due to their low composition of connective tissue (which is what makes other cuts considered ‘slow cooking’). 

Generally speaking, ribeyes are considered the best cuts of steak to grill. This is due to the high marbleization of this cut. Marelization is where beef gets its flavor, making ribeye one of the richest cuts available. 

Strips are also popular cuts of steak to grill. These are a little less tender than ribeyes and have a tighter texture. It still has a decent amount of marbling and strong beef flavor. Because there is not as much fat or marbling, this is an easy to prepare and easy to cook cut.

Tenderloins are known to be the tenderest cut and have an almost butter-like texture. They are extremely low in fat, which also means they can be low in beefy flavor. 

Lastly, the T-bone or Porterhouse combines two of the above cuts: tenderloin and a strip. The cuts are separated by a T-shaped bone, hence how this cut got its name.  

Credits: Edson Saldaña

How To Grill A Good Steak

Thaw Your Meat Before Cooking

It is very important that you thaw frozen steak meat before it hits the grill. Let the meat sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you grill it. Frozen or cold steak will not cook evenly. This also applies to steak from the fridge even if it isn’t frozen. 

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Importance Of Searing

Don’t forget to sear your meat. Preheat your grill and place steaks over high heat for one minute on each side to first seal your meat before directly cooking it. Then, either lower your heat or remove the steak to indirect heat to start cooking towards your desired temperature.

Pro tip: Your steak will continue to rise between 5 to 10 degrees after you remove it from the heat. Remove your steak when it reaches between 5 to 7 degrees from your desired temperature. 

Temperature

The amount of time you grill your steak depends on its thickness and your desired doneness level. The table below outlines what internal temperature your steak must be based on your cut thickness and the doneness level you desire. 

FILETS MIGNON & CENTER-CUT RIBEYES

ThicknessRare (110 to 120 F)Medium Rare (120 to 130 F)Medium (130 to 140 F)
1.5 inches3 minutes EACH SIDE3.5 minutes EACH SIDE4 minutes EACH SIDE
1.75 inches3.5 minutes EACH SIDE4 minutes EACH SIDE4.5 minutes EACH SIDE
2 inches4 minutes EACH SIDE4.5 minutes EACH SIDE5 minutes EACH SIDE

SIRLOIN STRIP STEAKS, RIBEYE STEAKS & PORTERHOUSE STEAKS

ThicknessRare (110 to 120 F)Medium Rare (120 to 130 F)Medium (130 to 140 F)
1 inch4 minutes EACH SIDE5 minutes EACH SIDE6 minutes EACH SIDE
1.25 inches4.5 minutes EACH SIDE5.5 minutes EACH SIDE6.5 minutes EACH SIDE
1.5 inches5 minutes EACH SIDE6 minutes EACH SIDE7 minutes EACH SIDE
1.75 inches5.5 minutes EACH SIDE6.5 minutes EACH SIDE7.5 minutes EACH SIDE
2 inches6 minutes EACH SIDE7 minutes EACH SIDE8 minutes EACH SIDE

Let Your Steak Rest

Let your steak rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting it. This will help keep your steak tender and keep you from losing juice. 

The steak continues to cook during this time as well, so remember to take your steak off the grill before it reaches your desired temperature for doneness level. 

Don’t Forget To Marinate

For leaner cuts, a good rule of thumb is to marinate them. Even if you’re short on time, even 30 minutes can have a great effect on the meat. 

You should also salt your steak about 40 minutes before it hits the grill. This allows the salt to sink into your meat, adding more flavor and more tenderness. You should also season your steak ahead of time with any seasonings you like best so that they soak in while your steak also absorbs the salt, adding more flavor to the steak itself. 

How Do You Pick Your Steak’s Thickness?

In general, the thickness of your steak is more about portion control above anything else. However, thinner meats are easier to overcook and it’s harder to get the difference between the inner and exterior areas of the meat, which many people enjoy. 

Which Steak Is Better: Bone-In or Boneless? 

Many chefs will tell you to choose bone-in steak because it adds flavor. They claim that flavor from the bone will melt into the meat as you cook it. In fact, many believe the yellow marrow from the bone (which cowboys used to call prairie butter) seeps from the bone into the meat which gives it a butter flavor. 

However, many other grilling pros say cooking with a bone-in doesn’t really matter. Why? They say the bone is so tough and hard to penetrate that there isn’t any way that a quick-cooking will allow those flavors to escape into the meat. A layer of collagen also exists between the bone and the steak, creating yet another barrier for those flavors to get to the meat itself.

Wood, Coal or Gas?

What makes a better-tasting steak on the grill: coal or gas? It really depends on your tastebuds. 

In terms of getting a better sear and overall flavor, coals are better than gas. Gas cannot reach the temperatures that coal can and the coals give your meat a smoky flavor that many enjoy.

What type of coal is best?

It depends on who you ask. Hardcore grills prefer hardwood coal. They say hardwood coals will give you the best smoky flavor as well as the best sear. This is due to its density as it is not as dense as other types of coal. 

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What Is The Difference Between Grain Or Grass Fed Steak?

Maybe you’ve seen a grass fed label on a cut of steak and wondered what the difference was between grass and grain fed? The difference between grass and grain fed steak is mostly about what the cattle eat and less about how it tastes for humans. 

Generally, grass fed is better for you because they have lower levels of E. coli, require less antibiotics, and have lower levels of dangerous bacteria in their feces, according to one NYU study. Grass fed steak also has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and trans conjugated linoleic acids (CLA’s).

However, most Americans are used to and prefer the fatty, well-marbled texture of grain fed beef. 

What Is The Difference Because Wet- and Dry-Aged Meat?

Dry aged meat is meat that has been stored in a temperature and humidity-controlled room from a week or up to 10 weeks or longer. Wet-aged meat is meat stored in a vacuum-sealed bag that rests for a few weeks.

Meat is generally aged to further tenderize the meat and change the flavor of the meat by losing moisture, which makes its flavor more concentrated. 

Jess Smith
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