Is there anything better than a well-grilled steak? Even though it is one of the most important things to learn how to make, so many people make significant mistakes grilling steak. You want to avoid these blunders to make the steak you and everyone at the BBQ will love.
The Mistakes and How to Avoid Making Them
Just knowing what the mistakes are won’t always be enough. You want to make sure that you fix the problems when grilling steak perfectly. These are ten of the most common issues and the easiest way to make it right.
1. Dirty Grills
Some people claim that keeping grime on your grill can help with flavor. The only flavor you are adding from a dirty grill is stale and old tastes. You want to control all the ingredients for your steak, and a dirty grill can add unknown elements that you can’t curate.
Clean the grill thoroughly between every use. When you start your grill, make sure to burn off and scrub anything still stuck to the grill. You want to make sure all your flavors are fresh and planned for each grilling.
2. Over Handling Your Steak
There may be no correct answer to how many times you should flip your steak, but everyone agrees that you can turn it too often.
Some people will argue that cooking a steak ideally involves only one turn. A single flip will give you excellent grill marks, and it will avoid ripping an undercooked steak. Other people claim that you may have to flip it more often to help with moisture control.
If you are flipping it every few minutes, though, you are playing with the steak too much, and you could affect the taste.
3. Cooking Straight Out of the Fridge
You want to pull your steak out of the fridge and let it warm up to at least room temperature. For most steaks, this will take about an hour. Ideally, you want to give the whole steak time to warm up to a uniform temperature.
A cold steak can cook unevenly. It can heat the outside too quickly and keep the inside of the steak coolder. When grilling steak, the temperature difference can cause you to overcook the outer edge of the steak.
4. Cold Grills
You should never toss a steak on a grill that you just started. For propane and charcoal, you want to make sure that the grill heats up fully before putting the steak out.
A heated cooking surface allows the outside of the meat to caramelize and seal in the flavor. If you start with a cold surface, you will get a steak that loses its essential juices. You can end up with a dried-out steak that doesn’t satisfy you or your guest.
5. Stale Spices
Freshness is the key to flavor, so if you are using an old can of seasoning, you will get lower quality flavors from it. Whenever possible, you want to use fresh herbs and spices.
Grabbing them from your garden when you fire up the grill to heat up would be the best option. However, if you can’t do that, make sure that you don’t keep your cans of seasoning too long between uses.
6. Not Using a Thermometer
Even the best cooks in the world can’t always eyeball the right time to pull off a steak. If you want to make sure you cook it to the proper temperature, you have to check it with a thermometer
Push the thermometer into the center of the steak and hold it there for five seconds to get an accurate reading. Depending on how well you want your steak, you will be shooting between 120 and 165 degrees.
7. Picking the Wrong Cut
There are a lot of choices when picking what kind of steak you are going to make. Some steaks work better on grills, some work better in the pan, and some are best in the oven. Understanding the different cuts of meat will help you prepare them right.
For grills, you want to pick something with a good marbling of fat. It should also be bright red which indicates it is fresh. Ask your butcher for recommendations about which cut is the best for your grill when you buy the steak.
8. Eating Right Off the Grill
Patience is an essential virtue when it comes to preparing steak. If you are doing it right, you have already waited for the steak to warm up to room temp, and you have waited for the grill to get hot, which can happen at the same time.
Now you have to wait before you cut into your steak. Depending on how thick your steak is, you want to cover it and let it sit for up to 15 minutes before you cut into it and start to eat.
In that time, the moisture that you worked so hard to keep in the meat will set, and it won’t end up wasted on your plate, making your potato wet.
9. Cooking Wet Steak
Before grilling steak, pat it down. If your steak is wet, it will take longer to caramelize, affecting how much juice it seals in and the quality of the crust on the outside of the steak.
Drying your steak before you toss it on the grill will help you keep in flavor and improve your overall cooking experience with the steak.
10. Under Seasoning
Seasoning is one of the most crucial steps in cooking steak. No matter how good your cut of meat is or how well you prep your grill, missing the seasoning will hurt the steak.
Be generous when applying your spices. Make sure you put them on both sides and apply the seasoning up to a half-hour before you start to cook them.
Enjoy Your Steak
If you avoid these pitfalls when you are grilling steak, you can make a moist and tasty steak for everyone to enjoy. It will help make your next barbecue more fun and delicious.