Best Boneless Cuts For Grilling: Ribeye Top Loin Or Top Sirloin
For a boneless cut, look for ribeye, top loin, or top sirloin.
- Ribeye is cut from the center portion of the rib, same as a prime rib. These steaks are well marbled, very juicy, and have a full beef flavor.
- Top loin is cut from behind the ribs and is also known as strip steak, Kansas City steak, or New York strip. Its full-flavored and very tender.
- Top sirloin steak is cut from the hip of the cow and is also called London Broil. Top sirloin steaks vary in tenderness and marbling and are leaner than the other two boneless options.
More Tips For Grilling Steak
After spending some time cooking steak with LaFreida and talking shop with Raichlen, your correspondent has garnered a few of the finer points in beef preparation and cooking.
- Don’t overdo it with seasonings. A good steak, as any cook worth their salt might contest, is already so rich in flavor that very little needs to be done in the way of preparation and seasoning. Pull it out of the fridge, let it come to room temperature, and season with salt. But don’t overdo it with heavy, preservative-infused seasonings. Also, save the pepper for after cooking, especially when cooking at high heat. Peppercorns have a low burning point and burn over an open flame, leaving behind a bitter flavor that hardly resembles fresh-cracked pepper.
- Temperature is key. Unless you spend your workdays slinging steaks, there’s no real trick to checking the doneness of the steak. Use a good meat thermometer to determine when your steak is done to your liking. Even LaFrieda uses one.
- Use a cooling rack. When it comes time to pull your steak, get it on a resting rack. Letting a steak sit in all of its juices after you’ve worked so hard to build a nice crust is a tragedy.
- Let it rest. LaFrieda recommends pulling a steak and letting it sit for about two minutes before cutting it to allow it the chance to reabsorb its juices. The bottom line is that once you cut into a steak, it stops cooking, so use your best judgment considering your target temperature.
Common Grilling Steak Times
So, how long do you cook steak on the grill? That answer largely depends on the thickness of the meat youre cooking. You can cook thin or thick cuts on the grill just fine, but youll definitely want to alter your times to cook your desired cuts to the right doneness, which, again, is a matter of preference.
One good tip to keep in mind is to use a meat thermometer for thick cuts of steak and a timer for thin ones. A steak thats ¾ of an inch thick or less may be difficult to get an accurate temperature reading from, so a timer can help. But a meat thermometer can give you a more precise idea of the doneness of your steak to make sure its right.
For a medium-rare doneness, you typically will need to grill your steak between 4 to 6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. For medium cooks, shoot for closer to 5 to 8 minutes on each side. Its always best, though, to start with the lower grilling steak time and check with your finger to see if it might need a bit more time, instead of allowing it to cook for a couple of extra minutes. You can always cook it a bit longer if required, but you cant get back tenderness you lose from overcooking.
When you touch the center of your steaks, a medium rare cook will spring back slightly, yet still feel squishy. A medium cook will be more springy than squishy. If all else fails, you can always cut a small slit in the center of your steak to check its color, but this should only be used as a last resort.
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How Long To Marinate A Steak
Tender steaks like ribeye or sirloin should marinate for a maximum of 4 hours. As theyre already tender, you dont want to marinate longer than that or the meat will break down too much and the texture can become unpleasant.
A tougher cut of steak like a flank steak, skirt steak, or even chuck can marinate longer, up to 24 hours .
Some Instructions For A Perfect Grilled Steak
Here are some of the instructions you may have to follow for getting a great grilled steak:
- Preheat the grill along with all of the burners on high. If you are using a charcoal grill then you have to open all the dampers and the lid closes for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Get your steaks out of the refrigerator, season them according to your choice, and then allow them to come up to the normal temperature when your grill is preheating. You know that a steak having room temperature may cook faster than the cold one will, and ultimately less cooking time means less time to dry out.
- Clean your cooking grates and adjust the grill for direct and high heat. The best temperature for steaks will be 450 to 500 degrees F.
- Now put your steaks on the grill, close the lid, and set the timer for 2 to 3 minutes, according to the thickness of your steak.
- Flips up your steaks to a new area of the cooking grates. As they have already absorbed the heat from the region of the cooking grate they were placed for the very first time. Sitting them somewhere new makes sure that the cooking grate is still hot enough to generate some amazing sear marks on the meat.
- Close the lid and set the timer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Test or taste the steak for doneness.
- Once your steak is done to your liking, remove it from the grates and let it rest for 20 to 30 percent of the whole time on the cooking grates.
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How To Grill Steak
Follow these steps for the best steaks on the grill at your next summer cookout:
Which Steaks To Tenderize
You should definitely consider tenderizing skirt steaks, flank steaks, and tri-tips.
These cuts have large, long muscle fibers that often turn tough on the high heat of a grill. Tenderizing these steaks prior to cooking, and slicing the meat against the grain will help yield tender results.
Chuck, round, London broil, and top sirloin steaks often benefit from tenderizing as well. These inexpensive cuts often have less fat than premium cuts. Tenderizing helps break the muscle fibers apart so your steak stays tender and juicy.
Cheap, lower-quality steaks usually benefit from tenderizing for the same reason, even if they are a more premium cut. Budget steaks often have less fat marbled through their meat and may have a lot of chewy connective tissue.
Tenderizing a budget ribeye or NY strip steak, for instance, will help break this cartilage up so you can grill it quickly. That way it wont dry out before it reaches your ideal level of doneness.
Tough Meat vs Chewy
A quick note about the terms tough and chewy. We often use them interchangeably, but when it comes to steak they do mean different things. Personal preferences also vary widely, which can add to the confusion.
Steaks are tough for two reasons. They may be tough because they naturally have long, thick bundles of muscles, like flank steak and chuck. Tenderizing can solve this type of tough-steak problem.
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Pair It With Red Wine
Its finally time to eat! How can you make the experience even more amazing? Just add wine. Its a well-known fact that the right pairing of red wine and steak can elevate the flavors of both. Youll want to stick with red over white or rosé because red wines have more tannins that complement the fats in your steak. Not feeling very confident about your wine choice? You really cant go wrong with a Cabernet Sauvignon or even a Malbec. Bonus: Red wine has antioxidants, which is one of the 23 Surprising, Healthy Benefits of Alcohol!
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The 5 Best Steak Cuts For The Grill
A steak grilled with salt and pepper is one of summer’s simplest, most delicious pleasures. And it all comes down to the cut. We cooked up more than 20 steaks to narrow it down to these five favorites for the ‘cue.
Price at Markets: $5 to $26 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $65 for four 12-ounce grass-fed steaks at montanaranchbrand.com
Price at Markets: $10 to $20 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $19 per pound for grass-fed at greyledgefarm.com
Price at Markets: $5 to $10 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $85 for four 16-ounce grass-fed steaks at estanciabeef.com
Price at Markets: $3 to $12 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $9 per pound for grass-fed at
Porterhouse has it all: filet alongside a New York strip, plus a yummy bone in between.Price at Markets: $13 to $29 per pound
Price by Mail Order: $54 for one 18-ounce prime dry-aged steak at lobels.com
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Should You Close The Grill When Cooking Steak
Cook quick meals by sealing the grill in ice and leaving it open if youre grilling steaks, chops, fish, shrimp, or vegetables directly over the flames. Cook indirect heat when you grill thicker steaks, bones in chickens, or whole roasts. However, when grilling thicker pieces of meat, the lid should be taken down.
How Long To Grill Steak
For a 1 1/2-inch thick steak, here are the general cooking times:
- 6 to 8 minutes for rare
- 7 to 10 minutes for medium-rare
- 10 to 12 minutes for medium
- 12 to 15 minutes for well done
Note that the USDA recommends cooking whole cuts of beef to an internal temperature of 145°F.
Keep in mind that the thickness of your steak, the heat of your grill, and your desired level of doneness will all impact the time it takes your steak to grill. Raichlen suggests checking the temperature of the steak by inserting a digital meat thermometer through the side, not top down. You can also use Elises handy dandy guide.
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Prep Your Grill Grate
Take the time to prep your grill grate. If you have not cleaned it to this point, now would be a great idea. As mentioned previously, you can always cover it with foil. If this second option is the path you decide to take, and then make sure you poke some holes through the foil using a fork for the sake of allowing heat to pass through the foil easier and more evenly. Once the grill grates are ready to go, you should focus on taking that oil you might have made earlier, or if you are using wooden skewers, you can just take some oil from a bottle without seasonings, and apply it evenly and lightly to the prepped grill grate. Do not put down too much oil for the sake of avoiding fire.
Amp Up The Flavor With Butter Sauce
When I first began work on this recipe, I tried dry rubs, oil, and simple salt and pepper. All of these are wonderful things to put on steaks, but I felt like it needed more.
I settled on basting the steak with an herbed butter sauce. First, because butter. Second, because I have an extensive herb garden and it didnt require a trip to the store. I was worried that the butter might burn on the grill, and leave an acrid flavor, but it didnt.
It was pure deliciousness. The herbs added complexity without masking the meatiness of the steak.
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Season Your Steak And Refrigerate
Youll want to season the steak with salt a few hours before grilling. Follow this simple rule of thumb from grilling expert Meathead Goldwyn: Season the steak with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. You do not need to rinse off excess salt. It will all be sucked into the meat. The salt acts as a dry brine, helping the meat stay juicy throughout the cooking process.
For thinner, tougher cuts like skirt, hanger, or flank steak that come from muscular parts of the cow, you can also use a instead. Consider adding sugar into the mixits a secret trick for tenderizing tougher cuts.
Make sure to remove steaks from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to grilling so they dont have a chill on them before you throw them on the grill.
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What Is The Best Cut Of Steak
The best cuts of meat are all found running down the back of the cow, far away from what butchers call the hoof and horn. Cuts that are closer to the legs and shoulder get a lot of exercise, as they help support the cows movements, which strains the muscles and results in tougher cuts of beef. Thats why brisket and beef shanks need to be braised low and slow to help soften up those connective tissues. Cuts that run along the back, like ribeye, strip, tenderloin and T-bone dont work as hard, so they are much more tender and perfect for a steak dinner.
Before we get into the benefits of each type of steak, we should quickly define the term marbling, which youll see used below. Unlike the chunky, chewy bits of fat you might cut off the side of your steak, marbling is the flavorful, welcome white fat that branches evenly throughout the tissue. Marbling affects the taste and texture of steak, and it will be a key differentiator youll think about when deciding between the four best cuts of steak.
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What Is The Best Temperature For Grilling Steak
The temperature of your grill depends on the thickness of the cut of flesh. It is very important to understand that thickers slabs of meat need lower heat and thinner cuts require less temperature.
Lets learn about the best temperature for grilling different steak thickness:
- For 1/ 2 inch thickness: if you are grilling on charcoal grills, ensure that the coals are not too hot. They must be medium-hot and not covered with ash as it can lessen the temperature. The surface temperature of the flesh will be about 425 to 450 degrees.
- For 3/ 4 to 1 inch thick: ensure that you have to maintain a medium temperature of coals with maybe a light dusting of ash. The temperature must be between 360 degrees to 400 degrees depending on what type of flesh you are grilling.
- For 3/ 4 to 1 inch thick: allow the medium-low coals in the charcoal grill and check to ensure that there should be a solid layer of ash on top so that the temperature of your grill will be between 325 and 350 degrees. This setting of temperature would be ideal for medium-rare to rare-cooked steaks.
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They are diamonds in the rough. The big example is the flat iron, says Craig Morris, deputy administrator of the Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program of the U.S. Department of Agricultures Agricultural Marketing Service.
Whatever the steak cut is, be it an old favorite or something new, there are certain factors you should consider in choosing a steak.
The USDA grades beef quality and labels cuts accordingly, and marbling is a major factor in determining the rating. Prime has long been considered the best, followed by Choice and Select.
The challenge is, as Morris notes, that there may be some Choice or Select cuts that are as tender as Prime but at a lower price. To help consumers find those cuts and make wiser choices, the USDA has launched a new program to tag cuts as USDA Certified Tender or USDA Certified Very Tender based on specific, objective criteria.
Bone-in can make a difference too. Scott Fader, general manager of Pettys Meats in Longwood, Fla., likes a porterhouse steak more than its sibling, the T-bone, because the porterhouse has a larger piece of tenderloin, or filet mignon, on one side of the bone.
The filet mignon is tender but lacks a bit of flavor. The bone gives flavor its a game-changer, he says.
. Sold bone-in or boneless. Section: rib
Sold bone-in or boneless. Section: short loin
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