Cooking food outdoors over an open flame is the oldest form of food preparation
known to man. Today, grilling is arguably one of the most satisfying and enjoyable
methods of cooking. The preparation is easy, the technique is simple and uncomplicated,
and there is an innate sense of casualness with grilling. Even before you taste a bite, the
appealing aromas have your mouth watering.
Most of us have come to the art of grilling by way of the family backyard cookout. For the men in my family, it was somewhat of a sixth sense. Or they liked to think so, anyway. Yet anyone can learn the skill of grilling the perfect steak.
First, you prep. To create the perfect grilling environment, you need to know how
hot the fire is. A tried and true method for heat sensing: see how long you can hold your
hand five inches above the cooking surface. Five seconds equals a low fire. Three to four
seconds is a medium-heat fire. Two seconds is medium-hot and at one second you’ve got
a hot fire suitable for the perfectly grilled steak.
The high dry heat of grilling requires a tender cut of beef. The best choices are
rib-eye, porterhouse, T-bone or the New York strip steak. Keep the seasoning simple with
coarse salt (such as kosher as the larger crystals dissolve slowly giving crunchy bursts of
flavor) and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the steaks on the grill grate at a forty-
five degree angle and grill for two minutes and then rotate to 90 degrees. (This gives the
steak the authentic crosshatch grill marks.) Flip the steaks (Flip only once!) when you see
tiny beads of blood form on the top ( an additional 5 to 6 minutes for a one-inch thick
steak or 8 to 10 minutes for a two-inch steak).
Test for doneness by touching the surface of the meat. For rare, it will feel soft to
the touch. Medium-rare will be gently yielding, and medium steak will yield only
slightly. Once of the grill, be sure to allow the meat to rest for a few minutes. The juices
closest to the surface need a chance to reabsorb throughout as it rests. And don’t forget,
the meat continues to cook slightly once it’s off the grill.
Now go light your fire!
Perfectly Grilled Steak
4 1 ½ inch thick boneless New York strip steaks (about 12 ounces each)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Twenty minutes before grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let
sit, covered, at room temperature.
2. Heat the grill to high. Brush both sides of the steaks with the oil and season
liberally with the salt and pepper.
3. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until browned and slightly charred,
approximately 4 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to cook 4 to 5
minutes more for medium rare (135 degrees internal temperature). For medium
done cook 6 to 7 minutes more (140 degrees internal temperature).
4. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes