Grilled Steak

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One of many ways to grill a steak.

First, select a good steak. For my last venture, I chose a USDA Prime New York Strip. The grade reflects the fat marbling throughout the meat. Prime has lots of little veins of white fat running through the middle of the steak. This makes it tender and flavorful. These pictures are from the USDA website, and are of ribeye steaks, not new yorks, but you get the idea.


From left to right, Prime, Choice, and Select (dog food).

So get a good New York or ribeye about an inch to an inch-and-a-half thick.

About an hour before grilling, take them out of the fridge and rinse them under cold running water, rubbing all sides lightly with your hands to remove any funk that has accumulated on the surface of the meat since the steak was cut. Dry completely with paper towels and cover lightly with plastic wrap or foil on a platter. Allow to sit on the counter to come up to room temperature.

Meanwhile grind a few tablespoons of McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning a little with a mortar and pestle. It doesn't need to be reduced to a powder, but I prefer it to be a little less chunky than it comes in the bottle.

Light the charcoal in a chimney starter and allow to burn until the top briquettes or lumps have grey ash on top. Arrange the charcoal so that one half of the grill has a good solid layer of charcoal and the other half has none or very little. This will depend on the shape and size of your grill. The idea is to have an area for grilling, and one for roasting. For inch-thick steaks rare or medium-rare, you may not need the roasting step, but for higher temperatures or thicker steaks, this will be necessary. Make sure the grill-grates are clean clean clean.

Rub the steaks all over with a thin coat of vegetable oil, then sprinkle with the seasoning. Pat the seasoning gently to make sure it sticks and is evenly distributed.

Grill the steaks for two minutes with the lid on. Flip them and replace the lid. Grill two more minutes. Flip again, two minutes. Flip again, two minutes. That is eight minutes total. An inch-thick steak should be barely rare at this point. Move the steaks to the cooler side of the grill and roast to desired doneness. If you have a small grill, you can do this part in a 350 degree F oven in a preheated roasting dish or cast-iron skillet. How long this takes will depend on the size and thickness of the steak more than anything. It is useful to have an instant-read thermometer for this part, or you can do the touch-test if you are experienced. Six additional minutes got inch-and-a-half new york strips to medium-rare last time I did it.

Once the desired temperature is reached (or almost reached, remember, carry-over heat will cook the centers a little more as they rest) remove the steaks to a platter and cover loosely with tinfoil. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the meat to re-absorb some of the juices instead of having them run out as soon as the steak is cut.

Serve with hot bread and Tarragon Butter .