When it is correctly prepared, a properly seasoned grilled steak is the perfect piece of meat from its deep brown crust right down to its juicy, tender interior. No one likes an overcooked, bland steak; however, there are many ways for you to wind up with exactly that.
The apparent simplicity of cooking a steak is deceptive. While grilling the perfect steak may seem simple, there all sorts of mistakes that you can make. Below are our instructions on how to grill steaks with the perfect steakhouse crust and, of course, the fiery flavors that you love.
Find your steak
Obviously, you should go for the prime-grade stuff if you can afford it; however, choice steaks from your local grocery store will do or you can find some excellent deals for top cuts online. Remove your steaks from the refrigerator and let them get to room temperature.
Create a habanero compound butter
Using compound butters is one of the best tricks for cooking juicy, flavorful steaks. There are compound butter recipes specifically for steak all over the Internet with many featuring herbs and even lemon but you can make a simple habanero compound butter simply by adding two minced habanero peppers to a stick of softened butter, shaping it into a log and letting it sit in your refrigerator overnight.
Get the grill hot
You will want to set your grill to high. If you are using charcoal, let the coals burn until they are covered with ash and then move them to one side so that there is a cool side and a hot side. With a charcoal grill, cover the coals to get the interior of the grill very hot.
Season your steak
While many steak purists may frown on using anything but salt and pepper for a steak, the right seasonings can make a good steak even better. For a pair of 14-16 ounce steaks, make your seasoning rub with:
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper powder
Brush your steaks with a stick of melted butter and apply the rub liberally.
Place your steak on the grill
One of the popular rules for how to grill steaks states that once you put your steak on the grill, you are not supposed to mess with it. You put it down and you flip it once. This is not exactly right. You can move your steak as often as necessary to get it cooked evenly. Your steak will still have an excellent crust by the time it is ready because of its butter coating. Place the steak on the hottest area of the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes at a time, moving and adjusting as needed.
How to determine when it’s ready
This is arguably the most difficult part of cooking a steak and is the point at which many home cooks mess up. While it is acceptable to cut a small slit to determine to color of the meat, many frown on this as it can cause the steak to lose some of its juices. The best way is to check for tenderness is by comparing it to the flesh of your palm. The center of your palm is firmer, and a well-done steak will be similar in density. The flesh at the base of your thumb is more tender and of a similar softness to a rare steak.
Once you take your steak off the grill, add a pat of your habanero butter and let it rest for five minutes before serving.