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The Perfect Grilled Steak



  • 1 1- to 3-inch-thick beef steak

How to Make It

  1. Select a 1- to 3-inch-thick beef steak.

  2. Choose direct or indirect heat and cooking time based on the thickness of meat and desired doneness, using chart below. If using direct heat, trim excess surface fat from steaks to minimize flare-ups.

  3. For the most accurate doneness test, check thick lean cuts - such as top round - with a thermometer instead of touch. They may take a few minutes longer to cook than well-marbled pieces. Thick steaks cooked to rare also include medium to well-done portions around the edges.

  4. Transfer steak to a platter; let rest about 5 minutes in a warm place for juices to settle in meat, then cut portions and accompany the beef with a favorite sauce, or just season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. For a serving, allow 4 ounces fat-trimmed boneless raw steak (about 3 oz. when cooked).

  6. Cooking times and methods:

  7. To cook a 1-inch-thick steak, use direct heat. When grill is hot (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds), follow directions below; cook steak 8 to 10 minutes for rare, 12 to 15 for medium.

  8. To cook a 2-inch-thick steak, use direct heat. When grill is medium (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds), follow directions below; cook steak 20 to 25 minutes for rare, 27 to 30 for medium.

  9. To cook a 3-inch-thick steak, use indirect heat. Follow directions below; cook steak 40 to 45 minutes for rare, 50 to 65 for medium.

  10. Direct Heat: Place steak on grill with heat directly under it. Cook, turning once, until meat is browned and desired doneness.

  11. If using charcoal briquets, cover firegrate with a single solid layer of ignited coals.

  12. If using a gas barbecue, turn all burners to high and close lid for at least 10 minutes. Then adjust to desired heat and cook with lid closed.

  13. Indirect Heat: Heat is balanced on opposite sides of steak, but not directly under it. Place meat on grill with a pan directly beneath it to catch drippings. Cover barbecue (open vents if using charcoal) and cook steak, without turning, until browned and desired doneness.

  14. If using charcoal briquets, mound and ignite 80 coals on the firegrate of a barbecue with a lid (20 to 22 in. wide). When briquets are dotted with gray ash, in about 15 minutes, push equal amounts to opposite sides of firegrate. Place a drip pan between coals. Add 10 more briquets (20 total) to each mound of coals. Position grill 4 to 6 inches above firegrate.

  15. If using a gas barbecue, cover and turn heat to high for about 10 minutes. Adjust burners for indirect cooking (no heat down center) and keep on high. Set a drip pan beneath grill between ignited burners. Put grill in place.