Grilling Basics

Grilling is one of the most exciting ways to enjoy beef. Whether cooking on a gas or charcoal grill, in the backyard or at a tailgate, this cooking method provides maximum flavor and optimal tenderness.

This is a popular method for preparing steak, but it’s also the one that tends to worry a lot of beginner cooks. But when you follow these steps (and allow yourself a little practice), you’ll find grilling is easy and—most importantly—very satisfying. Check out our cooking chart for more recommendations and guidelines.

grilling step 1

PREP PAYS OFF

Some grill experts emphasize the importance of bringing steaks to room temperature before grilling, but we don’t recommend it for food safety reasons. Likewise, our cooking chart is based on the meat going directly from chill to grill. So plan on pulling the meat from the fridge, seasoning well, and getting started right away.

grilling step 2  

FIRE IT UP

Make sure your grill is clean (to prevent flare-ups) and the rack is well-oiled (to prevent sticking). If you’re using charcoal, follow the directions for how much you’ll need and how to build the charcoal pile. For gas grills, refer to your owner’s manual and set the grill to medium-high.

grilling step 3  

GRILL, BABY, GRILL

Use an ovenproof or instant-read thermometer to monitor doneness, and let it go—don’t flip the steaks so much! One flip is usually all you need, but take care to avoid charring or burning and be ready to turn down the heat (or move to a cooler spot on the grill) if necessary. Keep in mind the internal temperature will continue to rise for a few minutes after coming off the grill.

grilling step 4  

REST & RELAX

Here’s another step novice cooks often overlook: resting the meat before serving—even if you’re hungry. It’s seriously worth the wait, because it prevents all those tasty juices from draining onto your plate. For most grill-friendly cuts, about five minutes is enough.

grilling step 5  

FINISHING TOUCHES

If you're slicing the steak before serving, be sure to go across the grain. There’s no shortage of tips for assembling a great burger. For steaks, we recommend topping them off with compound butter or serving with a sauce.

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