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Thursday, February 12, 2015

So You Want to Grill Steak - Pt.2

In Pt. 1, we talked about:
  1. Steak doneness
  2. Temperature range
  3. Thickness
So you may ask, "Hey PJ . . . How do I know the temperature of my steak?" The answer is easy . . . Buy a probe/meat thermometer. For my kitchen, I have two; one was used to verify the other. Be weary when purchasing the "auto" type thermometers where you set the level of doneness and it beeps at you when it reaches that temp. Some of those are 10º-15º off with the doneness levels. When in doubt, follow the directions that comes with the device and take a look at the doneness chart on Google.

Now, let's move to thickness. I like my steaks to be no less than 1/2". Anything less than 1/2" will be hard for someone new to grilling steaks to do it properly. If you stay in the range of 1/2" to 1", it will be easier to achieve the doneness you want. Remember, you can always put an under done steak back on the grill :)

You may have noticed I stayed away from "types of steak". I did this on purpose as I don't want to tell you which cut is the best. This is were you have to do some testing and research. The best place to get advice on different cuts of steak is the local butcher. They have a well of knowledge and don't mind sharing it with you . . . go on . . . find one in your neck of the woods.

The great debate about charcoal vs. gas vs. pan vs. oven is old and tired. Use whichever that will allow you the greatest success in this food adventure. I'm lucky to have both a charcoal and gas grill, but I prefer charcoal. I've also prepared steak in a pan (pan-seared) and in the oven (broiled). I'll save those two another blog in the future.

Lets talk about grill temperature. How hot do you need your grill to successfully cook a steak? The answer varies as it is dependent on the grill that you own.

Example of my grills:
  1. Charcoal
    1. Fairly wide and deep cooking surface
    2. Adjustable charcoal rack
    3. 4 adjustable vents (2 per side)
  2. Gas
    1. A little dinky table top jobbie for camping
Both grills will get up to hellº if I want it to be that hot, but the charcoal grill gives me a bit more control over heat. With the wide cooking surface, I can have a hot side (direct) and a warm side (indirect).

Words to note . . . for this adventure, we will be cooking our steaks with the lid/hood on the grill in the open position . . .

Pt. 3 coming soon!!