- Steak doneness
- Temperature range
- Type of grill
- Hot side
- Warm side
You may have noticed I flaunted with grill temperature. I didn't give an exact number due to all the variables I cannot account for due to the numerous setups people may have. But, I'll let you in a not-so-secret technique that can be used all but the smallest gas grills . . . It's called hot side and warm side.
When set up you grill (charcoal or gas (for the large ones), you can create heat zones to help achieve the level of doneness you desire. Basically, you put more charcoal on one side than the other (in the case of gas, turn the burners higher/turn some burners off on one side). Setting up your grill like this will help you with that all important sear . . . .
Searing is to get that rich, brown crust on your steak (and meats) without passing the level of doneness you want to achieve. Remember that "ask 47 different people . . ." thing? Yeah . . . that still applies. Some prefer to sear first and cook second, some cook first and sear second, while others sear, cook, and sear. What does PJ suggest/recommend? Try 'em all and see what you like . . .
So how do you sear without catching ish on fire? Well, grasshopper, that why we have a hot and warm side on the grill. You place your steak over the hot side for that good sounding grill sizzle . . . What no sizzle? Then your grill isn't hot enough and will be cooking your steak. If it doesn't sound like bacon hitting a hot pan, you are probably doing it wrong . . .
Once you place your steak on the hot side (remember the sizzle), you will want to whip out that fancy ass computer on your hip and set the timer for 2 minutes. Now, this does mean you leave your grill . . . unless you want a grill fire or burnt shoe leather, then by all means . . . later!! But 2 minutes a good starting point for first time grillers. When the buzzer goes off, flip your steak and sear for another 2 minutes.
Uh . . .question!!! What happens if I have a grill flare? Simple, slide your steak over to the warm side and wait for the flare to die down.
So now you have sizzled that steak for 4 minutes (2 minutes per side). If your grill was hot enough and your steak is at 1/2" thick, your probed temperature should be between 125º-140º. If you are at 135º and up, remove it from the grill and let it sit for a few minutes. If you are below 125º AND you like the sear color, then move your steak to the warm side of grill, keeping a close eye on the temperature. Well what about 125º-135º? You'll have to decide where to go from here. At 125º, you are more at the doneness level of rare, I would sear it to 130º, then pull it and let it sit. If you are happy with the sear, move it to warm side and cook to 130º, then pull it and let it sit.
Last two questions over here, P . . . How do probe the steak? Why should I let it sit? In regards to probing the steak, you want to probe different areas of steak to make sure you have even doneness. If not, your steak can be rare on one side and medium on the other side (it will be clear once the we get to Pt.4). Finally letting it sit (rest) for 5-7 minutes allows the juices to be in the steak and not on your plate when you first cut into it. For some cuts, you may need to increase the rest time to 10 minutes.
Ok . . . enough of damn lecture . . . Let's cook a STEAK!!!
Pt. 4 coming soon!!