PREPARE THE STEAK PROPERLY BEFORE COOKING.
- To avoid flare-ups, trim steaks for grilling or broiling closely, leaving only a thin layer of fat to preserve juiciness.
- Pat steaks dry with paper toweling to promote browning.
- Add salt and salty seasonings to steaks after cooking. Salt added before cooking draws out moisture and inhibits browning.
MARINATING:Tender steaks only need to be marinated briefly, if desired to add flavor. Fifteen minutes to 2 hours is long enough.
USE THE CORRECT COOKING TEMPERATURE. Using too high heat can lead to overcooking and dry, flavorless steak. Or, it may char the outside before the center has a chance to reach the desired doneness.
FOR CHARCOAL GRILLING, coals should be ash-covered and medium temperature (takes about 30 minutes). To test, cautiously hold the palm of your hand above coals at cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away. Approximately 4 seconds equals medium heat.
FOR GAS GRILLING, brands vary greatly – consult the owner’s manual for grilling guidelines.
FOR BROILING, preheat the broiler for 10 minutes. Consult the owner’s manual for specific broiling guidelines. In general, during broiling, the door of an electric oven should be left ajar; a gas oven door should remain closed.
TURN STEAKS WITH TONGS OR SPATULA. When steaks are pierced, flavorful juices can be lost. For safety, use long-handled tongs when grilling. Turn steaks occasionally during grilling, as needed to prevent charring. Turn steaks once when broiling, to avoid loss of heat.
- For optimal results, cook beef steaks to medium rare (145°F) or medium (160°F) doneness; do not overcook.
- To prevent overcooking, remove tri-tip roasts and steaks that are 1-1/2-inch thick or thicker when the internal temperature is 5°F lower than the desired doneness. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before carving. The internal temperature will continue to rise 5°F and reach the desired doneness.
- The most accurate way to determine doneness of steaks is with an instant-read thermometer, inserted horizontally from the side into the center.
- To judge doneness visually, make a small slit near the bone, or near the center for boneless cuts: Medium rare will be pink in the center and slightly brown toward the exterior. Medium will be light pink in the center and brown toward the exterior.