Learn to Grill the Perfect Steak Every Time




First thing is first. If possible, do your best to get a decent cut of meat to work with. It should go without saying, but the better your protein the better your dish will turn out. This method will work with many different types of protein, and I have had success with Antelope, Beef, Bison, Deer, Elk, and Pork.

Different cuts of meat require different levels of doneness for both safety reasons and to keep the dish flavorful and juicy. Have fun, and adjust your desired temperatures accordingly.

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Step 1: Start Things Off on the Right Foot

Take your steak out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature for about 45 minutes. I like to trim off any silver skin that is easily accessible and will often cut off and discard any excessive bits of fat as well.

Step 2: Now Is the Time to Pre Heat Your Grill and Season the Steaks

Get your grill heating up and make some preparations for cooking. Plan on having your grill stabilized at about 350F when you begin cooking.

Start by patting your meat dry with a stack of paper towels. Season your meat about 10 minutes before you begin cooking. I like to use a combination of a pre-made steak seasoning flavored with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and a favorite meat rub that has nuances of coriander, cumin, and coffee flavors. Seasoning is simply a matter of preference and at times salt and cracked black pepper simply works best.

A word of caution to initially be sparing when using seasonings and rubs with salt added. The salt can often overpower the other flavors.

Step 3: Let's Get This Thing on the Grill!

1. Insert a digital meat-roasting thermometer halfway up the thickness of the steak and slide it into the meat as close to the center as possible. Because digital meat roasting thermometer probes are often 4 inches or longer, when inserted in the middle and center of the meat, you get a relatively consistent temperature reading throughout.

2. The meat will initially be roasted, and then seared before service. Start by roasting the meat indirectly, or not sitting it directly over the flames until your desired temperature is achieved. My grill does not allow me to easily roast the meat near or next to the flame, so I have found that I can achieve the same effect by raising the steak vertically away from the flame. This allows the meat to roast and heat up without being directly charred until I am ready.

Step 4: Determine Your Desired Amount of Doneness for the Steak

The Meat Temperature and Doneness Chart has beef steak cooked medium rare at 135F. Meat will continue to cook after it is off of the heat so I like to roast my steak to about 125F and pull the meat off the grill to rest. Remove the meat thermometer and let the meat rest on a plate, covered with foil for a good 10 minutes. This allows the juices to re-distribute. Crank up your grill to high while the meat is resting.

Resist all temptation to cut into the meat and instead go back to your grill and raise the heat. After the meat has rested, the grill should be between 500 and 600F, an ideal temperature for searing.

Step 5: Now You Get to Play With Your Food a Bit-

Searing the meat at a high temperature will give it a beautiful crust, additional grilled flavor, and fabulous grill marks. I hot sear the steaks at the high temperature for about one or two min a side. Be sure to take precautions when searing at the higher temperature. Long tongs and gloves for hand protection are a good idea.

Plate the steak and serve!

Step 6: Clean Out Your Ears, Because Here Come the Compliments to the Chef!

By monitoring the internal temperature of the meat you knowthat it will be cooked to your desired doneness. Allowing the meat to roast slowly enhances the flavor of the meat while keeping it juicy. The reverse sear method takes the guesswork out of grilling the perfect steak. Now if I can just figure out how to pick the perfect glass of wine to go with it.

Want to see more grilling tips, tricks, and techniques? Check out http://grillingmontana.com

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    67 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    i have read it is good to sear the steaks in a cast iron skillet before finishing on the grill or in the oven because it seals in the juices. have you tried this and do you recommend or not? GREAT topic by the way!

    8 replies

    Thanks @fixfireleo ! I have tried both ways. A CI Skillet is a great way to make a steak as well. This method of a slower roast and then a raging hot sear allows the meat to take in additional flavor from the hardwood lump charcoal that you cannot get in an oven and will get less of if you sear first. This method IMHO also allows you much more control over your final desired doneness because you are bringing the temperature up slower than normal and monitoring it with the thermometer. If you trust your thermometer (which is SO HARD TO DO) it won't lie to you.

    ok, so your method is starting at a lower temp and building to a higher one. now i use propane, so i dont get any hardwood flavors. will this method still work the same way just minus the hardwood flavors or, if you use propane is it better to sear first or not bother doing anything and just toss it on the grill? btw...i like mine medium rare to rare if that matters. thanks for the input, i'm all about a better steak. also, is it just me or is it almost impossible to get a GOOD steak at a steakhouse?!?


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    fixfireleo: You can go to most any place that sells grills and grill supplies and buy a 'smoker box'. Basically it is a cast iron box with slits in the top. You soak your desired wood chips for 30 minutes (or more) and put them into the box while your are preheating your grill. It really doesn't seem to take to long before you are getting a good smoke going. I got one at Home Depot on clearance last year and have loved it all winter and this summer. I highly recommend it. On clearance it was about $6-7. It looks like it is about $11-12 to get now.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    that sounds cool. i use a hibachi though so the grill grate sits right on top of the burner cover. i was looking into a "real" grill but the cost of the grill and the tank, with it only lasting 10 years (have to keep outside so maybe not even that long) it's just cheaper to buy the hibachis that last about 2 years.


    Reply 3 years ago

    I realize this comment comes way too late, but consider getting an old-school Weber kettle (charcoal) grill. They are pretty cheap, durable, and effective. If you think a single kettle lacks capacity, just buy a second one. You'll still be spending less money than on a decent propane grill, yet you will have all that great wood fire flavor at your disposal.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I love to cook and always looking for new way/techniques. With that I have taken a lot of cooking classes since a place near me opened and offers them. I really like theirs because it is actual chefs that are doing the teaching (actually a lot of the better local ones it seems). Anywho, I have had a lot of them tell me that searing it to seal 'in juices' hold no actual truth. As the meat cooks the juices rush toward the middle until they boil/burst out. That is why a more done piece is less juicy most times. They told us that if you let your meat rest for 2-3 minutes before cutting it then the juice returns to all parts. It was recommended that we sear whenever we want, but let the meat rest before you cut it. My experiment to test this proved them right.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I completely agree! Once it is off the grill and heading into the house I just am almost drooling to get into it. I think 2 min is almost torture. LOL


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    i love the ribeye at costco but they cut them as thick as a full prime rib in of itself!! they have the ribeye roast at the same price. at first, i would buy them and completely butcher (not in the right way) the steaks because the meat is soft and fresh. i found a hint online of freezing the meat just until it starts to firm up. works awesome...cut perfect (more or less) steaks every time! i can get 12 steaks out of a roast the same weight as they cut 4! (btw, if anyone is wondering it's usually about $9/lb at costco)


    Reply 3 years ago

    I second the motion on amazing Costco ribeye steaks.
    I stopped serving one per person and started doing that cross-cut thing you see at restaurants and just let peeps chose as much as they want. Everyone ends up stuffed full and I can usually get by with 1/3 fewer steaks at any one cook out.

    OMG - that sounded way too much like my Dad.
    Never mind.