This is not the time for an argument over who cooks the best steak. Ultimately, there are too many ways to cook a steak, and people prefer different spices and cook levels. A person who likes a juicy medium rare steak is going to frown at a perfect, well-done ribeye. Likewise, a person who likes steak sauce may insult the barbecue enthusiast who finds sauce to be an insult their cooking ability.
What this is a time for is the inarguable truth about barbecuing steaks. They must start at room temp. They must be seared. They must rest. If anything, this should be a “Three Commandments” to barbecuing steaks that is considered gospel.
Before you cook a steak, you should take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature. This is a bit of an exaggeration, as the typical steak will not warm to room temperature in the recommended 20 minutes. However, taking the steak out of the fridge a half hour early helps to ensure the center of it gets cooked, and it helps to prevent overcooking of the meat under the sear. Seasoning your steak while it warms is also a great way to get salt to do its magic.
Preheat your grill before adding steaks to it, so the outside of the steak will sear and get a good crust. Searing temps should be 300 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Searing does not trap in all the juices of the meat, but it caramelizes the exterior of the steak and adds incredible flavor. Searing also helps to render any exterior fat, which will taste like butter by the time the steak is cooked to perfection.
It is difficult to let a steak rest because you have to wait to eat it, but if you don’t do it, you are missing out on juicy, wondrous perfection. Meat should be rested for 10 to 20 minutes loosely covered in aluminum foil. This allows the juice in the meat to redistribute, as it will have collected near the center of the meat. When you cut your steak, you won’t lose all the moisture onto your cutting board.
The steps involved in cooking a perfect steak take a little more time. If you are already using charcoal, then you know that time spent equates to quality results. However, if you are a master of efficiency always looking for a quicker way to do things, don’t cut corners when barbecuing steak. Your steaks will be divine every time if you take the time to warm your refrigerated steak, sear it, and let it rest.