PICKING OUT A STEAK
While most people will tell you a ribeye is the most tender, I (Thomas) actually am a striploin guy myself. What’s more important that the cut is the marbling and handling of the meat. The most important secret of grilling a great steak is buying quality meat. No amount of deft seasoning, boutique BBQ sauce, fancy BBQ or precise technique is going to elevate your “buy two, get one free” AA striploin past its grading. When it comes to steak, you get what you pay for. Fat is flavour, which is why we always look to fill our counter with Prime Grade beef, the most marbled around. Another consideration is the thickness of your meat, An ideal steak has a charred crust and a tender pink inside. A thin cut will overcook before you get that perfect outside.
Good meat demands only sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. At the very most, feel free to use a Montreal Steak Spice (we like Schwartz), but you don’t need anything else. Absolutely never marinate a beautiful steak. You want to taste the beef, not the seasoning.
Forty minutes before you want to cook your steak, take it out of the packaging and season it liberally with sea salt. Leave it outside. The salt will dry the surface for your meat which will produce an excellent sear, giving it that desirable charred crust. Leaving it outside the fridge to come to room temperature will make sure the center of your meat is sufficiently cooked before the outside is overcooked.
The whole myth that a sear is to ‘lock in the juices’ is bad science. We sear for colour, flavour and texture. Get your grill piping hot before you put your steak on. I flip my steaks about every minute or so, maybe two or three times to ensure it cooks evenly, taking it off as soon as it has a charred, caramelized exterior. I then move it off the direct heat and close the lid, essentially roasting the meat until it’s to the desired doneness. When’s it done? Please, please, PLEASE do not cut into your steak to check if it’s done! I cannot stress this enough! You can tell how done it is by poking it but eliminate the guesswork and invest in a proper meat probe. If you’re already investing in a beautiful piece of premium beef, it’s a small investment to make which lets you deliver a restaurant-quality dish every time.You’ll never have to eat dry steak again. Take it off at 140F for a gorgeous medium-rare.
Now the waiting. If you cut into your steak now it’s going to lose all its delicious juices. Give it 10 minutes. This gives you time to dress your salad, set your table, and allow you to let a glass of full-bodied red wine to breathe; you’ve earned it!