Grilling Anxieties Be Gone!
We are deep into grilling season, but for some of us, taking up the tongs and throwing a steak on the grill can be intimidating. Compound pre-existing jitters with the weight of bearing responsibility for guests’ varying tastes and temperature desires, and inconsistent thicknesses of cuts, and you might feel like tossing your apron.
But take heart, steak lover! The Savory Pantry’s Steak Temperature Chart is here to rescue you from your most perspiring moments at the grill. May it be your safe secret and trusty companion as you wow the pounding forks in your life time after time. It works. You’ll see. Grilling anxieties be banished once and for all!
Tips and Inspirations:
- Start with quality meat. If you can find prime beef, go for it. You will taste the difference. Warning: you probably won’t be able to go back to choice.
- Start with the right guests. If your guests like their steaks well done, don’t invite them! Sort of a joke, but there is some heartbreak (and extra time at the grill, away from the party!) involved in subjecting a good piece of meat to such a woeful end. (Personal aside: When we have guests, my husband gets the steaks to medium rare and tells anyone who wants them cooked further that they are on their own to wo/man the grill from medium rare on out. Not a joke.)
- Allow steak to come to room temperature. This ensures consistent cooking throughout.
- Salt and pepper just prior to grilling. Salting too early can cause juices to be drawn out and dry the steak. When your grill is hot and ready, salt and pepper your meat with the a not-so-light hand to achieve that scrumptious steak house crust. In my opinion, one cannot add too much pepper. Salts, peppers, and seasonings should also be high-quality, such as our Amola Bacon Salt, J. Q. Dickinson Heirloom Salt , Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt, or Rainbow Peppercorns.
- EVOO steak and grill. Brush your steak and your grill lightly with olive oil.
- Make it fancy with “quarter turns.” Yearning for those impressive diamond grill marks? You’ve got this, baby! Divide each minute marker in the chart above in half, and at that point in the cooking cycle, turn your meat ¼ to make these marks. For example, if you’re going for medium rare on a 1” steak, side 1 should cook for a total of 5 minutes, so at 2.5 minutes, rotate it 90 degrees and voila. Told you that you could do it!
- Use tongs, not a barbeque fork. A fork will puncture the meat and you’ll lose juices. Tongs are the gentle way to respect your steak and help it be its best version of itself.
- After grilling, allow steak to rest for 3–5 minutes. Why rest? Although like any cooking method, there’s debate, it is generally agreed that resting can help meat to hold its juiciness and allow it to “relax” and become more tender than if eaten straight off the grill.
- Succulent finishing drizzle. It’s always fun to experiment and discover favorite finishing touches. We recommend one of our ethically sourced extra-virgin olive oils, Christian Potier’s Classic Hollandaise, Béarnaise, or Shallot Red Wine Sauces, Tishbi Onion Cabernet Preserves, a pat of good butter (you might even make compound butters (with a bit of red pepper, scallions, or fresh herbs like parsley), or even any drippings you may have caught.