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Steak On The Grill For Fall

I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for summer to be over. Fall is my favorite season anyway, but it has been intensified this year. I have been yearning, dare I say, aching for fall to arrive. On the other hand, I don’t want pumpkins and pumpkin spice anything until October so hold your horses on that one. If you like to grill and yes, I know there are those inveterate grillers out there who grill like the mail service. Neither rain nor snow nor dark of night will keep you from grilling. Now, I enjoy grilling and I’m good at it. I should be, right? I am a chef after all but not all of us can grill. So, I do like to grill but I do not like to be on fire while I am grilling. Consequently, when it is 110° in the shade, I will not be outside grilling anything. Let alone myself. Once the temperatures start to drop, however, I am all about grilling. My grilling repertoire is varied but there’s just something about grilling a really great steak. We do a lot of steak classes in the Rose District studio. That’s on a grill pan not in the outdoors but the same principles apply. And I get so many people (mostly the male variety) who consider themselves experts. And they get in my class and guess what? They’re not. In fact, they’re mostly bad at it. What? I dare to say that a man can’t grill? No, it’s not that they can’t grill, it’s that they already think they know everything so that gets in the way of them learning how to properly grill a piece of meat. So, guys, this one’s for you. First, choose a good piece of meat. My personal favorite is a ribeye. Now I also love a good strip or flank steak even better, but the prize is a ribeye. Heavily marbled, full of flavor, and preferably dry aged. Makes my mouth water. So, you want that baby at room temperature before you ever get close to a grill. Why? Because meat is a muscle and when it’s not relaxed and it hits the fire, it tenses up and gets tough.

Then, if you’ve got the heavily marbled ribeye, please just salt and pepper. It will do the rest of the work for you. Just treat it with respect. Be patient with your coals, too. And don’t use lighter fluid. Get yourself a chimney. Don’t ruin a beautiful piece of meat with eau de gasoline. Let your coals burn down until they’re gray then go for it. Put away your forks. Tongs only. Do not pierce that meat and no, you can’t cut into it during cooking to see if it’s done. Sear your steaks with the lid open for about 5 minutes and get some good grill marks then flip them once with tongs, reposition them if necessary so there are no flareups, close the lid and let them roast in the oven (yes, your grill is now an oven) until you reach an internal temperature of 130°. Use an instant-read thermometer with a needle-thin probe. No knives or forks! They won’t tell you the temperature anyway. And yes, only flip them once. Constantly flipping them toughens the fibers, DUH! Medium rare. Do not cook beyond medium rare unless you hate steak. Feel free to go under but never over. It will be warm and mostly red in the center, firm on the outside but still soft and tender in the center. Now let it rest. There will be carry-over cooking, the temperature will increase by about 5 degrees. Do not cut into it for at least 5 minutes. Here’s why – Remember, steak is a muscle so if it’s all tense from being on a hot grill and all the juices are trapped in the center of it. If you cut into it without resting, all the juices pour out and you have a dry, flavorless piece of shoe leather. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak so you shouldn’t lose any flavorful juices when you cut into it. Now that’s a perfect steak. You’re welcome. And don’t you dare mess it up with some damn steak sauce or ketchup. I mean, unless you didn’t follow my instructions and you end up with a piece of shoe leather because you already know how to grill.


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