Grilling Steaks 101

The Secrets to Grilling Success

Grilling Steaks 101

1. OPT FOR QUALITY – We’ve got you covered at R&R – ButcherHouse Cuts are only USDA Prime or USDA Choice.

2. BRING TO ROOM TEMPERATURE – About 20 minutes before grilling, remove your steaks from the refrigerator and let them sit, covered. A room-temperature steak will cook faster and retain its flavorful juices better than a cold steak.

3. PREP YOUR GRILL – Whether using gas or charcoal, preheat your grill on high with the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes. This will burn off old food so you can brush the cooking grates clean. A clean grill keeps your steaks from sticking. Once preheated, adjust the temperature to 450° - 500°F. Searing at temperatures above 500°F can dry out your steaks, and usually results in disappointing burnt steaks.

4. SEASON THE STEAK – Great steaks don’t need much seasoning. Just a few minutes before grilling, brush them lightly on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. That’s enough time for the salt to penetrate the meat a bit, so the inside gets seasoned as well as the outside. Feel free to add other spices, such as chili powder, paprika or garlic powder.

5. MASTER GRILLING – Put your steaks on the grill, close the lid and set your timer for 2-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steak. When you’re ready to flip the steaks, give them a wiggle; if they don’t release easily, leave them alone until they do. Using a pair of tongs to flip is preferred; a meat fork will make holes and release juices. When you flip your steaks, move them to a new section of the grill to ensure that the cooking grate is still hot enough to create those beautiful grill marks. Close the lid and continue to grill for approximately 3-5 minutes for medium-rare, 5-7 minutes for medium or 8-10 minutes for medium-well.

6. USE AN INSTANT-READ THERMOMETER – Time on the grill varies based on many factors, like the grill temperature and thickness of the steaks, as well as personal preference. Don’t cook your steaks by time alone, and never cut into a steak to see if it is done. An instant-read thermometer is a must. To use, hold the steak with tongs and insert the thermometer through the side of the meat. Refer to the temperature chart below as a guideline to know when to take your steaks off the grill. Remove the steaks when they are about 5°F below the target temperature, because as meat rests the temperature will continue to climb.

Temperature Ranges for Beef (Not Ground Beef)

Doneness Description Temperature Ranges
Rare Cold red center; soft 125° – 130°F
Medium-Rare Warm red center; firmer 130° – 140°F
Medium Warm pink center; firm 140° – 150°F
Medium-Well Slightly pink center 150° – 155°F
Well Done Little or no pink 160°F +


7. REST THE STEAK – Transfer your steaks to a cutting board or platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes. This gives the juices time to redistribute through the meat. Slicing the steak earlier lets the juices run out and makes your steak taste dry.

8. OPTIONAL: ADD SOME PERSONALITY TO YOUR STEAK WITH COMPOUND BUTTERS – While your steaks rest, add a pat of a compound butter to the top of each steak. Compound butters add another dimension to your already perfectly cooked steak. They can contain various ingredients, like garlic and parsley; goat cheese, thyme and rosemary; or soft cheeses, such as gorgonzola or stilton. Be creative.