Home & Family

Grilling 101

posted by Travis April 11, 2016 0 comments

As the weather outside begins to warm up it can mean only one thing – another season of weekend fun at home with family and friends. Grilling the perfect steak is a great way to spend time with family and friends and enjoy a nice meal.

Choose Your Perfect Cut

Start off with your steak of choice. We picked up 4 delicious fillets at Costco for about $30. For a larger get-together, consider buying a whole tenderloin and cutting it into steaks yourself. Season liberally with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Pat the seasoning into both sides of your steaks, then set them aside.

Take Time for Sides

Before you head to the grill, start any slow cooking sides that can simmer while you’re cooking the entrée. We like to make a simple onion & mushroom topping for our steaks.

  1. Slice then sauté half of a large onion in a Tbsp of butter with freshly ground black pepper over medium heat.
    *Save the other unpeeled half to clean your grill, see below.
  2. Add 1 tsp – 1 Tbsp. of minced garlic (depending on your taste) before onions start to brown (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add 3 cups of sliced mushrooms and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Last, add 2 cups of beef broth and reduce heat to a simmer.

Clean the Grease

Next, be sure to clean out any grease from your grill’s grease trap and any food that fell through the grates from the last time you cooked out. Now, fire it up to get the grates smoking hot before you clean them. We keep a pair of leather work gloves handy to make cleaning up a hot grill a little more bearable. Use a wire brush to remove cooked on food, then take the remaining onion half and rub it over the grates to wipe away the loose char and disinfect. An onion is a great alternative to harsh cleaners and cleans surprisingly well.

Cook by “Touch”

We cook our steaks by touch to prevent losing juiciness from a thermometer pierce, or worse than that, cutting into a steak for a visual inspection. To cook by touch, gently press your finger to the top of the cooked steak and gauge firmness.

You can compare the firmness of the steak to the muscle in the palm of your hand, and there’s a great article describing the technique at Simply Recipes. Start off with your hand laying palm up completely relaxed. Press the finger of your other hand into the muscle just below your thumb. It will have the firmness of an uncooked steak. To produce varying levels of firmness, touch your thumb to your index finger then each successive finger.

  • Thumb to Index = Rare
  • Thumb to Middle = Medium to Medium Rare
  • Thumb to Ring = Medium to Medium Well
  • Thumb to Pinky = Well Done

Grill Up the Goods

Now that the grill is ready, it’s time to get cooking. Put everything that needs to cook longer on the grill first. We started off with asparagus (brushed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper) and steaks that were cooked to medium or medium well.

 

After roughly 4 minutes we turned the asparagus and steaks, then added the medium rare steak to the grill.

 

To get nice crossed grill marks, we flipped the steaks again after 4 minutes and pulled the asparagus off the grill. After another 3 minutes, pressing a finger into the top of the first steaks we feel a firmness that indicates medium to medium well. Flip the medium rare steak to add the finishing seer marks and remove the first steaks. After 2 minutes the medium rare is ready to go.

Approximate time on the grill:

  • Asparagus – 10 minutes
  • Medium to medium well steaks – 16 minutes
  • Medium rare steak – 12 minutes

Store Any Leftovers

We keep a large casserole pan on the cooked side of the grill to carry everything inside. Once inside, let the steaks “rest” for 5 minutes before serving.

Cooking a steakhouse quality meal for family and friends isn’t rocket science, keep it simple and the results will speak for themselves.

Do you love to grill? Share your favorite grilling tips in the comments below.

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