Master the Grill: Steak

North America’s top grilling chefs share their secrets

steak grilling how to guide

    Photo: Alison Miksch

David Joachim is an award-winning author of four grilling books, including his latest Fire It Up. He mentions that his favorite grilling tool is a leaf blower—to stoke the fire and blow off ashes for cooking directly on hot coals. This method is precisely how he prepares the perfect steak. Leaf blower in hand, he graciously gives us a few clues into the “pyromaniac” method to his madness.

“Heat the grill to high, preferably with wood or charcoal,” David begins. “These burn drier than gas and give steak a crispier crust.” Cooking out at a campfire? “Put the steak right on the hot coals for awesome smoky flavor,” he says.

David suggests rib eye or porterhouse for full grilling flavor. However, if calories are a concern, go with a strip steak. After selecting your cut it’s time to get grilling. First things first: “Warm it up,” he advises. “Warm meat sears better than cold. Let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling. You'll get a better sear, crispier crust, and more browning,” all of which, he says, leads to better flavor.

As tempting as it is to dig right in to that perfectly grilled steak, David cautions against it. “After cooking, give it a rest,” he says. “Let the steak rest 5 to 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute.” He promises that by doing so, every bite will taste that much juicier.

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