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How to Grill

How to Grill Steak and Get Juicy, Tender, Flavorful Meat Every Single Time


In my book, there’s nothing that beats a perfectly grilled steak. A well-marbled ribeye with the right meat-to-fat ratio will always be my summer go-to. If you’re wondering how to get the juiciest and most tender meat possible, look no further. We’ve answered five common questions to help walk you through the process.

Which cut of steak is good for grilling?

It’s easy to get lost in the endless options for cuts of beef at the meat counter. But it’s important to know which ones are best for grilling.

GrowNYC’s Greenmarket’s guide for cuts of beef includes six common types of steak that you’ll likely see at the store:

  • Ribeye
  • Top Sirloin
  • NY Strip
  • Filet Mignon
  • Porterhouse
  • Flank

These cuts of steak will vary in price, fat content, and thickness — so it’s worth getting advice from the butcher about which is the best one for your buck. They can also recommend the cuts that are most enjoyable on their own or in a dish like grilled fajitas.

Already have your preferred cut in mind? Order online and have it shipped right to your door through Prairie Street Prime’s website (Buy from, cuts of steak start at $50).

What spices go well with steak?

Once you’ve picked out your perfect steak, it’s time for the fun part: seasoning the meat! You can never go wrong with a “less is more” approach, so feel free to stick with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. It’ll accentuate the meat’s natural flavor and smokiness from the grill.

If you’re looking to spice things up, try a ready-made seasoning like Fire & Smoke Society Steak King Rub and Seasoning (Buy from Walmart, $4.97). This seasoning blend combines spices like black pepper, oregano, and fennel to add a perfect kick to your grilled meat.

When should you season steak for grilling?

Timing is everything when it comes to seasoning a steak. If you wait too long to season your steak before it hits the grill, the salt will draw out the moisture in the meat — leaving it dry and tough. To avoid this, the experts at Omaha Steaks suggest letting the seasoning sit on the steak’s surface between 30 and 45 minutes at room temperature before putting it on the grill. 

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, Owner of Otium and OXO Chef in Residence, suggests seasoning the steak a second time once it’s cooked, just before serving it. “When you season steak you’re seasoning the outside of the steak, and most of the time it doesn’t reach the inside. So, [sprinkling the meat with a pinch of] finishing salt gives it more texture and an extra burst of flavor,” he explains to First for Women.

Finishing salts like Maldon Sea Salt (Buy from Walmart, $8.95) are great for this, because they have coarser flakes and a crunchy texture. A little goes a long way.

How long do you cook steak on a grill?

Your steak’s grilling time will depend upon the meat’s thickness and the desired level of doneness. Keep a meat thermometer handy to take your steak’s temperature once it gets a nice charred brown look.

The test kitchen chefs at Food Network say you should insert the temperature probe toward the thickest part of the meat – away from the bone. Here’s their useful temperature chart to tell when a steak will be done to your liking:

  • Rare: 125 degrees Fahrenheit and 3 minute rest time off the heat
  • Medium Rare: 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium: 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium Well: 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Well-Done: 155 degrees Fahrenheit and over
Steak doneness guide
Getty Images

How long should you let steak rest before cutting?

Letting steak rest after it comes off the grill gives the juices time to recollect within the meat. This means the juice won’t run as soon as you start cutting into it. 

The USDA advises that cooked beef be given a rest time of at least three minutes to ensure safety and quality. If you’re not in a rush to serve, try a suggestion from chef Hollingsworth. “Always rest your steak,” he tells us. “Sometimes I even rest it for a longer period of time, then warm it back on the grill to make sure not all the juice from the steak just bleeds out.”

With these pointers, you’ll be the hero of your next summer BBQ. Plus, you can enjoy those tasty, tender leftovers the next day using our guide to reheating steak!

Looking for other grilling tips? Check out these stories:

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