Who doesn’t love a tender piece of steak? I can never turn one down, especially if it has just come off the grill! In my house growing up, we always had BBQ Tri-tip for Christmas. My dad doesn’t care for turkey and I can’t eat ham, so steak was an easy meat for us to agree on. Since my dad has mastered the art of grilling, we have his BBQ steak on nearly every special occasion. Now that I have recovered from my fear of BBQs (I accidentally lit myself on fire a few years back), I have learned how to grill my own steak to perfection. My “incident” with the grill had to do with propane and a faulty lighter. I turned the propane on but the ignitor was not lighting. Not realizing the propane gas was plumming around me, I decided to use a manual aim and flame. As soon as that flame lit, POW! There was a big flash of light, smoke in my face, and a horrible smell. I ran to the restroom and saw handfuls of hair falling into the sink. My eyebrows were singed and the skin on my face immediately began to peel and burn. Thankfully it turned out to only be a second degree burn that was easily treated with burn cream. So word to the wise! Turn the gas off if your ignitor doesn’t light the first or second time. Let the gas dissipate before trying again!
The key to this masterpiece is the marinade. My favorite is a spice packet from Lawry’s. Lawry’s is an upscale prime rib restaurant in Beverly Hills that prides itself on a traditional English dinner, complete with Yorkshire pudding and creamed spinach. They make their own spice blends. My family and I have been there a few times for my dad’s company Christmas party and every time we are dazzled by the food and the atmosphere. The chef pushes the prime rib from table to table and carves it right in front of you. Carolers come sing at your table. It truly is a wonderful experience, but is really only for special occasions. It’s a little pricey. So the next best thing is using their marinade and making your own. You can find it in most grocery stores in California and a select few in Tennessee. Albertsons and Stater Bros in SoCal usually have it. A few Krogers in Tennessee have it too, but of course you can get it online. I have tried a slew of marinades and this is by far the best! My dad has used it for years and it’s hard for me to deviate!
I mix one packet with one cup of water and mix it up really well.
Then I let the meat marinade for atleast an hour. The packet will tell you 30 minutes, but I always go longer. Save some of the marinade and nuke it in the microwave to use later to dip the steak into. It really kicks it up a notch!
Then I preheat my BBQ so I can hear that nice “SSSSHHHHhhhhh” when the meat hits the rack. I keep the flame medium to high and cook it on the first side for 15-20 minutes. (This is for about a 2.5 pound steak). Resist the temptation to flip the steak back and forth. Turn it only ONCE.
When it’s been 15 minutes, I turn it over and look for those nice char marks. If you don’t see any, your flame needs to be higher and your grill hotter to begin with. I put the steak exactly back in the same spot and grill another 10 to 15 minutes. The grill time will vary from steak to steak because of size and thickness, but 15-20 minutes on one side and 10-15 minutes on the other seems just about right.
I always take the steak off the grill a few minutes before it is done because even though the outside is done cooking, the inside is still hot. I let the steak sit atleast 10 minutes to finish cooking and to help retain it’s juices. If you cut it right away, the juices will flow out and risk leaving the steak dry. For this task I used my tried and true Global Chef Knife. My husband got this for me several years ago after I went to my first cooking class. The chef told me that if I got the right equipment, cooking would be so much more enjoyable and easy. She was right. I use the knife for everything and it hasn’t faltered in 7 years!
Once it has set, I make the first cut against the grain. This means cutting the steak in the opposite direction it looks like it should go. If you look closely, you will see the muscle fibers parallel with each other. You want to turn the steak so that you cut perpendicular to those parallel fibers.
The reason it is important to cut against the grain is because it gives you the tenderest proportion of meat to chew. If you cut with the grain, you will have a tough, rubbery piece of meat. Make the knife do the hard work of cutting across the muscle fibers rather than your teeth!
You can see the inside of this steak is pink. This is medium rare, my husband’s favorite degree of doneness. If you are serving a crowd of people who like their meat well-done, leave it on the grill 5 minutes longer. Rare is around 120 degrees, medium rare around 130, and medium to well-done between 140-160. So if you want to get that perfect temperature, you might want to buy a trusty meat thermometer. Whatever you do, don’t pull the steak off the grill at 160 degrees and then let it sit. You will have a super tough, dry piece of meat. My principle with meat is that you can always cook it longer, but you can’t cook it less!
I cut my steak into nice slivers and then let my guests cut their own bite-size pieces.
I love to serve steak with a hearty plate of green vegetables, but really, steak goes with anything! Try it on an apple blue cheese salad, in a sandwich, with some of the cheesy potatoes I posted, you name it! Do me a favor and comment below if you try or plan to try this technique. I love to hear your feedback!
- 1 2.5 pound Tri-tip or round steak
- 1 packet Lawry's Beef Marinade
- 1 cup water
- Stir up spice packet and water
- Marinade steak at room temperature for 1 hour
- Preheat grill with medium to high flame
- Cook steak 15-20 minutes on one side
- Turn to other side for 10-15 minutes
- Remove when internal temp reaches minimum 120 degrees and let set 10 minutes
- Cut steak against the grain