The Best Way to Cook a Steak

Filet Mignon grilled to perfection

Image via myrecipes.com

The deadline for the Allrecipes: Firehouse Cooks video contest is just about two months away. Just a reminder: there is a $500 early entry award for best video submitted by August 7! All this talk about cooking and food has got me thinking about, well: food! This would be a great opportunity to share my opinion on how to cook the best possible steak using a gas grill.

It all starts with the quality and cut of steak you decide to cook. The adage “you get what you pay for” really applies to the art of grilling a good steak. Filet mignon cuts are naturally tender and don’t require tenderizing. If fact, if you marinate a filet mignon you are losing much of the natural flavor. However, cuts like chuck, round and flank steak are naturally more tough, and require tenderizing to achieve maximum taste potential.

That being said, a filet mignon might be the most expensive cut of steak to purchase, but it has the easiest cooking method while yielding the tastiest steak with minimal effort. Once you purchase your filet mignon, there are a few steps to take before throwing it on the grill.

Some people like to season their steaks, and that’s fine. A filet mignon, however, doesn’t need any additional herbs or spices to give it a divine taste. A little ground black pepper might be okay, but anything more than that is overkill. Once you’ve purchased your steak, you want to bring it to room temperature. That should take about 45 minutes.

After about 35-40 minutes, you’ll want to start up your grill. Set the temperature to max, and if you’ve timed it right, the steak should be room temperature when the grill reaches maximum temperature.

Now it’s game time. Using tongs, you’ll want to place your steak gently on the grates of the grill, being careful not to puncture it. Once the steak is on, close the lid and wait about two minutes. After that, turn the steak 90 degrees and close the lid.

At this point, we’re searing in the juices and creating grill marks. There’s no utility to the grill marks other than the fact that they’ll make you look like a professional. After about three minutes, you’ll gently flip your steak over and repeat the process.

Perfect grill marks

image via http://livelobrecipes.blogspot.com

The cooking process should take about ten minutes to achieve a medium-rare steak. I believe the natural flavor and juiciness of the steak is best found with this cooking style, but if you prefer a medium steak, add an additional minute to each step of the cooking process. For a medium-well steak, add an additional two minutes, and so forth.

At this point, you’ll want be sure your steak is cooked all the way through. The best method is the Thermapen, which will give you a direct readout of the internal temperature of the steak. If you are without said technology, you can use your hand as a gauge to check how done your steak is.

Now the most important part: we wait. This is the hardest step because the meat is staring you right in the eyes, teasing you with it’s scent and flavor. Carefully wrap the steak in foil and set it aside for 10 minutes. All of the intense heat the steak went through is traumatic, so by letting the steak sit for a while, the juices redistribute because we seared in the flavor.

You can use this time to prepare your side dishes that will accompany your filet mignon. Once the steak has sat for a bit, unwrap it, dish it out and enjoy! Easy, right?

Here are some of my favorite filet mignon meals from Allrecipes.com:
Easy Yet Romantic Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon with Bacon Cream Sauce 
Smothered Filet Mignon

So now I turn it to you, Zooppsters. What cut of steak do you prefer? Are there any particular side dishes you love to pair with your steak?

Meme E

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