BBQ season is thankfully here again, and it's hard to beat a great steak; but steak can also get pretty expensive, so you want to make sure that you're doing everything right to ensure that you get great steak-house quality steak every time you grill.
There's no recipe here, just a few simple tips that will help you get steak every bit as good as a great steak house, while enjoying it at home, and saving a small fortune in the process.
leave your steak in the fridge for a couple of days.
Now I know that this sounds a bit funny, but it will help a lot. Steak houses brag about dry aging their meat, and by leaving your steak exposed to the air in the fridge for a couple days, that's exactly what you'll be doing. Naturally occurring enzymes will start to beak down the proteins, both tenderizing and adding great beefy flavor. The air around the exposed steak will also suck moisture from the meat. This is good, as it will greatly concentrate the flavors. Buy your Saturday BBQ steak on Wednesday, take it out of the plastic (you can cover it loosely in a clean dish towel) and you'll be amazed how much better it is by Saturday.
Salt your steak raw
People will say that you shouldn't salt meat before cooking, and that is a bunch of baloney. The salt will draw out a very small fraction of moisture from the surface, but it will also draw out enzymes that will really help in getting a great brown crust on your steak. This brown crust can be the difference between average and extraordinary steak. It has to do with the caremalization of natural sugars, and it's definitely what you want to see!
Dry the steak before grilling
This will also help you get that great steak house brown crust. The drier the steak is, the less steam is created, and the better the caremalization of naturally occurring sugars.
Get your grill as hot as you can
You can always turn it down later if your steak is getting too browned, but you want to make sure you get the color and the texture of a great steak house crust...and that means really high heat. (another great tip for thin steaks is to cook them from partially frozen. This gives the outside time to brown before the outside is overcooked)
A good rule of thumb is to let the steak rest off the heat for as long as you cooked it for. When the steak is on the grill, all the juices will rush towards the much hotter exterior. If you cut into a steak right off the heat, all those great juices will run out wasted onto the plate. By letting the steak rest, the juices will redistribute throughout the meat, and you will enjoy a much juicier more flavorful steak.
Of course the meat that you buy also makes a difference, but these tips will help you maximize the potential of whatever steak you buy.
Good luck and enjoy great summer days with family and friends by the BBQ.