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Old 05-21-2012, 09:00 PM   #1
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How to make steaks?

Hi all,
Just got a place of my own and have some friends coming over later this week for a steak dinner in the backyard...just one minor detail, I have never made steaks.
I actually don't have a single clue what to do and don't really have anybody in the city that I know that I feel comfortable asking.

What I have done so far is buy sirloin steak. Each piece is about 16 oz. and 1-inch thick.

Here are a few questions I have and was hoping you could help me:
- Am I risking anything by buying the steaks and refigerating them for 4 days (the dinner is in a few days)
- Should I be marinading the steak? I have googled this thought extensively and some people say salt and pepper right before putting it on the grill is fine, and then others say the earlier I put salt and pepper the better...then there are others who say not to put salt until after the steak is done. What is the actual way?
- What temperature should my grill be?
- Assuming I want the steak to be medium, how long should I be leaving it on the grill for? 4 minutes each side? At what temperature?

Lastly, any ideas on what I should serve with the steaks?

Thanks for your help!!!

- MJ

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Old 05-21-2012, 09:09 PM   #2
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No marinade. Good steaks stand alone. Salt and pepper before you put it on the grill. Hot fire. 3-3.5 minutes per side then rest 5-10 minutes. NEVER EVER cut into a steak to see if it's done.

Salad and beer are all you need.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:48 PM   #3
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Which cuts of meat are available in your area and what kind of grill are you using?
And since you're grilling outdoors you can quickly grill some chopped vegis in a grill basket while the steaks are resting.

Also, if you've never done this before you should perhaps do a trial run one evening and grill yourself a nice piece of steak.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Which cuts of meat are available in your area and what kind of grill are you using?
And since you're grilling outdoors you can quickly grill some chopped vegis in a grill basket while the steaks are resting.

Also, if you've never done this before you should perhaps do a trial run one evening and grill yourself a nice piece of steak.
+1
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Entertaining rule #1 is to not experiment on guests!

Since you're a novice my advice is to not complicate things by thinking of marinades. Just focus on cooking your steaks properly. Rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, etc. I'm sure somebody will post advice below on how to tell the difference. I hate the thought of trying to cook several orders ranging from rare to well. I'd rather just kill everybody who doesn't like their steak medium-rare. (Just kidding!)

Yes the rule is to not cut the steaks while cooking, but my advice is pick one that will be yours and when you're nearing the time you think they're done cut a piece off your steak and taste it.

And when your steaks are done cooking, let them rest for at least 5 minutes, maybe 10 minutes, before serving. This has to do with the juices. Maybe somebody (below) will explain it.

Serve with a few selections of steak sauces, perhaps A-1, Lea & Perrins, and maybe some horseradish (if I'm invited).

See if your market or deli has stuffed baked potatoes (often cheese, sour cream, etc). If so, get their advice on how to cook them. Otherwise, steaks are traditionally served with baked potatoes, sour cream and chives (or green onions).

A salad with that would be good.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mj88
Am I risking anything by buying the steaks and refrigerating them for 4 days (the dinner is in a few days)
Not if your refrigerator is less than 40*F

Quote:
Originally Posted by mj88
Should I be marinading the steak?
No! Unless you don't like the taste/flavor of good beef.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mj88
What is the actual way? (To salt)
Opinions and methods differ....Mine is to salt just prior to grilling. Offer a pepper mill at the table.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mj88
What temperature should my grill be?
As hot as a fire cracker!!!! On one side or end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mj88
Assuming I want the steak to be medium, how long should I be leaving it on the grill
Cows (beef) can't tell time. Buy a thermometer. ~ I don't recommend taking sirloin to medium. Medium rare would be much better/tender.~ If you want medium, pull them between 135 and 140....Let them rest for 5-10 minutes...during which time they will continue to cook from residual heat..rising up to 145* or more....which is in the medium range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mj88
Lastly, any ideas on what I should serve with the steaks?
Baked Potatoes..sweet or russets are good.
A green salad is a common side.
Garlic bread......... HTH

Have Fun!
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:32 PM   #7
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I missed the part about 4 days. Not a problem as long as your refrigerator is suitably cold and the steaks are cooked by their "use by" steak. In fact I think steaks sold 50% off on the "use by" date are a good deal.

IMO a meat thermometer is not an effective method of determining when steaks are cooked to perfection. Somebody has a method often described as various tenderness or toughness compared to the various joints on your hand. I hope somebody will post a description. My own method is that I just know when they're done (and don't ask me to cook it any way other than medium rare). Yes I'm an unruly host. I'll cook it however you like as long as you like it medium rare.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:47 PM   #8
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The only other things I would add are-- Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel before putting on the grill . Otherwise they just steam for the time it takes for the surface moisture to cook off and they can fail to properly brown.

2nd, saturate a paper towel with olive oil or cooking oil and using a Tongs, rub the grates with oil. Then put the steaks on the grill and don't touch them or move them until they will willingly release when you go to turn them. No sticking to the cooking surface.

Use a tongs to turn your steaks. Leave any sharp instrument, like a Fork indoors and safely away from the Steaks.

Sirloin is my favorite grilled steak. I pepper my steaks (rather heavily) and do not salt while cooking. Personal preference. I like mine Medium rare, and they will continue to cook a little after you platter them up.

I'd do a big salad and you could have some garlic bread either wrapped in foil to throw on the grill and heat up. Or have a stack of garlic toasts and throw directly on the grill to toast while the steaks rest. Now, you could use a grill fork to turn those babies over.

Watermelon for dessert. Beer or Ice tea.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks
Somebody has a method often compared to the various tenderness or toughness compared to the various joints on your hand.
Nonsense! Who's hands?? Mine, yours, my wife's or a lumberjacks?? All hands are not the same. ~~ If you cook 100 plus steaks a night at a steak house then experience and touch/feel of the meat comes into play...but not for your typical, inexperienced backyard cook. ~~ Also cutting one to check doneness is a poor indicator when you are cooking 4-6-8 steaks at a time. To much heat differential on a typical backyard grill...An instant read thermometer takes the guess work out of it.... Especially for the inexperienced

Cheers!
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:22 PM   #10
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Bob it's not my method but I think the "hand" description of doneness would work well for a beginner. Or if not then you find a better way to tell a beginner how to tell the difference between rare, medium and well. I still disagree that a meat thermometer is useful in cooking steaks, although it's the king when cooking roasts.
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