"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Outdoor Cooking Forum > Cooking on the Grill
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-21-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 8
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

mj88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,444
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.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 08:48 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Park Drive Bar/Grill Los Angeles
Posts: 13,333
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.
roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 08:54 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 25,007
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
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
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
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.
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 09:25 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,515
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!
__________________
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 09:32 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
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.
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
Executive Chef
 
Whiskadoodle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Twin Cities Mn
Posts: 3,995
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.
Whiskadoodle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,515
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!
__________________
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 10:22 PM   #10
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
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.
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 01:01 AM   #11
Executive Chef
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ring of fire. So. Calif.
Posts: 3,287
Since you're going to be focused on your steak grilling, why not buy some freshly made potato salad and coleslaw from the deli department no sooner than the day before the cookout. Just tell them how many are coming over and they will suggest the quantity. Please don't buy packaged factory made coleslaw, the factory made potato salad is ok tho. Keep them both well chilled until just before serving. Boston baked beans go well with steaks as do french rolls.
It's best not to mess with marinating the steaks as this infuses flavor that some guests may not like. You can sprinkle some meat tenderizer on if you want (an hour beforehand). You can also wrap up some soaked mesquite or oak wood chips in aluminum foil (poke a few holes) and set it at the heat source for some smoke flavoring.

Charcoal or Gas? Whichever, the general rule of thumb is...if you hold your hand over the grill and have to take it away in less than 3 seconds, the heat is too high.
Caslon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 02:01 AM   #12
Executive Chef
 
Bolas De Fraile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
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.
+1 apart from the salad, french stick,mustard and to make the ultimate steak sarnie
__________________
I was married by a judge, I should have asked for a jury.
Bolas De Fraile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 03:27 AM   #13
Executive Chef
 
Harry Cobean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 2,913
allow the steaks to come up to room temperature before cooking.in my book,meat should never be cooked straight from the fridge.hot grill.cook one side for 2-3 mins.turn.when blood/juices start to appear on the surface of the side you cooked first that's perfect medium/rare.rest for same length of time you cooked(not you,the steak!)works everytime irrespective of thickness.salad made in advance & oven shoestring fries.that way you can concentrate on cooking the steaks.beer.
good luck & enjoy!
__________________
I spent a lot of money on booze,birds & fast cars.The rest I just squandered.
Harry Cobean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 07:12 AM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks
Or if not then you find a better way to tell a beginner how to tell the difference between rare, medium and well.

ThermoWorks - Splash-Proof Thermapen Thermometer
__________________
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #15
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 38,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
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.
Okay, let me show you how to do it...oh, wait...
__________________
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 09:13 AM   #16
Executive Chef
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ring of fire. So. Calif.
Posts: 3,287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolas De Fraile View Post
+1 apart from the salad, french stick,mustard and to make the ultimate steak sarnie
What are we seeing there in that pic, forgive me.
Caslon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #17
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Park Drive Bar/Grill Los Angeles
Posts: 13,333
Or........for a six pack of premium beer and steak dinner I can do the grilling for you and your guests.
roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 01:46 PM   #18
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Southern UK v rural
Posts: 10
I go along with what's been said already with emphasis on --

Get the best meat you can...great steaks need great meat
Thick steaks cook better than thin
Marbled steak with yellow fat is a good sign -- sinew is a bad sign (usually)
Frying in a nice clean pan is better than grilling
Oil both sides with a neutral oil like groundnut
lightly season both sides with ground sea salt and black pepper (go easy they can add to taste)
Put into a good hot pan -- not oiled or fatted
When the steak wants to slide without sticking you can flip it over and sear second side
To check done-ness, use the back of a fork -- spread your hand, using the fork check what the flesh between your thumb and nearest finger feels like for firmness --
a) With your thumb loose and in contact with the adjacent finger, the flabbiness is rare -- blue -- when compared with the steak Do NOT use the pointy bit of the fork because they will make it bleed
b) With your hand spread right open, the firmness is like a well-done (ruined, cremated) steak and fit for the pig-bin ;)
Lemain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 02:03 PM   #19
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 8
Hi all,

Wow, I was expecting maybe one reply if lucky but two pages worth, that's awesome!

To answer a question a few people asked - I'm using a Gas Grill.

Here is the game plan I have learned so far:
- Take meat out an hour before cook time to let it come to room temperature then marinade with salt and pepper (personal choice of how much to use)
- Brush oil over grill to prevent meat from sticking
- Make sure grill is as HOT as possible -- would 500F be enough?
- Place steak on grill for 3 minutes and then flip and wait for 3 more minutes
- After the 6 minutes of total cook time either stick a thermometer to check internal temperature or use the finger trick
- Let steak rest for 5~10 minutes before digging in

I'm thinking of going with potato wedges and a salad to serve with the steak (unfortunately, these will all be store/deli bought).

Let me know what other great tips you guys have. I'm loving them and it's actually starting to make me comfortable (and believe that I can actually do this lol).

- MJ
mj88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 02:20 PM   #20
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 25,124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mj88 View Post
Hi all,

Wow, I was expecting maybe one reply if lucky but two pages worth, that's awesome!

To answer a question a few people asked - I'm using a Gas Grill.

Here is the game plan I have learned so far:
- Take meat out an hour before cook time to let it come to room temperature then marinade with salt and pepper (personal choice of how much to use)
- Brush oil over grill to prevent meat from sticking
- Make sure grill is as HOT as possible -- would 500F be enough?
- Place steak on grill for 3 minutes and then flip and wait for 3 more minutes
- After the 6 minutes of total cook time either stick a thermometer to check internal temperature or use the finger trick
- Let steak rest for 5~10 minutes before digging in

I'm thinking of going with potato wedges and a salad to serve with the steak (unfortunately, these will all be store/deli bought).

Let me know what other great tips you guys have. I'm loving them and it's actually starting to make me comfortable (and believe that I can actually do this lol).

- MJ
Just a couple of things: when you sprinkle salt and pepper, you're seasoning, not marinating. Marinating is soaking the meat in a seasoned liquid that usually includes oil and an acid like citrus juice or vinegar.

As Bobby Flay says, I'm eating the meat, not the grill I'd oil the meat rather than the grill grates - you can't get a flareup that way.

Remember to take the meat off the grill when it's 5-10 degrees cooler than the final temperature you want. As it rests, it will continue to cook from residual heat.

Enjoy!
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.