Grillin’ Tips from The Grill Dads
Grilled Steak: What Restaurants Do and Home Cooks Don’t
We always get props from our dinner guests when we serve up grilled steaks, even getting compared to big-name, pricey steakhouses. It’s our second favorite compliment after “you guys are the Brad Pitts of grilling.” (Still counts if that was from our moms, right?)
So what’s the secret to great grilled steak? It’s pretty simple really. There are three things we always think about – the first two are obvious, so we’ll just mention them briefly before we get to the…er…meat of it. (Dad pun!)
First, buy great meat.
Chances are if you are ordering from The Honest Bison you’ve got this part figured out. Buying $7/lb meat from a big box store and then cooking it perfectly is like putting some whipped cream on a pile of… well, you get the point.
Second, Cook it to the right temperature.
Figure out what the ideal temperature is and don’t feel bad about using a thermometer (just hide it before you serve and tell your friends you used the touch method). You can get to the right temperature a bunch of different ways: sous vide, reverse sear, regular sear, sideways sear, grill, smoke, etc. No sweat.
But, what we’re really here to discuss today is the third, and least obvious secret to success…SEASONING!
We all know to put salt and pepper on the meat before we cook it. However, there’s something restaurants do that most home cooks never do: season it again after you cook and before you serve. That’s it…mic drop.
This makes a world of difference. Typically, we look at three essential parts for the post-cook seasoning:
- Salt. Since this won’t be cooked again don’t use anything too strong or coarse.
- Fat. We typically drizzle with olive oil but often we use butter as well.
- Fresh herbs. Which ones is personal preference, but it adds a fresh punch to the dish. We love watercress and parsley. This is also a great opportunity to tie the dish into the theme of the dinner. For example, we use cilantro if we are doing a Mexican theme.
Here are some examples using our favorite bison cuts:
- New York Strip – We cook it to 122 degrees, slice it thin and lay it out nicely on a platter. We drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with salt, then top with minced shallots (onion is probably too strong) and micro arugula.
- Ribeye – Again we go medium rare. To serve we remove it from the bone, slice it, and then reassemble it all on the cutting board. We top it with our herb blue cheese butter (which is butter, blue cheese, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon zest). To make the butter we combine all the ingredients, form it into a roll, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it overnight. Don’t be afraid to really pack it with the cheese and herbs.
- Skirt Steak – We marinate our skirt steak in chimichurri then cook it hot and fast. Again, we slice to serve then top it with gremolata. To make the gremolata we mix parsley, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil with a mortar and pestle to make a paste.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, have fun out there.
The Grill Dads