FANFOOD RULES: # 12. Never Put a Cold Steak on a Hot Grill

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One of the biggest mistakes people make is putting cold meat on a hot grill. Cold meat is like a clenched muscle, really tight. It’s hard for the heat to work its way through those cold fibers into the middle, which means it will end up well done three-quarters of the way through and raw in the middle.

Cooking steaks involves more than just taking the meat out of the fridge and slapping it on the grill. You could do that, but if you want to enjoy the perfect steak, you’ll get better results if you understand a few basic guidelines for how to prep your steaks for the grill.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is take the steak out of the fridge and let it sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. The reason we don’t want to cook chilled steaks is simple. A cold steak will cool off the grill or pan or whatever. The key to a perfect steak is cooking it at a high temperature for a short amount of time. The colder the steak is when it hits the grill, the longer it will take to cook it. And the more time it spends over the heat, the tougher it gets. So just remember that a cold steak equals a tough steak. By taking the meat out of the fridge for a few minutes beforehand, you help your grill stay nice and hot.

Some people recommend leaving the meat out at room temperature for as long as an hour. The problem here is that you start to approach the territory of food safety hazard. Also, you would ideally like the interior of the meat to be a bit cool when it hits the grill. This helps you to achieve that perfect medium rare steak. If you leave the steak out for too long, the whole steak gets warm (especially if your kitchen is hot and/or it’s a hot day) and you give yourself less margin for error. It’s better to undercook a steak than to overcook one.

While the steak is coming to temperature, you can also pre-heat your grill, and trim any excess fat from the steaks. But don’t trim it all off. Leave about ¼ inch of fat all the way around.

By taking the refrigerator chill out of your meat, you are well on your way to a great cook, the first step to a successful BBQ.

 

 

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Perfectly Grilled Bone-in Rib-Eye Steaks

 

This recipe calls for lighting only one side of the grill. That way, you can give the steaks a good char on the hot side of the grill, then move them to the unlit side to finish cooking over indirect heat.

 

INGREDIENTS

6 1-inch-thick bone-in rib-eye steaks

Olive oil (for brushing)
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked coarse sea salt or regular coarse kosher salt

PREPARATION

Prepare 1 side of barbecue (high heat). If using gas grill, leave opposite side unlit; if using charcoal grill, keep opposite side free of coals. Brush steaks with olive oil, then sprinkle both sides with cracked black pepper and smoked salt.

Grill steaks on hot side of barbecue until grill marks form, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to unlit side of grill, cover, and cook to desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium-rare.

Transfer steaks to plates; let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with…

 

Blue Cheese-Crusted Tomatoes

 

The flavors of two classic steakhouse menu items—blue cheese dressing and stewed tomatoes—are combined in one incredible, simple-to prepare grilled dish.

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 medium tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 3 ounces)

PREPARATION

Prepare barbecue (high heat), leaving opposite side unlit if gas grill or without coals if charcoal grill. Mix breadcrumbs and olive oil in small bowl, mashing to coat. Cut top 1/4 from each tomato. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Top each with 1 tablespoon blue cheese. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.

Arrange tomatoes (topping side up) on unlit side of grill. Cover grill and cook tomatoes until slightly soft and cheese melts, about 13 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

 

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