Grilled steak. It’s one of the simplest things to cook. Ever.
Great grilled steak—like this Spice-Rubbed Steak with Grilled Gazpacho Sauce—that’s another story.
Why? Because the difference between good cooking and great cooking is often the little things. The details. The things that you don’t know if you haven’t done them a million times, or learned from someone who has.
So then, what makes for great grilled steak?
1. Great meat, of course.
Father’s Day only happens once a year. Get the best, highest quality meat you can afford.
2. A great cut.
I like a New York or rib eye, because they’re full of fat and fat is flavor. Less expensive hangar and flat iron steaks are also very flavorful.
3. A good caramelized crust.
That browning, or caramelization, on the outside of seared meat is flavor. How do you get that? With a super-hot fire, a super-clean grate, and the patience to let the meat be while the heat does its work.
For more about how to get a good sear and keep food from sticking to the grill, read this post. For more about the benefits of browning and letting food be while it cooks, read this post.
4. A perfectly cooked interior.
For how to tell when meat is done, read this post.
5. A rest.
Letting proteins sit for a spell after cooking literally changes their protein structure, such that the meat can hold more moisture. Which means its juices won’t spill out with the first couple of bites, and the last bite will be almost as succulent as the first.
6. Jazz it up, but not too much.
Save marinades for meat that needs extra flavor. With a good steak, stick to salt and pepper or, at the most, a spice rub. Then when you’re ready to serve, put a bow on the package with a simple sauce, like the gazpacho sauce pictured here, chimichurri, or a flavored butter.
Perhaps most importantly, and especially on Father’s Day—
7. Cook it with love.
Love you, dad. I’m sad we won’t see each other on Sunday, but I’m sending virtual hugs and a promise for a great steak dinner made with love.
Great steaks and other recipes for Father’s Day—
Spice-Rubbed Steak with Grilled Gazpacho Sauce, a recipe I created for Fine Cooking
Steaks with Lemon-Thyme Butter
New York Steaks with Martini Butter, another one I did for Fine Cooking, on their site (these are pan-seared, but you can cook them on a grill)
Grilled Sausages, Peppers, and Onions with Dijon Sour Cream
Summer Potato Salad with Green Beans, Corn, Lemon, and Olive Oil
Grilled Salad with Romaine, Peppers, Feta, and Cilantro
Buttery, Sweet, Bright, Thoroughly Delicious Plum Cake
Mexican Chocolate and Cherry Brownies