How to grill a great steak for dad

June 16, 2016

Spice-Rubbed Steaks with Grilled Gazpacho Sauce /

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.

Spice-Rubbed Steaks with Grilled Gazpacho Sauce /

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
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

Spice-Rubbed Steaks with Grilled Gazpacho Sauce /


8 thoughts on “How to grill a great steak for dad

  1. Jill Post author

    I’m with you, Patricia! The last thing you want to do is take a quality ingredient and then bury it! Hope you had a good Father’s Day.

  2. Jill Post author

    I love the idea of “plain” steak being dude food, Kim! But there’s nothing wrong with salt and pepper being the only garnishes on a good piece of meat (or most anything else)!

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