Choose a grill-worthy cut. For a tender steak, look to cuts such as ribeye, strip steak, and top sirloin. Flat iron, skirt and flank steaks are leaner and benefit from marinating. Avoid excessive edge fat and gristle, and look for fresh, deep-red color. H-E-B makes this easy on you since we only provide the leanest cuts. Marbling throughout the cut is ideal because it imparts juiciness as the steak cooks.
Let steaks warm up. Meat that goes straight from the cold of the fridge to the fiery grill risks a burned outside and raw inside. Let steaks rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.
Thick steaks need time. Steaks like ribeye and New York strip lend themselves to thick cuts that balance the delicious crust on the outside with tender, cooked meat on the inside. But that can’t happen over extremely high heat.
To prevent their cooking too quickly, make a two-heat zone by banking charcoal or, on a gas grill, turning the burner down on one section. After searing both sides over high heat, you can ease the steak to a medium-heat part where it’ll cook more slowly. Thin, marinated steaks can be grilled quickly over high heat. And with any steak, don’t go flip crazy. Once it’s on the grill, strive to flip it only once, halfway through cooking.
Know thy temperature. The exterior appearance of a steak can be deceiving. Just ask anyone who has put meat over too-high heat, burning the outside while leaving the interior cold. Instant-read thermometers let you quickly discover the internal temperature of meat to prevent under- or overcooking. Insert it in the side of the thickest part of the steak when you think it’s close to finished, and check the temperature against a chart for the level of doneness that you enjoy.
Get perfect marks. Place your steak directly onto a hot grill for a few minutes. Then, using tongs or a spatula, give your steak a quarter turn to create a second set of marks, resulting in a crisscross pattern. When it’s time to flip the steak, repeat the process on the other side, grilling for a few minutes and then giving it a quarter turn.
Look Ma, no heat! After it comes off the grill, meat continues to cook, rising another five to ten degrees. So if you want a 160°F, medium-done steak, pull it when it reaches 150° to 155°F.
Let it rest. Make a foil tent for the steaks you just lifted from the grill and let them hang out there for five to ten minutes. Juices that were pulled by heat to the exterior of the steak will redistribute, fibers will relax, and flavor will bloom, all while it reaches its max optimal temperature.
Carve it up. Steaks like T-bones and sirloin are often cut to size to serve on individual plates. Leaner cuts like flank or skirt steak require slicing. Angle the knife at 45 degrees to cut across muscle fiber and to create tender, ready-to-eat slices.
When is it done?
|Steak Doneness||Remove From Grill||Final Cooked Temperature|
|Rare||130° to 135°F||130° to 140°F|
Grilled Tomahawk with Homemade Chile de Arbol Salt
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
10 dried chile di arbol, stems removed
1 cup kosher salt
*Chef’s note—for the salt, the longer it sits the better the flavor it will develop.
16 oz. Choice Tomahawk Ribeye Steak, set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before intended use
- In a dry pan in a well-ventilated area, toast peppers until they just turn a darker shade of red. Remove from heat immediately and cool.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat, 375° to 400°F.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, add chiles and pulse until well minced. Add salt and pulse again until salt takes on a slight red hue and chiles are well incorporated.
- Season meat liberally with chile salt. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before grilling.
- Oil grill well to keep steak from sticking, then sear steak on hottest part of grill for approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until nicely marked.
- Once steak is nicely seared on both sides, lower heat to low or medium low and continue cooking over indirect heat so as not to burn while finishing cooking.
- Continue to cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until steak reaches desired doneness, an internal temperature of 135° to 140°F is perfect for this cut. Season again with more salt to taste.