4 grilling tips from the pros

The weatherman is predicting scorching temperatures this week, and even though the lure of air conditioning is pretty tempting, there’s still plenty of work to do outside on the ranch. And even after a long, hot day outdoors, we never shy away from firing up the grill for supper at night.

Like most ranchers, we have a freezer full of beef at our disposal, and the summer grilling season is the perfect time to master our craft and prepare the perfect steak. There are many different ways to achieve this ultimate goal, depending on your tastes and preferred cooking methods; however, I’m always excited to learn more about how the pros manage to make a perfect steak every time.

Kingsford, a popular charcoal briquette company, recently rounded up tips from several top-notch chefs on how to prepare steakhouse quality steaks on the backyard grill. Here are four tips you might want to consider the next time you fire up the grill at home:

1. Select steaks with marbling and firmness in mind


“When picking out a chuck eye, the cheaper and end cut of a rib eye, I look at the actual steak, not just the labels and press on the steak with my finger to see if it has nice meaty feel and isn’t mushy,” says Brad Orrison, The Shed BBQ founder and pitmaster.


“Don’t just choose the Prime steak because it says Prime on the package; choose the steakwith the best marbling (striations of fat throughout the meat) for a juicier steak,” says Darren Warth, Smokey D’s BBQ pitmaster.

2. Season well to enhance the flavor

“Season, season, season! It is so important to season a steak before youput it on the grill — even if it’s simply salt and pepper or a 10-ingredient grilling shake,” says Melissa Cookson, World BBQ champion and pitmaster of Memphis Barbecue Co.

“When seasoning a 2” thick rib eye, first I give my steak a light rub down using balsamic vinegar and then season liberally with kosher salt and creole seasoning,” adds Robby Royal, pitmaster of Rescue Smokers BBQ.

3. Sear to seal in the juices

“Sear it like the pros; cover the entire cooking surface with foil (shiny side down), shut the lid and heat the grill to achieve a high heat and to clean the grill quickly. Remove the foil and sear steaks on each side,” says Jennifer Duncan, pitmaster of Whiskey Ranch BBQ Co.

“I use the ‘Reverse Sear Method’ by building a two-zone fire. First grill the steaks on indirect heat until 10 degree from desired internal temperature. Then transfer the steaks to direct heat to char for 2-3 minutes on each side,” says Brooke Orrison, co-founder and pitmaster of The Shed BBQ.

4. Reach ideal temperatures for best steaks

“Let the steak come up to room temperature before putting it on the grill for even cooking” says George Shore, owner of Pitmaker. “Always use an internal read thermometer so you know when you’re getting close to your desired internal temperature,” adds Robyn Lindars, owner of Grill Girl.

“Pull steaks off the grill a few degrees before your desired temperature because steaks will keep cooking after they’re pulled from the fire,” says Nicole Davenport, chef and owner of Freida’s Sweets and Meats.

What are your secrets to grilling the perfect steak? Do you use a cast iron skillet? Do you use a charcoal grill? What kind of seasoning do you use? Share your best tips in the comments section below and pass along this information to your friends on social media by posting this blog online!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.