In my opinion, if you’re going to splurge on a high quality steak, then you need to know how to prepare and cook it correctly. Don’t get me wrong…any steak should be cooked correctly in order to really enjoy it…but if we’re comparing a $5 steak to a $30 steak…I’m going to make sure I nail the cook on the $30 steak. There are plenty of budget steaks that my family and I enjoy year round, but for special occasions and/or during the holidays, I tend to get excited about buying a higher dollar steak to enjoy with family and friends.
I recently was sent some American Wagyu beef from Morgan Ranch to test out, but more specifically, one of their combo packs that contained the steaks you’ll see below: sirloin filet, Tri-Tip and Bavette sirloin. I’ll go ahead and tell you this beef was AMAZING…probably the best beef I’ve ever had…but let me walk through my process. I’ll quickly provide the summary version, but then see below for the more detailed process with step by step pics.
- Salt your steaks.
- Cook over low, indirect heat on your grill until the steaks are 10° – 15° degrees under your target finishing temp. Pull the steaks off at this point.
- Crank your grill up to a hot searing temp and quickly sear on both sides over direct heat until your target temp is reached, watching very closely (do not walk away from the grill) with a fast-read, high-accuracy food thermometer. I recommend the ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 above anything else on the market. In fact…go check out my video review of the Mk4 here if ya like.
- Plate and serve immediately (I’ll discuss resting below).
The first 3 pics below show the amazing marbling that Wagyu beef is so well known for.
First step is salting your steaks. Check out the Serious Eats article here for more info on salting. It’s a great article and discusses how long you should salt the steaks….if…you even think salting is necessary. For me, I always salt and leave out at room temp for anywhere between 45 min and 1 hr. This seems to be the money spot for me as far as both flavor and the quality of the finishing sear.
After your steaks have been salted, fire up your grill and setup for indirect heat. I can’t emphasize this enough: cook low and slow over indirect heat…then…sear over direct heat on the finish. For this portion of the cook, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a high accuracy food thermometer and let your steaks come up to an internal temp that is 10° – 15° degrees under your target finishing temp. Pull them off the grill and set them aside at this point, then increase the heat of your grill up to a hot, searing temp (preferably 600° or hotter if possible).
***I always reach for my trusty ThermoWorks ChefAlarm for this step. I love how accurate the ChefAlarm is (especially with the Pro-Series temperature probes it uses), the large digits on the display (which has a backlight) and the LOUD alarm it packs. It’s a great gift idea with Christmas just around the corner and one I highly recommend.***
Once your grill is at a searing temp, quickly sear the steaks over the direct heat side. I like to flip my steaks frequently during this quick process to promote even cooking on both sides. For this portion of the cook, it’s ideal to also use a high accuracy food thermometer, but it’s even better if it’s a fast-read thermometer since every second counts when you’re searing at high temps. My go-to gadget (which also happens to be one of my favorite BBQ’ing/grilling tech tools) for this is the Thermapen Mk4. It will read temps in 2-3 seconds to an accuracy of ±0.7°F. This is really important to me, especially when trying to nail temps on a high dollar steak.
I typically pull the steaks when I hit my target temp. There is a TON of debate over whether or not you should rest steaks. Possibly the best, collective effort towards shining some light on this debate is the “Mythbusting Resting Meat” article over at AmazingRibs.com. Definitely go check that article out when you have time, but in short, in my experience…the time it takes to move the steaks inside, get them plated up with sides and serve them to your guests is going to be at least 5 minutes (most likely more…), so ultimately your steak will have rested a bit by the time you cut into it.
In case you’re wondering, I’m searing these steaks on my Napoleon PRO605CSS charcoal grill. A great feature of this grill is that it has an adjustable charcoal grate with 6 levels, so for searing steaks, I raise it all the way up to it’s highest setting. You can see the glowing coals just about an inch below. If interested, you can check out my review of theNapoleon PRO605CSS charcoal grill here.
Here’s a couple close up shots to show you the ending result. A perfect medium rare in the middle with just a bit of yummy brown crust on the edges from the sear. The great thing about this method is that whether you are grilling 1″ thick steaks or 4″ thick ones…this method works time and time again. Enjoy!