I’m one of those girls who’s not afraid of a little fire. I love grilling, and I do it every chance I get. We’ve made pizzas on the grill, baked mac and cheese on the grill, baked cakes and bread, pot roasts…you name it. But hands down, my favorite thing to make (and my family’s favorite thing to eat) is a good steak.
There’s a lot of different marinade recipes, seasoning blends, etc. for steaks, but honestly I like my meat to taste like…well…meat. The best way to bring out the natural flavor of beef is to season it very minimally, get a good sear on the outside, and top it with a compound butter after grilling. Now how to get that steakhouse sear, those perfect grill lines, and the ideal done-ness? That’s a little more tricky. But luckily I’ve got a secret up my sleeve that is absolutely foolproof.
I learned this trick with an unexpected ingredient from America’s Test Kitchen, and at first I was like, what? But I’ve trusted the chefs of America’s Test Kitchen for years to provide the best cooking methods for everything from pancakes to fried chicken, so why wouldn’t I trust them with my steaks? I gave it a try for my husband’s birthday this week, and all I have to say is “DAYUM that’s a good steak!”
The secret is to get your steaks really dry. This allows them to sear on the grill instead of steam, keeping the inside tender and juicy while forming a nice flavorful crust on the outside. And, they need to be very cold when they go on the grill–that way, they can stay on the hot grill long enough to form that crust without overcooking.
So here’s how to do it:
- Choose nice, thick steaks–at least an inch in thickness. We like Top Sirloin–they’re readily available and affordable.
- Pat steaks dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp cornstarch (weird, right? TRUST me!) and 1 Tbsp Kosher salt. Sprinkle this mixture liberally over all sides of the steaks and massage into the meat. The salt and cornstarch will draw out some of the moisture from the surface.
- Chill steaks in a single layer in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes before cooking. Meanwhile, make your compound butter:
- Preheat grill to high (about 550-600 degrees) and lightly coat grates with cooking oil.
- Place steaks on hot grill, and cook for 2-3 minutes without disturbing.
- Rotate steaks 45 degrees and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Flip steaks, cook 2-3 minutes
- Rotate again, 45 degrees, and finish cooking to desired doneness. You can poke the steak with your finger to determine how done it is–the more firm, the more done. Use this “handy” trick as a guide:
- Remove from grill and allow to rest 5 minutes.
- Top finished steaks with a slice of compound butter and allow to melt, creating a flavorful glaze.