Summertime is the perfect excuse to fire up the grill and make some juicy steaks. With so many marinade options and complementing garnishes available, grilling a steak makes for an irresistible entree that will show off your cooking skills and make you a hit with guests. As soon as you nail down how to cook steak on the grill you'll be able to take your barbecue with confidence and be the talk of the neighborhood this summer.

Before You Grill

steaks grilling on a BBQ

There are a few things to consider before you jump into grilling, including the sort of steak you want, temperatures, and which marinades will work best for your tastes!

Choosing Your Steak

Selecting the proper steak can make or break your dinner. Most chefs turn to the thicker steaks for a juicier end result, but having a thinner steak doesn't ruin your dinner by any means. If you're looking into the thicker cuts of beef you should be gunning towards the rib-eye or the T-bone steak whereas a great thin-cut steak would be a flank or a skirt. You should also seriously consider getting a steak that has a good amount of fat on it in order to add to the overall flavor.

Seasoning Your Meat

Applying a savory marinade to your steak will only enhance the flavor and give your guests a distinct taste that separates your dinner from the rest. Citrus twists or splashing in some alcohol are just a few of the options available to you when marinading your meat. You can also apply a steak rub over a marinade, which cuts out some of the prep time but still brings the flavor. If you're in a pinch and need to do some quick seasoning, you can always just add salt, pepper, and olive oil.

When you're marinating your food or even just applying a simple seasoning, you really should let your marinated meat sit for 40 - 120 minutes maximum before you start grilling. The seasoned meat can be left at room temperature or kept in the refrigerator for the allotted time. Some people prefer to season right before they start grilling and it really all comes down to your personal preferences. Though, allowing your meat to sit for about an hour at room temperature while it's seasoned will allow the meat to soak in all the flavor.

Regardless of how you choose to season, you should leave your steaks out at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before you grill.

Cleaning Your Grill

outdoor grill in the summertime

Ensure that your grill has been cleaned of any oil or leftover food bits from previous dinners. You can also grease your grill with some canola or vegetable oil to prevent your meat from sticking. Keep in mind that you can also oil your meat without oiling your grill and you'll still be able to prevent sticking this way.

Get Grilling!

Now that you have the basics covered you can toss your meat onto the grill and get started. Depending on the thickness and required doneness of your steak you'll need to grill for longer times. Thicker steaks will vary from 8 - 24 minutes total cooking time and thinner steaks will take you anywhere from 4 - 12 minutes. This handy chart breaks down the cooking times in greater detail and provides specifics for thickness as well.

Temperature Variations

It's a good idea for you to have a meat thermometer on hand to offer a little more confidence in your grilling. Different people are bound to prefer different levels of doneness and here are the basic guidelines to follow:

Rare: 115 - 120°F

Medium Rare: 120 - 125°F

Medium: 130° - 135°F

Medium Well: 140° - 145°F

Well Done: 150°F

Let Them Sit

Don't be so quick to serve your steaks. Let them sit for about 5 - 6 minutes before you give guests their cut. Having your meat sit out for a few minutes allows the juices to go back to the center, which will make them much juicier.

T-bone steaks on the grill

Learning how to cook steaks on the grill is a great way to show off your barbecue prowess and offer guests restaurant-quality entrees that really hit the spot. Marinate your steaks to personal perfection and be the talk of the neighborhood this summer!

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