A Beginner's Guide to Choosing and Grilling Steak
Grilling steak is easy when you choose the right cut of beef.
Sizzling steak on the grill is surely one of the most pleasant sounds of summer. But that doesn't mean all steaks are created equal-some are better suited to the stovetop than the intense heat and char of the grill. Steaks that are well-marbled and tender enough to stand up to direct heat are the best bet when grilling. In addition to the cut, it's important to note that thickness plays a factor in whether or not a steak should be grilled. Most home cooks aim for a restaurant-quality sear on steak and medium-rare results-a temperature of 125 degrees just before resting. As opposed to low and slow, the key to achieving a soft, juicy pink center is to grill your steak over high heat for a quick period of time, which we highlight below. Be sure to let steaks rest for at least 10 minutes, if not longer, after grilling. One pound of steak is usually enough to serve four.
The following cuts of beef are popular and widely available-and for good reason. In just a few minutes they'll take on a delicious flavor and can be served with any make-ahead side dish. While some cooks like to marinate steak before grilling, these steaks don't need it. Simply season with salt and pepper, and serve with your choice of accompaniment, like this savory Sriracha butter-you'll have superb grilled steaks in no time.
This long steak is often thicker on one end, and it's one of the most dense cuts, so you'll need to take care when preparing it for the grill. One way to manage skirt steak is to cut it into several pieces before grilling. Compared to other steaks on this list, skirt steak is thinner-and pairs well with sauces, like a classic chimichurri. Aim to purchase a skirt steak that's at least half-an-inch thick, and briefly fire it up on the grill between two and four minutes on each side.
One of the more delicately flavored cuts of beef, sirloin steak is also often priced economically, making it a good choice for feeding larger parties. Moreover, it's the most tender steak on this list, and probably the easiest to work with for a weeknight dinner in a flash. Ask the butcher for sirloin that's at least half- to three-quarters-of-an-inch thick, and cook it over high heat for three minutes on each side.
With the boldest, richest flavor of any steak at the butcher's counter, hangar steak is worth seeking out. Hanger steaks are often served on the thicker side, between an inch and an inch and a half thick, so you'll need to grill it for at least 12 to 14 minutes (six to seven minutes per side).