We Australians pride ourselves on our love of barbecue, but if I’m going to be honest, when it comes to the most important thing we put on the grill, far too many Aussies have no idea where to start. What’s that vital dish that causes such struggle? Why it’s steak, of course.
Now if you’re part of the majority who find grilling steak hard, don’t feel bad, and don’t be discouraged. For starters it is a technically complex task (although once you break it down into individual steps it is so much easier), and with the right instructions literally anyone can master it.
Before you start, there’s a few rules you need to know.
Firstly, a barbecue grill will always be the best way to cook a steak, but if all you have is a flat plate or pan, then never fear, we’ll make it work.
Secondly, you need to know how you like your steak cooked, because this affects what cut you should buy. Essentially, the leaner a piece of beef (think eye fillet or sirloin) the less it should be cooked as it dried out and becomes tough above medium. By contrast, a cut with more intramuscular fat (also known as marbling) can be cooked all the way to medium-well with no problems at all. For that, think rib eye and scotch fillet.
Thirdly, the definition of the correct way to grill any kind of meat is to cook it as fast as possible to achieve the degree of cook required in the minimum amount of time without burning. This is because the principal reason meat dried out on the grill is evaporation of juices, hence reducing the cooking time will give you a more succulent steak every time.
So, step by step, here is the guaranteed method for cooking the perfect steak.
- Take your steak out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking. By allowing it to lose the chill it reduces cooking time.
- Oil and season the steak not the pan or barbecue.
- Season with salt only, adding pepper once it is cooked. This is because pepper burns on the grill.
- The barbecue heat should be as high as possible.
- Turn the steaks every 30 second, rotating and flipping as you go. Contrary to popular myth, turning the steaks regularly maintains higher internal temperature, thereby reducing cooking time for a juicer result.
- Rest the steak in a warm but not hot place for one-fifth of the total cooking time. This relaxes the fibres for a more tender mouthfeel and stopping the juices from seeping out onto the plate.
Find recipes for the perfect steak and black angus t-bone with radicchio salad on our recipe page.