How to Grill a Steak
Need to know which steak to take? With this handy guide, you'll find tips for buying steaks, learn how to grill a steak and get great grilled steak recipes.
Known in some parts of the country as Delmonico steak, these bone-in or boneless steaks are cut from the rib section. Rib eyes are juicy, rich and very tender.
Serving size and cost: Boneless rib eyes are typically 3/4 to 1 inch thick, while bone-in versions are about 1-1/2 inches. Thinner rib eyes serve one, while thicker steaks feed two. Rib eyes are the second most costly steak behind the tenderloin.
Grilling tip: These heavily marbled steaks are prone to flare-ups on the grill; medium heat and a watchful eye is the key to a well-grilled rib eye. Rib eye steaks can withstand longer grilling and can be cooked medium to well-done.
Considered the queen of steaks, this boneless loin cut is commonly called filet mignon. It's the most tender of steaks and boasts fine marbling. Although lean, its mild buttery flavor has made it popular.
Choice-grade tenderloin steaks are the most expensive steak, but there is no waste on edge fat or bone.
Serving size and cost: Their small size makes tenderloin ideal for individual servings. Choose filets that are around 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick. Choice-grade tenderloin steaks are about $15 or more a pound.
Grilling tip: Since tenderloins have little fat, they're best grilled medium-rare to medium.
When shopping for sirloin, choose those labeled top sirloin, indicating that it is cut from the loin. Other steaks labeled as sirloin, such as petite sirloin or sirloin tip steak, are less tender and best when marinated before grilling.
Lightly marbled sirloin steaks are lean and have a good chew, but are less moist than heavily marbled steaks.
Serving size and cost: Usually sold boneless from 1 to 2 inches thick, sirloins are intended to serve three to six people. As the least expensive of the tender steaks, sirloins are a great choice for families.
Grilling tip: When grilling a thick sirloin, a two-level fire assures steaks cooked past medium will remain moist.
Porterhouse and T-Bone Steaks
With their characteristic "T"-shaped bone, these cuts are actually two steaks in one. The longer narrow section is top loin steak and the smaller is tenderloin. The porterhouse, often called the "king" of steaks because of its size, has a larger rounder tenderloin section than the T-bone.
Serving size and cost: These steaks may be found from 3/4 to 2 inches thick, with 3/4-inch T-bones being a generous individual serving. Porterhouses around 2 inches thick are intended to serve two to three people. And cost…they're middle-of-the-road.
Grilling tip: Grill thick porterhouse steaks over a two-level fire—a hot zone for searing, and a medium-heat zone for the remainder of the cooking. Porterhouse and T-bone steaks can be grilled from medium-rare to well-done.
Top Loin Steaks
Strip, New York strip, Kansas City strip and club steak…this hearty steak goes by many names. No matter what it's called, you can't miss with this flavorful well-marbled steak and its firm chewy texture. Cut from the loin, it's available bone-in or boneless.
Serving size and cost: Top loin steaks may be cut from 3/4 to 2 inches thick; the thinner 3/4 to 1-inch cuts are better suited for single servings. While their price per pound may be more expensive than a porterhouse or T-bone, boneless strips are a better value since you aren't paying for the bone.
Grilling tip: Because they're fairly lean, strip steaks are great grilled medium-rare to medium.
Its characteristic horizontal grain easily identifies this steak. Though most think of flank steak as a marinating steak, choice-grade flank grills well when seasoned. Flank steak has a rich beefy flavor and a moderate chew.
Serving size and cost: Flank steaks are 1 to 1-1/2 pounds and serve four to six people. Flank steaks are fairly economical; they cost a little more than sirloin steak.
Grilling tip: The key to tender moist flank steak is grilling to medium-rare or medium, and thinly slicing 1/4-inch thick across the grain.