Summer is officially right around the corner, which means it’s time to fire up the grill. Being able to make food on the grill is a summer highlight for many people. You can make steaks, veggies, burgers and even pizza on the grill, and most things taste better with a slight char to them. For those who prefer to stick to steak, here are four common mistakes people make when grilling steak and how you can avoid them.
Don’t grill straight from the fridge
If you’ve been chilling or thawing your steak in the fridge, never take it out of the fridge and throw it directly on the grill. Before you start cooking, you should let the meat sit out until it reaches room temperature. An hour before you plan to start cooking, take your steaks out of the fridge and season them with salt. Let them sit on the roasting rack until then.
Use the right kind of salt
Salt is one of the simplest, but most important seasonings. You should never put a steak on the grill without salt. Not only is salt important in general, but the kind of salt you’re using is important as well. You don’t want to use a standard table or iodized salt. When using salt with a fine grain, it’s very easy to overseason your steak. An overseasoned steak is just as bad as an underseasoned one. Choose a medium grain sea salt instead to ensure that you can clearly see how much you’re salting your steak.
Use a thermometer
You may think that you know how to tell when your steak is cooked to perfection, which means there’s no need for a meat thermometer. However, even the best chefs use thermometers when cooking because temping by hand is typically not reliable. You can find a meat thermometer at just about any grocery store, so pick one up on your next trip. You can also use a metal cake tester. To use these, place it inside the steak for five seconds, and then touch the tester to either your lips or the inside of your wrist. A cold tester means the steak is rare, a warm tester means medium-rare, and so on.
Avoid charcoal briquettes
When you’re preparing your grill, stay away from using charcoal briquettes. Using these can add an unwanted flavor to your meat. Lighter fluid can have the same affect. Instead, use a natural hardwood lump charcoal. This type of charcoal adds a better flavor to your steak and is a more natural way to grill.