7 tips for Labor Day weekend grilling
If grilling steak is on your to-do list this weekend, take heed to these tips from John Schenk, executive chef of Strip House restaurants.Make it marbled:
Flecks of fat give the meat moisture and flavor. But marbled meat can be too expensive for home cooks. “Rib-eyes and cowboy steaks [ie. bone-in rib-eyes], have a lot of fat in them, so with those, you get the effects of marbeling,” Schenk said. Oil it:
Schenk recommended using canola oil or a canola-olive oil blend to coat the steak before seasoning it. “You don’t want to waste expensive oil in this process,” he said. The oil serves two purposes: it adheres seasoning to the meat and also helps the surface temperature get hot quicker, so the meat sears more quickly. Season simply:
“When you’re doing filet, strip or any kind of rib-eye, you’re buying it for the flavor of the meat,” he said. Just add kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. “You don’t want to coat it, but you probably will use more than you think. Maybe 2 teaspoons per side of pepper. And about a teaspoon per side of kosher salt.” It’s all about heat:
You want to get a very hot grill. “Some flame is good,” Schenk said. He suggested moving the meat away from the flame though so it doesn’t burn the meat. But flames can help with the charring. Don’t flip out:
Schenk recommends flipping your meat no more than two times.
He said you’re probably looking at a total cooking time around 4-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness of the meat. Rest and relax:
Once you’ve achieved the desired temperature, remove the steak from heat and allow it to rest for at least five minutes before cutting it. “You want the muscle to relax; once the juices relax, they’ll flow back through the steak.” Sizzle and use sea salt:
After the steak has rested, and just before slicing, return it to the hot part of the grill for about 30 seconds per side, to get the surface sizzling.
After you’ve sliced it, just sprinkle a little bit of sea salt over the top. “It’s a super mild salt, but it has a little bit of the umami thing going on. It really does perk the palate,” he said.