One of the most intimidating things that you will face as you start to become an experienced grill master is how to know exactly when to pull your meat for the perfect finish. There are a few things you can learn to watch for and a couple tools that will have you making the perfect medium-rare steak in no time.
How Do You Cook the Perfect Medium Rare Steak?
There are a couple tricks right off the bat you can put to use that will help you have success. First, learn to regulate the temperature of your grill so that you can keep it at a consistent temperature. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is letting the temperature of the grill fluctuate during the cooking process. You want to have a grill temp of around 450 to 500 degrees consistently throughout the cooking process.
How Long to Cook a Medium Rare Steak
Time is often one of the worst ways to figure out when a steak is done cooking. This is mainly due to the variance in the thickness of a steak and the type of cut you are working with. Thick, fatty cuts like ribeye will take longer than thin or lean cuts, so it's important to consider what type of steak you are cooking. Rather than using a timer, invest in an instant read thermometer or a barbecue grill meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the meat. If you are having a tough time picking one, we really love our Bearded Butcher Brand instant read thermometer.
Using your thermometer, you'll cook like a pit boss and be making perfect medium-rare steaks in minutes. That's because it takes all the guesswork out of the process. In time you'll learn all the weird little tricks, like feeling the steak, but until you know what a perfect steak feels like you will want to use that thermometer. We still use ours all the time.
Depending on the cut of beef, thickness, and grill temperature, you will cook four to eight minutes per side, flipping at least once. Instead of worrying about time, you should look for the perfect internal temperature. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that a medium rare steak will have an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees.
3 Steps to the Perfect Steak
There are some simple things many people ignore that cause a great steak to come out only so-so. These are the three tips you can employ right now to ensure you have the best steak on the block.
- Start with room temperature steak and a dry rub. When you put a refrigerator-cold steak onto a hot grill, many not-so-great chemical reactions happen. The temp of your grill drops, and it takes longer to bring the internal temperature up, all the while allowing moisture to escape. Starting at room temperature helps keep your steak juicy.
- Don't open the lid until you need to do so. It can be seriously hard not to pop that lid open and poke and prod that big ol' hunk of meat. Use your meat thermometer to monitor the internal temp with the lid closed and when it starts to get close, use the instant read to verify you have the perfect temperature.
- Rest your meat. This is one of those steps that is so hard to follow through with, but it is really important for producing a tender, juicy, and delicious piece of meat. The longer you are able to rest your steak, the better. Thirty minutes should be considered an average amount of time. Larger cuts, like brisket, should rest longer. You can wrap these cuts in foil and place in an empty ice chest to rest for up to three hours. Resting allows the moisture in the meat to be reabsorbed and prevents tough, dry steak.