There are a few simple steps to a great grilled steak. First, buy the best grade of beef you can find, such as choice (see page 50 for more on grades of beef). Dry-aged beef will have a more concentrated flavor than your typical supermarket offerings. Second, bring the meat to room temperature before grilling. Warm meat sears better than cold meat; you’ll get a better crust on your steak if you let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes instead of taking it straight from the refrigerator to the grill. To keep steaming to a minimum – step three – pat the steaks dry before seasoning them or putting them on the grill. Add a raging hot fire and you will create a nice thick crust on the steak. But you don’t want to burn it before the interior is done to your liking. So step four is to create a two-level fire with a high-heat area and a lowheat area. Sear the steak over high heat, then move it over low heat to finish cooking without burning. It also helps to let the meat rest off the heat before slicing. This brief resting period (5 to 10 minutes) allows moisture to redistribute throughout the meat so it tastes juicier. As with all the Mastering Technique boxes in this book, this recipe has only basic flavors (salt, pepper, and oil). It’s mostly about the technique.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Charcoal:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals) with high- and low-heat areas
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch bed with a 4-inch-deep area for high heat and a 2-inch-deep area for low heat
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 6 SERVINGS)
4 boneless strip steaks, each 10 to 12 ounces and 1 to 1½ inches thick
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Oil for coating grill grate
2 tablespoons olive oil.

DIRECTIONS
1. Trim the fat on the steaks to about ¼ inch. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and sprinkle all over with the salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours if you have the time (this intensifies the flavors). 2. If you refrigerated the steaks, bring them to room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Rub the olive oil all over the steaks. Put the steaks on the grill over high heat and cook until darkly crusted, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium-low (on a gas grill) or move the steaks to the low-heat area (on a charcoal or wood grill), cover, and grill for another 8 to 12 minutes for medium-rare to medium-done (135° to 140°F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part). Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

   

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