Don’t watch if your hungry! Master Chef schools us on grilling steaks.
Chef Robert Del Grande was executive chef at The Annie Café & Bar in Houston Texas before retiring in 2022. I’m very thankful someone made this video so we can all learn from a true grill master.
The video features a wood fire grill but the technique and principles are the same.
Chef Robert Del Grande lays it out at the beginning “It’s a simple one two three step process so, well let’s make it a four step process. The first one is buy a good steak” he mentions.
First thing is to buy a good steak (the video features a rib eye). Generally a thicker steak that it at least 1 inch thick with a decent amount of marbling and is either prime or choice grade.
Next you’re ready to season your steak after letting it come to room temperature. Start with olive oil and rub the steak down to help prevent it from sticking to the grill.
Right before you are ready to toss it on the grill sprinkle salt and pepper over the steak. “the reason I say not too far ahead is that salt will try to draw some liquid to the surface of the meat and it won’t brown as well”.
Use Uneven Heat for Grilling
You don’t need your grilling surface to be the same temperature. In fact you want a hot spot for searing and then another area with less direct heat.
When you toss the steak onto the grilling surface at the hottest spot the juices and heat is drawn to the middle of the steak.
Chef Robert further notes “You can see how hot it is that the whole outside of the steak is becoming encased heat so that the juices are going inward not outward”.
“Your not sealing in the juices your driving them away from the surface”
Caution is warranted at this point not to overheat the juices as they will then boil and overcook the meat. I think that takes a lot of practice to get right.
The way he explains it is you are just starting the cooking process.
Driving the juices toward the center as much as possible quickly before they start to boil.
After a couple minutes of searing he pulls the steak back to the cooler spot of the grilling surface.
“You can baste the steak at this point because when it drips it won’t catch fire”.
Time to spread a little butter over the top of the steak.
Grill Faster Not Longer
Very interesting point he makes next about rare and well done steaks. Actually rare steaks should be cooked very hot and quickly.
“Some people think oh well done should hotter and longer”
He mentions why this is not the case.
“It’ll just be dry and tougher. You sear it like a rare steak and pull it to the edge of the fire and then let it slowly finish out”
One awesome trick is to poke the top of the steak with your finger. The more resistance the further cooked the steak is.
Another is trick Chef Robert Del Grande gives away is by looking for juices outside of the steak.
“Usually even a medium rare has no juice on top. Once it gets to medium because the juices have gone all the way through. It will start to bead up on the surface”
The Secret Chef Saying
“You can usually hear a steak that’s overcooked because the juices are dropping in the fire”
That sizzling sound is appealing when grilling but if you hear that when cooking steaks it means it’s probably medium done.
Let The Steak Rest
After taking your steak off the grill its best to let it rest for 5-10 minutes. This way the juices settle throughout the meat and when you cut it open they don’t run out all over your plate. You want to keep the juice within the steak and each bite.
What a great video about grilling steaks that I think everyone can learn a lot from.