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Pascal Motafferi

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How to cook the perfect steak

Amongst the first thing anyone will try to master after acquiring a new grill, the steak is ahead of the line. Whether it’s on gas or charcoal, cooking a steak doesn’t have to be complicated, although a lot of planning can go in if you really want to. Cooking the perfect steak however should boil down to mastering 4 key concepts from which you can build on afterwards.


Understanding your cut of meat

Steaks come in various shapes, sizes and structures. One of the many mistakes that can lead to bad steaks is thinking that all cuts are made equal and the same.

Understanding your favorite cuts is paramount in working your way to the perfect steaks.

With dozens of cuts available on the market, here are some of the most prized steaks:

  • Ribeye Steaks: Fatty, Flavorful, Tender
  • Hanger/Skirt Steaks: Flavorful, Thick and Textured
  • Tri-Tip Steaks: Lean, Flavorful and takes well to rubs and spices
  • Tenderloin Filet: Tender, Lean

In order to cook the perfect steak, you should invest in 1” thick cuts. Anything thicker will prove to be more challenging in order to build texture and caramelization, while bringing your steaks to temperature without drying.



It should not come as a surprise that in order to cook the best steak ever, you must leave it come to room temperature. You never want to throw a cold piece of meat on the grill.

Prepping your 1” thick steak is fairly easy. Remove it from the fridge 40 minutes before getting started and let it warm up to room temperature. All the while, use this time to rub your steak and let the salts work their way in.

You do not want to use rubs that are too intense in flavor profile. The goal is to boost the natural flavor of the meat, not to jazz it up too much. Using rubs such as the House of BBQ Experts “Montreal” or “Steakenator” rubs is a good way to deepen the flavor of your steak without overpowering the natural beef profile you paid for in the first place.

Pat down your rub on the steak on one side. Do not wipe the rub on the steak as this will make for an uneven coating. Give it 5 minutes and let the salts draw out the moisture to create an organic rub paste. Flip the steak over and repeat the process.


The Cook

Once your 40 minutes are up, it’s time to get to work.

In order to make the perfect steak, one must define what makes a perfect steak to begin with. 

From our standpoint, we are looking at 3 things: texture, flavor and moisture.

To get the best texture possible, you will need to sear your steak and build a crust. In order to do so, heat your grill as hot as you can. There is no magic number here, but your temperature should be at a minimum of 500F, and a maximum of 800F. 

Cooking at a lower temperature will hardly make for a seared steak, whereas anything about 800F will prove to be too hot and burn your spices. 

Searing a steak does not intend to “lock in the juices”, to the contrary to popular belief. We sear for texture and caramelization. A golden brown and lightly charred steak often proves to yield the best results.

Cooking a steak should always be done in 2 stages: the sear and the temperature rise. Three to five minutes per side should be your target time for this first step. In an effort to keep your steak as juicy as possible, work with tongs and not forks to flip your meat.

Once your texture is well on its way, move your steak from direct to indirect heat. 

Flavor will come from the cut of meat you have invested in. The leaner the cut, the less flavor you will get. It will also cook much faster so be wary of searing at a low temperature as you may dry out your steak attempting to build a crust. While cooking over indirect heat, the intent here is to rise your steak in temperature and allowing the fat to slowly melt. This is why ribeye steak is such a fan favorite as it’s one of the fattiest and most flavorful cuts on the market.

Last but not least, moisture is king. Overcooking a steak can turn a 100$ piece of meat into a flavorless shoe sole. Knowing your internal temperature is therefore very important in order to stay consistent with each steak you cook. Working with a good quality thermometer is a good way to never miss.

Here are the magic numbers:

  • 125F: Rare
  • 135F: Medium Rare
  • 145F: Medium

Note that anything beyond 145 will be considered overcooked and not worthy of being considered “a perfect steak”. Our personal recommendation for ribeye, hanger and skirt steaks is 132F.



Last but not least, resting your steak is crucial as it will allow the muscle fibers to loosen up, henceforth redistributing the natural juices evenly throughout the steak. Resting your steaks for 5 minutes, loosely wrapped under tin foil, should be well enough for you to enjoy the fruit of your labor.

Following these instructions will surely set you on the right path to cook the perfect steak. From there, it’s just a matter of tweaking the variables to work your way up to the best bite, based on your own personal preferences. 

Enjoy the process, experiment often, never be satisfied! It’s about the journey, not the meal.