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Becoming a master at grilling steak is easier said than done. Sometimes the steak ends up too rare or, even worse, terribly overcooked.
But if you’re looking to truly impress guests at your next backyard barbecue, you’ll want to try these steps to the perfect steak, courtesy of chef Wade Wiestling of Mastro’s Steakhouse.
Emma Rechenberg contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.
1. Choose your meat.
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Wiestling recommends a juicy rib eye because “it’s extremely tender and fatty and extremely flavorful.”
Specifically, Wiestling suggests selecting the spinalis cap of the rib eye, which is typically known as the most tender piece of meat on the cow.
2. Pour a glass of wine.
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“When I’m cooking steak, that’s the only thing I’m doing,” Wiestling told Business Insider.
He said properly grilling steak requires your complete attention. Wiestling recommends tossing a salad or baking a potato after the steak is done cooking instead of attempting to multitask.
“There’s no need to walk away,” he said. “That’s why I pour a glass of wine ahead of time.”
3. Unwrap the steak and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.
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Wiestling says the key to making great steak is to let it come to room temperature before you cook it.
“If you throw an ice-cold slab of beef on the grill, your chances of getting it cooked to the perfect temperature are going to be more difficult,” he said. “You may not get that nice char on it.”
When the steak adjusts to room temperature, the meat relaxes and the fats soften up. This brings the steak to its prime grilling state.
4. Season with salt and cracked black pepper.
Wiestling keeps his seasoning simple and suggests rubbing the salt and pepper on the steak right before you throw it on the grill.
5. Grill the steak on high until a nice charring appears on both sides.
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Be sure to get your grill as hot as possible, bypassing the lower settings.
“It shouldn’t take very long if your grill is hot and your steak is room temperature,” Wiestling said.
To get a medium-rare steak, each side should sit on the grill for about four to five minutes. When you see a nice char on each side, it’s time to take the steak off the grill.
6. Take the steak off the grill and let it sit.
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Once the steak is done, don’t eat it right away. You should wait about five minutes before serving it to guests.
“You want to allow all of those juices to redistribute into the meat,” Wiestling said.
7. Cover the steak loosely with foil until it is ready for serving.
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