One of summer’s best pleasures, grilled steak requires some critical steps to maximize its full potential. We reached out to Angie Mar, head chef at New York’s Beatrice Inn, nominated Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine in 2017, and member of the #MeatMafia, to share with us her pro tips on how to make the best steak ever. Here’s what she told us.
1. What are the most common mistakes people make when grilling steak?
One of the most common mistakes when cooking meat is not letting it temper before cooking it, and then not letting it rest after it comes off the grill or out of the pan. I like to let my meat temper for about an hour or two, before cooking it, to obtain an even internal temperature throughout.
When I’m resting meat, my rule of thumb is to rest for half the time that it was cooked. This ensures that the juices will redistribute and you’ll have a tremendously juicy steak.
2. Any advice on seasoning steak before grilling?
I’m a purest. I prefer to season my beef with just salt. When you spend the time to source really quality meats, its important to showcase that flavor instead of covering it up with marinades or seasonings.
3. When it comes time to grill, what’s your technique?
I put the steak on high heat, flipping it often, slowly building color. Then, I move it to the resting rack above the grill so it can cook through on a residual heat, as if it were in an oven.
4. Any advice on using indirect vs. direct heat for steak?
I like to use both. It’s important if you want an evenly cooked piece of meat.
5. What’s your preferred way of testing doneness when it comes to steak?
A cake tester. I never use thermometers as I find them inaccurate. I insert a cake tester into the meat and then press it to my lip to determine whether the steak is done. My rule of thumb is: body temperature for medium rare, warm for medium, and hot for medium well.
6. What about slicing steak – any tips for that step?
Before I slice a steak, I always make sure that it’s properly rested. Then I make sure to slice across the grain of the meat, not with the grain, to ensure a tender cut.