As a fifth-generation, family owner of Omaha Steaks, I literally grew up grilling. It’s my heritage. My great, great-grandfather started the company and for nearly 100 years, we’ve been working to help our customers to master the art of grilling the perfect steak.
I had great teachers in my dad and other family members, but I have had my share of grill disasters, too.
Above all, I think it’s important not to be intimidated by grilling. If you start with delicious Omaha Steaks, have the right tools and use our tried and true tips for grilling the perfect steak, you can’t miss.
But back to the beginning. It really is important to start with a great steak. My personal favorite is a New York Strip. I use a gas grill, but there’s a lot to be said for charcoal grills, too. It’s really just a personal preference and in my case, I choose convenience as gas grills are ready to use so quickly.
Next, you need the right tools.
Here’s a list of what I consider to be the top six grilling tool “must haves”:
1. Extra virgin olive oil and an all-purpose seasoning like Omaha Steaks Signature Blend
Start by brushing the olive oil on both sides of the steaks and then sprinkle them with an all-purpose seasoning or salt and pepper.
Long handled tongs are the key to getting your steaks on and off the grill and flipping them safely. It’s a good practice to have two sets – one set for raw meat and the other for cooked.
3. A ruler
Use a ruler to measure the thickness of your steaks so you know how long to grill them to the perfect degree of doneness.
4. A timer plus a steak grilling chart or a steak app
Of course, I like the Omaha Steaks iPhone App, SteakTime – our app has an innovative grilling timer that enables you to create a personalized steak timer setting for all your guests – ensuring that everyone’s steak is grilled to perfection and ready to serve at the same time.
5. A meat thermometer
Once you’ve measured your steak and cooked it for the time indicated for the degree of doneness you want, use a thermometer to take the internal temperature of the steak to verify that it is ready. I use the iGrill Bluetooth temperature probe, which works with our Steaktime app.
6. A grill brush
This tool is crucial for getting the best flavor and sear marks on your steaks. Keeping your grill grates clean also keeps your food from sticking. Use the grill brush both before and after you grill to keep the grates clean.
Now that you've got the top tools, here are my top five five tips for perfect grilling:
1. Clean and pre-heat your grill on high.
2. Lightly oil and season everything before you put it on the grill. This helps the searing process and prevents sticking.
3. Sear the outside of the steaks when grilling, using tongs or a spatula to turn the meat, and cover the grill as much as possible during the grilling process to help lock in the great flavor and to prevent flare-ups. Never pierce the steak when grilling as that allows the flavorful juices to escape. Don’t press or squish the steaks or burgers when grilling either. Just let them be!
4. Use the 60/40 grilling method. Grill for 60% of the time on the first side, then grill 40% of the time after you turn over the food. This will give you an evenly cooked product.
5. Place your cooked meats on a clean plate and allow your foods to “rest” for two to five minutes before serving to retain moisture and juiciness.
Most steaks don’t take very long to cook on the grill, so be careful to avoid overcooking. You can always put a steak back on the fire, but it’s hard to correct an overdone steak disaster.
It’s also fun to experiment with different foods on the grill. The more variety the better.
Grilled vegetables, for example, taste great and the bright colors make an impressive presentation, alongside a perfectly prepared steak. My favorites for grilling are: asparagus, green onions, fennel, red bell peppers and Portobello mushrooms.
My advice is to just jump in and start grilling. Like any newly acquired skill, the more you do it, the more confidence you will have. And, if you start with a great steak and use the right tools and grilling tips, you can’t miss.
For more grilling tips, recipes and to download the SteakTime app you can visit www.OmahaSteaks.com.
Todd Simon is the fifth-generation family owner of Omaha Steaks.