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There’s not a lot that actually intimidates us at a summer barbecue, but being in charge of grilling the steaks definitely does. For one thing, meat has never been more expensive, and that seems especially true of tender, marbled steaks. Mess them up, and it’s like throwing away money. For two, trying to figure out how to perfectly cook the steak on the grill — with a seared, carmelized exterior and juicy, pink interior — has always eluded us. But Ina Garten knows the secret for perfect steak. Garten says she consulted the experts at Lobel’s of New York, a fifth generation butcher shop in New York City, to learn how to make foolproof steaks on the grill, and the method is so easy, anyone can do it.
You really don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients to make Garten’s grilled steaks. She uses thick New York strip steaks, and seasons them with a rub made from ground coffee, garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. It’s spicy, sweet, earthy, and gets smoky and caramelized on the grill.
The steak is marinated in the spice rub in the fridge for a few hours, and you don’t even need to let the meat come back up to room temperature before it goes on the grill. You do want to let your grill get screaming hot before you put the steaks on. Garten says you can use a charcoal grill or gas grill, and you’ll want one side of the grill to be hot, one side to be cool.
For a charcoal grill, Garten says you’ll want to cook the steaks for exactly two minutes on each side — set a timer for best results. Then, the steaks are moved to the cool zone of the grill and cooked until done. We always use a digital probe thermometer when cooking steaks, to make sure that we take them off the heat before they’re overcooked.
After it rests, the steak is ready to be eaten. It has an exquisitely flavored, charred and smoky crust, and juicy, flavorful meat inside. Add a sprinkle of Garten’s favorite finishing salt, Le Saunier De Camargue Fleur De Sel, and that’s it — this steak is already so full of flavor it doesn’t need anything else.
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