What’s at ‘steak’ here then?

One of our favourite foods to grill on the barbecue just has to be steak. A rather upmarket contender to the hamburger or sausage, this carnivore’s delight can be cooked several different ways and with a myriad of sauces and seasonings.

The variety in the types of steak you can buy begins at the butcher’s as you stand there gazing at the various cuts and wondering which is the best one to go for. And even, which is which… well, maybe this will help:

Grilling Steaks Barbecue


Grilling steaks - how do you prefer yours?

  • Sirloin – probably the most popular choice for a great number of steak lovers, the sirloin is rich and flavour and boasts a nice, firm texture.
  • Rump – another favourite due to its low cost and great taste
  • Fillet Steak – this is a tender cut which has a milder flavour than the above two cuts
  • T-Bone Steak – another tender cut but with more flavour than the fillet steak

It’s always a good idea to let your steaks warm up a bit before slapping them on the grill. This is because if it’s too cold, a steak will tend to contract when put on a hot grill and you won’t get the full flavour.

London celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal goes quite a bit further when he advises placing a bought and opened steak in the fridge for two days to let the air circulate around it and concentrate the flavour. Two hours prior to cooking, he then advises, you should remove it from the fridge and leave to sit.

Before putting on the grill wipe the steak with oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Now it’s time to cook. If it’s rare steak you’re fond off then cook the cut several minutes each side before plating.

If you’re more a medium steak type of person then cook on each side for around eight minutes each, turning once. It should be springy to the touch when ready. For a well done steak you’re looking at around 12 minutes each side. You can tell if it’s cooked by giving it a prod with the tongs. It should always feel firm.

Other steak tips:

  • The barbecue should always be warm prior to cooking. Don’t put on steak and expect it to cook as the barbecue heats up
  • Keep the steak apart from other foods to ensure you retain heat for it on the barbecue
  • Don’t even think of using anything other than tongs to cook your steak and lift it from the grill when ready. A fork will pierce the steak, causing some of its delicious juices to run out onto the grill rather than in your mouth
  • Remember to cover the steak in tinfoil when you lift it from the grill in order to let it ‘rest’ for a few minutes and retain its juices
  • Try not to cut a steak to test if it’s ready as this will cause some of the juices to run out (in a similar way to piercing with a fork as mentioned above)
  • Use a charcoal barbecue for the ultimate in authentic taste.

So what do you think? What’s your favourite way of cooking a steak? If you have any tips we’d love to hear them.

Image courtesy of BrianHolm / FreeDigitalPhotos.ne