The Perfect Grilled Steak – Part 2

In a previous post, we talked about how to prepare your grill to cook the perfect steakhouse steak. Now, let’s dive a bit deeper and talk about the different cuts of meat that are best when grilled.

Once you master grilling the perfect steak, you’ll never want to drop a hundred bucks at an overpriced steakhouse again!

Choosing Your Cut Of Beef

There are eight main cuts of beef, although they are not all suited for grilling. The chuck, rib, loin and round make up the cuts along the top portion of the cow, while the brisket, shank, short plate and flank run along the bottom.

Here’s a quick overview of each:

Chuck – With the exception of ground chuck for burgers, most cuts from this portion are not suited for traditional grilling as they are tough. Indirect grilling and smoking for long periods, or using a conventional oven are recommended.

Rib – Beef ribs are fantastic smoked, but this section is also where the ribeye comes from. Ribeyes are one of the most popular cuts in steakhouses as the fat marbling makes it juicy and tender. Ribeyes are also terrific on a grill as the fat drips down, vaporizes on the hot coats or heat plates, and coats the meat, giving it a delicious and distinctive ‘grilled’ flavour.

Loin – This is where the most tender and grillable cuts of beef come from. That’s because the loin muscles run along the top of the cow’s spine, and because they aren’t used (exercised) much, they stay tender. The T-bone, sirloin, tenderloin (filet mignon), and New York strip all come from this area.

Round – Like the chuck, most of the cuts from this area are tough and more suited to low and slow smoking or conventional oven roasting.

Brisket – The brisket produces large, tough and fatty cuts of beef. These cuts are perfect for smoking, and many BBQ championships have been won on the back of a perfectly smoked brisket! But if you’re going for steakhouse quality, avoid these cuts.

Shank – Again, not much in the way of grilling from this area. Beef shank is traditionally braised with the bone in, and is also sometimes used in ground beef mixtures.

Short Plate – This area is where the hanger steak and skirt steak both come from. The hanger steak has quickly risen in popularity in steakhouses as it’s a more affordable cut of meat, and yet it has delicious marbling similar to a ribeye and tenderness of a filet. Skirt steaks are best when marinated, quickly grilled, and sliced for dishes such as fajitas.

Flank – The flank steak and London broil come from this area and are more suited to marinating and longer cooking times than steakhouse preparations.

The Best Cuts

If you’re looking for a restaurant-quality piece of meat to grill, choose from these in no particular order:

  • Tenderloin
  • Ribeye
  • T-bone
  • New York strip
  • Sirloin
  • Hanger
  • Picanha
  • Filet

Prepare your gas or charcoal grill, as discussed in this post. Remember, you always want to start HOT and get beautiful sear marks on your meat. For thicker cuts, you can then move the steak over and finish on indirect heat – similar to how a lot of steakhouse chefs use a cast iron pan to sear a steak and then let it finish cooking through in a hot oven.

When Is It Done?

The safest way to know when your steak is done is to use a high quality digital thermometer following the recommended temperatures below:

Steak Doneness Remove from Grill Final Cooked Temperature
Rare 130 to 135°F 130 to 140°F
Medium Rare 140°F 145°F
Medium 155°F 160°F
Well Done 165°F 170°F

Grill Your Next Perfect Steak On A Broil King

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