My simple tips and tricks for How to Grill Steak perfectly, every time! It’s time to be the master of your grill! 

I love the flavor and lack of kitchen cleanup that occurs whenever we fire up our favorite grill recipes, like Carne Asada Tacos, my favorite Grilled Chicken, or Grilled Pizzas!

A medium rare grilled steak on a plate with a few slices cut from it and a green salad on the side. 

I have several grill master influences in my life and there’s one thing I’ve come to learn from all of them: there’s a standard procedure to follow when firing up the grill, and if you follow it, you’ll have great results every single time!

How to Grill Steak:

1. Season the meat and allow it to rest before grilling!

You can use a wet marinade (like my favorite flank steak marinade), or a simple dry seasoning (we like McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning) to add flavor to your steak. Allow the steaks to rest at room temperature at least 15-20 minutes before grilling and season them about 10-15 minutes before grilling.

The ingredients needed to grill steak, including raw pieces of steak, steak seasoning, oil, and salt.

2. Clean and oil your grill.

Turn your charcoal or gas grill to high and heat it for about 10-15 minutes before you start cooking. If you have a temperature gauge on your grill, look for it to reach about 450-500ºF.  Otherwise, observe the coals or gas heat level to see if the coals are barely covered with ash or hold your hand over the heat and you shouldn’t be able to handle it for more than about 3-4 seconds.

Use a grill brush to brush away any chunks of charred meat and drippings. To prevent the steak from sticking to the grill, soak a paper towel with some vegetable oil and use tongs to rub it gently over the grill rack.

3. Sear and cook: only flip once!

The cook time of your steak will largely depend on the thickness of the steak.  Here’s a rough guide but use a thermometer for more accurate internal temperatures.

  • 1 inch thick (filet mignon, strip steak, flank steak): grill 3-7 minutes per side depending on desired doneness.
  • 1 ¼ inch thick (ribeye, sirloin): grill 8-10 minutes per side depending on desired doneness.

Only flip steaks one time during cooking.

Two process photos of a piece of steak cooking on a hot grill, flipped once, showing grill marks.

4. Use a thermometer to check for doneness.

Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat and remember the steak will continue to cook a little after it’s off the grill.  Aim for 125°F for rare, 130-135°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium. Remove the steaks from the grill a few degrees before they’ve reached your ideal doneness. This standard meat thermometer works great or this thermometer connects to an app on your phone and allows you to track the temperature remotely, minute by minute.

5. Let it rest.

Cover the meat with aluminum foil and allow it to rest on the plate for 5-10 minutes so that all the juices and flavor can settle back into the meat. If you cut into it too soon the juices will run out and the steak won’t be as tender and juicy.

Steak Doneness Temperature Chart

There’s nothing worse than spending money on a good steak and then overcooking it! This guide will help you determine how long to cook your steak.

A chart with temperatures to cook steak and steak doneness guidelines

Tips for Grilling Steaks:

  • Choose the cut that’s right for you. There are many good cuts of steak to choose from, depending on your preference.  I love rib-eyes, strip steaks and T-bone steaks. If you prefer a thin steak (like flank steak) they cook faster and you’re not dealing with a big thick piece of meat when you eat. If you can’t find the thin cut you’re looking for, purchase a thicker cut of meat and ask the butcher at the store to slice it in half, horizontally.
  • Choose high quality steak. The quality of the meat you purchase plays a huge factor in how good your steaks will turn out! Steaks are given different “grades” based on the marbling (fat dispersed throughout the steak) and the age the animal was at slaughter.  The highest quality meat (prime) is younger beef that has the most marbling.  At most grocery stores, you’ll have your choice of the following three grades:
    • Select: cheaper, or sale priced meat.
    • Choice: The best choice for your local grocery store.  Higher quality and widely available.
    • Prime: the best of the best. Not found at most supermarkets but you can find prime cuts of meat at Costco!
  • Slice against the grain. After your steak has had a chance to rest, use a sharp knife and slice it against or across the grain in thin, ¼ inch slices.  This way, your cutting through the fibers of the meat and the meat will be easier and more enjoyable to chew.

Serve Steak with:

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Recipe

A medium rare grilled steak on a plate with a few slices cut from it and a green salad on the side.
Prep 55 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 1 hr 5 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Rib Eye steaks , thin-cut (or use your preferred steak)
  • Steak Seasoning , to taste
  • Salt and pepper , if needed

Instructions
 

  • Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 15-30 minutes before grilling to allow them to come to room temperature. Season steaks about 10-15 minutes before grilling and preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 450-500 degrees F.)
  • Place steaks on hot, well oiled grill. Cover with grill lid and cook for 3-4 minutes, (or more, depending on the thickness of the steak). Flip steaks, cover with lid, and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until firm around the edges and slightly tender in the center. Use a thermometer to reach your desired doneness (for example, a few degrees shy of 130 degrees F for medium rare). Don't overcook!
  • Transfer to a plate or cutting board, cover, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
  • Store leftover steak in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Notes

Steak Doneness Temperatures: 
  • Rare: 120-130° F
  • Medium Rare: 130-135° F
  • Medium: 135-140° F
  • Medium well: 140-150° F
  • Well: 150° F
Remove steak from heat a few degrees before desired doneness temperature as it will continue to cook off the grill.

Nutrition

Calories: 940kcalProtein: 90gFat: 63gSaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 275mgSodium: 235mgPotassium: 1211mgVitamin A: 70IUCalcium: 32mgIron: 7.8mg

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I originally shared this recipe May 2014. Updated July 2020 with process photos, a steak doneness chart and additional tips.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Such great tips bin always the one who does the grilling in our family, so I’m definitely gonna keep these in mind next time.

  2. My husband and I were just saying how we need to find a tutorial for grilling steaks! Great timing!! And your steak looks amazing, by the way.

  3. I am so terrible at grilling steaks, they always turn out tough and overcooked. I’ll have to refer to this when we pull out the steaks next time.

    1. Haha, I’ve definitely failed on my fair share in the past, but follow these tips and you shouldn’t have problems any longer!