America’s Birthday Done Right

Written by WC Dish’s newest writer; The Barbecue Bachelor

July 4th is just around the corner and, if you’re like me, you’ll be outside, grilling, enjoying a few drinks and hanging with your friends. Odds are that you’ll whip up some weiners and burgers. Now, I like burgers. In fact, I like ‘em a lot. You could do this and it would probably turn out great. But then again, you could also do steak. And that would turn out even better than great.

Grilling steak is fairly simple. The hardest part is attaining the holy grail of doneness: medium rare. Other than that, preparation is a snap. There are, however, a few things you need to get right to ensure the perfect steak.

The Right Cut

Begin with the right cut of meat. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with rib eye; bone-in or boneless will do. When buying a steak, always look for a nice amount of marbling (the visual fat throughout the meat), as this is the number one category for grading beef. The more the marbling, the better the flavor. As for size, I suggest steaks no thinner than one inch. Most butchers will be more than happy to cut thicker if you ask them. I always ask them.

Don’t Forget the Salt

The second thing you need to get right is the salting. About an hour before you plan to toss your steaks on to the grill, salt them heavily with kosher salt. A good salting will make even the less-than-stellar cuts tasty. At the end of your hour, wash the salt off the steak. The salt will have permeated through the meat. As far as any other seasoning, I am a bit of a purest. If I did my job by buying a decent piece of meat and salting it properly, it should not need anything else besides some fresh ground pepper.

Light My Fire

About a half hour before grill time light your coals (notice how I did not say flip the switch on your gas grill). Thirty minutes should be enough time for your coals to get red hot. Now for the cooking part. To achieve medium rare, I suggest investing in a stop watch; proper timing is everything. If your fire is hot enough, your steaks with only need about 3 minutes per side. If someone wants their steak cooked more, refuse.

Because they will be on there for such a short amount of time, let the fire flare up; it will sear the outside of the meat and seal in all of the juices, leaving the center nice and pink. To make sure those juices stay inside the meat, cover your steaks with tin foil and a towel and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes. To round out your July 4th feast, I suggest a magnum of the cabernet of your choice, a wedge of tomato and a sprig of parsley. Happy Birthday, America!

Done and done.