How to Grill a Steak Like a Texan

By Chris Johns •  Updated: 05/15/24 •  3 min read

How to Grill Steak Like a Texan

If any place in America should know how to grill a steak it should be Texas.

Grilling a steak is not complicated. In fact, preparing a good grilled steak is a very simple affair once you know-how. It doesn’t involve fancy spices or preparation.

In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about cooking up a juicy, Texas-style steak that will impress your neighbors, especially if they are Yankees!

Start with a good cut of meat, or don’t bother starting at all. I would recommend a 1 1/2 inch thick New York strip, graded Prime. If you just can’t swing the extra cost for Prime, then you can go with Choice, but never any lower. Prime really is much better. Select a steak that’s well marbled and, if you can get it, bone-on. Your butcher, even at mega-marts, will be happy to cut you steaks. Don’t settle for what happens to be packed out front.

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator a half-hour before cooking to get their internal temperature warmed up a bit. I usually do this while waiting on the fire to heat up. Pat them dry with a paper towel, then sprinkle a teaspoon or so of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper on each steak. Drizzle a little olive oil on each side, a light coating. I find it easiest to use a pastry brush. That’s it. You don’t need any other spices, assuming you are using a good quality cut of meat.

Now, your grill should be good and hot. If using a gas grill, let it heat for 20 minutes or so with the lid down. You will be cooking on high! Clean the grill and oil the grates before placing the steaks down on the grill. Cook for approximately two minutes, until you can lift them steak with tongs (never a fork!) without it sticking. Turn a quarter turn so that you produce fancy grill marks.

Cook another couple of minutes, then flip. Follow the same procedure on this side, but after the quarter-turn start paying attention to the steak so you can pull it off when it reaches the proper temperature. Poke the steak with your finger. The steak is rare when it feels like your cheek and medium when it feels like the tip of your nose. Practice makes perfect. Poke it with a meat thermometer if you must, but you will lose some precious juices.

When done, remove and place on a platter. Top each steak with a pat of butter – plain or seasoned. (Note, I said butter, not margarine.) Let the steaks rest for at least 5 minutes. A sheet of foil can be placed loosely over the platter to keep them warm.

Grab your steak knives and take it from here!

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Chris Johns

Chris Johns is the founder of Rock's Barbecue® and has been an avid barbecue fan for over 20 years. His mission is to make grilling and smoking the best food possible easy for everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people with grilling, smoking, and barbecue recipe recommendations.

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