Grilling The Perfect Steak: Otto’s Checklist

Grilling The Perfect Steak: Otto’s Checklist

Is there anything better than a perfectly seared steak? A nice, brown crust on the outside, moist tenderness on the inside – that pure meat flavor? Grilling the perfect steak isn't difficult if you've got a few basic techniques down. Otto is here to show you those basics in his perfect steak checklist.

1. The basic ingredients of any marinade
No matter whether you buy your meat from your local butcher, a farmer’s market, or a supermarket, there are a few things to consider.

The right temperature: Temperature is crucial and meat should always be stored in a cool environment (even at a farmer’s market). On warm days, you can use insulated shopping bags to keep your meat cool, or make sure to purchase your meat last.

Looks matter: Meat should look moist but not be swimming in its own juices. If that is the case, the meat might have been on the shelf for too long. Regarding color, brownish meat is on its way to spoiling; meat with a slight greenish sheen has gone bad. Generally, we advise you to buy your meat at your local butcher.

Fat gives flavor: White streaks within the meat are an indication of marbling. Marbling is made of fat and gives flavor to the meat. It should not be confused with gristle – that’s another story.

Quality: Meat can be expensive, especially the good stuff. But when you buy meat, don’t you want the best? You can taste it in the quality. Grass-fed organic meat will top the charts every time.

2. Salting abundantly
Before grilling your steak, you should season it with salt-- a lot of it. Ideally, salting steak should be done at least 40 minutes before grilling.

3. Dry off the meat before grilling
Wet meat will steam on the grill instead of building an even crust. We recommend dabbing the meat dry with a bit of paper towel before putting it on the grill.

4. Temperature matters
Well, this one is obvious. To sear your steak properly, you need real heat so the Maillard reaction can trigger a nice crust on the surface of the steak. (This is no problem for the Otto Grill, which heats up to 1500°F in minutes!) Have your grill ready at full heat for a few minutes before you start grilling your steak.

5. Always use a clean grill grate
Charred bits of the last grilling session on your steak…not very appetizing, is it? Avoid this by cleaning your grill grate after every use so that you can place your steak on a clean grill grate every time.

6. Check the temperature
To cook your meat to a desired result, it's best to use a meat thermometer. A thermometer is the most accurate way to ensure the perfect steak every time. But if you don't have one, you can always use this easy hand trick to determine the degree of doneness with your fingers.

Degrees of doneness for steak

7. Rest meat post-grill
Resting meat is a vital part of achieving the perfect steak as it allows the moisture to redistribute throughout the meat evenly after grilling. We recommend letting your steak rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting it. Bigger cuts can rest even longer.

8. Cutting meat against the grain
When cutting steak into slices, try cutting it against the fibers. This will make the slices particularly tender. Watch this video to see how to cut meat the right way: