High Steaks: Exclusive Tips From L.A.’s Grill Masters

Secrets on how to sear the sexiest steak.

So far this week, we’ve talked about grilling hot dogs, burgers, tongue, and noodles. Now, it’s time to get back to basics and talk steak. We went right to the experts for their tips on how to pick, prep, prod, and perfect a porterhouse (arguably, the king of steaks).

Executive Chef Megan Logan from Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse

➻ Dry it. Always make sure meat is patted dry with a paper towel before grilling.

➻ Season it. Do not season meat with salt until just before grilling. The salt will remove the moisture if added too soon.

➻ Sear it. Always start cooking on high heat.

Executive Chef Ari Rosenson from CUT Beverly Hills

➻ Pre-heat. Make sure to light your briquettes at least one hour before you expect to grill. You want to grill only over red hot coals—not over direct flame. (If you grill over flames your food will have a kerosene taste.)

➻ Season. Rosenson says to season meat an hour ahead of cooking. Whatever seasoning you choose needs sufficient time to permeate the meat properly. 

➻ Prep. Allow the meat to come up to room temperature before cooking. This will allow the meat to cook more quickly and evenly.

➻ Sear. Start cooking the meat on high heat. This caramelizes the meat and to sears in the juices and flavor. Then move the meat to a part of the grill that is a little cooler and cook it slowly until it’s done. 

➻ Rest. Allow the meat to rest for at least 10 minutes after you pull it off of the grill.  This will allows the juices to settle back into the meat.

Christian Page from Short Order

➻ Start with a good product. If you get great meat, all you need for seasoning is some good olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

➻ Add some wood. When you get good meat, you want to taste the meat—not the fire. Get some wood. There is nothing like cooking over wood. It gets hotter and yields a much more complex flavor. Short Order uses California almond wood.

➻ Divide your grill. Regardless of your heat source, have multiple temperature zones on your grill. It is helpful to be able to move meats around the grill; to a lower temperature space were you can slow the cooking to get to the desired doneness or a high temperature zone where you can achieve a good sear.    

➻ Get a meat thermometer. It’s a worthwhile investment, you can keep pinching your hand and comparing that to the doneness, but depending on how what cut of meat there can be some disparities there. Use the thermometer until you get the touch test figured out.