How to Cook the Perfect Steak on a BBQ

Cooking the perfect steak on a BBQ can be intimidating, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can be sure to achieve a delicious and juicy steak every time. The first step is to choose the right steak.

Know Your Cuts

The most popular cuts of steak include ribeye, sirloin, filet mignon, and T-bone. Each cut of steak is unique and has its own characteristics. Ribeye is known for its rich flavor and marbling, while sirloin is leaner and has a more subtle flavor. Filet mignon is tender and has a mild flavor, while T-bone combines the flavor of a ribeye with the tenderness of a filet mignon.

Select the Right Thickness

Thickness is an important factor to consider when choosing a steak. Generally, the thicker the steak, the longer it will take to cook. If the steak is too thin, it can overcook quickly and become dry.

Understand the Grades

When buying steak, it is important to understand the quality grades. USDA Prime is the highest grade and is known for its marbling and flavor. USDA Choice is the second highest grade and is still quite flavorful. USDA Select is the lowest grade and is the most affordable.

Decide the Amount You Need

The amount of steak you need will depend on how many people you are serving. Generally, you should plan for at least 4 ounces of steak per person.

Once you have chosen the right steak, the next step is to prepare the grill.

Clean the Grill

Before cooking, it is important to clean the grill grates with a wire brush or scraper. This will remove any residue from the previous cook and ensure that the steak will not stick to the grill.

Choose the Heat Source

When cooking steak, you can use charcoal, wood, or gas as the heat source. Charcoal adds a smoky flavor, while wood adds a more subtle smoky flavor. Gas is the most convenient and controllable heat source.

Set Up the Grill for Direct Heat

To set up the grill for direct heat, spread out the charcoal or wood evenly in the grill and light it. Once the charcoal is ashed over, place the steak directly over the heat source.

Set Up the Grill for Indirect Heat

To set up the grill for indirect heat, move the heat source to one side of the grill and place the steak on the other side. This will create a hot and cool side, allowing for more even cooking.

Before cooking the steak, it is important to prepare it properly.

Bring the Steak to Room Temperature

Allowing the steak to rest at room temperature before cooking will help ensure that the steak cooks evenly.

Season the Steak

Once the steak is at room temperature, season it with salt and pepper. This will enhance the flavor of the steak.

Brush on a Coat of Oil

Brushing the steak with a light coating of oil will help prevent it from sticking to the grill.

Now it is time to cook the steak.

Place the Steak on the Grill

Place the steak on the grill and allow it to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. If using indirect heat, move the steak to the hot side to sear it, then move it back to the cool side to finish cooking.

Rotate the Steak

If using direct heat, rotate the steak every minute or so to ensure even cooking.

Flip the Steak

Flip the steak every 3-4 minutes until it reaches the desired doneness.

Once the steak has reached the desired doneness, it is time to rest it.

Transfer the Steak to a Plate

Transfer the steak to a plate or cutting board.

Let the Steak Rest

Allow the steak to rest for 3-5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.

Cover the Steak with Foil

Cover the steak with foil to keep it warm while it rests.

Once the steak has finished resting, it is time to slice and serve it.

Slice the Steak

Slice the steak into thin strips against the grain. This will ensure that the steak is tender.

Plate the Sliced Steak

Place the sliced steak on a plate and serve.

Serve the Steak

Serve the steak with any desired sides and enjoy.

To take your steak to the next level, try some of these tips and ideas.

Try Different Marinades or Rubs

Experiment with different marinades or rubs to add flavor to the steak.

Experiment with Different Grill Setups

Try different grill setups, such as direct heat, indirect heat, and two-zone cooking.

Grate Cheese Over the Steak

Grate cheese over the steak for a cheesy, creamy flavor.

Serve the Steak with a Sauce

Serve the steak with a sauce, such as BBQ or steak sauce, for added flavor.

Experiment with Different Cuts of Steak

Try different cuts of steak, such as flank steak, flat iron steak, or skirt steak.

Grill Master University. (2020). How to Grill the Perfect Steak. Retrieved from

The Spruce Eats. (2020). How to Grill the Perfect Steak. Retrieved from

USDA. (2020). Understanding Quality Grades for Beef. Retrieved from