When I was young, I worked in a bake shop in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. It was a work camp and I baked at night. The night crew came in after midnight each night for a meal. Often they wanted steaks. These were cranky old roughnecks and those steaks had to be right and the boss made sure I got it right. He had three rules:
- Don’t press the steak with a spatula. You want the steaks as juicy as possible, not with juices pressed out.
- Only turn the steaks once. Every time you turn them, you lose juices.
- Cook them just right. I don’t remember a thermometer. He taught me to poke the steaks with my finger to see if they were done. The more they’re cooked, the firmer the meat becomes.
I still use the finger method to see if they are done but a thermometer is more accurate. Cook a steak to 135 degrees for rare. That’s about five minutes in total. For medium rare, cook them to145 degrees; for medium, 160 degrees; for medium well, 165 degrees; and for well done, 170 degrees.
Before you begin cooking your steaks, brush them with oil and season them with salt and pepper. Don’t wait until they are half-cooked to season them. You want the seasonings to cook into the meat.
Your grill should be medium hot. If you’ve got a good cut of meat, you should have a great steak.