Knowing how to grill steaks starts with understanding the differences between rare, medium and well-done meat. A rare steak will be raw inside; the middle of a medium steak will be pink and a well-done steak is cooked all the way through. Anyone can throw a steak on a grill, but to get a delicious, cooked to perfection steak out of the process, there’s a few things you need to know.

  1. Preheat your grill on the highest setting. If you’re using a charcoal grill, use a charcoal chimney starter to light your coals. A chimney starter doesn’t use any lighter fluid and will light your coals faster. You can purchase a chimney starter at any camping supply store. If you’re using a gas grill, light the grill and preheat on high for at least ten minutes.
  2. Take the steaks out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. You’ll have a juicier steak if you let the steak come to room temperature before putting it on the grill.
  3. Season your steak by rubbing it with the cut side of a garlic clove, salt and pepper. The more simple you keep the rub, the better because you want to taste the flavor of the beef, not the marinade. However, if you’re grilling a tougher cut of meat, such as a skirt steak, you might want to marinade the steak overnight in a mixture of red wine, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. The acid in the vinegar will tenderize the skirt steak.
  4. Place steaks on the grill. You’ll know you did it right if you hear a sizzle. The goal is for the grill to be hot enough to sear the outside of the steaks the minute your put it on the grill. This will hold all of the juices inside the beef.
  5. Cook your steak according to how you want it done. Based on a one-inch steak, grill four minutes, flip and grill four minutes more. For a medium steak, cook each side for seven minutes. If you prefer a well-done steak, cook each side for nine minutes.
  6. Once your steak is done to your preference, take it off the grill and allow it to rest five minutes before cutting. Allowing the steak to cool a bit will keep more juice inside the meat and make it more tender.