How to Grill a Really Great Steak: In Honor of National Barbecue Day!

Well, that’s what it says on Foodimantary’s National Food Holidays calendar, anyway.

When one thinks of barbecue, images of hot summer days in the backyard or camping trips in the wood or a trip to a local smokehouse come to mind, but for me, May 16 doesn’t particular stick out when it comes to barbecue, or BBQ, or B-B-Q, or however you prefer to spell it.  Maybe July 4th, or Memorial Day (which changes every year), but I guess they had to stick it on the calendar somewhere, so there you go.

Steaks marinating in olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs


Anyway, to help celebrate this momentous occasion, here are a few quick tips on grilling your next steak:

How to Grill a Really Great Steak

Now there’s no need to get into a hissy fit when trying to cook a steak. One reason I like to eat steak is it’s quick to prepare, easy to grill, delicious to eat, and easy to clean up.  Well, that’s four, but what the heck.  AND . . . it’s tasty and nutritious, so there’s two more!


• Your favorite marinade–for this recipe I’m using olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and rosemary.
• Your favorite cut of steak–for this recipe I like using boneless sirloin.
• Mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc. for topping (optional)

Step 1: Marinate Steak

One secret to a tender and delicious steak, especially when using less expensive cuts of meat, is to marinate the meat for at least 6-8 hours, preferably overnight. Place your marinade in a container and place the steaks on top to coat the bottom of the steaks. For this recipe I used a simple marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and rosemary. This helps create a tender steak and doesn’t use any sugars that can burn on the grill. For 2-3 pounds of meat, use the following to make your marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed or chopped coarsely (or 2-3 teaspoons garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
  • A few twigs of fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary)
  • A few grinds of black pepper

Mix in a bowl or simple throw all the ingredients in a large plastic freezer bag and shake thoroughly.


If you prefer your meat with a little more pizazz, check out our Mountain Man Gourmet Go-Go Red Chile Spice Blend or Mountain Man Gourmet Go-Go Green Chile Spice Blend. You can order either or both by clicking here.

After thoroughly covering each side of the steaks with marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6-8 hours. I recommending flipping the steaks a few times to ensure even marinating.

Step 2: Grill

Take the steaks out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.

A few minutes before you’re ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium high heat.

After grill is hot, handle steaks with tongs (not a fork, as it will cause the marinade to leak out) place the steaks on the grill.

Allow to cook about halfway, then flip over once.  If your grill seems extra hot, turn it down a bit or flip more often, but don’t squeeze or press on the meat, as you’ll lose precious juices that will add extra flavor after the steak is served.

Timing? Well, it depends on the size of you steak and how you like it cooked.

Mountain Man Gourmet Handy-Dandy Steak Grilling Chart 

                                    Rare                             Medium Rare                     Medium
3/4” steak                   6 min each side             7 min each side                       8 min each side
1” steak                        7 min each side             8 min each side                       9 min each side
1 ½” steak                  9 min each side             10 min each side                     12 min each side

Remember, these are just guidelines and your cooking time may vary depending on the type and thickness of the steak you use, the heat of your grill, etc.

Another way to tell if your steak is done is to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. Steaks are rare when they reach an internal temperature between 120 – 130 F. Medium rare is 130 – 140 F and Medium is 140 – 150 F. If you like your steaks medium well or well done (the way I grew up eating them until I discovered the joys of a beautifully medium rare cut of steak) then cook to a higher temperature, but be sure to flip often so the outside doesn’t get burned to a crisp.

Step 3: Serve!

Let the meat stand away from heat for about 5-10 minutes before serving. The steak continues to cook slightly during this time, so be sure to take that into account when deciding to remove a steak from the grill. It’s always better to remove your steak from the grill earlier rather than later, since you can always put it back on the grill if you or your guest would like it cooked more, but you can’t “uncook” what’s already done.

If you like, top your steak with grilled mushrooms, peppers, and/or onions.

NOTE: A little slab of butter dropped on a steak just before serving adds a really flavorful touch.  If you’ve used the olive oil-fresh rosemary marinade mentioned above, you can also set a bit aside (before using it to marinate the meat) and drizzle a bit on top of the steak instead of or in addition to the butter).  If you coated your meat with Mountain Man Gourmet Go-Go Red Chile Spice Blend or Mountain Man Gourmet Go-Go Green Chile Spice Blend, I recommend sprinkling a bit extra on both sides of the steaks when you remove them from the grill. Or . . .  you can simply eat your steak as is.

Hope you enjoy this recipe.  Be sure to sign up here to qualify for free prizes, as well as a complimentary membership to the Mountain Man Gourmet Online Membership Site.

Hope to see you again soon. In the meantime, remember to Live Well, Eat Well, and Be Happy!

Lawrence J. Clark: The Mountain Man Gourmet!

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