By Guest Blogger Randy Fulp
Well, it’s almost Memorial Day weekend! Time to fire up the grill and sizzle some of your favorite dishes. Of course, if you’re like me you grill at any time of year but there is something special about the advent of summer with the days getting longer and the weather heating up that makes grilling even more fun.
I’ve been asked to give a recipe or two that I’ve found in my years of amateur grilling which could prove useful in the days to come. What immediately comes to mind is my mother’s teriyaki sauce, which is the most versatile sauce/marinade I have ever encountered and is the most frequent recipe request I get when having people over. Then I thought I’d do something different and talk about a cooking method that I have recently found which has changed the way I do steaks on the grill.
First off, Mom’s teriyaki. Dad taught me how to grill, but it was Mom who came up with sauce. It is ridiculously easy:
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tablespoons Ketchup
2 tablespoons White Vinegar
2 tablespoons Crushed Garlic (although I tend to add a little more…love garlic!)
Pepper to taste
Mix the above and you’re in business. Make sure to shake well before you use it, as the sauce will separate easily. I’ve found it works great on chicken, pork, seafood and beef and can be used as a sauce or as a marinade. One of the main ways we use it at home is to grill a London Broil and saute some mushrooms in the sauce and add those on top after grilling. Like I said, it’s pretty versatile but I really like it as a sauce. Because of the soy and vinegar providing enough salt and acid, you do not have to marinate overnight. Usually 3 hours is a good rule of thumb. After that it will have penetrated as far as it can. Make sure the meat stays refrigerated while marinating.You can store any excess sauce in the refrigerator.
Now it’s time for the steaks. There is nothing like a good steak seared on a grill. I recently went on a quest to find the best way to cook a steak like the steakhouses do. We all have our preferences, but in our family it’s medium rare with some char on the outside. I tried time and again to vary the heat and time on the grill to get that nice red center and some flavor on the outside.
What I have been doing lately to rave reviews is an inverse sear. Instead of hitting the grill hot, you create an indirect heating zone. This method works best with thick steaks. We’re talking 1-1/2 inch to 2 inches thick. The cut here is important. Personally I like a good marbled ribeye but this works with sirloin filets, filet mignon and New York Strip. Preparation is easy too, all you need to do is salt the steaks a couple of hours before cooking. This is all about the steak!
If you’ve got a gas grill, turn on half the burners (either one side or both ends) and leave the rest off. If you are cooking with charcoal bank the coals after lighting to one side. Either way the temperature should be 225 to 275 degrees on indirect side. Put the steak on the indirect heat. Times may vary depending on temperature , but it usually takes about 10 minutes or so. This allows the steak to warm evenly and absorb all that good smoky flavor. The important thing for medium rare is to get the inside temperature of the steak to 115 degrees. A digital thermometer works best for this.
When you get in that temperature zone get the hot side as hot as you can, or turn on your searing burner if you have one. Pat the steak dry to remove any excess moisture on the outside and lightly brush the steak with vegetable oil. Sear for 2-3 minutes per side. If you like pepper, add it after as pepper can burn. Sear until you have a nice dark exterior, but not to the point that it burns. Then you are ready to go. No need to “rest” the steak in this method.
Okay, now I’m hungry. Happy grilling!