Grilled Steaks ~ Perfected My Way

Send me home, where the cows roam…

I like a good steak and when I say good I mean mine. Okay, that may sound a bit presumptuous, but I’ll have you know I’ve eating at a lot of fancy steakhouses and their steaks are pretty good. What sets them apart from mine is the atmosphere and service. Now, if you still think I’m bigheaded well, let’s just say I’m also a homebody.

Growing up a farm, one that raised cattle, it should not be a surprise that we ate beef and a lot of it. Grilled steaks were one of our favorite choices, weather permitting, which was most of the time. Momma preferred cooking Delmonico style, which is lightly seasoned with salt, basted with melted butter and grilled over a lively fire. Simple, served with natural au jus is just good eating. I follow her lead and grill a steak in this manner every so often sending me back in time, if only in remembrance and serve it with au gratin potatoes in true Delmonico fashion.

Then there is the other way, one that I mentioned a while back and that is to grill a steak with a simple rub of oil, a little sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve it with my Marchand de Vin Sauce. Now, that is fine eating too, one for special guests or occasions and as I mentioned in the post, a sauce that can turn a choice cut of meat into one tasting like prime.

Now, on to today’s grilling….

Choose your cutRibeyes are our favorite because of the marbling of fat, perfect for grilling. Tenderloin or filet mignon is supple but lacks any fat and needs a good dose of oil massaged into it, as does the top loin or New York strip. Both of these cuts to me benefit with added seasonings. Then there is the mother of all steaks, the porterhouse. Because of its size and flavor, this one needs to be chosen carefully, cut by a trained butcher and really needs to be prime beef, after all, it is in my opinion, the top of the steak chain. T-bone steaks are a good choice too, just select one with good marbling. Then there is the top sirloin, the bottom of the steak chain but one I grill many times because of affordability and one I know I can make taste extraordinary. Again, select one with as much marbling as possible and this one will definitely need coaxing with added seasonings like below and a finishing sauce.

Prepare the steaks by removing excess fat and by that, I mean trim off any fat on the outside that’s thicker than say 1/4 of an inch. Any area that is thicker and has to remain make cuts in 2-inch intervals through the fat but not into the meat. This will keep your steak from curling. Now, pat the steaks with paper towels to remove moisture on both sides and if it is a bone-in, brush off any remaining bone particles. Rub the surface with oil, either a good vegetable oil or olive oil massaging it into the meat. Do this generously on both sides. Place steaks on a clean tray. Let the steaks set out at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

these 2-inch beauties ready for the grill

Season the steaks by sprinkling with a mixture of choice. For the puritan, salt and pepper with maybe a light touch of garlic. Of note, notice I used salt after rubbing in the oil. Salt on raw meat will draw the natural juice to the surface and the steak will not brown properly. I believe the oil not only helps to brown but also acts as a barrier still allowing the salt to penetrate as the meat cooks. If you gotten this far and want to experience my kind of steak, I mean, that is why you’re here, right, then use this steak rub. The thicker the cut, add more rub.

My Steak Rub
use a little or a lot - adds depth of flavor

1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
Mix together well and store any unused in an airtight container.

getting ready for the 4th

Let's get to cooking. Prepare the grill by heating to high on direct heat either gas or charcoal to 400-450 degrees F. No need to oil the grates as the steaks are already oiled, remember?

Place on your steaks and cook covered 3 to 5 minutes each side or until a nice brown crust forms. Lower heat or move steaks away from fire and cook until desired doneness depending on the thickness of your steaks. Keep cover closed as much as possible. Use tongs to turn your steaks over, never use a fork, as there is no need to let the natural juices escape before hitting the plate.
Another way is to use an internal thermometer cooking steaks to your liking:
120°F to 125°F, (49°C to 52°C) = Rare
130°F to 140°F (55°C to 60°C) = Medium Rare
145°F to 150°F (63°C to 66°C) = Medium

When is it done? Take a peek every now and then. Look at the juices on the surface. The meat begins to turn darker but there will not be any natural red juice released on the surface of a rare steak. You should see red juices form as the steak approaches medium rare, more as it becomes medium with increase sizzle of drip over the fire. And, when the red juices start to turn brown, the steak is approaching medium well. 

I like to sprinkle my Jim Bean Steak Marinade over each steak just as I place them on the grill and again when I turn them. To me, this makes for a delicious addition to a flavorful steak. When ready, remove from the grill and let rest, uncovered for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the steak to reabsorb the favorable juices. If you must hold steaks any longer, lay foil loosely over the plate or keep them in a warming tray. Thin slices of butter, seasoned or not, is often used to finish off steaks.

The Jim Bean Steak Marinade recipe can be found here, where I also use it to glaze the Smokehouse Hamburgers and many other meats.


  1. Terrific marinade Jim Bean is always a hit and now with that spice rub wow this is awesome got to replenish my dry mustard and will be good to go thanks Drick

  2. A perfect steak every time Drick! My favorite cut is the rib-eye as well, with the marbling it adds so much more flavor. Your reminiscences of your mom cooking on the grill are wonderful as well, brought me back to fond memories of family cookouts in the back yard or on picnics too.

    Bon appetit!

  3. I am definitely not arguing with you on the subject of steak! You are the master. I wish those two steaks were sitting in my kitchen right now! :)

  4. I just got some steaks out of the freezer for a grilled steak salad for dinner tonight. I was thinking about using a rub and now you have delivered a great one right into my lap(top). Perfect.

  5. DIGGING THE STEAK!! looooks yummy and NOT presumptious

  6. Hi Drick, you are really giving some great recipes for the 4th, I'm also thinking of the pulled pork sandwiches for tailgating! I love the dry spice rubs, thanks for sharing!

  7. This looks great! I love all the information you packed into this post along with an awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thanks for sharing, my husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and living in Texas angus beef is everywhere, so thanks for the rub recipe!

  9. HI Drick, Porter House and Ribeye is always our favorite and of course potatoes. Thank you for sharing your lovely steak rub.

  10. Another great rub recipe from you. I love a good steak myself.

  11. Great post and now I'm craving a ribeye! Love the rub and the marinade looks divine! You really outdid yourself on this one, cher! Cheers!

  12. Nothing like a good steak! And I agree, ribeye is my favorite cut, too!

  13. I've printed this one for my husband. He's the grilling king of the house. Looks fantastic!

  14. Your steak rub is fantastic! I don't even eat meat, but I always find myself looking for your next masterpiece:) Perfect...

  15. Hi Drick,
    What a nice post. Rib eye for me please, just love the marble fat that makes the cut more enjoyable.
    Great steak rub!
    Thank you,
    CookNg Sisters


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