We’ll show you how to sear in perfect grill lines with this easy tutorial
Perfect Grill Lines on a T-Bone Steak
Perfect grill lines seared into a good steak might are the hallmark of an accomplished grillmaster. Here’s a guide on how to make those perfect grill lines – every time.
- The first thing you need is a hot grill. Heat your grill on high for about ten minutes (assuming you are using gas grill). Use a highly banked stack of coals if you’re grilling on charcoal. How can you tell if your grill is hot? Use the Jedi Hand Trick.
- Make sure your grill is clean. After the grill is hot, hit it with a wire brush. Make sure there are no little bits on top of the grates – these bits will compromise your grill marks! Note: it is much easier to clean the grill after the grill has gotten hot.
- You should also swab your grill with a rolled towel dipped in oil. Never done it before? Roll up an old (but clean) towel in some twine and dip the end in some cooking oil. Then use your grill tongs to swab the hot grill. This will clear away any debris left from the grill brush. It will also keep your food from sticking and help leave clean, crisp grill marks.
There is indeed a time for all seasons. That time is right before you put your meat, fish or poultry on the barbecue. There is a reason for this. The seasoning provides a barrier between the meat the grill. This helps keep things from sticking. If you season too early, the seasoning sinks into the meat and the barrier is less effective.
Also: Kosher salt – which is much thicker and chunkier than regular salt – makes a great barrier because it doesn’t melt with the heat. Again, use the kosher salt right before putting your meat on that hot grill. We recommend about 1/4 teaspoon on each side. That’s about a three-finger pinch.
Now your grill is hot, and your meat is seasoned.
Place the meat on the grill. This is the money step. Keep the meat still. Always avoid excess moving of the meat! Your best bet is to angle the meat about about 11 o’clock or 1 o’clock vs the barbecue grate.
You’ll turn the meat – there will be four turns or “cycles”.
Here is how it breaks down:
- Determine total cook time (for example 8 minutes). This takes experience, but a grilling app such as Omaha Steak’s Steak Timer can help if you’re just starting out.
- Divide total cook time by 4. We’ll call this one cycle. One cycle is the time you cook the meat before you turn it. (In this case two minutes)
- Cook the meat for one cycle (again – 2 minutes in this example)
- Rotate the meat about 60 degrees.
- Cook the meat for one more cycle.
- Flip the meat. Remember to orient it at 1 o’clock or 11 o’clock to the grill grates.
- Cook the meat for one cycle.
- Rotate the meat about 60 degrees.
- Cook the meat for one more cycle. Test it with a meat thermometer before taking it off. If you’re grilling steak, 130 – 135 is about medium-rare.
- Now you’re done!
As you can see, turning the meat is very structured. It takes discipline and timing, but you are up to the task.
You’ll need to practice getting it right. Try buying a cheap piece of meat and cutting it into smaller sections and grilling each section simultaneously. This will give you two benefits. Not only will you get to practice cycling the meat, but you’ll also learn the zones on your grill. Once you get a feel for what needs to be done, store it in the memory banks. You’ll be making boss-worthy grill lines in no time.
Grill lines are easy to make once you’ve mastered the technique. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the grill prep and the meat prep are nearly as important as the actual turning of the meat. Try it out for yourself and let us know what you think!