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If you’re planning on spending a portion of your Labor Day grilling for your family, executive chef Elias Iglesias of Morton’s Steakhouse shares everything he knows about making the perfect steak. Check out the recipe for the perfect marinade here:
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp. whole thyme
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Place meat in a pan, add marinade, let stand for 2-3 hours. Remove from refrigerator one hour prior to grilling. Good for 3 pounds of steak.
Tips from the experts at Morton’s of Chicago:
The first element of successful grilling is to select the right cut of beef. The ideal steaks for grilling are the Porterhouse, New York Strip, Rib-eye and T-bone.
When choosing meat from the supermarket or a local butcher, always look for steaks that contain marbling. Marbling is the intermuscular fat that runs through the meat giving it flavor.
Whatever steak you choose, thickness is the most important element in grilling. The steak should be at least one to one and half inches thick.
It is important to lightly oil the grilling rack before you begin. The grill should heat for about 30-45 minutes. If a charcoal grill is used, arrange the briquettes, place a fire-starting brick inside and drop in a match. When the coals are white, ringed with a fiery orange, the grill has reached a suitable temperature.
When grilling a steak, it’s essential to remember not to use a fork to turn the beef. Instead use a spatula or tongs, which makes it easier to handle the large cuts of beef and sears in the juices.
Another important point is to resist the urge to turn the beef during the first few minutes of grilling. When the meat is first placed on the grill it’s within the first few minutes that the coating forms to protect the food and retain the natural juices.
Cooking the perfect steak
For a rare steak, let one hand hang limp and with the index finger of the opposite hand, push gently into the soft triangle of flesh between the thumb and index finger of the hanging hand. It will offer very little resistance, give way very easily and feel soft and spongy. This is how a rare steak will feel to the touch.
For medium-rare, extend the hand in front of you and spread the fingers. Again, press the triangle between the thumb and index finger. The flesh will be firmer but not hard, springy and slightly resistant similar to a medium-rare-steak.
For a medium steak, make a fist and press the same spot. It will feel firm and snap back quickly, offering only a minimum of give.