The barbecue is my husband’s domain, and my comments on how to cook with it are not always appreciated. It has taken me many, many summers of subtly recommending ideas to achieve the perfect steak. Now the BBQ season is upon us, I thought I would share my tips on cooking the perfect steak.
1. Allow steaks to come to room temperature before cooking – this helps the steak to cook more evenly. But if you don’t have the time, don’t worry.
2. Rub the steak with oil, salt and pepper. Only salt the meat just as you are about to put the steak on the barbecue. If you salt the meat too early, it will draw the moisture out and make it dry.
3. Contrary to popular belief, turn the steak often, probably every minute or so. Your steak will cook faster and more evenly by turning it often.
4. Ideally start on the flat hotplate and then finish off on the grill for the last minute or two to get a nice crust.
5. Now the big question – how long do you cook it for? It all depends on the thickness of the steak and if it contains a bone. If you are using a rib eye on the bone or a T-bone, for example, cook for 2 minutes longer than the times suggested below.
These are total cooking times, not for each side, and are based on our gas barbecue. Times may vary slightly depending on the type of grill you have and whether you use wood, charcoal or gas.
Our favourite salads with steak and sausages are Tomato Salad (Summer TABLE page 99) and Beetroot Salad (Summer TABLE page 109).
6. Cook an extra couple of steaks and be ready to whip up a Thai Beef Salad later in the week, in less than 10 minutes.