Steak! One simple word that spells a whole lot of pleasure. Tender and juicy on the inside and cooked to perfection is the mark of a grill master. What is a piece of beef, chicken, or pork without proper seasoning? A rub is a basic seasoning for barbecued meat. They are simple mixes of salt, sugar, spices, and herbs. Rubs can serve as either seasoning prior to cooking or cures in advance.
RULES OF THE GRILL
Choose the right steak
The high, dry heat of grilling requires a tender cut of meat. It should be well marbled (fat content within the grain of the meat). Thin (1 inch) is always better than thick (more than 3 inches).
Build the right fire
Steaks need high heat to sear the meat and form a crust. To cook a thick steak such as a porterhouse or center cut rib eye, you will also need a moderate heat zone to one side to finish the cooking without burning the outside. This is done by lighting your coals in the center of the pit. Once the coals are completely lit, rake a double thick layer over to one side of the grill and a single layer over to the other side. You should start cooking the steak when you can hold your hand over the hot zone for 2–3 seconds and over the moderate zone for 5–6 seconds. For gas grills, just turn one side down to medium.
Season to taste
With steaks, you should keep the seasoning simple. Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper from a mill and granulated garlic is best. However, some steaks such as flank or sirloin do well with flavorings such as herbs, soy sauce, Worcestershire, etc.
Know when and how to turn the steak
Place the steaks on the grill at a 45° angle to the bars. Grill for 2 minutes, then rotate the steak 90° without turning over. This makes a nice crosshatch grill mark. You will know to flip the steak when you see tiny beads of blood beginning to form on the top, 4–6 minutes for a 1-inch steak or 8–10 minutes for a 2-inch steak. The proper way to turn is with tongs or spatula. Never stab the meat with a fork, as this will cause all the juices to run onto the coals and create a flavorless, dry steak.
Never desert your post
Remember, you're only grilling for a short time. Great steaks demand constant attention. Once they hit the grill, stay with them. Never forget the fact that, like polish on a mahogany table, a steak needs a pat of butter anointing it immediately upon leaving the grill. This rounds out the flavor, and it is a great time to re-season the meat with just a small pinch of salt and pepper.
Let it rest
All steaks need to rest a few minutes before serving. The high heat tends to tighten the protein. Transferring the steak to a warm platter and letting it rest for 3 minutes will allow the juices to return to the center of the meat as it sits.
¼ cup kosher salt
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp granulated onion
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 tbsp dried tarragon leaves
1 tsp ground bay leaf
1 tsp brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use your fingers to mix the ingredients more efficiently. Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat or light. It will keep for 6 months. When ready to cook, use 2–3 teaspoons for each pound of meat.