Steak is one of the most popularly grilled cuts of meat. As a beginner or expert, knowing how to cook steak on a griddle goes a long way. There are several ways to cook steak, with multiple marinade options available, and different levels of rareness. One of the most common ways of preparing a steak is by searing it on a griddle. On a griddle, you can prepare more steak simultaneously, as well as give you that professional feel and heat output. A lot of renowned chefs we all know to make use of a griddle instead of a regular grill to prepare steak.
It’s best to use a griddle to cook steak because it does an excellent job of distributing heat. One of the major problems of using a grill is the presence of cold and hot spots. An uneven cooking area can seriously dampen your ability to make great food when it comes to grilled food. In reality, nothing beats the satisfaction of a pure, even outer crust on your steak grilled from a griddle top. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the step by step guide on how to do it.
Tools You Need to Cook Steak
One of the most important things you need to cook a steak is the best griddle. There are several griddles from different manufacturers you can choose from that best suits your budget and needs. However, when getting an ideal griddle, take note of the type of griddle you are getting, by ensuring it comes with all the right features. Some of the features to look out for, if you are buying a gas griddle is the number of burners under the griddle top. Ensure the griddle comes with enough burners to cover the cooking area of the griddle. Also, make sure the griddle you buy comes with a nonstick griddle surface that is rust-resistant.
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You need a bunch of toolsets to cook steak on a griddle. Some of these tools include a sharp knife, spatula, fork, tongs, scraper, aluminum foil, paper towel, timer, and oil bottle, amongst others. You need a knife obviously for cutting the steak into the right size you want. The spatula helps you flip the steak over while grilling on the griddle surface. You can also use the tong to flip over the steak, as well as pick up food. The fork is specially designed for holding the steak down probably when cutting or basting. While grilling, use the oil bottle to drizzle oil on the surface of the steak. After grilling, use the scraper to clean the griddle.
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You need a meat thermometer to help you take note of the temperature of the steak. To grill a steak to a perfect rareness, you need to take note of your grilling time and temperature. Get a probe thermometer, as it allows you to insert the probe in the meat to get an accurate reading. A digital thermometer would also be ideal as it is easier to read.
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Choose Steak for Cooking
Choosing the perfect steak is also a vital part of getting the best tasting BBQ steak. When choosing a steak to buy, you have so many options. Select or prime? Grain-fed or grass-fed? Angus? Wet aged or dry-aged? T-bone steak or Sirloin steak? Which combination should you get? Well, don’t bother yourself with all this info, because whatever breed your cattle is, you probably wouldn’t notice. However, when you head to the store to get steak, use the USDA grade to determine your next choice. The USDA system grades steak into “select,” “choice,” and “prime” according to the cattle age, marbling, and amount of fat.
While USDA uses an eight grading system, we would only be focusing on these three because that is what consumers will only encounter. Prime steak is the highest quality of steak that is most flavorful and juicy thanks to the fat content. The Choice is the next in quality, but has less marbling than prime steak, as a result, they are a little less tender, flavorful, and juicy. Select steaks are also tender, but have even less marbling than steaks in higher grades, making it least juicy and flavorful.
How to Cook Steak on a Griddle – Step by Step
What separates a good steak from a great steak is what you do during the preparation period. In this section of this article, we would like to stress the importance of each step in preparing steak on a griddle, no matter the recipe you are using.
1. Defrosting and Thawing
When you get a steak from the market, it is mostly frozen. Other times, you may have frozen it yourself, perhaps to perverse it till you need it. Whatever the case might be, you need to defrost and thaw the steak before you can process the meat effectively. There are three ways you can safely defrost steak: microwave, cold water, and refrigerator. Never defrost steak on your kitchen counter. It is safe to cook frozen steak in the oven, on the grill or stove, however, seasoning it would be hard, and the cooking time would be about 50% longer. Steaks that you defrost by cold water or oven method should be cooked before refreezing because the food has been held at temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
When defrosting steak with a microwave, plan to cook it immediately. Because after thawing the steak, some areas will become warm which can cause bacteria to flourish. Defrosting steak with cold water on the other hand ensures you do not remove the steak from the package. Ensure the package is airtight and leak-proof. Submerge the bag in cold water, and ensure you change the water every 30 minutes until the steak is fully defrosted. 3-4 pounds of steak can take about 2-3 hours to defrost. Lastly, using the refrigerator method to defrost steak is a slow but safe method to use. Steak or ground beef may take about a day to defrost when using the refrigerator method. After defrosting steak in the refrigerator, it can stay for about 3-5 days before cooking.
2. Seasoning the Steak
After picking up your steak, defrosting it, what’s next is seasoning the steak. What makes a restaurant steak taste better than your homemade steak is that the chef knows how to season a steak. We can separate steak seasoning into three main groups: standard marinade, overnight soaking marinade, and dry steak seasoning. Dry seasoning involves basic package ingredients like salt, pepper, butter, or vegetable oil. But many home cooks are afraid of salt for one reason or the other. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to note that salt makes any food rich in fat taste good. Use kosher salt, not the superfine table salt, nor the iodized ones. Kosher salt is great for seasoning steak because of its crystal size, which allows prime absorption into the outer layer of the steak.
If you don’t want to use the dry steak seasoning method on your steak you can try the standard marinade method. The difference between this style and the dry steak seasoning method is in the amount of oil or butter you use. With the standard marinade seasoning method, you let the seasoning soak in through some excess oil. Finally, you can also use the overnight marinade method to season your steak, which is probably the best. However, this marinating style requires a lot of attention, nevertheless, it has the highest payoff. Inject the steak with the marinade, or put the steak in a leak-proof bag containing the marinade and store overnight. If you have the time for it, this style is the tastiest.
3. Clean and Preheat the Griddle
Now that your steak is ready to be cooked, you need to prepare your griddle to receive it. Note that it is very important you clean the griddle and season it before putting your steak on it. If you use a cast iron griddle, ensure you put some oil on it during the seasoning process. Ensure all old food particles that might be stuck on the surface of the griddle are scraped off with a scraper. Use a sponge and warm soapy water to wash the griddle surface. Rinse with clean water, and allow to dry.
When the griddle is dry, apply some high heating oil like coconut oil, or peanut oil on the surface of the griddle and turn on the griddle. Let the griddle heat up for about 20-30 minutes at 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a soft towel or paper towel to wipe off excess oil from the surface of the griddle. At the stage, your griddle is hot so be careful not to hurt yourself. Possible use of a tong to hold the paper towel.
4. Cooking the Steaks
Cooking steaks is the most important part of this article. Before we get into how to go about it, as a beginner we advise you don’t cook more than one steak at the same time for a start. This is because the timing of flipping and removing the steaks from the griddle is crucial. One of the advantages of cooking steak on a griddle is that it is quite simple. Before you place the steak on the griddle, grease the top of the griddle with a layer of oil, or butter. Ensure the surface is evenly coated with oil, as this will help to make the cooking process easier, especially the flipping part.
Place the steak on the griddle and press it down firmly with a spatula to ensure the steak is in complete contact with the cooking surface. The goal of cooking steak is to ensure each side gets a nice seared crust. Try not to flip the steak before it has fully built up a seared crust. You should aim to flip the steak only once during the cooking time. Feel free to lift the bottom of the steak to get a peek at how the sear is coming along. From our experience, it takes close to 18 minutes to cook a 1-inch thick steak (so we flip it after about 10 minutes).
The cook time can be less or more depending on the cut of steak or size. Your cooking temperature is also crucial. Cooking at 128-135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare doneness, 135-145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rareness, and 145-155 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-well doneness.
5. Let it Rest
Another important part of steak cooking is allowing it to rest after cooking before you cut. It’s best to let the steak rest for about 8-10 minutes before you dig into the steak. A lot of people skip this part and miss out on extra deliciousness because of it. During the resting period, the steak continues to cook, and the juices redistribute. Because when you sear and cook steak at high temperature, juices absorb to the center of the steak.
Why Cook Steak on a Griddle?
One of the standout reasons you should cook steak on a griddle is convenience. Griddles are the easiest way to cook delicious steak. Unlike a grill that lets the juice drain from your steak, a griddle locks in the juice of your steak, giving you a soft, juicy cooked steak. Below are some of the reasons to use a griddle:
- Sear and locks in the flavor of the steak
- Steam and smoke steak giving it a unique taste
- Portable and compact, allowing you to cook steak anywhere
- Easy to maintain
- Can feed a large crowd
- Let’s you cook in every season
To wrap things up, remember the steps to cooking steak on a griddle: defrost, dry, marinate, cook, and allow to rest before you dig in. These steps might sound like a whole load of troubles, but if you go slowly, you will get a hang of it in no time. After all, the greatest reward is eating a well-cooked steak you made yourself. We hope this recipe guide was able to shed some light on how to cook steak on a griddle. If you have any questions about cooking steak on a griddle or would like to share your experience, feel free to leave a comment below.