5 Steps to Perfectly Grilled Meat

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Grilling meat is a pretty basic concept. It’s grilling meat well that gets more complicated — but not much, once you commit these meat commandments to memory.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

1: Pat the Meat Dry

Who doesn’t love the seared crust on a steak? These caramelized bits form once meat comes into contact with the hot grill grates. Pat meat dry first, using paper towels or any clean, lint-free kitchen towel — this removes any excess moisture that would otherwise steam-cook the meat, which would inhibit caramelization.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

2: Season with Salt and Pepper Just Before Grilling

Salt pulls moisture to the surface, so save the seasoning for the very last moment to keep that process from kicking off and thus rendering patting the meat dry useless!

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

3: Leave It Alone on the Grill

Once the meat is on the grill, resist all urges to touch or lift it until it releases from the grill naturally. This will aid in solid grill marks (read: flavor) and keep the meat from tearing. Once the browning (or fond) forms and the meat releases, turn it often as you finish grilling, to allow even cooking.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

4: Let it Rest

Once meat is removed from the grill, two things begin to happen:

1) A process called “carryover cooking” begins, where the temperature of the meat continues to rise, resulting in a difference in temperature upward of 10 degrees F.

2) When meat is hot, its physical structure loosens and weakens, making it less able to retain juices (flavor alert!); once removed from the grill, meat cools and returns to a stable physical structure that is able to retain its flavorful juices.

So, in a nutshell, let steaks rest for about 10 minutes, and give bigger cuts upward of 20 minutes for juices to settle down.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

5: Slice It Against the Grain

If you study a large cut of meat, you’ll notice that the meat fibers run in a parallel direction, much like the grain found in a piece of wood. Make cuts in the meat perpendicular to the grain, so that it results in short meat fibers, and thus a tender bite of meat. (Try chewing a piece of meat that’s been sliced along the grain, for experimental purposes only.)

Ready to level up your skills on the grill? Here are a few ideas:

How to Grill Steak

How to Pick Cuts of Meat

Mouthwatering Grilled Main Dishes

Keep Reading

Next Up

Grilled Meat, 5 Ways

What better way to celebrate Father’s Day then by firing up the barbecue? Show dad some love with any of these 5 mouthwatering grilled meat recipes.

Food Safety: The 8 Steps to Safe Grilled Meat

These days meat is not as safe as we think. Luckily, if you know how to handle the potential dangers, you can keep everyone healthy and safe. Meat can be at risk from the time you bring it home from the market. Your job is to catch the bacteria before it has time to grow. Here are 8 ways to stop bacteria in its tracks.

5 Secrets to Perfect Caramel

Get five important tips from Food Network Kitchens for making the perfect caramel sauce every time.

Marinades and Sauces for Perfect Grilled Food

Spice up summer meals with go-to grilling marinades and sauces

How to Make Perfect Rice: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps for 3 flawless ways to make rice.

How to Make the Perfect Omelet: A Step-by-Step Guide

In just a few easy steps, learn how to make the perfect omelet.

How to Sauté Meat and Fish: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow our guide to learn the basics for scrumptious sautéing, then watch our how-to video.

How to Roast Meats: A Step-by-Step Guide

Flip through our guide for the proper way to roast meats, then watch our how-to video.

How to Defrost Meat: A Step-by-Step Guide

Flip through our guide for defrosting meat, then watch our how-to video.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.