Ready to wow your guests?
Do you want to know the one thing that can make your steak look professional, as opposed to “pretty good”? You might have seen the grill marks on the pieces of fish or steak that would certainly make your home made steak look as good as one prepared in a restaurant. Don’t worry- it is quite easy for one to get those grill marks on the steak that one makes at home.
Grill marks don’t just make your food look good, they have some practical benefits as well. They can tell you all about the temperature of the steak and provide you with a visual cue to show you whether the food is cooked or not.
Things you should know beforehand:
1. These grill marks have absolutely no effect on the steak whatsoever. They just look more professional, as it looks like you have taken more effort into preparing the steak.
2. If you just have the one steel tubular grate that comes with most charcoal grills, you might not be able to get grill marks on the meat. They are not very efficient at this task. The cast iron grate that is used in most gas grills can get the work done for you, though. You need to get a deep sear in order to get those marks and you can only get a deep sear through a thicks cast iron or an aluminum raised grill.
Building the perfect fire
Grilling is all about the fire. In case the fire is not perfect, there is no point in you having the right grill. The concept of getting grill marks on your steak is not just aesthetic, it is also the aim to cook the steak perfectly.
You will get the best results if you arrange the coals in a two-zone indirect arrangement. That is the arrangement that will get the maximum heat. You have to wait till the coal is fully lit and the grill get super heated. You should light the coal and leave the grill covered for around 5 to 10 minutes to get the right temperature. Now that the fire is perfect and the grill is super heated, it will be very easy for you to make the grill marks on your steak. In fact, it will just take around 2 minutes for you to get the same effect.
Preparing the food
Now that we have a good fire and a superheated grill that is capable of delivering a good sear, it is time to start thinking about the meat. The food may be a little sticky to feel, which would be bad for the grill and your dinner, so make sure that you oil the meat before you start grilling. Alternately, you could also just oil the grill instead of the meat. The right kind of lubrication will prevent the food from sticking.
The Grill Patterns
As we mentioned, adding these grill patterns is purely aesthetic, for it does not do anything to the taste. However, first impressions are best impressions and if your food looks stunning, chances are you will enjoy it more.
You can get two kinds of grill patterns- these are the ones made most commonly. One is the crosshatch and the other is the single strip.
For either one of these, you have to start by putting the meat at a 45 degree angle to the grate, so that the lines of the steak will also be angled. For single strip, you just have to follow that one instruction till there are lines on both the sides of the meat. If you want to be more impressive and go for the crosshatch, you would have to start off putting the steak at 45 degree angle till the first sear is done, then turn the steak at 90 degrees and just do the same thing once again.
Diamond Grill Marks
If you want to take this one step ahead and make your steak look even more professional, you can dress it up with diamond grill marks. These marks are the ones steakhouses usually make on their steaks! It is not that tough to get the diamond grill marks on your steak, but you have to put in some amount of effort.
You have to first coat the grill or the meat in oil, preheat the grill till it is very hot, season the steak and put the steak on the grill. Once the steak starts searing, turn the steaks in a clockwise manner (the two ends should be at 2 and 8). After a couple of minutes, flip the steak and cook till they have reached the right temperature. Once the meat is completely seared, you will find that there are diamond shaped grill marks on your meat!