Home > Grilling > Grill, Pop, Grill: Steak

Grill, Pop, Grill: Steak

Though I’m given to hyperbole
Believe me: I could eat steak all day
I should also eat some broccoli
Or on the porcelain throne I’ll pay

The weather was absolutely gorgeous yesterday. Most normal people, like my wife, think of things like taking a walk, playing and enjoying the weather outside, dining al fresco, and dusting off the old flip flops; the only thing on my mind was steak.

For such a vaunted dish, it’s remarkably simple to make. I’ll never pay $20+ for a steak at an Outback or Longhorn…if you’re paying, however, I don’t mind. ๐Ÿ™‚ At places like Ray’s the Steaks, where they age the beef on site, I’d pay top dollar. I’m a Ruth’s Chris fan mostly b/c I love butter; not a big Morton’s guy though. But for the price you’d pay for 2 at a fancy steak restaurant, you can have a veritable steak feast – or for you fatties out there, a buffet.


Want to see more? Click below.

These were the prices yesterday at Sam’s Club:

3 Rib Eyes

5 Strips

So that’s $43.32 for 8 steaks/7.04lbs. Add in some Idahoans or homemade mashed potatoes and some broccoli (usually $0.99/lb @ most Asian marts) and you’ve got what you’d get at a steakhouse for less than $6-$8/person.

But you say you can’t grill a steak like they do at a steakhouse? Relax, young padawan, and I will show you the way…and we shall steer you away from the Dark Side known as Well Done.

So let’s start with the types of steaks sold in most stores – listed in Pop’s order of preference:

  1. Strip steaks – I used to be a rib eye guy, but arguing rib eyes vs. strips is like arguing Lebron vs. Melo/Wade: in the end, you just agree that they are both awesome in their own right. I like strips b/c A) they’re cheaper (usually $1/lb), B) there’s little to no waste w/ a well-cut strip, whereas most ppl will have a pile of fat left over from a rib eye, C) they’re usually cut smaller than rib eyes, so it’s good for the psuedo-carnivores in your life, and D) for your friends who like to pat the oil off their pizzas, they can also easily trim off the strip of fat on the steak.
  2. Rib Eyes – FAT = DELICIOUS. These steaks are well-marbled and have large chunks of fat throughout, which makes the steaks incredibly tender and flavorful. For those that don’t enjoy eating large chunks of fat however, eating a rib eye could be a bit of a chore. The price is also typically high and the cuts are generally enormous.
  3. Porterhouse/T-Bone – these are basically the same thing: I like to think of the T-bone as the coupe (2-door)ย  and the porterhouse as the sedan (4-door). You get the strip + a filet (more on the filet later) but you gotta deal with a massive bone. That’s what she said.
  4. Sirloin – that’s right. I listed sirloin before the lauded filet. The flavor is much better IMHO.
  5. Filet – I like my women curvy and my meat fatty. Period. Filet is the Paris Hilton of steaks: really lean, expensive, publicly celebrated for God knows what.

Costco/Sam’s Club are my favorite places to buy steaks due to the lower cost. Rib eyes at Costco are especially economical compared to going to a butcher shop. I once visited a butcher who told me that Costco sells them at the price he buys them for. If you’ve got a great local butcher, they can do things like aging the beef and cutting it the way you’d like. Costco usually sells steaks in packs of 6, so I hope company is coming over b/c 6 Costco rib eyes would be a tasty, tasty death for one man. Yesterday at Sam’s, they only had 1 3-pack of rib eyes. Lame. I was in a rib eye mood too.

So remember how I said a steak is remarkably simple? All you need is salt, pepper, and a grill. No special ingredients. No sauces. God naturally does all the flavoring for you, so you just need a few things to bring it all out. I personally like to use olive oil – try it with and without, and try some different oils too, and see what you prefer. I lubricate because I care.

5 Strips, 3 Rib Eyes all ready to go

Oil and black pepper can go on for up to an hour; add kosher salt no more than 30 minutes before throwing them on the grill. I like to keep the steaks sitting on the counter to bring them as close to room temperature as possible.

Sadly, I ran out of daylight so I don’t have pictures of the cooking process, but I’ll describe a few things to help you get by for now.

  • Use a grill – pan frying just isn’t the same. I’m a charcoal guy but gas >> stove top. I like to use a chimney starter, throw the flaming coals in the grill and then throw several chunks of wood or pre-soaked wood chips on there for a smoky flavor.
  • There are some things you should never do in life: never lick a metal pole when it’s cold outside, never walk away from a urinal without doing an adequate shake, and never cook over flames. The latter will result in a charred outside and an undercooked inside. Wait until the coals and wood have ashed over – it usually takes 20-30 minutes for me.
  • Toss the steaks on the grill but leave plenty of room for A) flare ups and B) when you rotate and turn the steaks, you wanna move them to a new part of the grill to get a nice sear. If you turn/flip in place, the spot will be cooler and the grill marks won’t be as prominent.
  • I like my steaks rare, so I usually do 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes, flip, 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes, done. This creates a nice color on the outside and if your guests desire a more done steak, toss it in the oven to bring the internal temperature up a bit. The 2 minutes is approximate and after you grill enough steaks, you’ll know when to move on.
  • Do not use steak sauce. Just don’t. If your steak is bland, use more salt next time.
  • Let the steak sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving, but try not to hold it too much longer than that.

I think that’s enough for now. Until next time, enjoy the only two decent pictures I was able to snap last night.


  1. March 9, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Trim the fat!? Who does such nonsensical things!? I’ve started buttering my steaks when I cook them in a pan, it’s missing that nice smokey charcoal flavor, but still quite delicious. Now I’m hungry and I’ve got at least one more hour til lunch time. Can’t wait til our next BBQ!

    • Pop
      March 9, 2010 at 10:07 am

      “Who does such nonsensical things!?” Ppl w/ high LDLs. ๐Ÿ™‚ Butter makes everything better.

  2. Ina
    March 9, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I can’t wait ’til we live in a place where we can have a grill. I tried pan-frying some steak and never did it again. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • Pop
      March 9, 2010 at 10:10 am

      If you’re going to pan fry, filets are actually pretty good. Use lots of butter and top it with a sauce like this one:
      For other steaks, use olive or vegetable oil and make sure the pan is HOT before putting the steaks on. When you’re ready to turn, take the steaks off for 30 secs-1 min and let the pan reheat.

  3. Alicia G
    March 9, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Ina – I can’t have a grill either but I use a Calphalon grill pan. It seems to work pretty well, actually.

    • Pop
      March 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm


  4. Mimi
    March 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    thanks again for last night. indeed it was a treat.
    hoon said in the car on the way home: “Su nun jung-mahl stea-kuh nun jahl goohn dah!” ahahahaha
    you are the master griller – hands down!

    • Pop
      March 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm


  5. March 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I love finding other people who are just as against trimming the fat and steak sauce as I am. Nice post!

    • Pop
      March 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Beccah! I firmly believe if you’re going to eat a steak, then eat the whole steak! If you’re concerned about cholesterol, eat vegetables.

      One of my responsibilities as a parent is to ensure that when my daughter goes to eat steak at a friend’s house, they’ll bring out A1 and she will say, “What’s that?! I’ve never seen that before.”

      • March 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm

        Yeah but chances are if they’re bringing out the A1 they didn’t cook it correctly and she might need that A1 to get it down ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Janice
    March 9, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    ::DROOLS:: OMG, that looks fantastic! and yes, pan seared is just not the same, but pan seared steak > no steak.. IMO.

    • Pop
      March 10, 2010 at 8:16 am

      True! Steak > not steak. ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. southamerica
    March 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Nice pictures!

    • Pop
      March 10, 2010 at 8:17 am

      Thanks! Hopefully, I’ll get to grill on a Saturday afternoon so I can get some natural light for the pics.

  8. The Buck
    March 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    This blog post is unfair

    • Pop
      March 10, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      Why is it unfair? Did you gnaw your arm off?

      • The Buck
        March 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

        I practically did while reading this

  9. Dionne Baldwin
    May 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    This looks amazing, truly. Why do you suggest not adding salt more than 30 minutes before grilling? I am not questioning your methods just trying to take a peek into the mind of a genius. Thanks for the info btw I am not well educated in steak I just know what tastes good when I eat it…a rare porterhouse. MMM!!!

    • Pop
      May 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      That’s a really good question. I’m no scientist, but salt draws moisture out, so if you season it a long time before cooking, your steak will be a bit more dry and if you’re pan-frying, you’ll end up steaming the steaks b/c of all the water that has collected on them. If you don’t let the salt sit on there long enough, all the salt will end up in your grill rather than on the steaks.

      Another method that works really well is almost similar to brining: you salt the steak massively for no more than an hour, rinse it with water, then coat with black pepper and olive oil and grill. It has something to do with osmosis, but basically, salt moves through the entire steak.

      So the method I’ve described here will get you a flavorful crust and you’ll taste the beef, if you’ve got a cheaper cut–say, sirloin–the salt will cover the lack of beefy goodness.

  1. March 24, 2010 at 9:23 am
  2. June 16, 2010 at 9:48 am
  3. April 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm
  4. January 24, 2012 at 9:54 am

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