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How to cook the perfect barbecue steak

Barbecuing steak perfectly is an art, just as it is when cooking in a home or professional kitchen. For meat eaters, there’s often nothing to beat a steak cooked just as you like it. To discover seven simple steps to follow, as well as tips to ensure you achieve the perfect steak every time, read on.

Step 1 – Choosing your steak

Choose a tender cut of beef, such as rump, T-bone, ribeye, sirloin or fillet steak. Look for some marbling of fat throughout the cut, as this will help the steak to stay moist, tender and juicy.

Remove your steak from the fridge half an hour prior to cooking; this will let it reach room temperature, ensuring a more even cook.

Step 2 – Steak cooking kit

You need the right kit to cook the perfect barbecued steak, as follows. Get these ready before you begin!

• A gas or charcoal barbecue
• Long-handled barbecue tongs
• A bowl containing a little sunflower or olive oil
• A pastry brush
• A large plate or tray

Step 3 – Prepare to barbecue

Preheat your barbecue to medium-high. Using the pastry brush, coat both sides of the steak with a little oil to prevent sticking, then season both sides with salt and pepper.

Step 4 – Calculate cooking time

Cooking times depend on the steak’s thickness as well as your preferred type.

For a 1.5cm thick steak, cook for around 1.5 minutes each side for rare, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium, or 3 to 4 minutes each for well done. If your steak is 2-3 cm thick, increase these times to 2 to 3, 4 to 5 or 5 to 6 minutes respectively.

Step 5 – Cook the steak

Make sure your barbecue is hot enough before you begin, otherwise your steak will take longer to cook. This could result in tough and chewy – rather than succulent – meat.

Cook the steak to your liking. Using the long-handled tongs, turn your steak just once during barbecuing – this prevents the loss of those delicious meat juices. This also helps to maintain those attractive line markings on the steak as it sears.

Don’t ever cut into the steak to see if it’s cooked, as this also allows the meat juices to escape. Instead, press into the middle of the steak with the back of your barbecue tongs. For rare, the steak will feel soft, and for medium a little firmer yet slightly springy. A well-done steak should feel firm with no springiness.

Step 6 – Rest the steak

After cooking, place the steak onto the plate or tray before covering with foil. Let it rest for five minutes, as the residual heat will ensure the juices are reabsorbed into the centre of the steak. Resting meat after cooking also allows it to relax, so the juices will spread evenly throughout your steak.

Step 7 – Serve your steak

The best bit – enjoy your perfectly cooked steak!

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