10 Beginner Tips for Grilling Steaks from the BarbaCuban


Steaks are such a simple, tasty, satisfying meal to prepare. And there’s no better way to do them than to grill them. But even though they’re easy to cook, they’re also pretty easy to mess up if you don’t know the basics. And nobody wants an overcooked, dried-out, chewy steak. By following the below tips for grilling steaks, you’ll cook up flavorful, juicy, tender meat every time.

Tips for Grilling Steaks that Turn Out Great

  1. The best way to thaw frozen steaks before grilling is to leave them in the fridge for a day ahead of time. If you need to do it faster, secure them in a waterproof baggie and submerge them in cold water for a few hours, replacing the water with new cold water every 30 minutes. Never defrost steaks in hot water or by leaving them out at room temperature.
  2. Scrape the grill grate clean before tossing the steaks on it. If you leave that buildup on there, it’ll give your meat an off flavor. Then, grease the grill grate by brushing it down with some cooking oil to help prevent your steaks from sticking to it.
  3. For grilling, you can’t beat ribeyes, New York strips, and T-bones. Pick cuts that are nicely marbled with fat, because those are the tastiest ones, and they’re more tender.
  4. About an hour or two before grilling, pat down the steaks with plenty of salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you want to use. Or, just brush on a liberal application of BarbaCuban 455 4 Barrel BBQ Sauce or BarbaCuban Havana Gold BBQ Sauce.
  5. Take the chill off the steaks by leaving them out of the fridge for about an hour before grilling. If you put cold meat on the hot grill, it causes the muscle fibers to contract and the finished product will be tougher.
  6. For thin steaks less than 1.5 inches thick, sear them over high heat for the full cook time, flipping them over only once halfway through.
  7. For steaks that are 1.5 inches thick or more, use two heat zones on the grill. Start by cooking the steaks over lower indirect heat (about 225 degrees) until they’re about 10 degrees below your target temperature, flipping and rotating them every few minutes for even cooking. Then, finish them at about 1 minute per side over high direct heat.
  8. Keep the grill lid closed while cooking the steaks.
  9. Use a meat thermometer to know when your steaks are done. Take them off the grill at an internal temperature of 115 degrees F for rare, 125 for medium-rare, 135 for medium, 145 for medium-well, and 155 for well done. The temperature rises a few more degrees even after the meat comes off the grill. For the best results, don’t cook a steak beyond medium.
  10. Rest grilled steaks for 5 to 10 minutes (the lower end for thinner steaks and the longer end for thicker ones) before cutting into them. This prevents moisture loss when the meat is sliced, helping keep them juicy and flavorful while you eat.