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Grill Temperatures & Times For The Perfect Steak

Grilling season is in full swing and although you may be a pro at just "eyeballing" whether or not your steak is done, we're here to give you a quick cheat sheet on the ideal grill temperatures and grill times to get the perfect steak every time (and you can still say you "eyeballed it").

Ideal Grill Temperature

Grill temperatures depend on the thickness of the cut of meat. Although it may seem counter intuitive, it's important to understand that thicker slabs of meat require lower heat while thinner cuts require hotter temperatures.

  • 1/2 Inch Thick. For those grilling on charcoal grills, make sure that the coals are medium-hot and not covered with ash as this can lower the temperature. The surface temperature of the meat will be around 425 to 450 degrees.

  • 3/4 to 1 Inch Thick. Make sure you have medium temperature coals with a light dusting of ash. The temperature should be anywhere from 360 to 400 degrees based on what type of meat you are grilling.

  • 3/4 to 1 Inch Thick. Allow for medium-low coals in your charcoal grill and check to make sure there is a solid layer of ash on top so that the temperature of your grill stays between 325 and 350. This temperature setting is ideal for medium-rare to rare-cooked steaks.

Grill Times Per Type of Steak

No matter whether you have a charcoal grill or a gas grill, it's important to always properly marinate your steak before putting it on the fire. This ensures that -- while grilling -- the juices are flavor are properly sealed within a perfectly created outer crust. Don't forget to use tongs that are long enough so that you don't burn yourself! Only flip the steak once while grilling and don't forget that the second side cooks much faster than the first.

  • Filet Mignon. For a 1 inch thick filet mignon, our Italian deli recommends cooking the steal to a 140 degree internal temperature (4 min per side) for medium rare, and 155 degree internal temperature (7 min per side) for a medium-cooked steak.

  • New York Strip. For a 1 inch thick NY Strip, grill the steak to a 140 degree internal temperature for 7 minutes each side for medium rare. For medium-cooked, add another 3 minutes per side and allow for the internal temperature to rise to 155 degrees.

  • Ribeye. Ribeyes are a ticker cut of meat, averaging around 1 1/4 inch thick or more. As such, these steaks will take longer to cook. For medium rare, grill at 8 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. 10 minutes per side and an internal temperature of 155 degrees will produce a medium cooked steak.

  • Sirloin. Sirloins are also a thicker cut of meat in general. For 1 1/4 inch thick sirloin, make sure the internal temperature is 140 degrees (or grill 8 minutes per side) for a medium-rare. For medium, grill the sirloin an extra 2 minutes and check to ensure the internal temp is 155 degrees.

For other types of cuts such as t-bone or flank steak, you can get a better idea of how to cook them based on the information above. Just be sure to understand what you and your guests want (medium-rare, medium, medium-well, etc) and base your cook time off of that as well as how thick the cut of meat is.

Don't forget that sometimes no matter how well you grill a cut of meat, it still doesn't taste fresh. For the freshest, hand-cut meats in the area, head to Cerra's Market. Here you'll find pre-cut meats and you can also order fresh-cut meat to order at the counter. Visit us today at 142 Broadway on Route 1 North in Saugus.

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