The Ultimate Guide: How Long to Grill Steak for Perfect Results

Grilling steak time varies by thickness, cut and preferred doneness. A one-inch thick steak should be grilled for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Nothing beats the flavor of a juicy steak fresh off the grill, but cooking it perfectly can be a bit of a challenge. Grilling steak is an art and takes practice to master. In order to get the perfect grill marks and that delicious, slightly charred flavor, you need to know exactly how long to grill your steak for.

The amount of time you grill your steak depends on a number of factors, including the thickness of the steak, the cut of the meat, and your preferred doneness. In this article, we’ll break down how long to grill steak for different cuts and thicknesses, so you can make sure your steaks come out perfect every time.

The Ultimate Guide: How Long to Grill Steak for Perfect Results


Choosing The Right Cut Of Steak

Importance Of Choosing The Right Cut Of Steak For Grilling

When it comes to grilling a steak, selecting the right cut of meat is crucial to achieving the perfect taste and texture. While some cuts of steak are tender and perfect for a quick cook on the grill, others require a longer cook time over low heat.

Factors like flavor, texture, and thickness can drastically impact how your steak cooks on the grill. Here are a few points to keep in mind when selecting the right cut for your grill:

  • Consider the desired cook time
  • Think about the level of tenderness
  • Consider the cut’s thickness
  • Personal taste preference

Overview Of The Different Cuts Of Steak And Their Ideal Grilling Times

There are many types of cuts of beef available, each with their own unique characteristics that make them perfect for grilling. Here are some of the most popular cuts of steak and their ideal grilling times:

  • Filet mignon: Tender and lean, this steak should be grilled for 4-5 minutes per side for a rare finish.
  • Ribeye: Marbled, juicy, and flavorful, this steak is perfect for a medium-rare cook and should be grilled for 6-7 minutes per side.
  • Sirloin: Lean and tasty, this cut of meat is best grilled until medium and should take around 5-6 minutes per side.
  • Flank steak: With a rich beefy flavor and a lower fat content, this cut should be grilled until medium and takes around 6-7 minutes per side.

Explanation Of The Difference Between Marbled And Lean Meat And How It Affects Cooking Time

When selecting the right steak for grilling, the ratio of marbling to lean meat is an important consideration. Marbling is the thin strips of fat that run through the meat, whereas lean meat has little to no visible fat. The marbling adds flavor, moisture, and tenderness to the meat, which means that steaks with more marbling require less cooking time than leaner cuts.

Here are some of the things to keep in mind when selecting your steak based on this factor:

  • Marbled steaks should be cooked over high heat for less time
  • Leaner cuts should be cooked over low heat for longer
  • Choose a cut with the right amount of marbling to suit your personal taste and preferences

Keep these tips in mind when selecting the perfect cut of steak for your next grill session, and your taste buds will thank you for it!

Prepping The Steak For Grilling

Importance Of Properly Preparing The Steak Before Grilling

Before grilling a steak, it’s essential to take proper steps to prepare it. The preparation process plays a vital role in the taste, quality, and texture of the steak. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to prep steaks before grilling:

  • Removes impurities: Cleaning or trimming the steak helps remove impurities like excess fat and gristle, which can affect the taste and texture of the steak.
  • Allows seasoning to stick: Prepping the steak creates a surface that allows seasonings and marinades to stick better, which enhances the taste of the steaks.
  • Even cooking: Prepping the steak correctly ensures that the steak cooks evenly, producing juicy, succulent, and tender meat.

Pre-Grilling Steps Such As Seasoning, Marinating, And Bringing The Steak To Room Temperature

The following pre-grilling steps are crucial in preparing the steak for grilling:


Seasonings are a crucial pre-grilling step that determines the ultimate taste of the steak. Here are some useful tips for seasoning steaks:

  • Generously season: Steaks can withstand heavy seasoning. The seasoning should sufficiently coat the steak’s surface for significant flavor.
  • Timing: It’s best to season steaks at least an hour before cooking to allow ample time for absorption.
  • Salting: When seasoning a steak, salt is a vital ingredient that brings out the steak’s natural flavor.


A marinade is a seasoned liquid that infuses flavor and moisture into the steak. Important tips for marinating a steak include:

  • Timing: Marinating is ideal for tougher meat cuts, and it’s best to marinate steaks for at least half an hour to enhance flavor and tenderness.
  • Essential ingredients: Besides the marinade ingredients, encompass acidic liquids, such as vinegar, which aid in tenderizing the meat.
  • Storage: Store the marinating steak in a refrigerator to avoid bacterial growth.

Bringing The Steak To Room Temperature

Allowing the steak to reach room temperature before grilling is essential for even cooking. Here are some tips on how to bring the steak to room temperature:

  • Timing: It’s best to take the steaks out of the fridge at least an hour before grilling.
  • Storage: Leave the steak on a tray or plate on the kitchen counter, allowing it to come to room temperature gradually.
  • Covered steak: Covering the steak with a plastic wrap prevents other food from contaminating it.

Explanation Of How These Steps Affect Cooking Time

Observing the above pre-grilling steps before grilling a steak affects the cooking time significantly. Here’s how:

  • Temperature: Bringing the steak to room temperature enables the steak’s interior to cook more evenly without over-cooking the outside. This allows cooking the steak for a shorter duration.
  • Moisture content: Marinating the steak locks in the moisture and reduces cooking time.
  • Seasoning: A well-seasoned steak takes a shorter duration of time to grill since it has ample flavor.

The preparation of steaks before grilling considerably affects the ultimate taste, quality, and texture. Taking pre-grilling steps like seasoning, marinating, and bringing the steaks to room temperature ensures evenness in cooking, moistness, and tenderness.

Grilling The Steak

Detailed Steps For Grilling The Perfect Steak

To get the perfect grilled steak, follow these steps:

  • Preheat your grill to high heat.
  • Season the steak with salt and pepper.
  • Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 6-7 minutes for medium-rare, 8-10 minutes for medium, and 10-12 minutes for well-done.
  • Use tongs to flip the steak, not a fork, to avoid losing precious juices.
  • Let the steak rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Discussion Of Different Grilling Methods

There are two main grilling methods: direct and indirect heat.

  • Direct heat involves placing the steak directly above the heat source and is ideal for thinner cuts of meat that cook quickly, like flank steak or ribeye.
  • Indirect heat involves placing the steak to the side of the heat source and is ideal for thicker cuts of meat that require longer cooking times, like a bone-in ribeye or filet mignon.

Tips For Determining When The Steak Is Done

Determining when the steak is done is important to achieve the perfect level of doneness. Here are some tips:

  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak.
  • For medium-rare, the internal temperature should reach 135°f, for medium, it should reach 145°f, and for well-done, it should reach 160°f.
  • Make sure the juices run clear and not pink when piercing the steak with a fork.
  • Let it rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to distribute evenly.

Grilling the perfect steak doesn’t have to be difficult. By following these steps and tips, you’ll become a master griller in no time.

Resting And Serving The Steak

Grilling the perfect steak is an art that many aspire to master. It requires a careful balance of timing and temperature, as well as some knowledge of the cut of meat you are working with. However, resting and serving the steak is just as important as grilling it to perfection.

Importance Of Resting The Steak Before Cutting And Serving

Resting the steak is often overlooked but is crucial for achieving the desired texture and taste. When the steak is resting, the juices redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more evenly cooked steak. Not letting the steak rest can result in a dry, tough piece of meat.

It’s important to let the steak rest for around 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.

Explanation Of How Resting Affects The Taste And Texture Of The Steak

Resting allows the steak to reach the perfect internal temperature evenly, which is crucial for the best taste and texture. If the steak is cut into too soon, the juices will not have had a chance to redistribute, creating a dry and tough steak.

By resting the steak before serving, you allow time for the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicy and tender steak.

Tips For Serving The Steak

Serving the steak can be just as crucial as grilling it to perfection. Here are a few tips to make sure your steak is served to perfection:

  • Cut against the grain: Always cut the steak against the grain for optimal tenderness. Cutting across the grain breaks up the muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender steak.
  • Use finishing touches: Add some finishing touches to your steak to take it to the next level. Add a pat of butter on top, a sprinkle of coarse salt, or a sprig of fresh herbs to enhance the flavor.
  • Let it shine: Avoid smothering the steak with too many sauces or spices. It’s important to let the flavors of the steak shine, so keep any added flavors simple and subtle.

With these tips, you can confidently rest and serve your grilled steak to perfection. Remember to give your steak enough time to rest, cut against the grain, and add some finishing touches to take it to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions For How Long Do You Grill Steak

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Grilling Steak?

The ideal temperature for grilling steak is between 450°f to 500°f (232°c to 260°c). This helps to sear the outside and keep the inside juicy. Use an instant-read thermometer to check if the internal temperature of the steak has reached your desired level of doneness.

How Do You Prepare The Steak Before Grilling?

Before grilling, take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Season it generously with salt and pepper or your preferred seasoning. Brush it with olive oil or a butter-based marinade to enhance the flavor.

How Long Does It Take To Grill Steak?

The cooking time for grilled steak varies depending on the thickness of the cut and your desired level of doneness. For a 1-inch thick steak, it takes about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium, and 8 to 10 minutes per side for well-done.

How Can You Tell If The Steak Is Cooked?

You can tell if the steak is cooked by using an instant-read thermometer to check its internal temperature. For a medium-rare steak, the thermometer should read 130°f (54°c), for medium, it should read 140°f (60°c), and for well-done, it should read 160°f (71°c).

Alternatively, you can use the finger test to check the firmness of the steak.

Should You Let The Steak Rest After Grilling?

Yes, you should let the steak rest for 5 to 10 minutes after grilling. This allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender steak. Cover it with foil to keep it warm while it rests.


Grilling steak is not just a cooking method; it’s an art that requires patience, precision and a touch of creativity. We’ve explored various aspects of grilling steak to help you cook the perfect steak. The type of steak, thickness, grill temperature, and cooking time are all crucial factors that determine the final taste and texture of your steak.

To summarize, the ideal cooking times for different steak cuts range from 2- 14 minutes, depending on the thickness and how well done you want it. Remember to let your steak rest for a few minutes before cutting it to allow the juices to redistribute evenly.

With practice and experience, you’ll learn to master the art of grilling the perfect steak every time. Happy grilling!

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