Grilled Strip or Rib Steaks

Strip and rib steaks, on or off the bone, are our first choice for individual steaks. A steak that's between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 inches thick gives you a solid meat flavor as well as a little taste of the grill; cut any thicker and the steak becomes too thick for one person to eat. If your guests are more likely to eat only an 8-ounce steak, grill two 1-pounders, slice them, and serve each person a half steak. To test a steak for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer through the side of the steak deep into the meat but not touching the bone, so that most of the shaft is embedded in the steak (see the illustration on page 387).


1. Turn on all burners to high, close the lid, and heat the grill until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape the grill grate clean with a grill brush. Leave on a burner on high, and turn the other burner(s) to medium. Follow the recipe from step 2 and cook with the lid down.


1. Light a large chimney starter filled with hardwood charcoal (about 6 quarts) and allow to burn until all the charcoal is covered with a layer of fine gray ash. Build a two-level fire by stacking most of the coals on one side of the grill and arranging the remaining coals in a single layer on the other side of the grill. Set the cooking rack in place, cover the grill with the lid, and let the rack heat up, about 5 minutes. Use a wire brush to scrape clean the cooking rack. The grill is ready when the pile of coals is medium-hot and the single layer of coals is medium-low. (see hot to gauge heat level on page 568.)

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle both side of the steaks with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the steaks, uncovered, over the hotter part of the fire until well browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes Turn the steaks; grill until well browned on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. (If the steaks start to flame, pull them to the cooler part of the grill and/or extinguish the flames with a squirt bottle filled with water).

3. Once the steaks are well browned on both sides, slide them to the cooler part of the grill. Continue grilling, uncovered, to the desire doneness, 5 to 6 minutes for rare (12- degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 6 to 7 minutes for medium-rare on the rare side (125 degrees), 7 to 8 minutes for medium-rare on the medium side (130 degrees), or 8 to 9 minutes for medium (135 to 140 degrees).

4. Remove steaks from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.


The New Best Recipe


4 servings