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9 Secrets to the Best Steak You’ll Ever Cook, According to Professionals

Want to learn how to cook the best steak you've ever had? After chatting with the executive chef team at Longhorn Steakhouse, we think we know what it takes!

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Grilled T-bone steak on stone table. Top viewEvgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock

Not too long ago, we met up with the finalists of LongHorn Steakhouse’s Steak Master Series. Before the chefs went head-to-head in an epic grill-off, they shared a few secrets to cooking the best steak you’ve ever eaten. They’re trained to cook nine different cuts of steak, so we couldn’t wait to hear their tricks!

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Variety of Raw Black Angus Prime meat steaks Machete, Blade on bone, Striploin, Rib eye, Tenderloin fillet mignon on wooden board copy spaceLisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock

Choose your steak wisely

It all starts with choosing the right steak for the job. A thick steak will take forever to reach a well-done temperature, and it’s almost impossible to hit a perfect medium-rare with a thin steak. When in doubt, ask your butcher for 1- to 1.5-inch thick steaks; they’re easy to cook to any temperature.

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Chef salts steak grill pan. Preparing fresh beef or pork.Anton Chernov/Shutterstock

Season boldly

Whether you’re keeping things simple with salt and pepper or whipping up one of these 31 delicious grilling ideas, make sure you season aggressively. Some of that seasoning will stick to the grill and you don’t want your steak to taste under-seasoned.

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Top view of black angus beef steaks with seasonings, studio shotNickola_Che/shutterstock

Use good-quality meat

Want to know why that meal at the steakhouse tastes so good? They’re probably using high-quality beef that’s fresh—never frozen. You can taste the difference in the end, so ask your butcher to cut you a fresh steak. Don’t cut your arm, though. Watch out for this sneaky grilling mistake that could send you to the emergency room.

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Barbecue Fire Grill top view, isolated on Black BackgroundBon Appetit/Shutterstock

Start with a clean grill

You spent all that time and money to prepare your steaks, don’t ruin them on a dirty grill! Built-up crud on your grill grates can cause off-flavors, not to mention that it can make your steak stick to the grill. Save yourself the headache and learn how to clean a greasy barbecue grill.

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Hot Empty Charcoal BBQ Grill With Bright Flames On The Black Background. Cookout Concept.AVN Photo Lab/Shutterstock

Don’t fear the heat

If you want a perfectly cooked steak with beautiful grill marks, crank your grill up to high heat. Grill temperatures of 450°F to 600°F will ensure that your steak gets a good, hard sear without sticking.

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Woman pouring olive oil onto frying pan on stovePixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Oil is your friend

Your steak might not stick to the grill if it’s hot and clean, but the seasoning can! Always oil the grill with a neutral oil (like canola oil) before starting to make sure the maximum amount of seasoning stays on your steak. Oiling the grill in a back-to-front motion will keep your hands out of harm’s way in case of flare-ups.

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The mist spray bottle to spray water into the air, against a black background.prasit2512/Shutterstock

Keep a spray bottle of water nearby

Flare-ups happen whether you’re using a charcoal or gas grill. The fat from the steak drips onto the heating element, causing a tall flame to burst through the grates. Zone in on hot spots and prevent your meat from charring by keeping a spray bottle of water on the side of the grill.

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Large piece of fresh beef meat prepared on a grill pan. Toned.Strannik_fox/Shutterstock

Flip your steaks to a new location

As your steak cooks, the grill grates underneath it becomes cooler than the open spaces on the grill. Try flipping your steaks to a new location instead of just flipping it over to ensure your steak always has contact with the hottest part of the grill. The perfect, diamond-shaped grill marks, were once sought after, but here’s the surprising reason you don’t want to have grill marks on your steak.

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Grilled Black Angus Steak Striploin on frying cast iron Grill pan on dark backgroundAnita SKV/Shutterstock

Have fun

The competition’s winner, Michelle “Meesh” Cerveny, says her secret to success is having fun! Your own mind is more likely to drag you down than anything else, so don’t let the stress of working the grill affect you. Stay positive and have an upbeat attitude, and it’ll shine through in the food.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef and a food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary school, Lindsay became the Executive Chef at Jackson's Corner in Bend, OR, from 2013 to 2016. Her genuine passion for food and sustainable food practices led her to find the farmer in herself. She lives in Durango, CO, where she enjoys the trials and errors of small plot farming. Lindsay is currently working on a cookbook that teaches home cooks how to craft beautiful meals without a recipe, tentatively titled "The Art of Bricolage: Cultivating Confidence and Creativity in the Kitchen."