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How to grill the perfect steak by Chef Erjavec of Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Baltimore

Chef Ben Erjavec Sullivan Steak House 2Executive Chef Ben Erjavec of Sullivan's Steakhouse Baltimore shares his tried and true best tips for grilling the perfect steak.

Tip 1: 
Find a reliable source to purchase good quality beef from. Make friends with the butcher and discuss his recommendations for various cuts he would cook. If you are lucky enough to find a place that does dry aged meat, go for it. Dry aging adds a unique, almost musty flavor to the steak, which is wonderful!
Tip 2:
Let your steak come to room temperature before introducing the steak to a heat source. When a cold protein initially comes in contact with a high-heat source, the protein constricts yielding and tough piece of meat.
Tip 3:
Season your steak generously with kosher salt and black pepper before cooking. The salt and pepper will aid in bringing out the natural flavors of the steak. Adding a bit of garlic salt is also a nice touch. If you want a really robust flavor, you can add Cajun seasoning, and blacken your steak. To blacken a steak, place on the hottest part of the grill and season generously with Cajun seasoning. Allow both sides of the steak to become charred.
Tip 4:
Preheat your grill on high and make sure the grill is as hot as possible prior to cooking to ensure the proper searing of the steak. This ensures that surface sugars are caramelized, adding complexity to your steak, as well as sealing in the juices of the steak itself.
Tip 5:
After cooking a steak to your desired temperature, let it rest and let the blood come back to the center. Notice when you cook and immediately slice a steak that you end up with the blood exiting the steak quickly, leaving the steak dry and flavorless.
Tip 6:
Think outside the box as far as toppings for your steak. There are many different items that you can add to make yourself look like a "rockstar" at your next cook out. Some suggestions would be to roast some shallots in the oven, puree them, and mix them with butter and seasoning to make a compound butter. Another one would be to sauté some crabmeat and add some sherry wine. Once the wine has reduced, whisk in some whole butter to thicken and form a sauce.
Tip 7:
Plate with your favorite side and enjoy!
This article was originally published in 2012.


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