Grilled or Broiled Steak

In a nutshell: salt, pepper, meat, heat, eat.
TIME 20 to 25 minutes
MAKES 2 to 4 servings
2 strip, rib-eye, or other steaks (about 1 inch thick and ½ pound each), at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Prepare a grill or turn on the broiler; the heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. If you’re broiling, put a large ovenproof skillet on the rack 10 minutes before you’re ready to cook.

2 Blot the steaks dry with a paper towel and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.

3 Put the steaks—seasoned side down—on the hot grill or under the broiler and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. Cook, undisturbed, until they release easily, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook the other side, checking for doneness by peeking inside with a sharp knife and checking the same spot frequently. For medium-rare, figure about 3 more minutes (if they’re over an inch thick, you’ll need a little more time; if they’re under an inch, you’ll need a little less).

4 When the steaks are still a little bit redder than you want them, remove them from the heat and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. Sprinkle the steaks with more salt and pepper if you like and cut them in half crosswise or leave whole and serve.

  • Pan-Cooked Steak: A little more forgiving than using the higher-heat method: Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Prepare the steaks through Step 2. When the oil is warm, put the steaks in the pan (they won’t sizzle), seasoned side down, and sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper. Cook until the edges begin to turn brown, 5 to 10 minutes, then turn and cook until the steak is at least 1 shade redder (or pinker) than you like, another 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, turning once, until each side is seared a little, less than a minute total. Remove from the pan, let rest, and serve with the pan drippings poured over all.
  • Pepper Steak (Steak au Poivre): Before Step 1, coarsely grind 1 tablespoon black pepper and melt 1 tablespoon butter. Salt and pepper the steaks as described in Step 2, pressing the extra pepper into the raw steaks, then brush both sides with the butter.

  • When the steaks are done, don’t cut into them right away. Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes; they’ll cook from the residual heat and reach the next level of doneness.
  • You can have slightly different degrees of doneness in the same piece of meat.

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