When you’re ready to throw that beautiful grass-fed steak on the grill, you’ll want to pay attention and take some care to get the tastiest, most tender results. With its leaner profile, grass-fed beef tends to cook faster, so it’s important to thaw properly, use the right grill temperature, and use a meat thermometer. Don’t skip the last step, which is most important—let it rest after it comes off the grill.
It’s best to thaw grass-fed beef in the refrigerator for a day, but if you’re in a pinch, you can always place the vacuum-sealed bag in cold water for a few minutes. Never use a microwave to thaw grass-fed beef. Once the steak is thawed, unwrap it and pat it dry, then let it sit at room temperature while the grill heats, for no more than 30 minutes. Don’t cook it cold straight from the refrigerator because it won’t cook evenly.
Marinades are great for adding flavor and moisture. Use your favorite or make your own. Place the steak in a glass dish with a cover and then pour the marinade over, making sure the meat is covered completely. Refrigerate for two to six hours, turning several times. Remove from the refrigerator, discard the marinade, and pat dry the steak. Allow it to sit for no more than 30 minutes before brushing with a little olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper, and then put it on the grill.
You can also use a dry rub to add flavor. Again, use your favorite or make your own. Once the steak is thawed, pat it dry and then liberally sprinkle all over with the rub. Allow to sit at room temperature for no more than 30 minutes before putting it on the grill.
If simplicity is your thing, just before putting the steak on the grill, brush it with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Always preheat the grill. You can sear the steak before or after it’s cooked to get those nice crispy, caramelized grill marks that add so much flavor. If you want to sear first, heat the grill to high, put the steak on until you see the grill marks on both sides. Turn the heat down to 350° and cook until done. For a reverse sear, just reverse the process.
Never use a fork to turn the beef. Always use tongs.
Use an instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness. Watch the temperature carefully—you can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in less than a minute. The meat will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, so when it reaches a temperature ten degrees LOWER than the desired temperature, it’s done.
For grass-fed steaks, rare (125°) to medium-rare (130°) is perfect. If you go much past medium (140°), your steak is liable to be very chewy.
After you take the steak off the grill, cover it and let it sit in a warm place for five to eight minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. If you like, add a big pat of grassfed butter to add flavor, moisture, and even more benefits from healthy fat.