How to BBQ Steak Perfectly Every Time

There’s nothing more delicious than a flawlessly BBQ grilled steak. Luckily, learning how to BBQ steak perfectly isn’t rocket science. Grilling steak is, in fact, one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to treat your family to the ultimate al fresco dining experience. In this article, we’ll share several tips that will take the guesswork out of BBQing steak on your Napoleon grill.


The Best Cuts and Grades for Grilling Steak

The primary secret to learning how to BBQ steak starts with selecting an excellent cut and grade of meat. Shop with your eyes and look for thin striations of white fat throughout the meat, popularly known as marbling. This ensures the steak will be juicier, flavorful, and exceptionally tender.

There are three grades of steak meat available in the United States:

  • Prime Steak - Offers the most marbling, has a higher fat content, and is sourced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It makes up only 2% of beef produced in America. They are mostly exported and/or sold at a higher price point in supermarkets or served in high-end restaurants.

  • Choice Steak - This type of steak is also of high-quality with less marbling than prime steak. The loin and the rib parts from this steak grade usually produce lip-smacking good grilled steaks. Choice steaks do well when using dry-heat cooking methods, like grilling.

  • U.S. Select Steak - Select-grade steaks are also of decent quality but can come out considerably less juicy on the grill because it is leaner. Select grade steaks are less expensive and ideal for marinating before grilling.

When it comes to buying your steak, the saying “you get what you pay for” holds a lot of truth. You will get the best bang for your buck when you invest in premium-quality steaks. While sometimes purchasing Prime and Choice steaks can be expensive, you can serve less meat at a meal by purchasing one or two expensive steaks and serving them family-style with extra barbecued sides. As long as the right cooking technique is used and care is taken, grilling the perfect steak, no matter the grade is possible.

Beginners who want to master how to BBQ steak should be using loin or rib cuts because they have the perfect combination of marbling and tenderness. These include:

  • Strip steak

  • Ribeye steak

  • T-bone steak

  • Skirt steak

  • Flank steak

  • Porterhouse steak

  • Top sirloin cap steak

  • Tenderloin steak fillets


Ribeye steak is an especially great grilling steak for first-timers because it’s almost impossible to mess it up, however, it is one of the more expensive steaks to purchase. Thanks to its generous fat content, it is not going to dry or toughen the meat even if you overcook it.



How to Add Flavor to Your Steak:
Dry Rub, Marinades, Herbs, and Seasonings

Before we delve right into the actual processes on how to BBQ steak, let’s talk about the many ways you can introduce spices and flavors to complement your meats.

A lot of self-confessed steak lovers would tell you that steak is delicious completely on its own with just a pinch of salt and pepper, plus a good grilling on a Napoleon grill. Although we agree that this is absolutely true, we also say being creative and exploring more adventurous flavors doesn’t hurt!


Dry Rub for Steak

A rub is a mixture of different spices that will bring out and further enhance the flavor of the meat. Applying a dry rub is easy. Rub a spice mixture, or even just salt and freshly ground black pepper onto the steak at least 30 minutes before you wish to cook. Include cumin, onion powder, dehydrated garlic or garlic powder with your salt and pepper for a great custom rub. Learn more about rubs here.

Bringing steaks to room temperature is an incorrect statement that has been perpetuated somehow. Truly, it would require longer than it is safe to leave food out on the counter - up to 8 hours to truly achieve "room temperature" which would allow harmful bacteria time to grow.


Marinades for Steak

Thin cuts are ideal for high heat and quick searing - just long enough for some grill marks and then off to low heat for 5 minutes before resting. Thin steaks, like the flank steak, are definitely well suited to this, and marinating them prior to cooking will bring even more big flavor to the table.

Select grade, steaks that are cut on the thin side, and ones from harder working muscles, like flank and skirt, are ideal for marinating. Leave your meat marinating for up to 12 hours, however, maximum flavor penetration has occurred by 3 hours. Try this Yummy Marinade Recipe or create your own delicious marinade by following the principles of marinating. Learn more about marinating here.



A Step-by-Step Guide on How to BBQ Grill Steak

Check out these steps that’ll show you how to BBQ steak and achieve great-tasting results without fail. Take out a digital timer or use your phone’s timer for accurate results!

  1. Season your steak with Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside, unless you marinate your steak.

  2. Preheat your gas grill, like the Rogue® XT 525 SIB, to around 500°F by lighting two of the four main burners.

  3. Sear the steak directly over the lit burners, once the grill has come up to temperature.

  4. To get those lovely sear-marks, sear for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn your steak 45° and continue to grill for another 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the steak and repeat this process for perfect sear marks.

  5. Move the steaks off the direct heat, to the side of the grill without lit burners on and turn down the lit burners to medium-low. Check the internal temperature of your steaks using a digital barbecue thermometer to pull any that are done. Leave the steaks on the grill with the lid closed for up to another 7 minutes to reach the perfect finished internal temperature.

  6. Rest the steaks on a board or plate for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Steak Cooking Time & Temperature

A key element in learning how to BBQ steak flawlessly is knowing the finished temperature depending on personal preference when it comes to your meat’s doneness. Here’s a quick list of cooking temperature per steak doneness and key indicators to help you determine when the meat is ready to be taken out of the grill.

  • Rare: 120-125°F internal temperature; red, shiny, and soft when touched

  • Medium-rare: 130-135°F internal temperature; deep red to pink, soft but firm

  • Medium: 140-145°F internal temperature; pinkish color in the center part, a bit firmer

  • Medium-well: 150-155°F internal temperature; very light pink center with slight graying on the edges; firm but tender meat

  • Well-done: 160°F+ internal temperature; no hint of pink color anywhere; meat is very firm

To check the internal temperature precisely and conveniently, we recommend using a digital BBQ thermometer or meat thermometer. This stops you from opening the lid. To ensure your steak remains juicy and tender, never cut into it to check doneness and use tongs to prevent the meat from being pierced. Remember that when the lid is closed, the grill will be able to maintain optimal cooking temperature, resulting in beautifully and evenly cooked steak. When you’ve taken it off of the fire, allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

How do you BBQ your perfect steak? Do you have your own awesome tips on how to BBQ steak? We’d love to hear from you. Follow Napoleon on Instagram or Facebook and share your favorite steak-grilling recipes!

How To
Recipe FAQ's