Some pros say the secret to grilling a great tasting steak is grilling it at two temperatures – high heat to sear the meat and seal in the juices, then medium heat to lovingly bring it to the doneness you desire.
However, we believe the real secret to grilling the perfect steak isn’t so much knowing how to use the two-temperature method as it is knowing when to use the two-temperature method.
The two-temperature method is done in five simple steps. Here’s how it goes for a 1″ thick steak…
Start by grilling at high heat (450° F to 650° F) to sear the steak:
- Grill your it over high heat for 1-2 minutes, then
- Rotate it 45 degrees (to get those nice, diamond-shaped sear marks) and leave it there until blood and juice droplets just start to form on top – about 1-2 minutes if your steaks are 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, 2 to 4 more minutes if your steaks are 1 1/2 to 3 inch thick
- Turn your it over and wait 1-2 minutes once again, then…
- Rotate it 45 degrees and grill for another 1-2 minutes if your steaks are 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, 2 to 4 more minutes if your steaks are 1 1/2 to 3 inch thick
Then finish bringing it to your desired doneness over medium heat (325° F to 350° F):
- Turn the heat down to medium – or move your steak to a cooler part of the grill – and cook it for whatever portion of the of the total time shown in below is still left, turning them over half way through.
Here’s the kicker though: it’s only worth finishing at a medium temperature when your cut of meat is an inch or more thick. In the case of that flank steak – or any other steak cut thinner than an inch – any attempt to squeeze in some time at medium heat after the sear will only result in a dry, overdone steak.
In other words, if your steak is less than an inch thick, keep it on high heat for the full amount of time listed below, turning it over at the halfway point (Don’t forget to rotate 45 degrees a quarter and three quarters of the way through so you’ll get those beautiful diamond-patterned rack marks.).
If you feel that a reference table with general time estimates for various steak thickness would come in handy, you’ll find one on this page: How Long to Grill Steaks