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How to Grill the Perfect Steak

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Becca McMillan taught herself how to cook steak in high school. After years of trial and error, she shares her favorite recipe.

Becca McMillan


  • Steak (we used ribeye cut 1-inch thick)
  • Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Propane gas grill
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tongs


Step 1

Pick your meat. Becca considers three factors when selecting steak: cut, thickness and marbling. She personally prefers ribeyes but says she would take a T-bone steak any day. She looks for steak at least 1-inch thick, and she looks for good marbling.

Step 2

Heat up the grill. Becca prefers cooking on a propane gas grill rather than charcoal. Cooking over a wood fire pit is nice too, she says, but takes longer. Consider the outside temperature and wind speed when determining how high you need to turn up the grill. We cooked our steak on high (425 to 500 degrees F) on a chilly November day. If it's too cold to grill outside, consider searing the meat in a cast iron skillet on the stove top then finishing it in the oven.

Step 3

Place the steaks on the grill. Be sure to use tongs. Piercing steak with a fork before or during the cooking process can release the juices and cause the steak to dry out.

Step 4

Prepare your seasonings. Sprinkle equal parts of each seasoning on each side of the steak. Becca starts with onion powder and garlic powder then adds the Creole seasoning.

Step 5

Cook the steak for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until it reaches your desired level of doneness. We flipped the steak about seven times before it was cooked to medium (145 degrees).

Step 6

Place steak on a plate or desired serving dish. Wrap the steak in aluminum foil and seal tightly to allow steak to continue cooking in its own juices. After 5 to 10 minutes, enjoy.

Seasoning steak

To Season Before or To Season After?

The age-old question when it comes to cooking steak centers on what seasonings to use – if any. Some say marinate. Others have spent years perfecting their spice and herb mixtures. Still, the purists insist the steak go bare or maybe just sprinkle it with a little salt. If you decide to go with a seasoning, you are faced with another question: Should you season the meat before or after cooking?

We decided to conduct our own impromptu experiment and put both methods to the test. It shouldn't come as a surprise that our taste testers enjoyed both ways. But they did come to a conclusion: If you want a stronger burst of flavor from your spices, season after cooking. If you would prefer to taste steak with just a hint of kick, season before cooking.

Grilling steak

Becca McMillan supports the agricultural systems research and technology activities at the Noble Research Institute. Beef is frequently on the dinner table at the McMillan household, which includes Becca and her husband, Zeno McMillan, and their 7-year-old daughter, Rory. The family owns and operates a cow-calf ranch northeast of Dickson, Oklahoma. Hear Zeno's perspective on raising cattle at The Fruits of Their Labor.