How to Cook the Perfect Steak, According to a Pro Chef

Cooking up the perfect steak or burger on the grill is an iconic summer pastime, but it’s not always easy to get it just right. That’s why we brought in expert chef Michael Lomonaco of Hudson Yards Grill and former Food Network host to find out some tips you can use to impress everyone at your next summer gathering.

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Tip #1: Pepper Your Steak at the End – For a ribeye steak “you want to season both sides with salt. I don’t hit it with pepper until I’m finished.” The pepper can burn if you cook it too much, so Lomonaco will add that once the steak is done cooking. Before grilling your steak, add some oil on the grill for extra flavor, then start cooking.

Tip #2: Leave Your Steak Alone – “As tempting as it is, I’m not going to touch it, not going to prod it, we’re not going to poke it. Let’s let it cook,” Lomonaco says. Same goes for a burger. You may want to poke and prod it, but Lomonaco recommends just letting it cook, that way you don’t end up losing the juices out of your burger. It’s tempting, but it won’t cook faster if you do it. For the ribeye steak, it will take around nine to 12 minutes to get the medium rare cook, while the burger needs about seven minutes to cook just right.

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Tip #3: Let the Steak Rest – Once you cook it to your liking, leave your steak aside and let it rest, giving the flavor a chance to set in and for the meat to cool down just a bit, then you can get ready to carve it up.

Tip #4: The Hand Test – “From pushing the burger or steak, I can feel if it’s medium rare, if it’s rare,” Lomonaco says. “That’s sort of the ‘hand test.’ The more you close your hand, the firmer it gets.”

Watch the full video above for more from Lomonaco on cooking the perfect steak, and check out the summer grilling guide from Men’s Journal for more recipes for your next BBQ.

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