The Best Way to Cook a Steak on an Indoor Grill

By A.J. Andrews

The principles that apply to cooking steak on an outdoor grill mirror those followed when cooking on an indoor grill. However, the final product will not have the smoky characteristics an outdoor grill imparts in its flavor profile. Indoor grills are essentially skillets with grooves that collect fat and moisture released during the cooking process, and they do not reach outdoor grill cooking temperatures. Adjustments in cooking times, however, accommodate this.

Steak is receptive to several cooking methods, including broiling, roasting and indoor grilling.

Step 1

Rinse the steak under cool tap water to remove the naturally occurring moisture that settles in the packaging. During storage, protein releases a liquid byproduct known as purge, which, although harmless, oxidizes when exposed to air and creates an undesirable odor. Dry the steak with paper towels to facilitate an ideal sear. When protein is exposed to heat exceeding 300 degrees Fahrenheit, its amino acids interact with carbohydrates and take on the properties of a simple sugar that caramelizes. This produces a golden-brown color on the product's surface that contributes to palatability and aesthetics.

Step 2

Preheat the indoor grill to a high setting. Place the steak on a cutting board, and season it thoroughly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place 2 tbsp. of olive oil in the saute pan, and set the pan on the grill. Searing the steak first on a flat surface, such as that of a saute pan or flat-top griddle, creates a uniform, caramelized texture unattainable by grilling alone. When the olive oil begins to shimmer, place the steak, presentation side down, in the pan. Turn the steak only once while searing. After a golden-brown color is reached, turn the steak and repeat.

Step 3

Remove the steak from the saute pan, and place on the indoor grill. Approximately four minutes into cooking (for medium rare), turn the steak and continue cooking for four additional minutes. Steak cooking times on an indoor grill are generally longer than outdoor cooking times. Inserting a probe thermometer in the center of a steak indicates doneness, according to the following temperatures: medium rare measures 145 degrees Fahrenheit; medium ranges from 155 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit; and well done includes anything above 160 degrees Fahrenheit. However, using touch is also a viable means of gauging a steak's doneness. A steak's firmness increases in tandem with its doneness.

Step 4

Remove the steak from the grill. Make a tent out of aluminum foil, and wrap the steak in it. Allow the steak to rest for a minimum of 15 minutes. Proteins uncoil when removed from a heat source and reabsorb a portion of the moisture released during cooking. Resting redistributes the steak's juices, which results in a moist final product. Refrain from slicing or piercing the steak while it is at rest.