How to Grill Strip Steak

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Photo by Steven Depolo licensed under CC BY 2.0

Strip steak is thick, tender, and lean, making it just right for the grill. Buy it bone-in or boneless; either version will yield a steak that’s full of flavor with a firm bite. Want to know how to grill it up like your favorite steakhouse does it? This guide gives you all the steps for how to grill a strip steak so that you can enjoy it more often at home.

Preparing The Grill

Take a few minutes to prep your charcoal or gas grill before grilling strip steak to make sure it’s ready for cooking. With either grill, brushing a light amount of olive oil on the grates can prevent the steak from sticking. Then, follow these quick instructions to get your grill ready.

Gas Grill

Preheat one side of the grill to 450-500 degrees. If your grill is able to have two heating zones, preheat the other side to low. Keep the grill lid down while preheating to speed up the process. Expect preheating to take about 15 minutes with a gas grill.

Charcoal Grill

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Use your preferred method to light your charcoal grill, such as using a chimney starter or lighter fluid to get the bricks heated. Once they turn white and ashy, spread the bricks around the bottom of the grill in one layer. This usually takes 15-20 minutes with a charcoal grill.

Cooking Time

Strip steak generally takes 15-20 minutes to cook to medium-rare on a gas or charcoal grill. You’ll also need 45 minutes to prep the steak beforehand and 5-10 minutes to let the steak rest after cooking. For higher levels of doneness, add another 5-10 minutes to the total cooking time.

Final Temperature

Strip steak reaches its optimal taste and tenderness at medium-rare, but there’s no rule stating you can’t cook it to medium or medium-well if that’s what you prefer. Use the table below to find the temperature ranges for your preferred doneness level.

DonenessTemperature to Remove from HeatFinal Temperature
Medium-rare125-130℉130-135℉
Medium135-140℉140-145℉
Medium-well145-150℉150-155℉
Well-done155-160℉160-165℉

Medium Rare Strip Steak

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To grill a medium-rare strip steak, start by salting both sides of the steak and letting it rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. Then, preheat the grill to high, between 450-500 degrees. Transfer the steak to the grill and sear for 4-5 minutes until a golden-brown, somewhat charred sear forms. Flip with tongs and sear the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Check the thickest part of the meat with a digital thermometer to ensure that the steak reaches 125-130℉. Then, move the steak to a clean plate to rest for 5-10 minutes at room temperature.

Strip Steak Grilling Tips

Learn how to grill strip steak like a restaurant chef with these extra strip steak grilling tips.

Choose a Thick Cut

Strip steaks usually fall between ¾ of an inch and 1 ½ inches thick. If possible, choose a steak that’s closer to the 1 ½ inch mark to get the best results on the grill. This thickness can lead to an ideal medium-rare cook with a slightly charred outer sear and rich, reddish-pink middle.

Check the Temperature

Don’t skip checking the temperature of your steak, even if it appears thoroughly cooked on the outside. The only way to know for sure if you’ve reached medium-rare or your ideal doneness level is to use a thermometer. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the strip steak. Then, compare the reading with the temperature ranges shown in the chart above before removing the steak from the grill.

Use a Little Butter

While this step is completely optional, it’s one that steakhouses often use with strip steak and one you might want to try at home. Mix softened butter with a small amount of minced garlic and fresh thyme. Spoon some of the butter on a plate. After your steak is done on the grill, transfer it to the plate atop the butter to rest for 5 minutes. As it rests, it’ll absorb some of the butter for a touch of extra flavor.

Choosing the Right Cut

Like most steaks, strip steak is available in different qualities. Premium strip steaks are marked as Premium Angus, USDA Prime, or Wagyu. Any of these labels mark these steaks as high-quality, relating to their marbling, color, texture, and sourcing. 

Also, look for dry-aged or wet-aged labels. These refer to the aging process. Wet-aging yields a moister steak. Dry-aged steaks are ideal for the grill because the longer aging process draws out moisture while tenderizing the steak. The result is a tender steak without excess moisture content that can flare up the grill. 

Grilling Strip Steak Instructions

It’s time to learn how to grill strip steak like the chefs at your favorite restaurants. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Prepare the Steaks and Grill

Place steaks on a cutting board or plate at room temperature. Salt them generously on both sides and allow them to rest for 45 minutes. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to cook, preheat the grill to high heat (450-500 degrees). 

Step 2: Grill Strip Steaks

Sprinkle more salt, if desired, and pepper on both sides of the steak before transferring them to the grill. Grill on one side for 4-5 minutes. Then, flip with tongs and grill the other side for another 4-5 minutes until rich brown grill lines form.

Step 3: Check Doneness Level

Use a digital meat thermometer to check the temperature of the thickest part of each strip steak. For medium-rare, the thermometer should read 125-130℉. Move the steaks to a low-heat area of the grill and cook with the lid closed for 1-2 minutes, or until your desired doneness level is reached.

Step 4: Rest and Enjoy

Spread softened butter on a clean plate. Move the steaks to the plate and tent it with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes. During this time, your steaks should reach the final temperature range for your ideal doneness level (130-135℉ for medium-rare). Now, they’re ready to enjoy!

strip steak on a platter

Grilled Strip Steak

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 boneless strip steaks
  • olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened

Instructions
 

  • Remove strip steaks from the refrigerator and transfer them to a clean plate. Salt both sides generously and keep them at room temperature for 45 minutes. About 15 minutes before cooking, preheat the grill to high heat
  • Brush olive oil on both sides of the steaks and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Transfer steaks to the grill, searing for 4-5 minutes on each side
  • Check that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the strip steak reaches 125-130 degrees for medium-rare. If necessary, grill for another 1-2 minutes over low heat for further cooking
  • Spread softened butter on a plate and place the cooked steaks on top. Tent the plate with foil and rest the steaks for 5-10 minutes before serving

Other Ways to Cook Strip Steak

Grilled strip steak is certainly one of the best ways to enjoy this delicious cut of beef. Here are a few additional ways to cook strip steak at home:

  • Oven-baked strip steak
  • Reverse seared strip steak
  • Sous vide strip steak
  • Pan-seared strip steak
  • Slow-cooked strip steak
  • Skewered strip steak

Get A+ quality strip steaks from Chicago Steak Company. Our selection includes Wagyu, Premium Angus, and USDA Prime strip steaks delivered to your door. Order strip steaks online today.