Men's Lifestyle

8 Tips to Meat Nirvana By John Schenk of Strip House Steakhouse

Summer is in full swing, making it the perfect time for grilling. While your primal instincts are telling you to throw down the meat, a poorly cooked steak is a cardinal sin (or at least should be). All too often we see overcooked, under-prepared steaks wasted due to lack of steakhouse knowledge or respect of the coveted BBQ. Mastering the Art of the Grill, and commanding the attention of even the most elite food goers is simple once you understand these 8 simple Laws of Grilling.

Here are some tips on how to grill like a man from John Schenk, Corporate Executive Chef of Strip House Steakhouse.

Tip 1: Make It Marbled

The best steaks for home grilling are nature’s perfectly marbled beef rib eye steaks or bone-in rib eye steaks often called Cowboy Steaks. The marbling enhances the flavor of these cuts while basting the meat in the cooking process to ensure a juicy steak.

Want even more grilling tips? Check out The Ultimate Guide to a Delicious Backyard BBQ.

Tip 2: Oil It

Use a canola and olive oil blended oil to coat the steak before seasoning it. Either an 80/20 or 90/10 blended oil will get the job done. Be sure to lightly coat the steak. The oil will allow the surface temperature to get seared fast ensuring a juicier final product as well as greatly aiding the charring of the meat’s surfaces. Save your expensive olive oils for salads where their subtle flavors will shine brightest.

Tip 3: Season Simply

A well-marbled steak needs only coarsely ground black pepper and kosher salt to bring flavor perfection. It really is a case of the sum being greater than the parts. Be sure to season a bit more than you might regularly season a sautéed item. Some of the steak’s seasoning will be lost in the grilling process. You want to be sure to have enough on the steak to get the job done.

Tip 4: Don’t Spare the BTUs

It is all about heat. High heat sears the cooking surface of the meat ensuring a juicier steak and allows the charring to happen. With high heat, one can get a nicely charred rare steak. A little flame is your friend; a lot of flame is a definite concern. Keep two sides of the grill hot and move the steak to the second hot spot if the first grilling area is aggressively flaming up. Dousing with water is a last resort; you want to keep the grill as hot as possible. But if it’s between the house going up and a well charred steak, I’d give a nod to keeping the house intact.

Tip 5: Don’t Flip Out

Flipping the steak too often can sabotage the charring of the meat and eliminate most of the seasoning on the steak. Don’t drag the steak over the grill when turning. Pick it up in one motion and place it back with the same motion.

Tip 6: Rest and Relax

Once you have achieved the desired temperature, remove the steak from the heat and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes on a grate over a pan before cutting it. You want to make sure there is air all around the steak to stop the cooking process. The internal juices will redistribute throughout the steak and the steak will relax and become tender. Cutting too soon will allow the juices to spill out turning a medium rare steak into a medium plus steak. I have done this and I was sad.

Tip 7: Real Men Sizzle and Use Sea Salt 

The Good News: After the steak has rested. Return it to the grill for about 30 seconds on each side just before serving to get a surface sizzle going. A little sprinkle of a grey sea salt on the steak allows for a gentle and focused re-seasoning of the steak.

The Bad News: People will make you do all the grilling from now on.

Tip 8: You’ve Been Schooled

So get out there and buy a well-marbled steak and make me look good. I’d do it for you.

Sock Drawers and Rib Eye Steak 


Want even more grilling tips? Check out The Ultimate Guide to a Delicious Backyard BBQ.

About John Schenk, Corporate Executive Chef of Strip House Steakhouse

Schenk has been featured on NBC Today ShowCBS Early Show, FOX & Friends and was an original chef on the Food Networks Ready, Set, Cook. Schenk cooked numerous times at The James Beard House, as well as taught classes for De Gustibus, Peter Kumps Cooking School, All Clad and Bloomingdales. Under Schenk, Strip House was named one of New York’s top steakhouses by Zagat 2012 & 2011, awarded 4 stars by Forbes 2011 All-Star Eateries in N.Y., deemed Critics Pick by NY Mag, dubbed’s choice for perfectly charred and seasoned red meat. In 2010, The New York Times Sam Sifton awarded Strip House two stars and praised its evolution since opening, writing: the food is generally marvelous, the steak often superb.