With a delicious Mexican-inspired dry rub, melting garlic lime butter and a few easy grilling tricks this recipe for perfectly grilled steak is sure to become a favorite!
Although we don’t eat a lot of red meat, a perfectly grilled steak, every now and then, is a HUGE treat! But we’re kind of particular; no pale, wimpy-looking steaks will pass muster, here at The Café. To us, a perfectly grilled steak has a flavorful, deep golden brown, slightly charred exterior. The interior has to be juicy, pink and super tender. And if you add a little mound of compound butter, bursting with bright flavor… Let’s just say it’s “over the moon” in our book!
I’ve been serving this steak to guests for the past few weeks and everyone’s gone bonkers over it. It was also a hit this past weekend with family, who gathered together for the Memorial Day weekend.
I love to serve it with my Fresh Corn Salad although this last time, I made a Fresh Corn Gratin that was also wonderful (the family all deemed this one “blog worthy”, so the recipe will be coming up!)
A steak is a steak?
Nope, not true. Although a simple steak, grilled with just salt and pepper can be great, this recipe is so full of wonderful flavor, it takes “grilled steak” over the top. So what’s so special about this steak? Actually, there are several things:
- The Rub: a delicious, Mexican-inspired spice rub made with paprika, Ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic salt and fresh ground pepper. The combination is a perfect pairing for grilled beef.
- Garlic Lime Butter: a little mound of garlic-lime butter (a simple combination of soft butter, minced garlic and lime zest) added after grilling. It’s the pièce de résistance! This takes an already delicious steak to a whole other level!
- A few easy tricks: The first trick is a bit unorthodox when it comes to steak-grilling “rules”. Most directions for grilling steak call for the step of bringing the steak to room temperature. In classic grilled steak recipes, this is accomplished by letting the steak sit out of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This recipe, for perfectly grilled steak, calls for just the opposite. The seasoned steak is actually placed in the freezer for 30 minutes while the grill is heating up. This chills the steak so that the exterior has a chance to get that beautiful golden char without overcooking the interior. The other “tricks” are more universally accepted; a hot grill and a resting period after grilling.
I’ve tried this recipe with several cuts of beef and all have turned out delicious. Sirloin, ribeye, New York Strip and Flat Iron steaks have all turned out fantastic! I love that whatever my budget is, this Perfectly Grilled Steak recipe works!
Café Tips for making this Perfectly Grilled Steak with Garlic Lime Butter
- Choose steaks with some fat marbling, but not riddled with fat throughout.
- Begin with clean grill grates. A stiff wire brush is best. Cleaning your grill makes it easier to flip and remove the steaks. It also helps to not impart flavors from previous grilled meals.
- Prepare a nice hot grill. To achieve a nice golden exterior you need to heat your grill to high. The heat helps avoid sticking to the grates and promotes the perfect sear. Voila! That coveted, deep golden delicious exterior!
- Both the rub and the garlic-lime butter for this recipe can be made up to a week in advance. If making the butter more than a day ahead, pop it in the freezer until a few hours before dinner.
- Don’t be afraid to coat the steak liberally with the rub. It’s delicious, but not too spicy.
- Ancho chili powder is simply ancho chilis that have been ground up. It can be found at most larger grocery stores in the spice section. You can also make your own by grinding up ancho chilis. If you can’t find it and don’t want to make your own, chipotle chili powder is a good sub. Ancho chile powder can also be ordered online.
- This recipe calls for four steaks, 8-10 ounces each. After grilling, slice the steaks and divide them into portions. This will easily feed six people. If you want each person to have their own steak, obviously it will only serve 4.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 medium clove garlic finely minced
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest from 1 medium lime
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for the grill
- 4 1 1/4- inch-thick boneless rib-eye New York strip or sirloin steaks (6-8 ounces each)
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
Coat steak with the dry rub on all sides. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons oil to help rub adhere. Place steak in the freezer for 30 minutes while preparing the grill.
Prepare a grill to high heat; oil grill grates.
Remove steak from the freezer and place directly on the prepared grill. Grill until golden brown on the first side and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to grill about 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare (an internal temperature of 135 degrees F with an instant thermometer), approximately 5 to 7 minutes for medium (140 degrees F) or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well (150 degrees F). These times are approximate, as grills vary in their heat intensity.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board and top with Garlic Lime Butter. Allow steak to rest for 8-10 minutes. Slice and serve with Fresh Corn Salad, if desired.
See Café Tips above for more detailed instructions and tips.
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