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Tips For The Perfect Grilled Steak

Chicago natives know Morton's means the best in steaks.

With 64 restaurants around the globe and another set to open in July, it goes without saying that Morton's Steakhouse knows more than just a little something about Memorial Day grilling.

On The Early Show, Klaus Fritsch, who co-founded Morton's Steakhouse 26 years ago, shared his secrets for grilled steak.

Fritsch says he believes in shopping for the best steak, which should take you directly to the butcher. Before grilling, all meat should be brought to room temperature. If you're working with good meat (prime quality), there should be no reason to over-season or marinate. A good cut of meat will always have some marbling (fat) for flavor, so don't go too lean when shopping. Also, remember the following:

  • Don't Skimp On the Beef: Fritsch says size matters. Steaks are 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch are best for grilling. A thin cut is likely to get dried out. Marbling is also key, says Fritsch, because the fat throughout the steak gives it great flavor. It should be USDA Prime Aged Beef. If your butcher does not have this, the next best grade is Choice.
  • Bring Steaks Out of the Cold: Have steaks at room temperature before grilling.
  • Check the Oil: Lightly oil the grilling rack before putting steaks on (it keeps meat from sticking and cracking while keeping the natural juices in).
  • Get the Grill Hot: Preheat grill to 600 to 800 degrees F and keep it at this temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before putting steaks on.
  • Avoid the Flip-Flop: Only flip once after five minutes of grilling.
  • Ditch the Fork: Use tongs or a spatula (A fork allows juices to spill out).
  • Don't Perform Surgery with a Serrated Knife: To see if steak is finished, press on it with the palm of your hand. It will feel spongy when rare, have some resistance when cooked to medium and be firm when well done.
  • Rare: Squeeze the pad at the base of your thumb. It should feel spongy and feel very little resistance.
  • Medium: Press on the middle of the palm of your outstretched hand. It should feel firm.
  • Well Done: Squeeze the base of your small finger. It should feel firm with no give.

    Note: Fritsch strongly advises against cooking beyond medium, because it will dry out meat and take away flavor.

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