How To Make Hatch Marks On Steak

Mar 25, 2013 2:06 pm

Learn how to grill a perfect grid into your steak

how to make grill marks on steak
Photo: Mark Shaw
You can serve up a regular steak, or serve it up with professional-grade grillmaster hatch marks. Your choice.
 

Anyone can slap a steak on the grill and cook it til it's done. Well, that may be an overstatement. If you've invested a nice chunk of change into a beautiful hunk of meat, the last thing you want to do is toss it on the barbie, move it around a bunch, accidentally puncture it, spilling all its nice juices into unsympathetic flames.

It's easy to get perfect grill marks on your steak while also cooking it correctly — puncture-free, crisply seared and juicy as all get-out. Follow these six steps to steak perfection, then hit the Recipes section and find a side dish that speaks to you. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • A steak (we used a dry-aged sirloin)
  • A grill
  • A pair of tongs
  • A sturdy metal spatula (metal!) 

Click on any photo to launch a slideshow

Place the steak on the grill
Place the steak on the grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high. When it's hot, place the steak square in the center. Once meat hits grill, play it as it lies and don't touch it.

Close the lid and cook
Close the lid and cook

Close the lid and cook the steak for about 3 minutes. Ignore all urges to open the lid. If you move it before the grill marks have formed you'll just have a weird chaotic grid on a steak that might have been juicier. 

Rotate 90 degrees
Rotate 90 degrees

Open the lid and peek at the corner of the steak, using the tongs to lift the meat slightly. If you see strong, defined grill marks, gently loosen the rest of the steak from the grill using the metal spatula — not the tongs — then rotate it 90 degrees and drop it back down on the grill. Close the lid and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Ours was a dry-aged sirloin with not much fat, so we erred on the side of "less is more" to avoid overcooking.

Flip over
Flip over

Using the spatula, flip the steak over. Remember, wherever it lands, that's where it cooks. Repeat steps 2 and 3. 

Finish cooking and remove from grill
Finish cooking and remove from grill

Carefully transfer steak to a plate or cutting board using the spatula — again, not the tongs. Be careful not to puncture it. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before taking all the pictures you're going to take and digging in.

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