Ina Garten's 2-Step Technique For Perfect Grilled Steaks Every Time

Ina Garten has a knack for making any dish look beautiful and easy to prepare. Even those dishes that seem intimidating, like perfectly grilled steaks, are no challenge for the woman her fans know as the "Barefoot Contessa." Part of this is due to her precision. You won't find her telling you to add salt and pepper "to taste," no, she includes exact measurements for everything which really makes creating her recipes so easy. The same goes for cooking times. To create her perfect steaks, she touts a timer outside to her grilling area to know exactly when to flip them.

If you follow her direction, Garten promises you'll grill the perfect steaks every time you cook them. After prepping and seasoning the steaks, she sears them over high heat first and then essentially "bakes" them on the grill by moving them to an area with a lower temperature and letting the surrounding heat finish the cooking process. She demonstrated her method on her Instagram page and, in true Ina style, the finished steaks look magazine-perfect. We wouldn't expect anything less from her.

First sear, then bake

Garten first tells her viewers that the steaks should be on the thicker side. She herself grills up New York strip steaks that are about an inch and a half thick. She rubs them with oil and seasons them with a spice mix made of brown sugar, coffee, granulated garlic, chipotle chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Her charcoal grill has been prepared by placing hot coals on only one side of the grill. The other side has no coals on the bottom.

She places the seasoned steaks on the side with the hot coals first and they stay in place for exactly two minutes. After those two minutes are up, she flips the steaks and sears the other side for another two minutes. When her timer sounds, she moves the steaks to the side of the grill which has no coals, or the "cool" side. She then covers the top of the grill and leaves the steak on for eight minutes to reach a rare status or 10 minutes for medium. Once they've rested, Garten cuts into one steak and reveals a perfectly pink, juicy steak. Yet again, she's taken something intimidating and made it look like the most approachable thing in the world.

A little on the side

According to her website, Garten likes to serve her grilled New York strips with baked potatoes with whipped feta, garlic sauteed spinach, and chocolate cake for dessert. But, you also couldn't go wrong with serving your perfect steaks with crispy patatas bravas, broccolini with lemon and pine nuts, and decadent chocolate mousse.

Clearly, the sear-then-bake technique is a favorite in the Garten home because another of her steak recipes which she calls steakhouse steaks begins over high heat and ends inside the oven. In this one, her preferred cut is filet mignons. She sears all sides of them in a cast iron pan for (you guessed it) two minutes before finishing them in a 400-degree oven for around 12 minutes. They apparently come out like all of Ina's other recipes: perfect. If we can learn anything from Garten's steak cooking methods it's that timing really does matter. Best of all, she's figured it all out already so all we need to do is follow her advice, which proves to be good time and time again.