From America's Test Kitchen
Grilled steaks have many tempting qualities—rich, beefy flavor, a thick, caramelized crust, and almost zero cleanup or prep for the cook. But the occasional small bonfire caused by the rendered fat can leave pricey cuts of meat charred and tasting like the inside of a smokestack. We wanted to develop a surefire technique for grilling the three most popular premium steaks—strip, rib eye, and filet mignon—so they would turn out juicy and tender every time.
To get the crust we wanted, a very hot fire was essential. But we quickly learned we couldn’t cook a thick steak over consistently high heat without either burning the steak or causing the fat to drip down onto the flames and ignite. The solution was searing them first over high heat and then moving them to the cooler part of the grill to cook through. For the strip and rib-eye steaks, lightly oiling the cooking grate was enough to get them going and keep them from sticking, but the lean filets mignons required a bit of olive oil to encourage browning. Otherwise, we didn’t fuss with our steaks before cooking them—a light seasoning with salt and pepper was sufficient.
Depending on the heat output of your gas grill, you may need to cook the steaks over the cooler part of the grill for an extra minute or two. For more flavor, sprinkle on enough of one of the associated rubs to cover the steak, and gently pat it to adhere before grilling.