How to barbecue the perfect steak

Tucking into a perfectly-cooked steak is one of life's simple pleasures, especially when you’re taking it easy at an Aussie backyard barbecue. Many of us enjoy a regular barbie during the warmer months, yet it's not uncommon to find a charred steak plonked on your plate (not to mention those shrivelled black sausages!). Here's an easy step-by-step guide to cooking the perfect steak, every time.

Do your prep work

  1. Choose steak with a little bit of marbled fat – it helps keep it juicy. The best cuts of beef steak for barbecuing are scotch fillet, T-bone, porterhouse, rump, round and blade.
  2. Take the steak out of the fridge 10 minutes before you plan to cook. This prevents the meat from tightening when it hits the heat, stopping it from becoming tough.
  3. Heat the barbecue then brush the steaks with oil, rather than the hotplate, to prevent sticking. Season steak with salt and pepper just before placing it on the heat.

Top tip: To prepare an easy thyme and lemon marinade, combine 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil with 1 tbs lemon juice, 2 crushed garlic cloves and some fresh thyme sprigs. Marinate for up to 2 hours.

Cook like a chef

  1. When the barbecue is hot enough that the steak sizzles on contact, you're ready to place them on the grill. If you're cooking a thick steak, move it to a cooler section of the barbecue to prevent it from burning on the outside before it cooks through.
  2. Some chefs recommend flipping steaks only once, cooking a 2cm-thick steak for 2-3 minutes each side for rare, 4 minutes each side for medium or 5-6 minutes for well-done. Other chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, however, recommend flipping the meat every 15-20 seconds in order to develop a crisp, flavoursome exterior without overcooking the centre. Both methods work, so use whichever you prefer and learn how to test when your steaks are done.

How to test when steaks are done

  1. To test if your steak is cooked to your liking, press the centre with tongs, being careful not to pierce or allow juices to escape. Rare steak will feel soft, medium will feel slightly firmer and springy, while well-done will be firm.
  2. To seal in juices and keep meat tender, always rest steak after it comes off the heat. Just transfer to a plate, cover with foil and set aside for 3-5 minutes before serving.

Whether you like your steak rare, medium or well-done, cooking to order is not a problem if you follow these seven steps. Fire up the barbecue and enjoy.

Top tip: Take care of the post-party washing up with Finish Quantum, now with a revolutionary new gel chamber that removes grease and gives you shiny dishes, first time every time.