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Grill Master

These easy tips will help you cook the perfect steak

Nothing is more manly than a nice big T-bone. Done right, it can be the perfect muscle-building, energy-boosting meal—it's packed with protein, zinc, iron, and B vitamins. But cook it the wrong way and you end up with an expensive chunk of rubber. Here's how to ensure your next steak serves your taste buds as well as it does your body.

THINK CIRCLES
When you're buying steak, it's best to get something round—top round, eye round, round tip. These cuts, which come from the hind leg of the animal, are not only the leanest but also the most tender.

ICE YOUR GRILL
For a perfect steak, you need a piping hot grill to seal in the meat's juices the second the meat hits the grate. But you don't need to worry about keeping an eye on the thermometer to tell when your grill is ready. Just stick a couple of ice cubes on your grate. When the metal is hot enough to melt them quickly, you're good to go.

WIPE OUT
Once the grill is hot, swab it down with a rag that's been doused with a bit of vegetable oil. This prevents sticking and helps the meat cook more evenly. (Just be careful! You may need to use tongs or a cleaning brush to hold the rag and keep from burning your fingers.)

KEEP A LID ON IT
Once the coals are gray and the grill is prepped, a 1 1/2-inch steak should take 8-10 minutes to cook per side—two minutes less if you want your meat rare. Allow the meat to cook undisturbed—every time you open the grill, you add 5-10 minutes of cooking time. Flip the steak only once, using a turner—not a meat fork. Poking the meat allows the juices that keep the steak tender to escape.

See Also:
Alternative Grilling Options
The Tao of Grilling
Spicy Grilled Salmon Steak

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