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Cooking Steak on a Flat Top Grill: 7 Insider Tips & Recipe Guide

Your flat top grill has opened up a world of cooking potential… And when you’re first getting started, it can feel a bit overwhelming.

In some ways… It’s almost as if you have to relearn everything you thought you knew about cooking.

This cooking appliance is an entirely different beast… Hence, why you’re wondering about cooking steak on a flat top grill.

How difficult is it?

Is it really that different from cooking in a pan?

How do you get the best results?

All of these are excellent questions… And fear not, we’ll answer them all.

You’ll learn some insider tips for getting the best steak, the best cuts for your flat top, and a detailed how-to guide for cooking a steak on a flat top grill.

Let’s start with gathering materials.

Quicklinks:

What You Need Before Cooking Steak on a Flat Top Grill

set of bbq tools on a table

Before you throw your steaks down on a piping-hot griddle… You’ll need to gather some tools of the trade.

This is especially true if you don’t have a ton of experience with cooking a steak in general.

You’ll want to ensure your steak is cooked to the desired doneness… And that will require a bit of tech to ensure consistently flawless results.

Thankfully, your equipment requirements are far from intimidating!

Aside from your griddle… You’ll need an instant-read thermometer and a set of trusty tongs.

Your tongs will allow you to easily flip or rotate your steaks… And the meat thermometer will allow you to get doneness down to a science. (We’ll get to target temperatures later.)

Another optional tool you may want to consider is a temperature gun.

Why?

Well, the optimal searing temperature on your griddle grill is around 450°F – 500°F.

And while it’s pretty easy to tell if your griddle is screaming-hot… You may feel more comfortable knowing that you’re right in the target range.

Which is exactly the type of comfort a temperature gun will provide. With a simple click of the button… You’ll have no doubt as to whether you’re truly ready to sear.

Feeling good so far?

Now let’s get into the meat of this article.

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Insider Tips for the Best Griddle Steak

First things first… Let’s dispel a bit of a mystery here.

Is cooking steak on a flat top grill really that different from cooking on a stovetop?

Well, if you’re using a cast iron pan… Not really!

This is particularly true if you’re cooking a Blackstone steak. Blackstone griddles are made with a carbon steel cooking surface, which is quite similar to cooking with cast iron.

So if you feel right at home dishing out steaks on your cast iron skillet… A lot of the same principles will apply here.

Steak Tip 1: Ensure Your Steak is Bone Dry

steak being patted dry

For 99% of us… The best part of a well-cooked steak comes down to the crust.

Because without it, you end up with a gray, limp, and soggy piece of meat.

Yuck.

And since a good cut of steak isn’t exactly cheap… The cost is simply too high to end up with a disappointing result.

So to ensure your steak ends up with a perfectly caramelized crust… Dry off your steak before you cook!

Why?

Well… What happens when liquid and moisture is exposed to heat?

You get steam.

And when you get steam… What you’re really doing is boiling your steak, not searing it.

There’s a reason why “boiled steak” isn’t exactly a household staple. (Except in England, apparently.)

It’s not exactly the most appetizing thing on the planet. So do yourself a favor, and dry your steak off with a paper towel before you toss it on the flat top.

This will remove any residual moisture… And guarantee a delectably crispy exterior.

But that’s just the beginning.

Steak Tip 2: Get Your Griddle Screaming Hot

Drying out your steak is not the only key to getting a crispy crust.

As we’ve alluded to earlier… It’s important that your griddle surface is super hot before you put your steak down.

When your flat top griddle is properly preheated… This ensures that the outside of your steak browns without overcooking the interior.

Because if your griddle isn’t hot enough when you get started… The inside is going to cook to your desired doneness way before a crust has had a chance to form.

Hence, why it’s important to get your griddle cooking surface preheated to 450°F – 500°F.

So if you decided to spring for a temperature gun… It will be easy to check if your griddle is hot enough.

If not, you’re still not completely in the dark.

You can flick a couple drops of water onto the griddle. If the beads dance and evaporate within a couple seconds… Your griddle surface is plenty hot.

Another method some cooks use is to watch the cooking oil. If it begins to wisp a touch of smoke from the heat… You are good to go.

And speaking of cooking oil…

Steak Tip 3: Don’t Skimp on Your Cooking Oil

putting oil on flat top grill

When you enter into the realm of high-temperature searing… Not any ol’ cooking oil will do.

Most oils you typically have in your kitchen cupboard will scorch at that 400°F+ mark… And results with an equally scorched flavor in your steak.

That’s nasty.

Therefore, it’s key to select the right cooking oil for the task.

And while they get a bad rap… Saturated fats tend to be the most capable contenders for high-heat searing.

Their chemical structure is extremely resilient to heat… So you can sear without worry of denaturing or oxidizing your oil. (This is what creates the bitter, rancid flavor.)

Refined coconut oil is a great option, with a smoke point of around 400°F – 450°F.

Another contender is rendered beef tallow, which isn’t just great for doubling down on that beef flavor… It’s also got a smoke point sitting around 420°F.

Ghee has a yet more impressive smoke point, capping out at 465°F.

Refined avocado oil is a notable outlier, consisting of primarily monounsaturated fats… Yet blowing the other fats out of the water with a 480°F – 520°F smoke point.

No matter which of the above you select… These cooking oils will ensure you get a beautiful cook without an acrid, scorched flavor.

Steak Tip 4: Be Careful with Seasonings

seasoned steak on a cutting board

The best steak seasoning is a hotly contended topic… But we’re not looking to enter into the debate arena.

Whether you’re into the classic salt and pepper, or prefer a complicated blend… There’s one thing you need to know about cooking steak on a flat top grill.

Some seasonings will burn.

And if you like a hint of sweetness on your BBQ steak… We have some bad news for you.

Sugary seasonings are highly likely to burn on your flat top grill.

You might be able to avoid this by flipping often… But that’s another hot-button issue we’ll address shortly.

More often than not, it’s better to nix the sugar on your flat top seared steak.

But sugary substances aren’t the only flavor-enhancers that could result in a burned seasoned steak.

Some powders, like garlic powder or onion powder, could fall victim to the same scenario.

In this case… It really comes down to a bit of trial and error to see what blends perform well. (Granulated garlic or onion powder is likely to work better here.)

If you’re going for foolproof results… You can’t go wrong with a little S&P.

Steak Tip 5: To Flip, or Not to Flip?

That is the question… Isn’t it?

As with most things, there’s no hard and fast rule here… But there is a general rule of thumb to consider.

If you’re cooking a thin steak, you’ll want to flip as little as possible. Ideally, you’ll only flip your steak once to the other side.

The reason for this is that because your steak is thinner… It will likely cook to your ideal doneness before a crust is able to be formed.

So the more you flip, the more you’re hindering a crust formation. (Resist the temptation!)

On the flip side…

Thicker steaks are better off if you flip them often, about every minute or so.

This is because if you don’t flip often… The top of your steak will cool down, and it can result in an uneven sear.

Frequent flipping on a thicker steak will ensure an even sear on both sides, with beautiful browning all-around.

And once your steak is done…

Steak Tip 6: How Long Should Your Steak Rest?

steak resting on a dinner plate with veggies

This is probably one of the most common FAQs out there when it comes to steak searing.

Does your steak really need to rest for 10 minutes or more?

You already spent a ton of time lovingly preparing and searing your steak… So of course, you want to dig in as soon as possible.

But trust us when we say… Your patience will be rewarded.

How much patience?

At least 5 minutes per inch of thickness on your steak.

Now, there’s a ton of scientific mumbo-jumbo to prove why resting your steak is a must… But we’ll give you the short answer.

When your steak is hot off the griddle, the juices are pushed into the center of your steak. If you cut it open immediately… All of those precious juices spill out onto your plate.

The result? Dry meat.

By allowing your steak to rest… Those juices are allowed to properly redistribute.

So when you cut into it, there’s no puddle of juice on your plate. It’s all reabsorbed into your steak, resulting in a deliciously moist and tender meal.

And don’t forget to tent your steak in aluminum foil to trap the heat in!

After resting, what will be your finishing touches?

Steak Tip 7: A Delicious Way to Finish Your Griddle Steak

steak with compound butter on top

While most of us are perfectly content to dig into our steaks sans sauce… It’s worth venturing into some other culinary delights to deepen the experience.

And we’re talking about something a bit more upscale than A1 steak sauce. (Or the dreaded ketchup!)

It’s compound butter.

Many professional chefs already baste their steaks with butter when pan-searing… So why not get that steakhouse quality flavor from your flat top, too?

There are an endless amount of flavor combinations you could pursue, too.

There’s jalapeno lime, sundried tomato, tarragon, blue cheese, truffle…

And of course, we can’t forget the classic garlic & herb. (Which pairs beautifully with a side dish of starchy carbohydrates like mashed potatoes!)

No matter which flavor combination you choose… A pat of compound butter on your steak will significantly level-up the flavor. And who doesn’t want more flavor?

Bonus Steak Tip from Gordon Ramsey Himself

If you want the best steak possible… It’s always smart to take a tip from the pros.

And even though Gordon is cooking his steak on a cast iron pan… This tip still applies to cooking steak on a flat top grill.

And what’s the pointer, pray tell?

Before you season or cook your steak… Let it sit on the counter for 20 minutes.

The idea is that a room temperature steak will cook better than one that’s fresh out of the fridge.

Gordon makes the point that if your steak is too cold… The center won’t cook as quickly as the outside.

So you end up with a nice sear on the outside, and an underdone center. That’s not ideal!

Once again, your patience will be rewarded.

And now that we’ve gotten all of those “steak tips” down the hatch… What are some of the best cuts to consider cooking steak on a flat top grill?

The best grilling station

Add a Coyote Flat Top Grill to your outdoor kitchen design. Use our free 3D design tool to get started.

Best Cuts of Steak for Your Flat Top

To cut through the suspense… The most commonly touted cuts for cooking steak on a flat top grill are ribeye steak, filet mignon, New York strip steak, and sirloin.

Let’s quickly break each one down.

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How To Cook Ribeye Steak on Flat Top Grill

ribeye steak on cutting board

There’s a reason why most Blackstone griddle recipes cite ribeyes as the steak of choice… And for good reason!

These cuts have impressive amounts of marbling, and often come with a healthy fat cap.

And since fat = flavor… You’ll get plenty of it with a high quality ribeye steak.

Your flat top grill will do an excellent job of rendering that fat cap. Just keep in mind that these steaks tend to be a bit thinner, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on the temperature.

And unless you get a super-thick slice… Most ribeyes will do well with just a single flip during your cook.

Cooking Sirloin on Your Flat Top

While not as common… Some home cooks prefer the flavors of a sirloin steak.

These cuts are much leaner than ribeye, so they tend to be a bit more delicate to work with.

However, the actual cooking process is much the same as a ribeye.

You’ll sear as normal, keeping a close eye on the temperature.

Sirloins also tend to be on the thinner side, so more often than not… You’ll only want to flip once.

How to Cook Filet Mignon on Flat Top Grill

surf and turf with vegetables on flat top grill

If you’re really looking to put on the ritz, so to speak… There’s absolutely nothing better than a cut of filet mignon.

Coming from a cattle’s tenderloin… This little-used muscle is incredibly tender, and in short supply. (Which explains their exorbitant price!)

But if you’ve got a taste for the finer things in life, the price is well worth it.

Due to the thickness of this cut, many home cooks prefer to reverse sear their filet.

But if you’d rather not fuss with your oven… There’s nothing wrong with the traditional sear on your flat top grill.

You’ll want to flip your filet often, allowing for an even cook. And don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for a crust to form.

You will also want to roll the sides of the steak on your griddle… Allowing the sides to cook evenly and create a beautiful crust all-around.

Cooking NY Strip Steak on Your Flat Top

Last, but not least, we have the NY strip steak.

This cut is known for its tenderness, but not quite as much as filet mignon.

And although it’s quite lean… This cut is often better suited to a griddle application than a typical sirloin.

They tend to be on the thicker side, allowing more time for a crust to form. Plus, they have a sizable fat cap to render out, and add more flavor.

Most NY strip steaks can handle frequent flipping, to create stunning caramelization on all sides.

Alright… Starting to get a feel for this?

It’s time to fire up the griddle.

How to Cook a Steak on a Flat Top Grill (& Recipe)

Since there are so many personal preferences that play into cooking a steak… This recipe is going to be much more of a mix and match experience.

We’ll give you the ingredients and the general guidelines to follow. From there, you can customize this recipe to your exact tastes.

Flat Top Grill Steak Recipe

filet mignon on flat top grill

Ingredients:

  • 1 Steak (Ribeye, NY Strip, Filet Mignon, and Sirloin are Good Options)
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • High Heat Oil (Refined Coconut Oil, Rendered Tallow, Ghee, Refined Avocado Oil)
  • Optional: Additional Seasonings of Choice (Avoid Sugars)
  • Optional: Compound Butter for Finishing

Directions:

  1. Preheat your griddle to 450°F – 500°F over medium-high heat. A temperature gun will allow you to gauge exact temperatures. If you don’t have access to one, flick water on the top of your griddle surface. If the water dances around and evaporates in 1-2 seconds, your griddle is hot.
  2. While your grill is preheating, allow your steak to sit on the counter for 20 minutes. This will bring it up to a more optimal temperature for searing. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel.
  3. Once preheated, add a tablespoon of oil to your griddle.
  4. Promptly season your steak on one side. Place your steak seasoning-side down onto the oiled griddle surface.
  5. While this side cooks, season the other side of your steak.
  6. The rest of the sear process is up to you. If you have a thinner steak, you’ll only want to flip once. If it’s thicker, you’ll want to flip every minute or so. And for a filet, you’ll want to roll the sides and get a crust there as well.
  7. Continue with your normal searing method until desired doneness is achieved. Reference the chart below to determine your target temperature, and check with an instant-read thermometer.
  8. Remove your steak from the heat, and allow it to rest. The guideline is at least 5 minutes per inch of thickness. Tent your steak with a piece of aluminum foil to retain the heat.
  9. To serve, add a dollop of compound butter on top of the steak, if using.
  10. Enjoy!

Steak Internal Temperature Guidelines

From rare to well done… Here are the recommended internal temperature guidelines according to Certified Angus Beef:

steak doneness

Rare: 125°F

Medium Rare: 135°F

Medium: 145°F

Medium Well: 150°F

Well Done: 160°F

Make Cooking Griddle Steak a Blissful Experience

mike pyle with his family at their custom outdoor kitchen with a modern concrete finish

There’s no doubt that cooking steak on a flat top grill is an experience… But what if you wanted to make it really feel like a dream?

While searing a steak doesn’t require many components… It does require an impeccable sense of timing. Mere seconds can result in an overcooked steak.

So if you don’t have your seasonings or thermometer at the ready… Running into the house for it just might be your undoing.

But there’s a simple solution.

Consider getting a flat top griddle built into an outdoor kitchen.

You’ll have ample counter space to keep your seasonings, tongs, and temperature probe at the ready… So your reaction time will no longer be an issue!

Plus, you can keep extra seasonings and supplies right outdoors with the help of dry storage.

Dry pantries and storage drawers will keep your necessities safe from the elements… And in the right place, at the right time.

And if you’re really feeling ambitious… An outdoor kitchen will open up an entire realm of outdoor cooking potential.

To tag along with your flat top griddle… You might consider tacking on a charcoal grill, pellet grill, gas grill, side burner, or even a pizza oven!

Really, the possibilities are endless.

And speaking of possibilities… If you have any curiosity about the prospect, give our free online design tool a try.

You can create a custom design that proves just how much easier flat top cooking can be… And so much more.

We look forward to seeing your design!

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FAQ

This is a bit of a trick question! The true, yet infuriating answer is… It takes as long as it takes. Thicker cuts like filet mignon will simply take longer than a thinner slice of sirloin. And of course, a well-done steak will take far longer than rare or medium-rare. For a thin, rare steak, expect the cook to take at least 8 minutes on your griddle.

Overall, the process is quite simple. Get your griddle piping hot, to the tune of about 450°F – 500°F. Add some high-heat oil to the griddle, season your steak, and toss it on the griddle. Sear to your tastes and ideal doneness, allowing enough time for a crust to form on each side. After that, let it rest and enjoy.

There’s a bit of debate on the best method for cooking steak on a flat top grill. Some home cooks will say a reverse sear is superior… But generally speaking, there’s no need to fire up the oven. A traditional searing process will result in reliably delicious results with your flat top.

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