Taking the chill off a cut of meat — also called tempering — allows it to cook more evenly on the grill, so that the inside is the proper doneness by the time the outside is nicely charred. The LA Times Test Kitchen recommends letting meat sit in a cool, protected spot indoors for about 20 minutes for thin cuts, longer for thicker cuts.
In On Food and Cooking, Harold McGee has another method: he recommends immersing wrapped steaks and chops in warm water for 30-60 minutes, long enough to bring them up to about 100°F. They should then be cooked immediately to avoid any food safety issues. This technique reduces cooking time by a third, which lessens the risk of overcooked meat.
• Read more: Temper meats for better grilling at the LA Times
Do you have any other tips for grilling better steaks?
Related: How To Cook a Steak in the Oven
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