Go Messy or Go Hungry

How to Grill the Perfect Steak {guest post!}

May 4, 2019 | Entree, Favorite recipes, Recipes

How to make the perfect steak | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Today we have a very special guest: my partner in crime (and in life): Marc!


When Marc & I first started dating, I was a vegetarian who was terrified of raw meat, and had absolutely no appreciation for a good steak. He on the other hand — true to both of our Midwestern upbringings — loved a good meal of meat & potatoes.


Clearly I’m not a vegetarian anymore — lucky for him I soon realized that animal protein was a lot easier on my digestive system than plant protein! While I’ve come a long way when it comes to cooking (and not being freaked out by) meat, I still always leave it to Marc when it comes to steak. And so, I’ll let him take it from here!

Marc’s notes on grilling the perfect steak:

Tenderize your meat. I like my steak a little less chewy and a little more melt in my mouth so I tenderize the meat first. If you have a tenderizer, that’s great! If you’re like me…you can use your fist/palm. Essentially all you have to do is pound on the meat until it starts to give. The fat will typically hold strong, so that’s not the focus – it’s the meat itself. Don’t go overboard here, but a few seconds of tenderizing your meat can make a big difference.



Season properly. Typically for steak I use my standard salt, paprika, chili powder, cayenne and cinnamon mix. The little bit of cinnamon on top really helps the steak get a nice crunchy char. I encourage you to season to your taste. If you want a reference to more about my spices, see this post on how to use spices.Once I’ve seasoned both sides I like to “rub” the seasonings in. It’s actually more like patting the seasonings in…and then I rub the leftovers on the sides to get the whole steak seasoned.

Cook at high heat and don’t be afraid of the grease fire (well, only if your grill can handle it). I lived in an apartment complex where a guy grilled steak what seemed like every night. I came to call him steak guy. I learned the method of grilling I’m going to describe to you from steak guy.

The methods I describe below in combination with the way I have seasoned the steak above will almost certainly create a grease fire. I actually mean to create that fire to get a char, but if your grill is not of a construction or you are in a location where a grease fire would be a danger I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU DO NOT GRILL THIS WAY.


Overall it’s really quite simple! Enjoy!

Grilled Steak with Baked Sweet Potato

Yield | 2 servings
Note: The method of grilling described here will almost certainly cause a grease fire. If your grill is not of a construction or you are in a location where a grease fire would be a danger I highly suggest you do not grill this way. Always keep a close eye on your grill and be prepared to turn off the gas should a fire get out of hand. 



  • 1 pound dry-aged ribeye steak
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • Smoked paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon

Sweet potato

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 teaspoon high heat oil
  • Coarse ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Pepper


Prepare the steak

  • Tenderize the meat (optional but recommended for a melt-in-your-mouth texture!). Take either a tenderizer or your fist and pound on the meat until it starts to give, just a few seconds.
  • Oil the steak lightly on both sides, and rub the oil to coat evenly.
  • Coat both sides evenly with salt, paprika, and chili powder. Sprinkle cayenne on to your desired level of spiciness, and then lightly dust both sides with cinnamon (this helps get a really nice char).
  • "Rub" the seasonings in by patting the steak all over. Then rub the excess onto the sides to get the entire steak covered.

Prepare the sweet potato

  • Wash any dirt off the sweet potato by running it under water and then drying with a paper towel.
  • Take a fork and gently stab the potato all over. This doesn't need to be very deep, but enough to let the steam out. I like to vary the depth, mostly because I like to pretend it helps the steam circulate through the potato better.
  • Put the potato in the microwave (this helps it cook faster so you're not standing by the grill for an hour), uncovered and unseasoned for 2.5-3 minutes. Flip it over and repeat for another 2.5-3 minutes.
  • Once done microwaving, oil lightly, grind some sea salt onto the skin, and wrap in foil. Now you're ready to grill!


  • Ensure your grill is high quality enough and far enough away from any flammable surfaces before you begin. If it can't handle extremely high heat, consider set the burners to medium or medium-high, and make sure you watch closely to catch the (inevitable) grease fire. Also ensure you have grill-safe tongs that are long enough that you don't burn yourself!
  • Start the grill and set the burners to high. Go ahead and place the sweet potato on, close to the back, and wait about 5 minutes for the grill to get to between 500-600 degrees.
  • When the grill has reached at least 500° place the steak on and set a timer for 5 minutes. Be aware that you'll have a grease fire going at around the 3 minute mark — go ahead and quickly open the grill and move the steak away when that happens — but keep the steak on for the full 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, flip the steak over and leave on for another 3 minutes. Go ahead and flip the sweet potato over at this point too.
  • After 3 minutes the steak should be mostly done to a medium to medium-rare level. Go ahead and leave it on for another 3-5 minutes or so if you prefer a medium-well to well-done level.
  • Pull the steak back over to its original location to get the fire going again. Close the grill and leave it there for another 2 minutes or so until you can see the flames/smoke indicating the fire has started again.
  • Open the grill to manage your char. If you like it less charred, just flip it over a few times until you have your desired level. If you like it more charred, then move it around, squeeze and flip it with your tongs to keep the grease fire flaring. Once you are happy with the color go ahead and remove the steak and the potato.
  • To serve: trim the fat off the steak and divide into two equal servings. Slit open the sweet potato on top and lightly mash. Add salt, pepper, and a small pat of butter.
  • That's it! You did it! Simple as that.

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