The Not-So-Secret Way Morton's The Steakhouse Cooks Its Steaks

There are some secrets Morton's The Steakhouse never wanted you to know, but how the restaurant cooks its steaks just isn't one of them. The chain itself points out that most of its recipes have been shared with the public in two books, the "Morton's Steak Bible" and "Morton's The Cookbook," but for those that don't know how the restaurant makes its steaks, ensuring consistent quality at each of its locations, it's surprisingly simple and can even be replicated at home (via Morton's).

The two things that stand out in Morton's steak recipe are the type of meat the restaurant uses (custom-cut Prime aged beef), and the cooking method (the grill). The "Prime" label partly refers to meat with lots of marbling. The reason marbling is so important for high-quality meat is that it means there's more fat, which means more flavor. During an online cooking tutorial, an executive chef for Morton's, Elias Iglesias cooked a ribeye steak, noting that it's a highly marbled cut (via YouTube). The meat should be red and about 1 ½ inches thick.

As for the grill, it gives Morton's steaks that signature charred steakhouse crust. For Iglesias, the ideal temperature is "at least 500-600 degrees. That's gonna ensure that you get that nice searing." And the best part? Even without a restaurant kitchen or an in-house butcher, it's possible to make Morton's style steak at home thanks to a few tips from the restaurant and its chefs.

Steakhouse style steak at home

Morton's The Steakhouse warns against using the supermarket to procure quality steaks. Instead, it recommends going to a butcher, getting mail-order steaks, or ordering online. If you buy steaks from the grocery store, ask for them to be cut fresh. Morton's recommends that you avoid grilling steak straight from the fridge and leave it at room temperature for a half-hour or more. Chef Elias Iglesias suggested leaving it out for a couple of hours (via YouTube) because "that will keep the steak from over-charring or taking too long to cook." Grill on high, keeping the lid closed and only flipping the meat once, until the steak is charred and rare or medium-rare. If you need to use a broiler instead, "move the rack about 4 inches off the bottom, turn it on high, and just don't touch that dial," according to chef Gabino Avila (via YouTube).

There are a few mistakes people make when grilling steak to avoid. Don't use thin steaks that will overcook before they're seared, and for the best flavor, don't trim the fat. "Always use a tong" for flipping, Iglesias says. "You don't want to poke the steak and see all those juices seep out." And you can easily determine steak doneness with his trick: "A medium-rare steak should feel just like the base of your thumb, spongy, with some bounce." With the right meat, the right grill set up, and these tips, home cooks can enjoy Morton's-style steaks at home.