Here's Why You Should Be Tenting Your Grilled Steak

Although grilling is one of the simpler cooking methods out there — compared to, say, sous vide or advanced pastry techniques — there are still some pitfalls to be avoided if you want to serve up the juiciest steaks, most tender chicken, and perfectly charred vegetables. From attempting to cook over a too-cold grill to neglecting to pat meat dry before searing, even the most enthusiastic grillers can sometimes slip up on BBQ day. Steaks, in particular — one of the delights of the grill — can be prone to drying out or coming out gray instead of rosy pink inside. 

We've got a whole article devoted to mistakes people make when grilling steak, and by following this guide you're guaranteed to turn out steakhouse-worthy chops and T-bones. But today we want to focus on a step we consider particularly important to the success of a grilled steak — letting it rest after it comes off the grill. This ensures juiciness, and if you do it the right way, you won't lose your hard-earned crust, either. 

Allow meat to rest after grilling

Possibly the single most important step in grilling drool-worthy steaks is making sure the meat has adequate time to rest after it comes off the hot grill. What is letting meat "rest," you might ask? It's a fair question. Basically, the term refers to allowing a hot piece of meat to sit for a few minutes before cutting into it. According to The Spruce Eats, this waiting period allows the meat to reabsorb all the delicious juices inside it. 

If you were to skip this step and cut right into your steak, those wonderful juices would spill right out onto your plate and you'd end up chewing your way through a dry, tough piece of meat. "I know you'll want to eat the steak right away but it's crucial you let the steak rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes," Devan Cameron, chef and owner of recipe site Braised & Deglazed, told Mashed.

Make a "tent" out of foil

So now you know that you need to let grilled steak rest after you pull it off the barbie. Ray Rastelli, Jr., butcher and President of Rastelli Foods Group, also told Mashed you need to know how to let it rest. For any cut of meat, but particularly a steak, which develops a nice crust when properly seared, Rastelli said you'll want to "tent" the meat with a loosely arranged piece of foil. This is exactly what it sounds like, you basically make a tent out of the foil and place it over your resting steak. 

The meat will rest and reabsorb its juices, and the foil tent will keep it warm while also allowing some air flow, so that the meat doesn't steam and lose that hard-earned crust. As long as those five to 10 minutes might feel when the irresistible smell of grilled steak is wafting over to your nose, you can put them to good use by mixing up a salad dressing, making a quick pan sauce for your steak, or just cracking open a cold beer to reward yourself being a grilled steak boss. Go ahead, you've earned it.