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I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love the griddle. Griddles and flat top grills are incredibly versatile outdoor cookers that can prepare a pancake breakfast and a legendary dinner all on the same surface.
Speaking of legendary dinner, nothing quite satisfies like a properly cooked steak. As it turns out, a griddle surface is one of the best ways to cook steak. Do it right, and the results will rival those of steaks cooked on a grill or on a cast iron skillet.
Fortunately, cooking steak on a griddle is a simple process. In the rest of this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know for how to cook steak on a griddle surface. Stick around until the end for one of our favorite simple griddle steak recipes.
Why Flat Tops Are Great for Steak
There are quite few reasons why a griddle surface is actually very well suited for cooking steak. By nature, the griddle blocks flames from directly contacting your food so you don’t have to worry about flare ups complicating your cook.
Also, griddle surfaces do an excellent job of evenly distributing heat. One of the biggest issues with a low quality grill is the presence of hot and cold spots – these can put a serious damper on your ability to make great food.
With a griddle, you don’t have to worry about that. Heat is thoroughly and evenly distributed throughout the cook top so that your food gets a nice and even cook. This is especially true for high quality grills like the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill and the Blackstone Flat Top Grill, which both have a cook top made of quality cold rolled steel.
Nothing beats the satisfaction of a pure, even outer crust on your steak from a griddle top. Let’s dive into a step by step guide for how to do it!
Cooking Steak on a Griddle – Step by Step
Season Your Steak
Personally, my philosophy with steak is to buy a quality cut of beef and not do anything too crazy to let the beef be the star of the show.
For me, that means a very light coat of olive oil followed by a generous seasoning of salt and fresh ground pepper. Let your steak rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature before placing on the griddle.
Prep Your Griddle
Ignite your griddle’s burners and set your burner knobs to a high setting. The goal is for the griddle surface to get to about 400°F (this can be measured by an infrared thermometer if you have one).
You’ll also want to form a base layer on your cooking surface after the griddle has preheated. This part can be done in a few different ways.
The most widely used method is to place a small amount of butter or cooking oil on your flat top. From there, spread the butter or oil around on the surface, ensuring that the entire area where your steaks will cook is covered with a light film.
This will aid the cook in a couple of ways – first, it will ensure that your steak doesn’t stick to the griddle cooking surface. Second, and more importantly, it will facilitate a beautiful, delectable crust formation on your steak while it sears.
If you’re caught up on which type of oil to use for your griddle, we’ve written a guide to help with that. Check it out if you need help deciding which oil you should use with your griddle.
The other way you can form a base layer is sure to impress your friends and family. You can actually take one of your steaks, and rub one of the fatty ends of your beef on your flat top. If there is enough of a fat cap on your steak, you could even slice a sizable piece of fat off and rub it on your heated cooking surface.
The heat from your cooking surface will melt the fat off and in turn provide a great base layer to cook your steaks. Rub fat on the entire area where your steaks will cook.
Cook the Steak
Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. The beautiful thing about cooking steak on a griddle is that the process is really quite simple.
Place your steaks on the griddle over your base layer of butter, oil, or fat. Press the steak down firmly with your spatula to ensure complete and solid contact with the cooking surface.
From there, let the grill do its magic. The goal is to cook the steak until each side has enough time to build up a nice seared crust.
Resist the temptation to constantly flip the steaks. They only need to be flipped once during the cook. When you first place the steaks on your griddle, you can watch the bottom half of the steak as it browns and cooks. After each passing minute, the brown will creep up the sides of the steak, indicating that it’s cooking well.
Feel free to lift the bottom of the steak and peek at how the sear is coming along if desired.
Here’s a great video of the cooking steak on a griddle process for all of my visual learners out there:
1 inch thick steaks in my experience typically spend close to 15 minutes on the flat top (so I flip them after about 8 minutes). It can be more or less depending on the cut of beef and the size. A 1/2 inch thick steak will cook faster, for example.
Those time guidelines are just for your reference. Really, you should be cooking steaks until they reach your desired doneness regardless of how long they’ve been cooking. If you’re experienced and think you can eyeball it, go for it!
For me, I rely on a bluetooth probe meat thermometer to measure my steak’s internal temperature. Utilizing a probe thermometer means you know exactly when your food is ready. Here is a little doneness guide for steak – take your steak off of the grill at the below temperatures for desired doneness.
- Medium Rare: 128-135°F
- Medium: 135-145°F
- Medium Well: 145-155°F
Let It Rest
One of the most important parts of the steak cooking process is allowing your steak to rest for at least 5-8 minutes before cutting into it. Many people skip this part and miss out on extra deliciousness because of it.
While your steak rests, it actually continues to cook and warm a little bit. So if you take a steak off of the grill at 130°F and allow it to rest, it will actually continue to rise in temperature by a couple of degrees.
But more importantly, resting your steak allows juices to redistribute. When your steak sears and cooks on high heat, juices absorb to the very center of the beef. If you cut into it too quickly, your moisture will be a little out of whack and can lead to your steak tasting dry when it shouldn’t be.
When you allow it to rest, the juices redistribute themselves evenly throughout your steak – that’s how you achieve steakhouse level tenderness and juciness!
Griddle Steak – How to Cook Steak on a Griddle
- 1 14-16 oz steak Ribeye, T-Bone, or NY Strip
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tpsp fresh black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat griddle to high heat
- Lightly coat steak with olive oil
- Season steak generously with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Form a base layer on your griddle using either a little bit of butter, oil, or by rubbing the fatty end of your steak on the griddle
- Place steak on base layer and press down to ensure firm contact with cooking surface
- Cook until desired doneness is achieved, flipping halfway through. For a 1" thick steak, it takes about 18 minutes (9 minutes per side)
- Remove steak from grill and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice, serve, and enjoy.
- For medium rare, remove steak from grill once it has reached an internal temperature of 128-135°F.
- For medium, remove steak from grill once it has reached an internal temperature of 135-145°F.
- For medium well, remove steak from grill once it has reached an internal temperature of 145-155°F.
This guide to grilling steak on a griddle has me hungry! The flat top is a prime cooking surface for steak, and I hope this article was enough inspiration for you to get out there and try it.
Did you try out our recipe? How did it go? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section!
Want to learn more about what makes flat top grills so great? Check out our resource on griddles vs grills next.