Ben and I were lounging on the deck after Lincoln went to bed a few nights ago, cold drinks in hand, enjoying the quiet summer evening when I suddenly realized that Father’s Day is this weekend! I’ve been waiting for some big summer kick off to happen, but without me noticing, it’s arrived along with a day to celebrate our dudes.

A craft from Lincoln is likely in the cards, plus a big, juicy steak. Perfect Grilled Steak with Herb Butter, to be specific!

Close up photo of grilled steaks on a plate

Close up photo of grilled steaks on a plate

Thick-cut steaks are rubbed with a generous layer of homemade steak seasoning then grilled and smothered with thick-cut compound herb butter, which is fancy talk for butter mixed with fresh herbs, garlic, and steak seasoning. You are going to want to put this butter on EVERYTHING!!

How Do you Grill the Perfect Steak?

The trick for perfect grilled steak is to create two heat zones on your grill – one side will be screaming hot with a high flame, while the second side will be unlit and cooler. Sear the steaks on the hot side to get a flavorful, golden brown crust and those coveted grill lines, then move them over to the cooler side to finish cooking all the way through. This creates a sizzling steak on the outside, and tender, buttery steak on the inside.

YUM.

Hey you know what? Steaks on the grill with sweet corn on the side? THIS is the kickoff to summer I’ve been waiting for!

Grilled steak with herb butter melted on top

Grilled steak with herb butter melted on top

Step 1: Make the Steak Seasoning

Start by making the homemade steak seasoning. Trust me – this homemade version is light years better than anything you have pre-mixed in your cupboard. Add rock salt, whole black peppercorns, minced dried garlic, minced dried onion, fennel seeds, and red chili pepper flakes to a mortar then grind it up with the pestle.

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If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, add the ingredients to a heavy duty Ziplock bag, squeeze all the air out then crush with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or heavy bottomed skillet.

Perfect-Grilled-Steak-with-Herb-Butter-iowagirleats-04

Step 2: Make the Herb Butter

Next make the Herb Butter. To a bowl add salted butter that’s been softened to room temperature, finely minced rosemary and thyme, chopped parsley, minced garlic, plus a big pinch of the homemade steak seasoning. That last addition is what totally makes the butter.

Perfect-Grilled-Steak-with-Herb-Butter-iowagirleats-06

Mix to combine then scoop the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a log. Refrigerate until solid – overnight is great – or freeze for 20-30 minutes if time is of the essence.

Perfect-Grilled-Steak-with-Herb-Butter-iowagirleats-07

Step 3: Prep the Steaks

These photos show 1lb Bone-In Strip Steaks cut 1-1/2″ thick but you can use whatever steak cut you like best. Ribeyes are a treat! Pat the steaks very dry with a paper towel then drizzle both sides with a small amount of vegetable oil and rub with a generous pinch of steak seasoning. Don’t be afraid to add a lot – this is a TON of meat!

Perfect-Grilled-Steak-with-Herb-Butter-iowagirleats-08

Step 4: Grill the Steaks

As I said, the best way to get sizzling steaks on the outside and juicy, buttery steak on the inside is to first sear the steaks over a hot, high flame, then move the steaks over to a cooler, unlit portion of the grill to finish cooking via indirect heat. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Step 1: Turn 1/2 to 2/3 of the burners on your grill to high (if you have 2 burners, light 1 – if you have 3 burners, light 2) then let the grill preheat for at least 10 minutes, or until it reaches 500 degrees. If you have a charcoal grill, heat your coals then move them to one side of the grill when they’re screaming hot.
  2. Step 2: Add the steaks to the lit portion of the grill then sear for 1-1/2 minutes on each side (if your steaks are thicker or thinner than 1-1/2″, adjust accordingly.) Move the steaks over to the unlit portion of the grill then continue cooking until they’ve reached your preferred level of doneness. My 1-1/2″ thick steaks took ~7 minutes to reach medium.

Tip: KEEP THE LID DOWN when you are searing and cooking so you don’t lose all the heat you’ve worked to build up!

Steak Temperatures for Doneness:

  • Rare (cool red center): 125 degrees
  • Medium rare (warm red center): 135 degrees
  • Medium (warm pink center): 145 degrees
  • Medium well (slightly pink center): 150 degrees
  • Well done (little or no pink): 160 degrees
Steak sizzling on a grill

Steak sizzling on a grill

Let the steaks rest on a platter for at least five minutes, then top them with big fat slices of herb butter.

sliced homemade herb butter

Juicy grilled steak perfection!! That salty-seasoned crust and compound herb butter are mind meltingly-delicious. Your quest for perfect grilled steak ends right here. Enjoy, enjoy!

Two perfect grilled steaks with herb butter

Perfect Grilled Steak

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Description

Perfect Grilled Steak with Herb Butter features a homemade dry rub and melty herb butter finish. Absolutely mouthwatering!

Ingredients

serves 2-4

  • 2, 1lb bone-in strip steaks cut 1-1/2" thick (or your steak of choice)
  • vegetable oil
  • For the Steak Seasoning:
    • 3/4 Tablespoon rock salt
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
    • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 1/8 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • For the Herb Butter:
    • Big pinch steak seasoning (see above)
    • 1 stick salted butter (1/2 cup,) softened to room temperature
    • 1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
    • 1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

Directions

  1. For the Steak Seasoning: Add ingredients to a mortar and pestle then coarsely grind. Alternatively, add ingredients to a heavy duty Ziplock bag, squeeze all the air out, then crush ingredients with a meat pounder, rolling pin, or heavy bottomed skillet.
  2. For the Herb Butter: Add ingredients to a bowl then stir with a fork to combine. Scoop herb butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap then shape into a thick log and refrigerate until firm (if time is of the essence you can freeze for 20-30 minutes.) Can be done ahead of time.
  3. For the steaks: Trim steaks of any big hunks of fat to avoid flare ups on the grill then pat dry with a paper towel. Rub each side with oil then season generously with the steak seasoning and press gently into steaks so it adheres - you should use most if not all of the seasoning.
  4. Light 2/3 or 1/2 of your grill burners (2 of 3 burners, or 1 of 2 burners, depending on how many burners you have) then heat on high for 10-15 minutes, or until the grill reaches 500 degrees. Add steaks to the lit side then sear on each side for 1-1/2 minutes (adjust accordingly if your steaks are bigger or smaller than 1lb cut 1-1/2" thick,) keeping the lid closed between flipping. Transfer steaks to unlit portion of grill then continue cooking for 7-10 minutes with the lid closed for medium doneness, or until they've reached your preferred level of doneness. Remove steaks to a platter then let rest for at least 5 minutes. Top with sliced herb butter then serve.

Notes

Steak Temperatures for Doneness:

  • Rare (cool red center): 125 degrees
  • Medium rare (warm red center): 135 degrees
  • Medium (warm pink center): 145 degrees
  • Medium well (slightly pink center): 150 degrees
  • Well done (little or no pink): 160 degrees

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Photo collage of perfect grilled steak