Gas grills might not have the romantic allure of a wood-fired grill, but they take the cake when it comes to simplicity. Set up is a snap and cleanup time is minimal, and with the right techniques, the finished product is more than satisfactory. A nicely marbled ribeye steak can be just the right canvas on which to paint your gas-grilled masterpiece.
Get the Gas Going
Even if you are using direct heat to cook your meat, let the grill get hot before you start cooking. Wood or charcoal grills are naturally allowed to preheat because of the process of setting the coals, but gas grillers often make the mistake of putting meat on the grill before it has had the chance to warm up properly. Giving your grill time to heat will make sure your grill rack is searing hot, which will give you those grill marks you want and make sure the internal grill temperature is hot enough to render all the marbled fat of the ribeye.
One of the drawbacks to gas grilling is that your meat will miss out on the smoky flavor that comes with charcoal or wood fires. Combat this by seasoning your ribeye a little more aggressively. Or, consider using a marinade to really ramp up the flavor, and don't be afraid to try something new. Marinades with orange juice or cola as their main ingredient will ramp up the flavor, and the high sugar content will caramelize nicely when cooked.
Add Some Smoke
Just because you’re using a gas grill doesn’t mean you can’t get that wood smoke taste. Put wood chips in a thin pan or in a tin foil wrapper and put over direct heat. The smoke will flavor your ribeye just like if you were using charcoal. Apple or cherry wood will pair nicely with the ribeye, or for a more classic taste use hickory wood.
Don’t Overdo It
No matter how you’re cooking your ribeye, you should always take care not to overdo it. The beauty of the ribeye comes in its high fat content, which makes it one of the moistest cuts of meat when cooked correctly. The USDA recommends you bring your meat to a temperature of 145 Fahrenheit, but that will disappoint if you're looking for a rare to medium-rare steak. Try 130 or 140 for a moister rare to medium-rare finished product.
Give It a Rest
No matter how good your freshly-grilled steak smells, resist the urge to cut right into it. Give your ribeye at least three minutes of rest time. Initially the internal temperature will rise due to carryover cooking, but eventually the overall temperature will reduce slightly. This will make sure you’re keeping as much of that rendered fat and juice in the meat as possible instead of letting it run out onto your plate.
- The Grilling Book; Adam Rapaport
- USDA: Beef From Farm to Table