Preparing Meat for the Grill – Part One – Ribeye

Grilling is a dry-heat cooking method. The atmosphere of a grill is hot and harsh – much like a desert. Protecting your meat with a bit of marinade, rub, or brine will keep things tasty and juicy. In this class, Chef Todd shares two of his favorite methods for preparing meat for the grill – whether you’re using gas, charcoal, or a wood-fired grill.

In part one of this three part series, Chef Todd prepares two ribeye steaks. The fat marbleization makes a ribeye a great choice for the grill. The fat will melt as the dry heat cooks the meat, keeping it moist. A sirloin steak is a great choice as well, although it may need a few taps with a meat tenderizer before cooking.

The goal in preparing the steaks is to enhance the flavor of the meat and protect it from the dry heat of the grill. Chef Todd accomplishes this with a rub and a marinade.


Chef Todd used his Sweet BBQ Rub on the first steak. Any rub will work here, keeping in mind that the goal is to enhance the flavor, not hide the flavor.

After rubbing all sides of the steak, tap the meat a few times with a meat tenderizer. This will break down the tough proteins. This step is especially important for sirloin steaks, giving more attention to areas that feel tough and hard to cut through. Both cuts of meat will benefit from the tenderizing, as it forces the seasoning into the meat.

Now, you could place the steak on the grill as-is. The fat will melt and keep the steak decently juicy. But for further protection, Chef Todd recommends applying some “sunscreen” to the steak. A light coating of oil will protect the meat as it enters the hot heat of the grill.

This protections serves three purposes:

  • preserve juices and flavor
  • lubricate the grates so the meat will release easily
  • encourage browning for beautiful cross hatch marks

So, it’s just that simple. Dry rub with your favorite seasoning, drizzle with a bit of oil, then let the meat rest while the grill heats on high. No need for fancy/fussy/overnight situations for a good ribeye steak.


Marinating a steak enhances the flavor and preserves the juiciness. A large bucket or bowl of juices is not necessary here – just enough to coat the meat. For this reason, Chef Todd recommends adding the marinade directly to the piece of meat.

When creating a marinade, there are three essential components:

  1. Flavor – Rubs, herbs, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and don’t forget the “Pit Seasoning”
  2. Acidity – Citrus juice, vinegar, wine, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, tomato
  3. Fat – Oil, butter, lard

For this steak, Chef Todd combined garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and Chef Todd’s Pit Seasoning(flavor). Then he drizzled white balsamic (acid). And finished with a coating of grapeseed oil (fat). So simple. And sooooo delicious.

A marinade of with this much acid and flavor, shouldn’t sit on the meat longer than an hour – so heat the grill to high and get cooking! That’s all you need for a flavor-enhanced ribeye or sirloin steak.


Alright, now let’s cook the steak. Heat the grill on high for 20 minutes. Now, place the steak directly on the grill grate and don’t move it for 3-4 minutes, allowing sear lines to form. Then, turn the steak a quarter turn, creating gorgeous diamond hatch marks. Let it sit 3 more minutes, before flipping to the other side.

Now, finish cooking until desired doneness is achieved. The juices will be running and you should pull the steak in a just a few minutes so the inside will remain pink.

Remove the steak, place on a tray, and add a pat of butter to the top to finish the meat. Let it rest for five minutes before serving, allowing the juices to settle and redistribute.

Now, eat, enjoy, and feel very satisfied with your flavor-enhanced steak.

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