The other day we had a break in the weather here in DC.  It was 60 out in the middle of December.  So I decided that I had to grill.  Then I went to the supermarket and they had NY Strips for $5/lb.  How could I turn that down.  Finally I decided that I wanted to make a black peppercorn crust on the outside of the steak.  I like this preparation as it gives the steak a lot of flavor and a little heat from the black pepper.

Grilled Peppercorn Steak
Grilled Peppercorn Steak

Serve with a dirty martini and a some potatoes and you have a perfect meal.

Grilled Peppercorn Steak

  • 2 of your favorite cuts of steak
  • 2 tablespoons lightly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt

Using a pepper-mill on the largest setting or using a plastic bag and a heavy pan, lightly crack the black pepper.

Next season each steak with 1/2 tbs of kosher salt.  Sounds like a lot, remember these are going to be grilled and they are going to be coated in pepper.  It works, trust me.

Next cover the steaks with 1 tbs of the cracked black pepper.  Make sure to coat each side and then press the pepper into the steaks with your hands before flipping the steaks.

Season with salt and cracked black pepper
Season with salt and cracked black pepper

Let the steaks sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before grilling.  3-4 hours is better.  Remove the steaks from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before you are going to grill.

Pre-heat the grill to medium/high to high heat.  You want the grates searing hot.  Why you ask, so we can sear the steaks.  We want nice grill marks.  We want to sear in the juices and we want the flavor that comes with perfectly seared steaks.

Place the steaks on the grill and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side.  This varies depending on thickness of the meat and overall doneness desired.    The best test is to check the temperature.

Grilling in December
Grilling in December
Extra-Rare **
Rare **
Medium Well
120FCenter is bright red and edges are light red
125-130FCenter is bright red and edges are pink
135-140FCenter is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion
145-150FCenter is light pink, outer portion is brown
150-155FCenter is not pink at all, uniform brownishness
160F +Steak is uniformly brown throughout and overcooked 🙁
** These internal temperatures are below UDSA recommendations and are not considered safe.

Once the steak has reached your desired done-ness remove it from the grill and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Grilled Peppercorn Steak
Grilled Peppercorn Steak

Serve the steaks with a side of potatoes and a perfect Dirty Martini.  The perfect meal for a nice December day.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent recipe for the grill. LMAO over the emoticon for well done. I cringe when I hear people ask for well done.

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