Disclosure: The author was hosted by Visit Hershey Harrisburg in return for this content. All opinions are his own.
The Traveling Dads recently learned grilling tips from the Executive Chef at Bricco Restaurant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
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We also learned how to cut, season, and grill steak, chicken, pork; And of course don’t forget your veggies.
Grilling Tips for Steak
Before I get into the details of our grilling class at Bricco, here’s a quick cheat sheet on how to perfectly grill your steaks, at home.
- Chef Devin Witmer of Bricco recommends cutting your own steaks for the bbq from larger beef cuts to get the best steak for the most value.
We cut steaks from a beef tenderloin (filet mignon), a full strip steak cut, and a full flat iron cut. Chef recommended watching some YouTube videos to see how to properly process these larger cuts into the steaks you desire. You could also watch him do it in our Traveling Dad video.
- Once you have cut your steak from the larger cut, you need to season the steak. Chef was a fan of Montreal Steak Seasoning, but you could also create your own dry rub (no marinade). He also said that the seasoning should be kept simple. Salt and pepper are sometimes all you need.
- Wrap the steak in cling wrap (if you can get access to restaurant quality wrap, this would be best). Chef recommended letting the steak sit overnight. Be careful not to start grilling while the steaks are still cold. They need to be at room temperature before grilling or you will get uneven heating through the steak. So, you can store it in the fridge overnight, but be sure to take it out and let it warm before grilling.
- Searing your steak. Start with high heat — Chef had his grill set somewhere between 700 and 900 degrees. Brush a little vegetable oil on the outside of the steak to keep it from sticking to the grill. Sear the outside of the steak — cooking time: two minutes per side. If you want the steak to look like it was done by a professional, turn the steak 45 degrees at one minute to get those pretty grill marks from the grill grate on the steak (be sure when you turn it to move it to a new, hot part of the grill). Use tongs, not a spatula or fork for flipping those steaks! Also, don’t worry about flare ups at this point. You want a nice, crispy shell on the steak from the flames.
- Bake your steak. To finish the cooking process, put the steak in a 425 degree pre-heated oven for a cooking time of 3 minutes for medium rare steak (longer for medium and up). Chef recommended not using a meat thermometer to test for doneness, as this will cause the juices to run out and the steak will dry out. He said, you’ll learn how a medium or medium-rare steak feels after some practice. The oven provides a nice even, indirect heat. You avoid flare ups and overcooking the steak by leaving it on the grill.
- Rest your steak. After the oven, your steak should be about 90% done. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes and then put it back on the grill (direct heat, not indirect heat) just long enough to heat it up. You’re not really cooking it, at this point. Just warming the steak, so it’s hot when served.
Grilling Tips Class
Bricco Restaurant offers many “how to cook” classes, including a pasta class, pizza class, wine pairing class, and a grilling class. The Traveling Dads took the grilling tips class, because really, what other class would a bunch of dads take?
The grilling class starts off with large cuts of beef and the chef teaches you how to break down the bigger cut into steaks and trimmings. We used the trimmings to make ground beef for burgers, smaller cuts for stews, and discarded unusable fat.
Once Chef shows you how to do it, he cuts you loose on your own slab of beef. We made New York strip steaks.
While some worked on the beef butchering, others begin processing the chicken, pork, veggies, and pasta salad. Feel free to use skewers if you’re a fan of kebabs. They work very well, but we did not use them during our cooking class.
By the way, did you know there’s a flat iron pork steak? Chef introduced us to this amazing cut of pork. You may have to get it at a butcher, rather than your local grocer, but it’s worth the extra work! Best cut of pork I’ve ever had!
After everything has been processed and prepared, we moved from the “back” kitchen to the front of house display-kitchen for cooking.
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As mentioned in the process, above, we seared and baked the steaks, as well as the burgers, chicken, pork, and veggies. All the food was seared on the grill and then put in the oven for finishing. Chef said the secret to restaurant quality taste is to use clarified butter to finish, everything. So, near the end of the cooking process, Chef brushed on a little clarified butter on everything to give it that savory flavor we all know and love. He also put vegetable oil on everything before putting it on the grill to make it crispy and keep it from sticking to the grill.
Gas Grill or Charcoal Grill
Of course, the chef used a kitchen gas grill for cooking our steaks, chicken, pork, and veggies. For at home BBQ, he recommends using a charcoal grill for your food. He says the briquettes just add more flavor to the food. I have to agree, as I have switched to a charcoal grill at home and it makes all the difference in flavor.
The Fruits of Our Labor
After everything was cooked, we got to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labor. A smorgasbord of flavors and food. Best burger I’ve ever had and we didn’t even use ketchup! Of course, it was made from NY strip steak trimmings, so that might have had something to do with it. Chicken was perfect and the pork was out of this world. The pasta salad was also amazing. Everyone who takes the grilling class at Bricco gets to enjoy the meal they prepared. You also get to go home with the Chef’s personal espresso rub, as well as 4 steaks to experiment with, at home!
It’s a great class that teaches you from start to finish how to grill a steak — and chicken, pork, veggies, and more! You can wow your friends with your new cooking ability.
The class costs $125 per person and includes everything mentioned in this post. More food than you can possibly eat and you can take the leftovers home with your rub and steaks.