Now the weather is warming up, it’s time to heat up the barbecue.

This is usually my husband’s domain, and my comments on how to cook with it are not always appreciated. It has taken me many, many summers of subtly recommending ideas to achieve the perfect steak.

Now the BBQ season is upon us, I thought I would share my tips with you!

Ideally allow the steaks to come to room temperature before cooking – this helps the steak to cook more evenly.  If you don’t have the time, don’t worry.

Rub the steak with oil, salt and pepper. Only salt the meat just as you are about to put the steak on the barbecue. If you salt the meat too early, it will draw the moisture out and make it dry.

Contrary to popular belief, turn the steak often, probably every minute or so. Your steak will cook faster and more evenly by turning it often. Ideally start on the flat hotplate and then finish off on the grill for the last minute or two to get a nice crust.

Now the big question – how long do you cook it for? Well, it all depends on the thickness of the steak!

2½ cm Thick:

Medium-rare cook for 6–7 minutes

Medium cook for 8–9 minutes

Well done cook for 10–12 minutes

3½ cm Thick:

Medium-rare cook for 8–9 minutes

Medium cook for 10–11 minutes

Well done cook for 12–14 minutes

4½ cm Thick:

Medium-rare cook for 10–12 minutes

Medium cook for 14–16 minutes

Well done cook for 18–20 minutes

These are total cooking times, not for each side, and are based on our gas barbecue. Times may vary slightly depending on the type of grill you have and whether you use wood, charcoal or gas.

If you are using a rib eye on the bone or a T-bone, for example, you may need to cook for 1-2 minutes longer than the times suggested above.

Our favourite salads with steak and sausages are Tomato Salad and Beetroot Salad (Summer TABLE pages 99 and 109).

Why not cook an extra couple of steaks and be ready to whip up a Thai Beef Salad later in the week (in less than 10 minutes) click here.

Grab a copy of Summer TABLE for more fast, delicious and healthy recipes more information here.

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • I agree the thickness makes a huge difference and I set a timer so as to not overcook.


  • Yasss any excuse for steak now that I’m not pregnant and can go back to medium rare!


  • Great idea – and a wonderful meal later in the week. Thanks for sharing.


  • Really great tips. I am not the best with this


  • A great guide. I always seem to muck up steak cooking so will need to refer to this guide in future!


  • Yes, a hot pan is the key. I tend not to season the meat before I cook but hubby does.


  • I’m hopeless at cooking steak, i’ll have to try this


  • Ooh some good tips in this.


  • This shows just how easy it is!


  • This was an interesting mini article. Thanks for posting!


  • Hubby and I both know how to cook a perfect steak in the kitchen. He seems to lose his skill when on the barbecue though


  • I need a tipi for cooking those thin supermarket steaks! The ones that are about 1.5 cm thick max!

    • I call those Minute Steaks, and guess how long they take to cook? I make them into a steak sandwich. If they are too thick, I put them between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until they are about 5 mm thick. I then marinate steaks in a bowl with oyster sauce while the barbecue heats. When hotplate is very hot, cook the steaks for 1 minute each side. :)


  • great guidelines for steak cooking; thank you


  • Very helpful ideas – love a good steak and salads.


  • A great article and it all looks so delicious !!


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