A good steak is an all-American meal. Grilling a steak perfectly can be tricky. But it can be done.

Pick the right steak. A flavorful steak will be bright red with plenty of marbling throughout the meat. A cut like filet mignon has little marbling so it is less flavorful but more tender. There are three grades of steak; prime, choice and select. Most prime grade beef is bought by restaurants. Usually choice or select meat is found at retails stores. If you want prime meat you will need to find a good butcher shop.

Steak is cut from one of three sections on the cow. The front section is the rib, the middle is the short loin and the back is the sirloin. From the rib come rib-eye steaks, from the short loin comes the T-bone, porterhouse and tenderloin steaks. Sirloin and top sirloin come from the rear sirloin part.

A thick steak is better for the grill. A steak should be 1-inch to 2-inches thick. Don’t trim off all the fat. Fat is flavor. Steaks should be put on the grill at room temperature. This means they should be taken out of the fridge an hour before grilling. Rub your steaks with canola oil and a sprinkling of salt. Then grind fresh black pepper over them. A flavorful steak doesn’t need a lot of extra seasoning. Always use tongs instead of a fork. If you pierce the steak the flavorful juices will run out drying out the steak.

The grill should be hot and the grate should be rubbed with a piece of the steak fat that you cut away. Put the steaks on a hot grill and close the grill. Cook the first side and then flip the steak over to cook the second side. Check for doneness early to be sure you don’t overcook the steak.

The best way to test for doneness is to use the hand test. Raw meat feels like the fleshy part of your palm below your thumb, when you hand is relaxed. If you touch your thumb and first finger together and then use the other hand’s index finger to touch the spot on your palm below your thumb you will know what a rare steak should feel like. For medium rare touch your thumb to your middle finger, for medium use your ring finger and for well-done touch your thumb to your little finger. Once you get the hang of this and you don’t need a meat thermometer for grilling steaks.

One of the biggest mistakes in making a great steak is cutting right into it as soon as it comes off the grill. A steak needs to rest for a few minutes; 5minutes for a 1-inch thick steak and 10 minutes for a 2-inch thick steak. This one tip will make for much juicier steaks.

Grilling a perfect steak is a matter of choosing the right meet, preparing the grill, knowing how to check for doneness and letting it rest. The more times you practice grilling steaks the better they will be.