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July Is National Grilling Month: Grill the Perfect Steak

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When the weather heats up, most of the country (and northern hemisphere) heads outside to fire up the grill.

While it makes more sense for us to run for cover -- or air conditioning -- this time of year, South Floridians have found plenty of ways to keep on cooking outdoors regardless of the rain. Hey, it's good for the electric bill anyway.

We may have figured out how to avoid getting soaked, but few of us know how to properly cook a steak. Executive chef Pat Bouffard of Abe & Louie's gives us some tips for grilling the perfect steak.

See Also: It's National Pina Colada Day: Make the Original at Home (Recipe)

Bouffard is personally a fan of a well-marbled, center-cut New York strip; he says the excess fat enables a good seat. That being said, he suggests an eight- to ten-ounce flat-cut top sirloin for beginners.

"The sirloin does not have very much fat, so flare-ups will be minimal, has a good steak bite, very flavorful, and lends to grilling very well," says Bouffard. "And it tends to be on the cheaper side, which makes it perfect for practice."

Step One: Pull steak out and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before grilling, and make sure to leave the fat on until it's pulled off the grill.

"Cold steak contracts on the grill, making it tough," says Bouffard.

Step Two: Preheat the grill on high for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.

"Make sure you dry it off before you put it on the grill," he says. "A wet steak will steam, not grill."

Step Three: Sear the steak on each side, flipping with tongs (no forks). And then move it to a higher shelf with less heat to finish cooking.

"The less flipping, the better," warns Bouffard. "Don't salt before or while you cook; it draws out the moisture in the meat, so it's best to wait until after it's cooked to add."

Step Four: When the steak is done, give it five to ten minutes to rest, allowing the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. Flavor with salt.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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