A sexy steak just makes you want to jump onto it and purr. Learn how to make a perfectly tender and beautiful ribeye using the tried-and-true steak cooking methods of badass grillmaster Malcom Reed.
GrillGirl Robyn Lindars met up with her friend Malcom Reed at the 2019 World Foods Championships in Dallas to talk about cooking the perfect competition steak. You can watch the video below or on GrillGirl Robyn’s YouTube channel!
Robyn was invited to World Foods to compete in the Fire Woman Challenge against Heather Sinyard, Christina Fitzgerald, and winner Jackie Milligan.
Because she was visiting with such a BBQ luminary, GrillGirl Robyn decided to pick Malcom’s brain on an important topic: how to cook the perfect steak.
Malcom Reed’s YouTube channel HowToBBQRight is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning more about barbecue, grilling, or cooking in general.
Malcom Reed Competition Steak Tips
Malcom Reed fell in love with Steak Cookoff Association events and competition steak cooking years ago.
“All you need is a grill, a pop-up tent, a cooler full of cold beer, and you can go have a great time cooking an awesome steak,” Malcom Reed said on his HowToBBQRight YouTube channel.
Cooking perfect steaks runs in the Reed family. Malcom’s brother and Killer Hogs team member Waylon Reed placed fourth in the 2019 World Invitational Steak Championship at the WFC
Here are five steps from Malcom Reed on how to cook the perfect steak:
1. PICK THE RIGHT CUT —
When it comes to making a standout steak, the first tip Malcom Reed has is also the first step. “You got to pick out a good one,” he said.
“We always look for one that has got a really good spinalis because we’re cooking ribeyes in these contests,” Malcom Reed said about choosing a steak for an SCA competition.
The spinalis is the cap of a ribeye that is known to be incredibly marbled, tender, and full of flavor.
When competing in a steak competition, Malcom said he wants the judges to get the most tender bite possible.
“We’re looking for a steak with a good spinalis, we want one that’s even, that has a good size, and not too much fat. We want it marbled, but we don’t want thick fat pockets. Because they don’t want to render in the amount of time we cook them,” Malcom Reed said.
2. SEASON THE STEAK WELL —
Beef has an amazing flavor on its own, but a champion steak cook knows how to enhance the natural taste with some extra kick.
Malcom Reed likes to keep it simple when it comes to seasoning a steak. He has his own Killer Hogs seasoning line, which are great on steaks (and any other food), but at the end of the day it’s really all about balance of flavor.
“Salt, pepper, a little bit of garlic, it’s really all you need,” Malcom said.
“We do use a little bit of BBQ rub, but we want to stay away from the sweet stuff. We want a good savory note on it and something to give it a little color.”
3. MAKE IT HOT —
Malcom Reed’s steaks are cooked on a grill that’s heated to about 550 degrees.
“I want my grill about 550 degrees. That’s the perfect temp to cook these inch and a quarter ribeyes.”
Malcom and Waylon Reed put grill marks using GrillGrates on their competition steaks. In the competition circuit, just about everyone’s got a set.
When the grill is nice and hot, Malcom cooks the steaks for a couple minutes on each side.
In the SCA competitions, they aim for cooking to medium. That means bringing the steak up to about 130 degrees and taking it off the grill so the internal temperature rises to 138 degrees.
“Which is that perfect pink all the way through the steak.”
“Our cook times are pretty fast on these ribeyes. They only grill maybe 8 minutes. Then we rest them for about 10 to 15 and then we turn them in.”
4. GREAT GRILL MARKS —
A favorite among professional steak cooks are grill marks. Some prefer cross-hatch char marks, but the Killer Hogs team goes for diamond grill marks.
“I’ve seen both ways. Crosses or diamonds, it’s not that big of a deal. You just want to make it even and look good.”
Steaks in competitions are judged on appearance so it’s important to have your finished product look good.
“Appearance is what we’re judged on. So they are looking at those marks. They say they don’t judge on grill marks, but I guarantee everyone out here is cooking on GrillGrates.”
About two minutes per twist will do for great grill marks, Malcom Reed said. So after four minutes on one side, and four on the other it should be done.
However, you should always be watching the temperature to make sure it comes out just right.
5. COOK STEAK TO TEMP —
A Thermapen is a go-to tool of Malcom Reed for that reason. The instant read thermometer measures temperature fast and accurately, which is why it’s the choice of champions.
Along with his GrillGrate, a ThermoWorks Thermapen is a must-have in his and GrillGirl Robyn’s grilling arsenal.
Share your own steak cooking tips in the comments!