# How Long to Cook Steak Tips?

1. Jun 25, 2009

How long on each side do you guys cook your steak tips on the grill for medium/medium rare?

I have cooked plenty of steaks, but never tips. They are marinating now!

2. Jun 25, 2009

### TheStatutoryApe

I don't think I have ever cooked tips before. I usually just eye it any way.

3. Jun 25, 2009

No salad today! But a samurai like myself would probably just put the steak tips right on top of the salad..... mmmmm.

4. Jun 25, 2009

### LowlyPion

Depending on how thick they are, the time varies, as I'm sure you know. But you should be able to judge by feel. The more well done, the firmer. Test for firmness and if in doubt cut one open. Then wait for the others to depending on if you need more cooking. Cutting the pieces in uniform thickness helps to judge the lot.

Remember too, they will cook a bit more internally after taking them off, so rescue them from the grill just a hair under exactly the way you want them.

5. Jun 25, 2009

### AstroRoyale

Consider the following:

A typical Ribeye steak is ~4"x6" and 1" thick. Said steak occupies a volume of ~393 cm^3 and has a surface area, assuming a rectangular geometry of ~440 cm^2. If we idealize our steaktips as cubic solids, 1" thick, then we can partition our original Ribeye into 24 1" thick cubes, but now the total surface area of the meat has increased from 440 cm^2 to 900 cm^2 while the total volume of the meat has of course stayed the same do to mass conservation.

[Note: Ribeye mass loss has been shown to occur, often caused by hungry Labrador retrievers in the preparation area. Therefore, mass conservation is sometimes violated in the kitchen setting. See for instance Marley and Me (2008). ]

A solid ribeye steak, as described above, typically cooks to medium rare in ~9 minutes (4.5 minutes per side) on a medium hot grill. Assuming that the total cooking time is proportional to the ratio of the surface area to volume,

$$\frac{A_1}{V_1}t_1 = \frac{A_2}{V_2}t_2$$

using the numbers above, the approximate cooking time for these steak cubes shall be ~0.47 times the cook time for the solid steak, or ~4.22 minutes (253 seconds)

6. Jun 25, 2009

### gravenewworld

Using gas or charcoal?

Beef tips cook quickly if you want medium rare/medium.

7. Jun 25, 2009

### turbo

Hi, Casey. I never cook steaks medium (intentionally), preferring them rare, but here is your best bet, IMO. Get the grill really hot, and cook the steaks until the outsides look good to you, then get them onto a warmed plate or dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil, and let them sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. The steaks will continue to cook from the residual heat, and will relax a bit, resulting in a bit more tenderness. Good luck on supper!

8. Jun 25, 2009

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
I have a hard time grilling things like steak cubes (I assume similar size to beef tips?) without overcooking them, since I like my steak rare. So, probably as soon as you have them browned on all sides, they'll be medium-rare to medium already. You can always cut one open when you think they are done and put them back on the grill for longer if they are too underdone for your tastes.

9. Jun 25, 2009

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Well, all the physics aside... if you want a good steak, you don't just put it on a grill and leave it. If you do, it'll be tough and dry on the outside by the time you hit the target temperature on the inside.

What you need to do is sear the steak on a grill, grill pan, or even just a plain ol' saute pan, for about two minutes on each side. Then transfer the steak to an oven, pre-heated to about 375 or 400F, and cook slowly until the middle of the steak reaches a temperature of about 140 degrees (if you like your steaks medium-rare) or 150 degrees (if you like your steaks medium). As others have mentioned, you'll get a few degrees of carry-over cooking.

A good steak almost requires a good thermometer, at least until you've calibrated your finger's sense of firmness with doneness.

- Warren

10. Jun 25, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

I start with a grill open and on high for a couple of minutes on a side, then close it and turn down the heat.

11. Jun 25, 2009

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
That'll work too, chief. The trick is always to separate the cooking into two phases: the rapid step to brown the outsides, and the slow step to cook it through. You can actually do the steps in either order and get the same result, but it's easier to control the doneness if you do the slow step last.

- Warren

12. Jun 25, 2009

### turbo

True. When we have friends and family over for a cook-out, I have to juggle cooking temps and times based on peoples' preferences, and I find it easier if I can sear everybody's steaks first with the grill on "high" to seal in the juices, take off the rare steaks and wrap them in foil to "relax" a bit, drop the grill temperature to low (and leave the lid up for a while before closing) to finish off the mediums and (gasp!) well-dones. This works for me with a gas grill. I have a small charcoal grill/smoker, and it doesn't have enough cooking area to play these temperature games. My neighbor has a charcoal grill that looks like 1/2 of a small barrel and it's big enough to allow you to make a nice pile of charcoal at one end for searing, while leaving the other end cooler. And yes, he does wrap the meat after taking it off the grill, too. His pork spare-ribs are to die for!

13. Jun 25, 2009

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Sounds tempting, turbo-1. Too bad all my neighbors make is pho.

A few more tips:

- Make sure you coat the steak in olive or canola oil (and salt and pepper) before cooking. The oil really accelerates the browing process, which is responsible for a lot of the flavor and mouth feel of a steak.

- If you use a grill pan or saute pan, consider using the fond as the base of a steak sauce.

- Warren

14. Jun 25, 2009

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Keep the heat as high as you can. The first rule of cooking a steak is that you can never have enough heat - you want to cook it as fast as possible. When you see blood rising to the surface, flip the steaks immediately for rare. What until the juices start to turn clear a bit for well done.

Once flipping the steak, you want to check the firmness of the steak in order to tell when it is done. Now this is absolutely on the level as I got it from a gourmet chef: On your left hand, press your thumb and little finger tips together firmly and then press the firmest part of the muscle between your thumb and index finger with your other index finger. This is the same firmness that you want when pressing the steak, for rare. Use the thumb and fourth finger for medium rare. The middle finger is for medium, and the thumb and index finger pressed together will make the muscle tension right for well done.

I prefer to use no oil as that causes fires if the heat is high enough. A good steak needs no oil. But that gets to the first part: Picking the right piece of meat is half the battle. You want it to be well marbled but not too fatty.

Never flip a steak more than once. Rotate at least once on each side to ensure even cooking.

I have been told by at least a dozen people that I cook the best steaks in town. [not that I always get it perfect].

Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
15. Jun 25, 2009

My grill is small and doesn't stay too hot. I wound up letting it get really hot for about ten minutes; this gave my steak time to marinate.

I cooked them for about 5-7 minutes on each side basting them with leftover marinade every couple of minutes.

Then I basted them with some off the shelf Jack Daniels BBQ sauce (just a little) and covered the grill for about 3-5 minutes.

Perfect! The majority came out med/rare and the few that I couldn't cut as thick came out med.

Also chroot: That's how I cook my regular rib eyes. I rub them with veg oil and then season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. I then sear them in a reallly hot cast iron skillet for 30-45 seconds on each side. Then I transfer to a preheated oven at 375-400 F. About 2 min on each side does the trick.

The trick is too wait at least a minute after removing from the heat before cutting into it. This gives the juices time to redistribute themselves evenly.

I learned that procedure from Alton Brown. I love that guy!

16. Jun 25, 2009

I like this! I will have to try this metric next time

17. Jun 25, 2009

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Oh yes, in regards to time: I find that a one pound steak takes about six or seven minutes [total] to cook [for medium]. But that assumes that you have enough heat.

Late edits to the post above.

18. Jun 25, 2009

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Well, I've taken a four-month "mini culinary academy" from two chefs who run some of the best restaurants in the SF bay area... and they taught that this method is mostly urban myth, because it's so inexact as to be worthless -- everyone's hands are a bit different.

Instead, they taught to use a thermometer when learning to cook steaks, and learn to judge the firmness of steaks as you go. After a few attempts, you probably won't need the thermometer anymore.

That depends on how you cook it. If you're on a grill, you might be okay without. If you're cooking in a saute pan, you need oil to prevent sticking and to get more uniform heat transfer.

So have I. Funny that we have such different methods. If you didn't live so far away, I'd suggest a steak-off! (But who would judge?)

- Warren

19. Jun 25, 2009

### turbo

Come here for the steak-off! I'll arrange for the judges because I want to compete too.

20. Jun 25, 2009

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
This sounds pretty close to how I do it to get rare steak, except for my timing method. I get the grill pre-heated as high as it will go with the lid closed while I get the steaks seasoned (I don't care for marinated steaks...to me, marinating meat is something you do for tough cuts that need to cook a long time over slow heat to soften such as in a stew, and isn't for steaks good enough to grill). I bring out the steaks, put them on the grill, leave the lid open. I bring the dirty plate from the raw steaks back to the kitchen, and get a clean set of tongs. I walk back to the grill, give the steaks a quarter turn to get pretty grill marks, walk back to the kitchen, and get a beer, open it, carry it back to the grill with me. I flip the steaks, and now close the lid on the grill. One more walk back to the kitchen to put whatever I was eating with the steak onto a plate, and carry the plate back to the grill. Turn one more quarter turn, get my fork, knife and napkins, then take the steak off the grill and put it on the plate. Put the plate on the table, shut off the grill and clean it, then sit down and enjoy my perfect steak. Note, though, that if you walk slow or your grill is not right near the door to the kitchen, your steak will be overcooked. I don't do any poking at the steaks to check if they are done...if the outside is seared, the inside will be done enough for me.

Oh, though if the steaks are thin rather than thick, then you can't do the fancy grill marks unless you want them done medium. The extra time to do the quarter turn will be too much cooking with a thinner steak.

21. Jun 25, 2009

I never marinate steaks either; this was my first time cooking tips, so I did. I am not sure what kind of cut 'tips' are made from and thus was not sure if they are high quality.

I would never taint a Delmonico or NY strip with any thing but kosher salt and pepper.

22. Jun 25, 2009

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
So how did they turn out?

23. Jun 25, 2009