Grilling steak is a favorite method for many cuts, but knowing the proper grilling times for steak can be tricky. It all depends on the cut, thickness, and desired level of doneness. In this article, we’ll guide you through grilling various cuts of steak, ensuring you achieve the perfect result every time. Grilling the Perfect Steak: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the Best Steak for Grilling

You can’t go wrong with any cut of steak when grilling, but some cuts may require different techniques due to variations in size, thickness, and texture. For example, grilling a ribeye steak differs from grilling a thicker cut, like a filet mignon.

Common Steak Grilling Times

gray metal tong and grilled meat with fire

To determine how long to grill a steak, consider the meat’s thickness. Both thin and thick cuts can be grilled successfully, but cooking times must be adjusted to achieve the desired level of doneness. For thick cuts, use a meat thermometer, and for thin cuts (¾ inch or less), a timer can be helpful.

As a general rule, aim for 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness and 5 to 8 minutes on each side for medium doneness. It’s best to start with the lower grilling time and adjust as needed, as you can always cook the steak longer but can’t undo overcooking.

Grilling Ribeye Steak

Ribeye steaks are typically between 1¼ and 1½ inches thick, requiring a longer grilling time compared to a New York strip. For medium-rare doneness, cook ribeye steaks to 130°F (about 5 minutes on each side). For medium doneness, aim for 140°F (7 to 10 minutes on each side).

Grilling Sirloin Steak

Sirloin steaks are usually similar in thickness to ribeye steaks but can be thinner (about 1 inch). For medium-rare doneness, a 1-inch sirloin typically needs 4-5 minutes on each side, while medium doneness requires 5-6 minutes on each side.

Grilling Filet Mignon

Filet mignon is one of the thickest steak cuts, usually between 2 and 3 inches. For medium-rare doneness, grill for 5-6 minutes on each side. For medium doneness, cook for 6-8 minutes on each side. To ensure the steak reaches the proper internal temperature, you may need to move the filets to indirect heat and close the grill cover for a few more minutes.

grilled meat on black charcoal grill

Filets mignon & boneless ribeyes

ThicknessRare 110° To 120° FMedium Rare 120° To 130° FMedium 130° To 140° F
1.5″3 min EACH SIDE3.5 min EACH SIDE4 min EACH SIDE
1.75″3.5 min EACH SIDE4 min EACH SIDE4.5 min EACH SIDE
2″4 min EACH SIDE4.5 min EACH SIDE5 min EACH SIDE

Sirloin strip steaks, bone-in ribeye steaks & porterhouse steaks

ThicknessRare 110° To 120° FMedium Rare 120° To 130° FMedium 130° To 140° F
1″5 min First Side3 min Second Side4.5 min EACH SIDE6 min First Side4 min Second Side
1.25″5 min First Side4 min Second Side5.5 min EACH SIDE7 min First Side5 min Second Side
1.5″6 min First Side4 min Second Side6 min EACH SIDE7 min EACH SIDE
1.75″6 min First Side5 min Second Side6.5 min EACH SIDE8 min First Side7 min Second Side

Tips for Grilling Steak

  1. Clean and season your grill: Keep the grates clean and well-seasoned with high-heat cooking oil (like canola oil).
  2. Be patient with charcoal: Allow the coals to burn evenly to achieve a delicious, smoky flavor.
  3. Temper the meat: Let the steak sit at room temperature for about an hour before grilling to ensure even cooking.
  4. Season generously: Use kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to enhance the steak’s natural flavor.
  5. Leave the steak alone: Avoid poking or moving the steak too much to prevent drying and allow for nice crust and grill marks.
  6. Let it rest: After removing the steak from the grill, let it rest for about half the cooking time before slicing.


Mastering the art of grilling steak takes practice and experience, but with this guide and some patience, you’ll be well on your way to grilling the perfect medium-rare or medium-well steak. Use your finger to test for doneness and ensure the right temperature, and soon you’ll be a grill master!