Memorial Day Expert Grilling Tips by Chef K.C. Fazel of TENDER Steak & Seafood

Executive Chef K.C. FazelMany Americans, both here in Las Vegas and around the country, associate Memorial Day with barbecuing. Yet a significant number of those weekend warriors haven’t the slightest clue how to properly grill. 

This is an expert’s guide to barbecuing with grilling tips from award-winning Executive Chef K.C. Fazel of TENDER Steak & Seafood.

Tip 1- Find a good steak

  • Use a specialized butcher or upscale food market
  • Focus attention to the grade and aging of beef
  • Any tender cut will work (rib-eye, NY strip)
  • Try to find a “choice” grade steak

Tip 2- Allow your steak to set at room temperature for 15 minutes

Tip 3- Prior to grilling, lightly brush the steak with any basic vegetable oil, then fully season the steak

  • Typically used are ground black pepper and sea or Kosher salt (Oil will hold the seasonings)
  • It is not necessary to add different seasoning, since we want to maximize the flavor of the steak

Tip 4- Fat can be your friend and enemy

  • Fat dripping on the coals creates the smokiness desired
  • If you don’t like fat, trim after you grill
  • Leave about 1/4” fat around the outside to protect from burning and drying out
  • Too much fat may cause flame flare-ups on the grill

Tip 5- Preheat the grill

  • Hot as it will go for gas and a single layer of ashy white coals for a charcoal grill
  • Shoot for around 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Oil the grate (DO NOT USE SPRAY OILS)

Tip 6- Grill

  • Place each steak on the grill for two minutes (should be a loud sizzle)
  • Turn over and grill the second side for two minutes
  • Turn and rotate 45 degrees and grill for half the remaining cooking time
  • Turn again and drop a pat of butter on the top middle of the steak before you close down the lid

Tip 7- Use pressure test to check status of the steaks

  • Press with your index finger or flat side of a grilling fork
    • Rare is soft
    • Medium is firm but yielding
    • Well is firm

Tip 8- Remove from skillet and place on a plate and cover with aluminum foil

  • Let it rest for 5 minutes (Lets the juices in the steak even out) 

Grilling Times by Thickness

These times are total cooking times. Divide in half for each side. Times are approximate and will vary depending on the type of grill, fuel, weather conditions, etc..

Thickness Rare Medium Well Heat
1″ 8-10 12-14 16-20 High
1 1/2″ 10-14 16-20 22-26 High
2 12-16 18-22 24-28 Medium


For more information about TENDER Steak & Seafood, visit their web site.