how to grill steak and seafood

How to Grill Steaks and Seafood

Grilling is a culinary tradition that transcends borders and brings people together in celebration of the great outdoors, delicious food, and the sizzle of an open flame. Among the countless grilling options, few rival the exquisite combination of steak and seafood.

Grilling is more than just cooking; it’s a sensory experience. The tantalizing aroma of food sizzling over an open flame, the hiss and crackle as juices hit the hot grates, and the mouthwatering appearance of grill marks on your steak and seafood all contribute to its appeal. Here are the fundamental steps to mastering the art of grilling:

1. Select the Right Cuts

Choose high-quality cuts of steak and seafood. For steaks, options like ribeye, New York strip, or filet mignon are popular choices. When it comes to seafood, consider varieties like salmon, shrimp, swordfish, or lobster tails. Freshness is paramount.

2. Preheat the Grill

Preheat your grill to the appropriate temperature. High heat is ideal for searing steaks and achieving those coveted grill marks. For seafood, you may adjust the heat slightly lower to prevent overcooking.

3. Season Thoughtfully

Season your steaks and seafood with a blend of complementary herbs and spices. For steaks, a classic seasoning blend often includes salt, pepper, garlic, and perhaps some rosemary or thyme. Seafood pairs beautifully with citrus, herbs like dill or tarragon, and a drizzle of olive oil.

4. Oil the Grates

Before placing your steaks or seafood on the grill, brush the grates with a light coat of oil. This prevents sticking and helps achieve those beautiful grill marks.

5. Grill to Perfection

Grilling time varies depending on the thickness of your steaks and the type of seafood. Here are some approximate guidelines:

  • Steaks: For medium-rare, grill 1.5-inch-thick steaks for about 4-5 minutes per side. Adjust the time for your preferred level of doneness.
  • Seafood: Fish fillets generally cook in 3-4 minutes per side. Shrimp and lobster tails typically take 2-3 minutes per side. Be vigilant, as seafood cooks quickly and can easily become overcooked.

6. Let Rest

Allow your steaks and seafood to rest for a few minutes after grilling. This lets the juices redistribute for a more flavorful and tender result.

Perfect Pairings: Steak and Seafood

Grilling offers endless possibilities for pairing steaks and seafood. The interplay between the robust flavors of steak and the delicate nuances of seafood is what makes this combination so delightful. Here are some perfect pairings to explore:

1. Ribeye Steak and Grilled Shrimp

A marbled ribeye steak, seared to perfection, is an excellent companion for succulent grilled shrimp. The steak’s richness complements the sweet, smoky flavor of the shrimp. Consider adding a garlic butter sauce for an extra layer of flavor.

2. Filet Mignon and Salmon

A tender and mild filet mignon pairs wonderfully with grilled salmon. The subtle flavors of both components allow the individual qualities of each to shine. A drizzle of lemon-dill sauce can be the perfect finishing touch.

3. New York Strip Steak and Swordfish

The bold flavors of a New York strip steak harmonize with the meaty texture of swordfish. This pairing is elevated with a zesty Mediterranean salsa or a chimichurri sauce.

4. T-Bone Steak and Grilled Scallops

The T-bone steak, featuring a tenderloin and a strip steak, is an ideal partner for plump, succulent scallops. The steak’s savory notes balance the sweetness of the scallops, while a lemon-caper sauce adds a touch of brightness.

5. Porterhouse Steak and Lobster Tails

A grand porterhouse steak, with its tenderloin and strip steak sections, finds its match in plump lobster tails. The steak’s richness complements the sweetness of the lobster. A drizzle of clarified butter or garlic butter dipping sauce adds a final flourish.

6. Sirloin Steak and Grilled Tuna

A well-seasoned sirloin steak is an excellent match for grilled tuna. The steak’s robust character complements the meaty, slightly sweet taste of the tuna. Consider a balsamic reduction or a lemon-caper sauce to enhance the experience.

7. Hanger Steak and Shrimp Skewers

The hanger steak, celebrated for its deep, beefy flavor, pairs delightfully with shrimp skewers. The steak’s rich, smoky notes complement the bold garlic-infused shrimp. A squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of fresh parsley complete the dish.

Creative Variations

Experimenting with surf and turf combinations is where creativity truly shines. Here are some innovative variations to explore:

  • Surf and Turf Tacos: Mini steak and shrimp tacos with fresh salsa and avocado.
  • Surf and Turf Sushi Rolls: Slices of seared steak served alongside sushi rolls filled with crab and avocado.
  • Surf and Turf Burger: A juicy burger topped with a lobster tail or shrimp, creating a gourmet burger experience.
  • Surf and Turf Salad: A hearty salad featuring grilled steak and shrimp, with a variety of fresh greens and vegetables.
  • Surf and Turf Stir-Fry: A quick and delicious stir-fry combining sliced steak and shrimp with a medley of vegetables and savory sauces.

Regional Inspirations

Grilled surf and turf combinations take on a distinct character in different culinary traditions:

1. Mediterranean Cuisine

In Mediterranean cuisine, surf and turf often features lamb and seafood, combining the flavors of land and sea with herbs, spices, and olive oil.

2. Brazilian Churrasco

Brazil’s churrasco grilling style combines various cuts of beef and pork with shrimp and other seafood, seasoned with bold flavors and cooked over an open flame.

3. Pacific Rim Influence

In Hawaii and other Pacific Rim regions, grilled surf and turf often includes teriyaki-glazed steak paired with fresh grilled fish, creating a delightful fusion of flavors.

4. Louisiana Creole Creations

In Louisiana, surf and turf takes on a Creole twist, with dishes like blackened redfish served with a hearty sirloin steak, accompanied by spicy sauces and vibrant seasonings.


Mastering the art of grilling steak and seafood is not just about creating a meal; it’s about crafting a sensory experience. As you select the best cuts, season thoughtfully, and explore the endless possibilities of pairings, you’ll discover the magic of surf and turf.

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