Sugar Grilled Steak
Elevate steak night with Sugar Grilled Steak! Sprinkled with sugar and seasoned salt, the grill’s fire caramelizes the beef, leaving a lightly sweet and tasty char. Pair sugar steak with a fresh salad and creamy mashed potatoes for an easy yet special meal.
Easy Sugar Grilled Steak
This is one of our family’s favorite ways to enjoy steak – Sugar Grilled Steak!
We’re familiar with salting meat before grilling, but adding sugar? Yes, this is a secret ingredient to making a truly incredible steak. The sugar prompts beautiful, caramelized grill marks that contrast with the savory, meaty flavor of the beef. This recipe includes guidelines for how to make sugar grilled steak – you can use more or less sugar and seasoning depending on your tastes. Sugar grilled steak is a simple, fun way to step up your steak game!
Why You’ll Love This Sugar Grilled Steak Recipe
Quick to make and always satisfying, steak is in regular rotation in our household – so I’m always looking for a new way to make it. Here’s why you’ll love this sugar grilled steak recipe:
- Fun flavor. Not only will you get extra flavor from the sprinkling of sugar, but the Lawry’s seasoned salt adds even more. It contains a savory blend of paprika, turmeric, onion, and garlic, which is perfect with beef.
- 5 ingredients. All you need are a couple steaks and a few pantry ingredients!
- Quick to cook. If you’re in need of a fast dinner recipe, throwing steaks on the grill (in all seasons!) is always a top choice. These steaks are done after about 6 minutes on the grill – that’s it!
Why Sugar Your Steak?
Adding sugar to a steak before you grill it helps the steak to brown quickly and gives great caramelized grill marks. It also gives the steak a lovely hint of sweetness, which is a fun variation!
What You’ll Need
You won’t need much for these juicy steaks! Here’s a quick overview.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Beef steaks – Choose good quality beef. We recommend using ribeye or NY strip. See the next section where I talk more about our steak recommendations for this recipe.
- Olive oil – Rub some olive oil onto the steaks before seasoning them. With a high smoke point, this adds a mild, buttery flavor when grilling. Plus it helps the seasoning stick to the meat.
- Sugar – Sugar helps the meat to brown quickly and adds a lovely bit of sweetness. The meat gets beautifully caramelized where it sears on the hot grill grates.
- Lawry’s seasoned salt – Lawry’s salt adds more savory flavor, as it includes paprika, turmeric, onion, and garlic in the blend.
The Best Cut of Meat for Sugar Steak
If you’re wondering what kind of steak to choose for this recipe, this is what we recommend:
Always choose good quality beef. This affects both flavor and texture.
Our #1 choice is always ribeye, as it’s nicely marbleized with fat, which helps the sugar caramelize even more with the heat of the grill. This cut guarantees flavorful, juicy steak.
NY strip is our second choice, also very good.
You could always use a leaner cut of beef, but some of that awesome flavor and exterior texture will definitely be reduced.
Choose a steak that’s about 1″ thick. This gives the hot grill just enough time to caramelize the steak’s exterior without overcooking the interior of the steak.
How to Make Grilled Sugar Steak
Here’s our ultra-easy method for making sugar grilled steak:
- Season the steak. First, rub both sides of the meat with olive oil. Then sprinkle both sides with the sugar and Lawry’s, plus freshly ground black pepper.
- Prep the grill. Preheat the grill to high heat, at least 500° F. Then clean the grill grates very well and oil the grates.
- Grill the steak. Sear the steaks for 2-3 minutes per side, for perfect medium-rare steak. The combination of high heat, marbleization of the steak, and sugar will likely cause the grill to flare up. And that is what you want! The flames licking over the beef create a gorgeous charred exterior, plus they really sear in those marks from the hot grill grates.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips that will help your sugar grilled steak turn out perfectly:
- Clean the grill. This sounds simple, but it will help the sugar steak cook better, and not stick, if the grill is clean.
- Then, oil the grill grates. This helps prevent sticking, plus aids in achieving great sear marks. To oil the grill grates, add some vegetable oil to a small bowl. Then fold a heavy paper towel a few times to make a smaller square. With tongs, grasp the folded paper towel and dip it into the oil until the paper towel is soaked. Then run the paper towel over the clean, hot grates, repeating until the grill grates are thoroughly oiled.
- Use good-quality meat. This doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive steaks, but do keep in mind that cheaper grades of beef will have a lesser quality of flavor and texture.
- Season the meat in advance. About 45 minutes prior to grilling, take the steak out of the fridge and season it. Let it sit at room temperature until grill time, to take the chill off and to let the steak absorb the seasoning,
- Rest the meat. After grilling the steak to your preferred doneness, take it off of the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving it. Meat continues to cook after it comes off of the heat, and resting allows the juices to redistribute, meaning you’ll end up with a juicier steak.
Steak is so versatile and goes so well with easy grilled vegetables, a big salad, and of course, potatoes. Here are a few of our favorite dishes to serve with sugar steak:
- A big salad. Keep dinner on the lighter side by pairing sugar grilled steak with a fresh salad recipe. Choose from roasted beet salad, arugula beet salad, or creamy cucumber salad to get you started.
- Potatoes! Beef and potatoes are a classic pairing. Try my buttermilk mashed potatoes, new potatoes with roasted garlic vinaigrette, or my classic mashed potato recipes.
- With a side of vegetables. Hearty steak is wonderful when served with a side or two of vegetables. My parnsip puree, roasted asparagus, grilled asparagus, and grilled vegetable salad recipes would go perfectly with sugar steak.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Store leftover sugar steak in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place the steak on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave it in 30-second intervals until it’s hot. You could also heat it in a skillet over medium heat.
- 2 beef steaks, about 1¼ pounds each and about 1" thick, trimmed of excess fat - we use ribeye or NY strip
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Rub both sides of each steak with olive oil, then evenly sprinkle both sides with all of the sugar and Lawry’s, plus some freshly ground black pepper. If using smaller or larger steaks, adjust the sugar and Lawry's amounts accordingly.
- Preheat the grill to high heat, at least 500° F. Then clean the grill grates very well and oil the grates. (See Notes below for oiling the grates.)
- Sear the steaks for 2-3 minutes per side, for perfect medium-rare steak like you see in my photos. Remove steaks to a platter or cutting board to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy hot.
To oil the grill grates, add some vegetable oil to a small bowl. Then fold a heavy paper towel a few times to make a smaller square. With a tongs, grasp the folded paper towel and dip it into the oil until the paper towel is soaked. Then run the paper towel over the clean, hot grates, repeating until grill grates are thoroughly oiled.
Recipe adapted from “The Reluctant Entertainer” book by my friend Sandy Coughlin at ReluctantEntertainer.com. This recipe is titled “Cousin Jim’s St. Louis-Style Steaks” in Sandy's book – we just refer to it as “Sandy’s Sugar Grilled Steaks” in our house!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 464mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 40g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
More Steak Recipes
- Sugar Grilled Beef & Asparagus Kabobs – If you love this sugar grilled steak recipe, definitely check out this kabobs variation that includes asparagus!
- Grilled Steak Salad with Cherry-Chipotle Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Beijing Beef
- Hunan Beef
- Beef Negimaki
- Honey Mustard Beef Kabobs