Why Do Steaks Curl When Grilling? [How To Stop It?]

Steak is an extremely popular food that is a staple to most. Grilling a steak is one of the best ways to cook it, as it can stay moist, juicy, and cooked exactly how you like it, with that lovely, char-grilled taste. However, sometimes steaks curl while you grill them, which can lead to problems with your steak, so why do steaks curl when grilled?

Steaks can curl when grilled due to the fat on the edge of the steak cooking faster than the rest and shrinking. This will cause the steak to bend out of shape and cook unevenly. It can also happen if your steak is not defrosted and the grill is too hot when you grill it. 

why do steaks curl when grilling

Why is it a problem if your steak curls while you grill it? How can you help prevent your steak from curling while grilling it? Keep reading to find out what causes it and how to prevent it from happening.

Why Do Steaks Curl When Grilled?

Grilling is one of the greatest popular pastimes on hot summer days, as nothing is better than getting together with your beloved family and friends and enjoying some good grilled food and cold drinks while catching up. 

This is the ideal summer day for many people, with the only thing making it better is if there are some big, juicy steaks to pop on the grill and cook to perfection. 

Steaks are the number one meat cut for most grilling enthusiasts, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have their fair share of problems while grilling. 

One problem you could face when grilling is that your steak might start curling during the cooking process, but why do steaks do this? Generally, most steaks meant for grilling have a thick piece of fat on the edge of the meat. 

This fat layer could cook faster than the meat itself, making the fat shrink while the meat stays the same. As a result, it can cause your steak to curl on the fat side. This is not the only possible reason for your steak curling, though. 

Another reason it might happen is the steak is still frozen, and you might be cooking your steak at a higher temperature than you should. This can cause the steak to lose moisture around the edges faster than in the middle, causing the steak to curl. 

We will discuss how to fix this curling problem later in this article, but first, we need to understand why you don’t want your steak to curl while grilling it. 

Why Is It A Problem If Your Steaks Curl?

Most people think that having your steak curl on the grill isn’t a big deal, and to most people, it’s not, but if you are a steak enthusiast and you like your steak a certain way, then having your steak curl can be a problem for you. 

If your steak curls while grilling it, it can be chewy and dry as all the moisture escapes from the steak. 

This is because it will take longer for the meat to cook in the middle than on the edges, which will cause the steak to dry out. 

When your steak curls, the heat distribution from the grill to the steak is uneven. This makes it difficult for you to cook your steak to your liking, especially if you prefer your steak cooked medium or under. It will significantly impact your enjoyment of your steak and leave you disappointed. 

Methods To Prevent Steak From Curling When Grilled

If you are worried about your steak curling when you grill it, there are a few methods you can use to help prevent this from happening, so you can cook your steak perfectly and enjoy it the way you should. These methods are easy to utilize and ensure your steak is exactly how you like it. 

Let’s go through these easy methods of preventing your steak from curling to ensure your steaks are something you can be proud of and have the whole family enjoy. 

Defrost Your Steak Properly Before Grilling

Before putting your steak on the grill, ensure it’s defrosted correctly, as this can help prevent your steak from curling while cooking. To defrost your steak correctly, take it out of the freezer the day before you want to grill it and leave it in your fridge overnight.

About an hour or two before you grill your steak, take it out of the fridge and leave it on the counter until it comes to room temperature. This will help your steak retain its moisture better, which can help stop it from curling. 

Make Cuts On The Edges Of The Steak

If your steaks have a lovely thick piece of fat going around the edge, making a few cuts to your steak is a relatively easy way to stop your steak from curling while grilling. 

Once your steak has defrosted and reached room temperature, you can make some cuts in the fat edge of the steak. 

Make the cuts through the fat layer but leave the meat under the fat intact. You can make these cuts one inch apart. This will allow the fat layer to cook and shrink without affecting the structure of the meat and making it curl. 

Trim Your Steak

If you don’t like the fat edges of the steak, then you can trim the fat off the steak before cooking it. Once your steak has defrosted and is now room temperature, carefully trim the fat off of your steak with a sharp knife. 

This will stop the steak from curling as one edge won’t cook faster than the other as you’ve removed the fat. So the only thing your need to watch with this method is that your steak can become dry quickly while grilling. 

This happens because there is no fat layer to release grease to help keep the meat moist, so you might need to use more marinade to keep your steak juicy. 

Watch The Heat OF The Grill Closely 

If you have tried the approaches above and your steak is still curling while you grill it, then the temperature of your grill might be too high for your steak. 

This will cause the edges of your steak to lose moisture, shrink, and cook faster than the middle, making the steak curl. 

You should keep your grill at medium heat while cooking your steaks, ensuring the entire steak cooks evenly and simultaneously. 

Final Word

A perfectly grilled steak is hard to beat and a favorite for many. However, if your steak curls while on the grill, it can be challenging to cook your steak perfectly as the steak will lose moisture and become overdone in a short amount of time. 

Thankfully, you can use some methods to help prevent your steak from curling, including making cuts in the fat, trimming the fat off entirely, and ensuring your grill is not too hot while cooking the steak. 

The next time you grill steak, follow these methods, and you’ll notice your steak will stay flatter on the grill and come out perfect. 

Good luck grilling your next steak!

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