Let's Discuss Flipping Your Steak

I know you've heard from a self-proclaimed Man's Man, maybe it's you, who has said, "You only flip a steak ONCE!!!!"   I think this is an urban legend, akin to the one about how searing your steak seals in the juices.

Okay, now in my experience the guy who says this is the same one who shows up to the party and everyone goes, "Oh shit, Baggy O'Douche is here".   I'm sure if you've said it and you're here on the FWG, you aren't that guy just trying to be a loudmouth and are able to give your reason for this rule.  Reasons I've heard are that it keeps the meat more tender, it helps keep a sear, and it makes for more even cooking.

This last one just seems counter-intuitive to me.  It would be a more even heat to keep flipping and have both sides spend a staggered amount of time on the heat with less cooldown.  With the one flip you have your starting side away from the flame and cooling off the entire time the other side is cooking.  It's analagous (to me at least) in comparing juggling two balls by putting a little toss to each one in turn, and throwing one ball as far as you can before picking up the second and holding it.  One keeps both balls in a steady flux of up/down while the other is all force at once.   With a one-flip method cutting through my medium rare steaks can have a gray, almost well done outside and a small, slightly off-center strip of medium rare in the middle.  If I multi-flip it I can get my steak a way more uniform pink with just a slight hint of gray at the edge. 

My hypothesis, the one-flip rule came about from people mangling their steaks by turning it over and over with a fork or knife or something else and poking a million holes in it. 

I'm a multi flipper too, but less than I used to be. I know let it get a pretty good sear on each side before I flip, then I'll try to even it out while I wait for the steak to cook to rare, or wherever I want it. So one slow flip, then more regular ones after that. That's how I roll.

i only flip once. i dont know the technical reason, if one exists, but i always assumed it had something to do with heating quickly and evenly. instead of letting a side cool away from the coals and then reheating it multiple times. i could be full of shit tho, i dont know

I like my steaks pretty rare, so they're not on the grill long enough to flip more than once.

Personal preference, I guess. Just like I rarely put anything on my good cuts other than salt and cracked pepper with touch of garlic. I like to coat lesser cuts with a mixture of bread crumbs, horseradish, salt & pepper and then grill.

I'm with Jonwell on this one.

I usually leave it on the grill for a long time initially to get some nice grill marks on it.

The only flip once rule may be a restaurant thing or at least that's where I first encountered it. It's all about presentation and less flipping means nicer "lines" on your steak.

Sometimes I go flipless

I know my grill, so I only need to flip it once.

I just eat it raw.

Xtina likes steak like she likes men: cold and dripping blood.

If you do the 90 degree turn, and then the flip, followed by a second 90 degree turn, then you end up with the nice cross-hatched grill marks.

Leaving one side of the steak on the grill for a longer amount of time - if your grill is hot enough (500F or so) - will give the steak a seared brown crust (which you can also get from a heavy cast-iron skillet).

Multi-flips on a cold grill can give you a 'grey' steak with no crust.

For aethetics and flavor, I like the cross-hatched grill marks on a nicely crusted steak.

Nice thread/question. I kinda always guessed it had something to do with trying to train people to "know" when a steak is ready to turn as opposed to having people constantly flipping and checking (which if done a lot can interfere with the sear).

I rarely flip, but not out of any rule...if I flip, it's usually for cross-hatch patterns, because instead of the 90* turn, I like to flip, do the other side, then come back to the first side to complete the cross pattern, and then finish on the other side the last cross pattern.

i'm a 1 flipper because i fee like i get a better char when i dont muck with it.

high temp sear & dwell imo.

When I make stakes on my egg at about 750, it only takes about 45 seconds per side, then dwell for 5 minutes for medium rare.

If I flipped any more than that, I would basically be flipping constantly and I wouldn't be able to close the lid long enough for the heat to build back up.

It is simply physically impossible to sear at a high temperature and flip more than once unless you either have a crazy commercial broiler or you are cooking it well done.

My wife just looked over my shoulder and said; "I don't think this thread is about meat."

Too much time on the OG I guess.

I'm a 3 flipper (giving 2 doses of direct heat per side) with twist (about 20degrees, nice diamond shapes), but then I'm using a griddle pan