Ok, here's the tip: let your steaks sit in loads of salt prior to grilling, rinse them off and then grill them. I know, this sounds like It's right out of the Hunter S. Thompson recipe book but trust me on this.
For some reason, this method tenderizes a steak and bumps it up a few grades. There's definitely a salty flavour to the finished product but It's, you know, a good saltiness. here's our recent experiment with this method (in pictures because, if I know anything, It's that a picture saves me a lot of typing):
Three steaks. Not the best grade but not the worst either. We used top sirloin.
We cut each steak in half. One half of each steak we left untreated. The other half of each steak was dredged with about a teaspoon of salt per side. Use coarse salt - not fine.
Egads! After about an hour of resting, the salted steaks are leaking like a Swedish goalie. Will this be a problem? Will they taste like salted shoe leather? Will we be calling the Colonel for dinner? Let's find out. Rinse the steaks (don't forget this step), pat them dry and put them on the grill.
In our experiment the pre-salted meat was much tastier and more tender ("tenderer?). A perfect level of saltiness and definitely more tender than the control group. I'm no chemistry wiz so don't email me and ask "why". Just trust me - it worked.
Another tip: if you're in Calgary head down to The Cookbook Company on 11th Avenue (www.cookbookcooks.com). They've got a zillion (ok, about 40) salt varieties to choose from. Gail tells us that her favourite salt for grilling is "Maldon Salt" (www.maldonsalt.co.uk) as it adds a "textural" (her word, not mine) element to the grilled meat. And, for the record, Gail salts her meat before she grills - she likes the way the juices are released by the salt so they can caramelize when they hit the hot grill. (www.cookbookcooks.com)