Indoor Grilling in Winter

Indoor Grilling with a LongHorn Steakhouse® Certified Grill Master 

Stone Oak resident and Certified Grill Master Efrain Lopez joined the LongHorn Steakhouse team more than 10 years ago as a dish washer, and quickly discovered his passion for expertly grilled steak. As LongHorn expanded in Texas, Efrain was called upon to assist with the restaurant’s growth in the San Antonio area – and that’s when he joined Managing Partner David Marchlewski and the Stone Oak team when the restaurant opened more than two years ago.

LongHorn is known for its legendary steaks – so Grill Masters like Efrain are a crucial part of the experience. In fact, every LongHorn restaurant features at least two Grill Masters who freshly prepare every piece of steak, chicken and fish that enter the dining room. To become a Grill Master, LongHorn provides extensive on-the-job training to ensure team members are experts at understanding how to prepare the correct cut of steak, know the appropriate amount of seasoning to apply and consistently grill steak to the right degree of doneness.

In late 2013, Efrain was named Team Member of the Quarter for consistently living by LongHorn’s core values of treating everyone with dignity, respect, honesty and integrity, and for his 98% success rate in delivering perfectly grilled steaks for restaurant guests.

So, what does it take to grill a steak perfectly 98% of the time? Efrain shares tips straight from the LongHorn kitchen below. 

Indoor Grilling Tips from LongHorn Steakhouse Grill Master Efrain Lopez

While grilling is synonymous with the outdoors and warm weather, San Antonians can still enjoy a perfectly grilled steak in the comfort of their homes on those cold days in January and February.        

Tip 1: Select the right cut of steak and pan:

  • Always use fresh, never frozen steaks, like LongHorn Steakhouse does.
  • Choose a boneless steak that’s tender, like a sirloin or filet.
  • Similar to LongHorn’s flat-top grill, a quality sauté pan can be used to grill a steak indoors.

Tip 2: Season the steak for optimal flavor:

  • For a classic steakhouse flavor, season with the “The Big 4” – salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder – and rub thoroughly on both sides of the steak.
  • For a meatier cut, like a sirloin, give the steak two passes of seasoning. For filets, one is sufficient.

Tip 3: Sear and cook to perfect temperature:

  • Add canola oil to the sauté pan and set it on a very hot burner (close to 500 degrees – or the highest stove setting).  
  • Place the steak in the center of the pan, turning consistently every 3-4 minutes to ensure both sides get equal heat.
  • Cook to desired level of doneness.

Tip 4: Dress up your steak with a great side or topping:

  • Be creative! LongHorn pairs one of its sirloins – the Rancher’s Sirloin – with bacon, sunny-side up egg and a bordelaise sauce.
  • Additionally, the current Peak Season and Chef’s Showcase menus, which rotate four times a year to celebrate fresh seasonal flavors and culinary creativity, features a steak paired with seafood in the Blue Crab & Meyer Lemon Filet, and also hearty seasonal vegetables with the Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto.
  • Create an at-home steak sauce inspired by LongHorn’s Signature Steak Sauce, which is prepared table-side at its restaurants. See the sidebar for an at-home recipe.

In case you’d rather leave the grilling to LongHorn’s Grill Masters, visit Efrain, David and the rest of the team at the Stone Oak location at 22503 N. U.S. Highway 281. For more information about LongHorn Steakhouse, visit

[SIDEBAR:] Homemade Steak Sauce, inspired by LongHorn Steakhouse

LongHorn’s Signature Steak Sauce is prepared table-side and served with the Porterhouse for Two, but can also be added to any order.


  • 8 oz. of your favorite steak sauce of your choosing
  • 2 T finely chopped garlic
  • 2 T finely chopped onion
  • 2 T Crushed red Chile sauce (optional)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Orange peel


Add chopped garlic and chopped onion to a small nonstick sauce pot. Cook until translucent. Add rosemary and orange peel. Add steak sauce and mix together. Add optional crushed red Chile sauce for a kick. Allow to warm through, and serve. 

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