Competition-Style Grilled Backstrap

Some of the best steak chefs in the world competed in the SCA Steak Cookoff Association World Championship in Fort Worth, Texas, and we used some of their methods to cook up some tasty backstrap on the grill

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
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I’m a big steak fan. From hunting camps to roadside diners to fancy restaurants with wine lists longer than my camp kitchen packing list, I’ve had some great steaks over the years. But some of the best steak I’ve ever eaten was standing in the White Bread BBQ team’s driveway as they prepped and practiced for this year’s SCA World Championship steak cookoff held in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Serve with a grilled romaine salad and roasted potatoes for a true steakhouse experience.

Right then and there I knew I needed to adapt their cooking methods and spice blends to some thick whitetail backstrap steaks. Competition cooks are notoriously secretive when it comes to their cooking methods, but I talked them into sharing a few of their secrets. Next, I headed over to their online store and ordered some of the marinade and rub they recommended. 

Using competition-style marinades and spices helps add tons of flavor to your backstrap.

I cut my backstrap into 2-inch-thick medallions so I could get a good sear on the outside and not overcook the center. I followed their lead and used butcher’s twine to tie the steaks so that they held their shape on the grill for crisp grill marks. To get those grill marks, we used a timer and cooked the backstrap for 3 minutes on one side before turning it 90 degrees to cook for 3 more minutes for that pretty crosshatch pattern.

Cooking to 130 degrees internal temperature results in a nice medium-rare after resting.

I also followed their tip of seasoning the meat in three layers. First was one time before the marinade and then again just before cooking. After the marinade, I scraped away any wet seasoning on the meat before patting it dry and applying the second layer of seasoning. The third layer comes with a brushed-on layer of butter seasoned with a bit of rub just before the steak comes off the grill. We also used some spray ghee (clarified butter) between turns on the grill to add flavor and keep the meat from sticking.



5 backstrap steaks about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick

Pit O’ Heaven Kickin’ Pitgrit Ribeye Ranch seasoning

1/4 cup Flaps 20 Sauces & Rubs Moo Magic marinade dissolved in 12 ounces beef stock

1/2 cup melted butter seasoned with a tablespoon of Kickin’ Pitgrit

Spray butter

Butcher’s twine

Cooking Instructions

Start by cutting the backstrap into steaks. Trim away any fat or connective tissue. Tie the steaks with butcher’s twine to hold a round shape while cooking. 

Season the steaks with the rub, then rest to allow them to come to near room temperature.

Season well on both sides with Kickin’ Pitgrit All-Purpose Ribeye Ranch. Marinate the steaks in the mixed marinade for 3 to 6 minutes per side. According to the White Bread team, that is plenty of time to both tenderize and flavor the meat without making it too soft. 

Remove the steaks from the marinade and use a knife to scrape away the seasoning. Pat the steaks dry to remove any remaining marinade. Re-season with fresh Kickin’ Pitgrit seasoning. Allow the steaks to rest while your grill heats.

Set your grill at 550 degrees or as hot as it will go if it won’t quite reach 550. Once the grill has heated, spray a light coating of clarified butter spray on one side of the steak, then place it directly on the grate, butter side down.

Spray with clarified butter (ghee) before placing the steaks on the grill.

Repeat with remaining steaks. Set a timer for 3 minutes, then lift the steak, spray lightly again with clarified butter, turn it 90 degrees, and place it back down on the grate so that the grill marks will be in a crosshatch pattern. Cook for 3 more minutes.

Brush on melted butter seasoned with additional rub before serving.

Repeat the process with the other side of the steaks. Once the backstrap has grilled for 6 minutes per side, move them up to an upper grill rack and continue cooking until the steak centers reach 130 degrees for medium-rare. Rest the steaks for 5 minutes before serving.

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