Steak is arguably one of the most popular dishes around the world, and for good reason. A well-cooked steak can be a game-changer, elevating any meal to new heights.
However, cooking steak can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. Don’t worry though, because in this article, we will guide you step by step on how to cook the perfect steak, every time. Whether you prefer rare, medium, or well-done, we’ve got you covered.
Before we get started, let’s talk about the different cuts of steak. Knowing the difference between the various cuts will help you choose the right cut for your desired taste and texture.
The Different Cuts of Steak
|Cut||Description||Tenderness||Best Cooking Method|
|Filet Mignon||Lean and tender, with little fat. Often considered the most luxurious cut of steak.||Very Tender||Grilling, Broiling, or Pan-Searing|
|Ribeye||Richly marbled with fat, giving it a juicy and flavorful profile.||Tender and Juicy||Grilling or Cast Iron Skillet|
|New York Strip||Leaner than a ribeye but still has some fat. Has a slightly firmer texture.||Tender and Juicy||Grilling or Cast Iron Skillet|
|T-Bone||Consists of two different cuts separated by a T-shaped bone. Has a tenderloin on one side and a larger strip steak on the other.||Tender and Juicy||Grilling or Broiling|
Choosing the Right Steak
Now that you know the different cuts of steak, you can choose the right one based on your personal preference. When choosing a steak, always go for the freshest possible meat.
Look for steaks with marbling, which refers to the white flecks of fat inside the meat. The more marbling, the more flavorful and tender the steak will be.
Avoid steaks that have a lot of connective tissue or gristle, as these can be tough and chewy when cooked.
Preparing the Steak
Before cooking the steak, let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This allows the steak to cook more evenly.
Season the steak generously with salt and pepper on both sides. You can also add other seasonings, such as garlic powder, smoked paprika, or rosemary, depending on your taste.
Cooking the Steak
Now, let’s get to the cooking process. Follow these steps to cook the perfect steak:
Step 1: Heat the Pan
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Heat a cast-iron skillet or any oven-safe skillet over high heat on the stovetop until it’s smoking hot. You want the pan to be hot to get that perfect sear.
Step 2: Add Oil
Once the pan is hot, add some oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or canola oil. Swirl the oil around the pan to coat it evenly.
Step 3: Sear the Steak
Place the steak in the hot pan and leave it for 3 to 4 minutes on each side without moving it. This will create a beautiful crust.
Step 4: Finish in the Oven
Once the steak is seared on both sides, transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the steak reaches your desired doneness. For rare, cook until the internal temperature reaches 125°F, medium-rare 135°F, medium 145°F, medium-well 150°F, and well-done 160°F.
Step 5: Rest the Steak
Once the steak is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat.
13 Frequently Asked Questions About Cooking Steak
Q1: How can I tell if my steak is cooked to my desired doneness?
A: The best way to tell if your steak is cooked to your liking is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature will tell you if your steak is rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, or well-done.
Q2: How do I know when the pan is hot enough?
A: The pan is hot enough when it’s smoking hot. You can also test the temperature by dropping a droplet of water onto the pan; if it sizzles and evaporates immediately, the pan is hot enough.
Q3: Should I use a gas or charcoal grill?
A: Both types of grills can be used to cook steak. Gas grills are convenient and easy to use, while charcoal grills add a smoky flavor to the steak. It’s up to your personal preference.
Q4: Can I cook steak in the oven without searing it first?
A: Yes, you can cook steak in the oven without searing it first. However, searing the steak first will create a beautiful crust that adds flavor and texture to the meat.
Q5: How long should I rest my steak?
A: Letting steak rest for at least 5 minutes will allow the juices to redistribute and give you a more tender and juicy steak. However, larger cuts may require more rest time.
Q6: Can I marinate steak before cooking?
A: Yes, you can marinate steak before cooking it. Marinades can add flavor and tenderize the meat. However, avoid using acidic marinades for more than 30 minutes, as they can break down the meat and make it too soft.
Q7: How do I know if my steak is fresh?
A: Fresh steak should be bright red in color and have a slightly sweet smell. Avoid steak that has a grayish color or a strong odor.
Q8: How long should I cook a 2-inch thick steak?
A: Cooking time will depend on how you like your steak done and the thickness of the steak. For a 2-inch thick steak, cook for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
Q9: How can I make sure my steak is tender?
A: To ensure tender steak, choose a cut with good marbling, let the steak rest after cooking, and slice it against the grain.
Q10: Can I cook frozen steak?
A: Yes, you can cook frozen steak. However, it will take longer to cook than thawed steak.
Q11: What is the best oil to use for cooking steak?
A: Use an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or canola oil. Avoid using olive oil as it has a lower smoke point and can burn.
Q12: Do I need to cover the steak when cooking it in the oven?
A: No, you don’t need to cover the steak when cooking it in the oven. Keeping the steak uncovered will allow it to brown and develop a crust.
Q13: Can I reheat leftover steak?
A: Yes, you can reheat leftover steak. The best way to do this is by slicing the steak and heating it in a skillet with some oil over medium heat until it’s heated through.
In conclusion, cooking the perfect steak is achievable with the right knowledge and technique. Remember to choose the right cut of steak, let it come to room temperature, season it well, and cook it to your desired doneness.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasonings and cooking methods to find your perfect steak. We hope this guide has been helpful to you and that you can now cook the perfect steak every time.
Now, Asensio, it’s time to grab your apron, your favorite cut of steak, and put your new skills to the test. Bon appétit!
This article is for informational purposes only. Please consult a healthcare professional before making any dietary changes. The author and publisher of this article are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any suggestions, recipes, or procedures described herein.