How To'sTips

How to Cook a Steak

By Christopher Stewart | May 16, 2013

meat, steak, how to, tips

Photo by Mike

Everyone loves comfort food and also classic comfort foods. When you think of something that makes you happy, a warm smile should come over your face. And typically for me, a perfectly cooked steak brings on a smile. Whether your preferred cooking method is searing, broiling or grilling, a perfectly cooked steak is always the centerpiece of the table. With these 3 steps, your next steak will be restaurant worthy all within the comforts of your dinner table. 

MEAT 101 : 

No matter the cut of meat that you adore whether it be hanger steak, porterhouse, or a petit filet, there are little short cuts that can make for a great steak. You want your steak to be as fresh as possible and you must allow your steak to come to room temperature before cooking. This helps the steak to cook evenly. We all like salt and pepper but salting your steak too early before cooking will result in a dry steak. The longer the salt sits on the steak the more water the salt will draw out even before cooking, so season your steak with salt and pepper right before cooking. Another key note when cooking a great steak is the marbling. Marbling are the lines of fat throughout the steak, that add flavor to your meat. It’s essential that your steak has a good amount of marbling.

Your Weapon of Choice: 

Cooking your steak your desired way will help you enjoy your meal more. Broiling, searing or grilling are all great ways to cook your steak. Cast iron skillets, a grill or grill pan, or a large skillet that can withstand high amounts of heat will help get that deep brown sear. Flipping your steak only once will help with even cooking, and do not flip your steak with a fork. Puncturing the steak while cooking releases the juices prematurely and can lead to a dry steak.

steak, sear, tips, how to

Photo by Mike

Your Finished Product: 

Once your steak is cooked how you prefer, the last few important minutes of the process before eating has arrived. As you select your desired temperature (rare, medium rare, medium or well done) touching the steak is the common way to detect doneness. Indentation that bounces back is a key sign that your steak is NOT well done. Do not cut into your steak to check for doneness while cooking. Cutting releases the juices and makes your steak tough and dry. If your steak is too undercooked, you can always keep cooking it. You can not undo a overcooked steak. Allow your steak to rest for 10 minutes, preferably on a wire cooking rack before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute back through out the steak. This is a vital step in cooking the perfect steak. Resting helps the steak stay juicy and flavorful.

Christopher Stewart is a classically trained chef graduating from The Culinary Institute of America and working in several NYC restaurants. The former executive chef continues her culinary journey by trying her hand at food writing, working as a editorial intern for MarcusSamuelsson.com

For more How To’s:

How to Test your Meat and Steak

How to Fry an Egg

How to Make Fresh Pasta

How to Spice Up a Vegetarian Dish

 

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