6 STEPS TO THE PERFECT STEAK

Great steak, every time, guaranteed

1y ago

4.8K

1. It's all about the meat - buy the best you can

My favourite cut is rib-eye. This one is about an inch thick and 400g (14oz). It cost £10 ($12) which is, admittedly, a lot for raw meat for one person. Consider though, that it might be at least 5 times the price in a restaurant by the time they served it to you. I think it's worth it every time.

2. Salt your steak for at least 30 mins

Should look like "a light dusting of snow"

Should look like "a light dusting of snow"

This steps helps give a great crust to your steak on grilling. I usually do it for an hour or so but it's really important that you have at least 30 minutes for this stage, otherwise it makes the steak worse. Essentially the salt first pulls moisture out of the steak (in the first 10 minutes or so) and then it starts to be reabsorbed back into the meat, leaving a briny film that helps the steak crust up nicely. Skip this step if you don't have enough time.

3. Get your grill (or pan) smoking hot

BBQ getting nice and hot

BBQ getting nice and hot

Since getting a gas barbecue a couple of years ago, I now always cook my steak outside on that. Before that I used to a cast iron griddle pan on our gas hob in the kitchen. This was great for colouring and crusting a steak, but the fire alarm was a constant risk and my house would smell of beef fat for a day or two after.

I crank the bbq grill up on full for 5-10 minutes. Today it was at 300°C (600°F) by that time.

4. Cook hot and quick, turning regularly

If you like steak medium or (gasp) well-done, then we can't be friends. For beef generally, my preference is rare, however a rib-eye I tend do closer to medium-rare. This is because of the high fat content of the rib-eye, it means the steak can take a bit more cooking as all the fat keeps it moist and juicy. Indeed if you leave a rib-eye too rare then the fat in the middle may not get hot enough to melt. If I'm cooking a leaner, less marbled steak, like a sirloin or a fillet I aim for rare.

There's no simple formula for how long you should cook a steak for a given doneness because it the variables of thickness and grill temperature make such a huge difference to the required cooking time. Some people suggest pressing the steak and feeling for springiness, I think this is too subjective. If you're unsure, I would suggest a meat thermometer.

I've got the knack over the years for knowing the rough to timing to get my preferred "approaching medium-rare" doneness - for this steak I grilled it for 5 minutes, turning every 45 seconds (yes, I use a stop watch).

I'm not sure why exactly it is a good idea to turn regularly but a lot of good chefs and kitchens do it, I think it's to do with consistency. I guess if you just simply do half of the total time on one side, and turn once then the second side to go down would end up being more cooked, something like that.

5. Rest the meat, rest it again and then rest it some more

My delicious steak, just sitting there resting in foil

My delicious steak, just sitting there resting in foil

You've heard this before I'm sure, but do you really believe it? I used to be so impatient to eat my steak hot off the grill that I always ignored this. Then a few months ago I went on a course where the instructor said you must rest steak for at least as long you grilled it. Something about allowing muscle fibres to relax and reabsorb juices after stress of intense heat, I think, I'm not 100% sure, the course also included unlimited red wine.

Anyway, if you're sceptical about this here's a simple test - grill two steaks for the same amount of time. Cut one up immediately off the grill. Leave the other to rest for at least 5 minutes, cut it up. The plate the first one is on will have a pool of juice, the second won't. The resting makes the meat way juicier. It's really true. Believe the hype.

6. Add sides and condiments

All I really want with my steak is salt, sautéed onions and french mustard. This evening, I also had some token greenery: rocket and parmesan salad.

If I was eating out I would probably have fries too. But I can't make decent fries at home - oven chips don't cut it.

This brings me to the great thing about steak - anyone can easily have restaurant quality steak at home, that's why I love it so much.

Few things are so delicious, yet so simple to cook.

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Comments (14)

  • Gave your methods a shot using kosher salt (since that's what I had available). I think I used way too much of it, should have patted the excess off before throwing it on the grill.

    Otherwise it was easily the best BBQ steak I've ever made. Didn't get pictures but it ended up being basically Chicago-style (charred black on the outside but pretty much perfectly rare to medium-rare on the inside). Flipping it frequently probably made the most difference from what how I normally cook steak.

    Thanks for the very informative article!

      1 year ago
    • How long did you leave it to salt for, out of interest?

        1 year ago
    • About an hour. Not sure if this makes a difference but I also pulled them out of the freezer only a few hours before salting, so the meat was probably a little colder than what it should have been

        1 year ago
  • The reason you turn the meat frequently is mainly to do with heat. It does not matter to much if you are using an oven og a closed grill. But as you heat up one side, the outer part needs to get hot before the heat goes furter in to the meat. Ehen you turn it the cooked side cools down and you stop it from cooking inwards on that side. What you and up with is a better crust without overcooking the meat. Om a grill you want the ”burnt flavort“ (within reason of course) so then its a good idea to rotate the meat 90degreas every time you flip it. Then you get more kontakt on the rills with the meat.

    But good points, you had. Personaly i dont use a stopwatch for searing or grilling, it makes your internal clock funktion quite well after a couple of failures, but i find it a must have for longer cooking, (if not i might forget that i have something in the oven).

      1 year ago
  • Love it! I went on a Weber Academy course earlier in the year and the main takeaway was to absolutely smother it in sea salt so you can’t see the meat! Lots of it falls off on the grill but you end up with an amazing crust

      1 year ago
  • Hey thanks for sharing I'll be getting some steaks in this weekend

      1 year ago
  • You missed the step where you add a huge pile of chips... 🙄

      1 year ago
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