7 Tips to Cook the Best Steak of Your Life

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Last Updated on January 25, 2023 by Maria Kennedy

Let’s face it, mastering the art of cooking steak needs serious maneuvering. You must worry about the perfect sear, splattering oil, and the buttery center. It’s like navigating a minefield with sizzling hot metal. So much so that it’s easier to give up and order takeout than conquer the challenge. But believe in your culinary creativity and be precise with your tools. If you follow this step-by-step guide to cook the best steak of your life, you won’t have an overcooked, rubbery dinner.

So, if you dream of a thick, juicy cut that melts in your mouth and leaves you with an unbeatable smoky flavor, we’ve covered you with this steak cook guide.

1. Start with the Right Meat

Although meat covers a wide range of cuts and types, you must have the proper cut. For the best steak experience, pick something that has a good amount of marbling and is cut 1-2 inches thick. It should also be tender and preferably grass-fed or organic.

If fat intake isn’t a concern, opt fo a ribeye or top sirloin. These are tender and flavorsome.

But if you’re watching the waistline, choose a leaner cut like filet mignon. It’ll still be juicy and flavorful but sans the extra fat.

The one meat type ruling the steak world right now is wagyu beef- an uber-luxurious cut that’s more expensive than the rest of the lot. Since it’s not every butcher’s cup of tea, look for wagyu online for competitive prices and deals.

2. Bring It to Room Temperature

Who would’ve thought that something as simple as bringing your steak to room temperature could make a world of difference? Very few people know, but beef that’s stone-cold at the center won’t cook evenly or as quickly. It is especially true if you’re working with a thick cut.

So, take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before you put it on a skillet. This way, it will cook evenly and not be cold in the middle.

If you’re in a rush, place the meat between two parchment papers and press it with a heavy skillet. It will help to warm up the beef faster.

3. Avoid Over-Seasoning

Sometimes (well, mostly) in cooking, less is more! You don’t need to douse the steak in an array of seasonings. A simple salt-and-pepper sprinkle will do the trick.

Salt your steak for at least 5-10 minutes before cooking to give it time to penetrate the meat. It adds flavor and also helps to draw out moisture.

Once done, add more seasonings like oregano and thyme for an aromatic boost. Garlic and onion powder also add an excellent depth of flavor.

Experts suggest that marinating steak overnight will enhance its flavor. You can also use a dry rub or marinade to make it more flavorful. A mix of oils and herbs will also do the trick. But if that’s not your thing, just a few minutes of marinating will still work in your favor.

4. The Oil Really Matters

Most home chefs have a misconception about oils. They believe it’s more of a garnish than a tool for cooking. But the truth is that your steak needs oil to cook it properly and get the best flavor.

Choose an oil that has a high smoking point. Avocado, grapeseed, olive, and peanut oil are great for steak as they can withstand high temperatures without burning.

Once the oil is hot enough, add a dollop of butter for extra flavor. It also helps to prevent burning and adds moisture.

You also need an oil that won’t generate a great deal of smoke while you’re cooking! So, opt for something that has a milder flavor and odor.

5. Choose the Right Cooking Tool

The best part about cooking steaks is the minimal effort they take. You don’t need fancy equipment, and all the above ingredients are mostly pantry staples. For searing, always go with a cast-iron skillet or griddle. It gets hot enough to the point where it’ll give your steak a nice crispy crust.

If you don’t have one, non-stick pans are also a good pick.

But when it comes to grilling, you have to opt for the real deal- an outdoor grill or a grilling pan. That extra smoky flavor will take your steaks to the next level.

You must also have quality tongs, sharp knives, and a reliable thermometer to get the perfect doneness.

6. Say No to High Heat

Extra chewy steaks that make your canine teeth hurt? No, thank you!

When it comes to steaks, high heat is not your friend. A blazing skillet or grill will overcook the meat.

Keep the heat at medium-high and cook your steak for 4-7 minutes, depending on its thickness. Flip it over after every minute or so to prevent burning. If you’re using a thermometer, then the ideal internal temperature for a medium-rare steak is 130F.

When cooking the sides, it’s best to let the first side cook for two-thirds of the total cooking time and the other for one-third. Please note that not all meat types will respond to this rule. So, check for your own cut’s cooking time before you start.

7. Let it Rest

Most people disregard this step, but it’s probably the most important one. As soon as you take the steak off from heat, let it sit for at least 5 minutes before you dig in. Post-fire cooking is real when it comes to steaks.

The resting period helps to lock in the juices into the steak and makes it more tender and flavorful. If you cut the steak right away, all the liquids will run out, and you’ll end up with a dry piece of meat.

So, no matter how tempting it looks, let it rest for a few minutes. That way, you’ll get the juiciest and tastiest steak ever!

Final Thoughts

Meltdowns are a thing of the past when it comes to cooking steak. You only need a few kitchen basics, some seasonings, and patience! Even if it’s your first time, don’t panic when the steak is on the skillet!

Follow these tips to ensure that your steak is juicy and flavorful, and always remember the most succulent steaks get to rest before being served.

So, sharpen those knives and fire up that stovetop. It’s time to start cooking restaurant-quality steak at home!

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How to Calibrate a Meat Thermometer for a Perfect Meal

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