Steak Perfection in Five Easy Steps


Steak Perfection in Five Easy Steps

Thursday, October 31, 2019

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Cooking is just one of the steps needed to achieve the perfect steak. However, to attain beefy perfection, there's more at “steak”. Get it?

1. Match the Cut to the Occasion

If you're hosting a casual sit-down dinner party, either a rib-eye or New York strip is ideal. Both these cuts, depending on thickness, take a few minutes on each side, whether on the grill or in a white-hot cast-iron skillet. Also due to the fat content (the cuts at Butcher Bock have exceptional marbling), these are foolproof cuts for when you're busy juggling many moving parts of the feast.

For a more formal affair, and when you have time on your hands, opt for tenderloin. This cut is leaner and requires a bit more attention but, once plated and apportioned, elevates any dinner table.

If you're hosting a backyard barbecue think: skirt or even flank steak. Quick-cooking, and, if thinly-sliced, they are great for topping salads or making sandwiches.

2. Never Start with Cold Meat

Before placing your cut of meat in a cast-iron skillet, on the grill, or in the oven, first, bring it to room temperature. If you happen to be working with frozen meat, allow it to slowly thaw overnight in the fridge. Placing a cold steak on a hot surface delays the cooking time. Not only does it take longer for the internal temperature to rise, but it also results in unevenly cooked meat. Nobody wants that!

3. No Meat Thermometer? No Problem!

Although handy, a meat thermometer is not essential to determining when a steak is done. Doneness can be determined by doing the hand test.

The fleshy area between your thumb and index finger has an almost identical feel or an uncooked steak. After pressing your thumb and index finger together, the area feels like a steak cooked rare. It feels like a steak cooked medium-rare when the thumb and middle finger are pressed together and well-done when the thumb and forefinger meet. After determining the desired doneness, bring the thumb and corresponding finger together and once the steak feels like that fleshy area on your hand, remove it from the heat.

4. Three Words: Baste in Butter!

In the last couple of minutes of cooking, place a knob of butter atop the steak and let it enrobe the cut of meat in delicious buttery goodness. Adding butter at the end allows the fat from the beef to emerge, thus creating a delightful and desirous crust.

5. Give it a Rest!

Allow the steak to rest after cooking; a general rule of thumb is 10 minutes for every pound. This rest period allows the steak to relax and the natural juices to recirculate. Cutting into a steak too soon will allow all the delicious steak juices to seep, leaving you with a dry piece of meat.

Photos: Taste of Texas, Pinterest, Once Upon a Chef, YouTube, Lifehacker, Kitchen Swagger, & Serious Eats

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