Everyone prefers their steak to be paired with different things. Mushroom sauce, thick-cut chips, a fresh garden salad. But one thing that stays the same is the way the meat is cooked, i.e perfectly.
The way you cook a steak depends on what cut you're cooking with but whether you've chosen the most expensive piece of meat money can buy or you went shopping on a budget, there are ways to maximise the flavour that'll leave your guests wowed.
So if you're out to impress, preparing a dinner for the family or trying to hone your steak cooking skills, we've put together a few tips & tricks to ensure you get it right every time.
If you're looking for something to serve the main ingredient with, try some bbq roasted vegetables.
- Only buy steaks of even thickness, not 'wedge-shaped'.
- Beef steaks should be at least 21mm thick (get that ruler out).
- Always defrost your meat in the fridge, if frozen.
- Pat them dry with paper towel before beginning.
- Take them out of the fridge 10 minutes before cooking.
- If using a pan, it should be heavy-based.
- Season the steaks lightly with salt & pepper.
- Oil the steak, not the pan or bbq.
- Make sure the pan or bbq is super hot before you begin.
Ready, steady cook
To make sure your cooking surface is ready to go once you've properly prepared it (i.e oiled it up), preheat your pan/bbq to the perfect temperature. This is usually around 200°C. Once you've oiled the steak all over and rubbed some seasoning into every nook and cranny, place it on a hot pan or bbq and cook for 6 minutes for medium-rare, or to your liking (whether you like it bloody or so tough you'd need a chainsaw to hack through it, no judgement), turning it every minute so that each side gets 3 minutes in total.
*Pro tip* - If you're cooking a thicker steak then you could also try cooking it for 3 mins each side then pop it into the oven for a few minutes on 180°C.
To add a little flavour to your steak you could try using some butter to juice it up or add some herbs like rosemary if you have the thyme (he he).
A handy way to test whether your steak is cooked to your liking is to take the back of your tongs or fingertips (make sure to wash your hands, no one needs cooties) and press the center of the steak. Rare should feel soft and squishy, medium should feel springy and well done should feel firm.
Once your steak is cooked to perfection, place it on a plate and let it rest in all its juicy glory for roughly 2 minutes.
To make sure you don't butcher it, make sure you're using a sharp, carving knife to cut through the steak, then serve it with the resting juices drizzled on top.
A few more details
Just in case you wanted a more in-depth approach to cooking steak according to their 'degree of doneness'!
- Cook for a few minutes per side (depending on the thickness).
- Cook until the steak feels very soft.
- Internal temperature of only 55-60°C.
- Cook one side until moisture is visible on the top surface.
- Cook on the second side until there's moisture on the top surface.
- Internal temperature should approximately be 60-65°C.
- Cook on one side until there's moisture visible on the surface of the steak.
- Turn it over and do the same thing on this side.
- Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook the steak until it feels very firm.