Cooking a steak properly is never an easy task, but, when a guy knows how to do it properly, it’s one of the manliest things on planet earth. That said, it can be a struggle finding the right medium, playing around with the heat, cooking time and any prep like rubs and/or marinades.
Since we gave you some BBQ tips a few weeks ago for you to master the grille this summer, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to provide some tips on how to get an A+ grade when cooking a steak either. Thanks to a little help from some chefs — as well as personal experiences — here’s how to cook a steak and be revered for doing it the right way.
Know your cut
You’re not stupid, so you know that not all meat is created equal. That said, knowing what meat you have and, more specifically, what kind of cut you have will go a long way in cooking a steak the right way.
For instance, when it comes to red meat, thicker is always better, with the goal to get a seared outer section and a rare center. So, when deciding which kind of meat to go with, it’s best to go for something like Prime or high choice, with a cut of three quarters of an inch thick for a 10-ouncer.
Pour on the salt, pepper and other seasonings
Salt in an open wound stings for a reason, but, when it comes to cooking a steak, you’re going to want to pile that stuff on! In essence, the only thing worse than using too much salt on a piece of meat is using too little, so don’t be afraid to over season.
When rubbing salt, pepper and other seasonings onto steak prior to cooking, aggressively rub the stuff all over the outside of it, making sure it hits every millimeter of the meat. All of this will help get that seared crust on the outside, while keeping the center of the meat untouched for a good balance of flavors with each bite.
Turn up the heat
If you’re not barbecuing and strictly just cooking a steak for dinner, going with a high heat is always going to be your best bet. Unlike BBQ, you don’t want to slowly cook this meat, guys, so don’t be afraid to up that nozzle.
With most high-end steakhouses having special broilers that can reach anywhere between 800-to-900 degrees — which you can’t do on your own grille — it’s critical to try and duplicate this. Whether this means getting yourself an old-fashioned cast iron pan to retain more heat, or upping the nozzle as high as it goes, make sure you understand the importance of high heat for your steak.
While cooking a steak at this temperature, you should have each side over the flame for about five minutes to start, flip, and then cook the other side for about three minutes.
Let it sit before slicing
Like any time you cook meat, it’s critical to resist the urge of cutting the meat too soon after it escapes the grille. That’s because it takes about 5-8 minutes for the juices to settle into a piece of steak, making sure each bite is full of flavor and tenderness on the inside.
Yes, you’re hungry and are proud of yourself for cooking a steak the right way, but don’t mess up all that hard work by letting all those juices out too soon.