How to Cook Steak

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How to Cook Steak

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This is not your ordinary steak recipe site. I’m not going to give you the time to cook your steak for, as it is a very individual requirement, you may have a really hot barbecue or you may have a not so hot pan, you may like your steak a few inches thick or you may like a very thin cut. I’m not going to tell you what is the ideal cut of steak or breed of cattle as again that is a very individual choice, if you would like some help in choosing a steak, please see Steak Cuts in our Techniques section. I’m not going to tell you what is the ideal degree of cooked-ness for your steak as that again is a very individual choice. I am however going to tell you the 7 fundamentally most important things you need to know to cook the perfect steak.

    1. Find the right cut of meat for your preference.
    2. Allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking, (this will ensure even cooking).
    3. Season the steak with a little salt and pepper on both sides before putting it on to cook, (don’t be shy either, the best steak restaurants in the world aren’t).
    4. Do not start cooking the steak until the cooking surface is very hot, (this is to ensure that the juices stay in the meat).
    5. Very lightly oil the surface before placing the steak on it (if you are working over an open flame wait for any oil flare ups to dissipate before placing the steak on).
    6. Turn the steak only when it is properly seared, (this will ensure the juices are sealed in).

cooking steak_step2

  1. Rest the steak off the heat for a minute or two before serving, (steak is a muscle and when it is just out of the fridge or just off the grill, the muscle is tense, resting allows the muscle to relax and become more tender before serving) however there is no need to rest a well done steak.

Note:Steak does continue to slightly cook after it has been removed from the heat, so be sure to remove it a little under cooked to what you’re aiming for.The following is a guideline you can work on over time, but please do not get hung up on it. Cooking steak is not a science and the “feel” will come over time.

  1. Checking your steak by pressing it with your finger will tell you to what degree it is cooked.
  2. Generally; a rare steak will feel soft and not offer much resistance when you press it with your finger.
  3. Medium rare steaks will have a slight bounce when pressed with your finger.
  4. Medium steaks are relatively firm and will have a little spring to them when pressed.
  5. Well done steaks will feel quite hard and offer a great deal of resistance.
  6. As I said this “feel” technique is something you will develop over time.

Paul Hegeman

Paul is a personal Chef to exclusive Sydney clients and is also our most frequently contributing writer. Paul was born in The Netherlands and moved to Canada at a very young age. Experience with traditional European meals at home and the diverse multicultural influence of foods in Canada gave Paul a great appreciation for different culinary styles. Over the years Paul traveled extensively and worked at every level of professional kitchens, from the deep fryer in the local burger joint, to the Head Chef in Five Star Hotels. He now resides full time in Sydney, Australia with his wife and their children. You will find his recipes emphasize natural, uncomplicated flavours and fresh ingredients such as those found in Mediterranean and South East Asian cuisines.

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