The Key Factors To Determine How Long To Cook Your Steak

Even though it may seem daunting, cooking steak is something that you can learn to perfect right at home. Like anything, cooking the perfect steak is going to take a bit of practice, but there are some key factors to keep in mind to help you along, such as the amount of time that the steak should be cooked. In fact, Tasting Table spoke to an expert — Chef Michael Lomonaco from New York City's Porter House — to find out the most important details about cooking your steak.

First things first, you need to make sure that you're using the right type of pan to get the temperature just right. Lomonaco said, "I always use a cast iron skillet for maximum heat transfer between the pan and the steak. Preheating the skillet is essential — a minute or two over a medium-high flame should do it." Then, you need to consider the size of the steak. Lomonaco said, "For example, a 1-inch steak may cook to medium rare with 3-4 minutes per side or more but doing a finger check by pressing with your finger on the middle of the steak to check for doneness or even using a digital food thermometer will help you determine the degree of doneness." Additionally, Lomonaco suggested bringing the steak to room temperature before cooking as well as making sure to avoid moving the steak in the pan so that you get a nice sear on the exterior.

There are other factors to consider when grilling the steak

If you're looking to grill your steak instead of using the stovetop, then there are other factors that you'll need to keep in mind. For example, Lomonaco explained that the type of grill (wood-fired, gas, or charcoal) will affect the cook time of the steak. Because it can be so varied, Lomonaco emphasizes the need to pay close attention. Depending on your type of grill, he said, "3-4 minutes per side over high heat may get to medium rare faster than 4 minutes per side. Look, listen, and check the degree of doneness as you cook. Grilling steaks is an interactive sport!"

Again, the thickness of the steak is something that you need to consider. As a general rule, Lomonaco explained that for an inch-and-a-half thick steak, you'll need to cook it for four to five minutes on each side. If it's thicker than an inch and a half, then you'll need to add extra cooking time. Lomonaco added, "Try to avoid flipping the steak to its other side until you've finished grilling the first side to the degree you prefer."