How to Cook the Perfect Steak Every Time
It's hard to beat a nice, juicy steak from a restaurant; replicating that perfectly cooked rib eye at home is not easy. Which is why making steak night a regular thing is a good idea to get in some practice. While you're at it, there are a few tricks to ensure you cook the perfect steak every time.
We ask the experts to share those tips on how they ensure a flavorful piece of meat. Here's what they have to say.
① Bring your steak to room temperature and pre-salt before cooking.
"I like the steak to rest outside of the fridge to come to temperature for about an hour before cooking it," celebrity chef and restaurateur Jet Tila says. "But I also like to salt the steak during that time. In my opinion, it helps with a few things: Drawing out the moisture helps create a nice brown crust, as well and concentrates the flavor."
② Cook your steak in a cast-iron skillet.
“Use a heated cast-iron skillet with a little grape seed oil or canola oil," Chris Coombs, chef and owner of Boston Chops, says. "When anything is put in a normal frying pan, it drops the temperature of the pan, but the cast-iron skillet is able to maintain the temperature without it dropping."
③ Know when your meat is done.
"A good way to test the temperature of a thick cut of steak if you don’t have a thermometer is to use a cake tester," Denis Crutchfield, chef de cuisine of Craft in Los Angeles, explains. "If you put the cake tester in the meat for five seconds and put it on your lip and you feel no temperature difference, you have a perfect medium rare. You can use your judgment based on feel for the other temperatures (warm is mid, hot is midwell to well, etc)."
④ Finish your steak with aromatics.
"When I grill at home, I like to blast my steak with butter, garlic and thyme," David Shim, executive chef of Cote, says. "Once your meat is about 70 percent done, keep the steak in the pan, add about a tablespoon of butter, crushed garlic and thyme, making room for your aromatics. Cook until bubbly (not brown) then remove [the steak from the pan] and pour over top. Finally and importantly, do not slice right away. Let the meat rest so that all juices from the steak have time to return to where [they] need to be. This will reduce bleeding once you cut it.”
⑤ Buy quality products.
If you want the best results, you need to use the best products, Daniel Patterson, restaurateur and proprietor of Alfred’s Steakhouse, explains. "I buy from local ranchers who raise cattle on pasture [grass], and then finish on grain. Find a producer or butcher in your area whose steaks you love."
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