How to cook the perfect steak!
Hooking into a perfectly cooked steak is a treat that is easy to perfect from your own home kitchen. Whether cooking on the barbecue or in a pan, just follow these simple steps.
Choose the right cut
Regardless of your budget, there are several fantastic cuts of steak available. Here are some of the most common:
This is the quintessential BBQ steak with the bone adding an extra boost of flavour to the meat. They're tender, rich and flavoursome, with a small amount of fillet on the small side of the bone, and porterhouse on the larger side.
Porterhouse steak (also called sirloin, New York)
This is another all-time favourite, with a fine, yet firm, texture and a rich flavour.
Scotch fillet steak (also called boneless rib eye, rib fillet)
This steak is juicy, tender and full of flavour and is one of the most popular. The ribbons of fat that run through the meat keep it moist and tender while cooking.
Fillet steak (also called eye fillet and tenderloin)
This is the most tender of all the types of steak and is mild and subtle in flavour. It is often the most expensive cut available.
This is a great all-rounder that is economical, lean and full of flavour.
BEFORE YOU START
- Take the steak out of the refrigerator 10 minutes before you start cooking. This will take a little of the cold out of the meat allowing it to cook evenly, brown perfectly and stop it from becoming tough.
- Oil the steak instead of the pan or the barbecue. This will stop the meat from sticking and will prevent the oil burning.
- Lightly season the meat with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt just before placing it on the heat. If you salt the meat too early, moisture will be drawn out of the steak, making it tough.
The four steps to cooking the perfect steak
- The steak should sizzle when it hits the heat. If it doesn't, the surface isn't hot enough and the meat won't get that wonderful colour it needs. If you're cooking a thick steak (or you like your steak well done), move it to a cooler part of the barbecue, or lower the heat, to prevent it from overcooking on the outside.
- Only turn the steak once as the more you flip it, the tougher it gets.
- Regardless of how you like your steak, a simple rule of thumb is to give it two minutes less on the second side than you gave the first to make sure it's evenly cooked through.
- Most importantly Let it rest
To seal in the juices and keep the meat tender, always let the steak rest for a few minutes. This step is just as important as how you cook the meat to ensuring a perfect outcome.
How to tell when it's done
Knowing when your meat is ready to be removed from the heat is the key to a perfectly cooked steak. Use the back of your tongs to check for the following:
Depending on the thickness of the meat, cook briefly on each side and remove when it feels very soft with the back of your tongs.
Cook until moisture is just visible on the top of the steak, turn, then cook on the other side. It should feel soft when done.
Cook until moisture is pooling on the top, turn, then cook on the other side until moisture is visible on the surface. It should feel springy when done.
Cook until moisture is pooling on the top, turn, then cook on the other side until moisture is again pooling on the top. Reduce the heat and continue to cook until the steak feels firm.
Cook until moisture is pooling on the top, turn, then cook on the other side until moisture is again pooling on the top. Reduce the heat and continue to cook until the steak feels very firm.