Cooking the perfect steak doesn’t have to be intimidating. There are only three basic elements you must always remember: the cut, the seasoning, and the pan. You can cook the perfect steak every time if you practice these tips:
1. The quality and cut of steak matters.
There are three grades of steak: Select, Choice, and Prime. Select is on the lower bracket in terms of quality compared to the other grades of meat. If your budget allows, the Prime grade will give you the best quality.
The cut of steak also gives you varied texture and tenderness. There are 5 options to choose from: Porterhouse/T-bone, Ribeye, New York Strip, Top Sirloin, and Filet Mignon.
Porterhouse/T-bone: The bone helps the cut cook evenly, and is both meaty and tender.
Ribeye: It’s a fattier cut of meat, which means it’ll give you some melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
New York Strip: It’s one side of the T-bone steak, and a leaner cut.
Top Sirloin: An affordable option, and is perfect for marinating.
Filet Mignon: The priciest cut, but is the most tender and melt-in-your-mouth while still lean.
2. Be generous with the seasoning.
Seasoning your steak makes all the difference. You can opt for the good old salt and pepper and let the flavor of the meat come through. Just don’t use table salt. Use sea salt or kosher salt to let it absorb properly into the meat. There should be a visible layer of salt and pepper on the meat. Check out this video from Bon Appetit:
Source: Bon Appetit
3. Use the right pan.
The pan is crucial for the perfect crust. Use a heavy cast iron pan and heat it to the point of light smoke. This helps prevent the meat from sticking to the pan, and also to give it a nice sear. If you want to add more seasoning, do it halfway through cooking to prevent the herbs and spices from burning.
Ready to cook some steak tonight?
I actually put my steak skills to the test against Nico in another cook-off. Find out who wins:
Need more tips on how to cook certain dishes? Let me know in the comments!