Your Cheat Sheet to Cooking Steak Perfectly Every Time

Grab a steak, and you’ll turn any ordinary day into a special one. Granted, cooking steak can seem like a thing of the pros, but when you learn to diligently follow these steak rules (while also listening to your intuition!), you’ll be dishing out perfect steaks every time.

When you take a look at it, cooking steak is actually really simple. Bring your steak to room temp, season, and cook. No frills or fuss. But when you’re actually in the kitchen cooking it, it suddenly becomes the opposite.

The biggest enemy of many cooks is time. How will you know if the steak inside has achieved that perfectly pink hue? How will you know if the steak is cooked properly all the way through? Only time will tell (and an instant read thermometer, which you should probably invest in).

If you’re standing at the starting line of cooking perfect steak, make sure to remember these steak rules:

Steak Rules

1. Different weights/sizes will change the cooktime. Thinner cuts cook quicker. Thicker cuts will need more time. Specifics on that below.
2. Salt and leave meat uncovered in the fridge overnight. The salt will have two functions: to flavor the meat all the way through, and to tenderize the steak.
3. Do not season with fine salt. Only use coarse salt. It will help you season the entire surface evenly and sticks well on the steak, unlike fine table salt. Kosher salt works well for this purpose.
4. Do not use a non-stick pan. It will be impossible to achieve the sought-after seared crust on your steak with a non-stick. Your best best will be a cast iron or stainless steel pan.
5. Take out your steak from the fridge at least an hour before cooking. Let your steak come to room temp before cooking, otherwise it won’t cook evenly and the time spent waiting for your delicious steak would have been in vain.
6. Heat your pan up before adding oil. Get the pan hot, add oil, continue to heat until you see wisps of smoke. That’s your cue to add in the steak. Guaranteed perfect sear.
7. Rest a 250g steak for at least 5 minutes. One of the most important things you should do is to let the steak rest. Cut into it too soon and you’ll find your steak in a pool of its juice, and all that precious flavor will end up on the cutting board. A 250g steak needs at least 5 minutes to rest, bigger cuts will take longer.
Above all else, the recipe for the perfect steak all comes down to– the steak. Buy the best quality you can get. You can order your steak at Chingolo or Bolzico Beef  or call 0915 266 3581.

 

Now that you know your steak rules by heart, choose one of the five ways to cook your steak. There is no best method, it’s all up to preference. Each method will yield different results, but every result will be absolutely delicious.

 

 

Pan Fried

  1. Use a cast iron or stainless steel pan. Put the pan over high heat.
  2. Once it’s hot, add your neutral oil. Continue to heat until you see signs of smoke. Add the steak.
  3. For a 1-inch steak, cook one side for three minutes, then the other side for two. You can either leave it to cook on each side, or flip every minute or so, until steak is cooked.
  4. During the last minute of cooking, add a tablespoon of butter, a clove of garlic, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme. Baste the steak with the melted butter.
  5. Remove from pan and let it rest on the board for at least 5 minutes.

 

Sous Vide

Sous Vide is usually done in an immersion circulator, but most home cooks don’t have that. Instead, we’ll make a DIY sous vide using a pot and a resealable bag.

  1. Place steak in a resealable bag along with a tablespoon of butter and a clove of garlic.
  2. Remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing.
  3. Prepare a pot of water and heat until it reaches 50C.
  4. Place the bag in the pot and let it cook for 1 hour, making sure the temperature is constantly at 50C.
  5. Heat up a pan and quickly sear the steak on both sides.

 

Oven

For thicker cuts of steak, the oven is the best way to go. This helps you cook the inside perfectly without burning the outside.

  1. Sear both sides for 2 minutes each.
  2. Place it in the oven at 220C until the internal temperature reaches 55C.

 

Grilled

The grill will bring out flavors no other method can. Prepare a dry rub and coat the steak in the rub before grilling.

Dry rub (Good for 2 steaks):
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp zataar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  1. Divide your grill into two zones: direct and indirect heat.
  2. Make sure to keep an eye on your steak, and immediately remove if flareups occur to prevent burning.

Standing Rib Roast

Ingredients:
  • 2 x 2kg slabs
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of minced: rosemary, sage, thyme
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  1. The day before, salt your rib roast and leave in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
  2. Bring it up to room temperature before cooking.
  3. Mix together garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, olive oil, butter, and salt. Coat the mixture on the ribs. Place in a roasting pan and roast in the oven at 120C. Let the ribs reach 50C and remove from the oven. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Bring your oven up to the highest setting possible, place the ribs back in the oven and leave it for 10 minutes until it browns. Remove and let it rest for another 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Sauces

You can either have your steak simple, or have some sauce to go along with it. Here are my go-to sauces for steaks:

Chimichurri:
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh oregano
  • 2 birds eye chilies
  • zest of half a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Red Wine Sauce
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • steak juices
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup of full bodied red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 red onion minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup of sliced button mushrooms

 

Erwan Heussaff
More for you

Tell me what you think