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How To Cook The Perfect Steak



Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette and part three of our steak guide Today, we discuss how to cook the perfect steak

So how do you actually cook the perfect steak? You guessed it! It depends on many factors For one, in my opinion, the cut of the steak matters Personally, I really like grilling bone-in steaks such as a rib steak or a t-bone steak because I find that the result is better overall Because in a pan, the bones sometimes keep the meat from touching the surface and so you get uneven results That being said, other steaks are fantastic in a pan because you get an even sear and you don't just have crates but the metal surface touches the steak across the board in the pan

Now I want to walk you through step-by-step to get the perfect steak, so here we go One, always allow your steaks to come to room temperature It depends a bit on the setting of your fridge but in general, it takes about one to two hours to get there I simply pull the steak out of the fridge and leave it on the counter Two, pat your steaks dry with a paper towel because that removes any excess moisture which would hinder the browning process when you sear it or grill it

Three, trim your steak as desired Personally, I don't like big chunks of fat because they won't render especially if you cook your steak in medium rare or rare and because of that, I get rid of them in the first place Now, some people like the fat kept on a strip steak, I personally don't like it because the texture is different and so I remove it Now, it's time for seasoning Basically, there are two schools of thought

Some people argue that seasoning your meat and your steak beforehand withdraws moisture from the meat and it takes away from the flavor They also argue that the excess moisture will result in a crust that is not as brown and crisp as without the salt When we created this guide, we just tested it all We had a steak without seasoning, that was just seasoned in the pan, we had something that was seasoned when it was fully seared, and we had something that was seasoned for hours before they put it in a pan, and so we could really compare what's best If you like a steak that is well seasoned throughout, I suggest you salt or season your steaks beforehand, otherwise, you always have to add salt after the fact

While it's true that you get a marvelous sear in your steak if it's not seasoned at all, it lacks in flavor when it comes out of the pan and it's hard to get it back in just by adding salt on top That being said, if you use a really hot pan and you sear a preseasoned steak, you still get a very nice sear and a crust as well as a steak that is very flavorful throughout Personally, I prefer the latter option What do I use to season it? It's called Chicago steak seasoning by a local spice store called Penzeys and the ingredients are as follows, salt, tellicherry, black pepper, sugar, garlic, onion, lemon peels, citric acid, and natural hickory smoke flavor So for the steak guide, we have tried different seasonings; we had simple kosher salt and pepper, we tried Himalayan rock salt with pepper and paprika, we tried to mesquite smoked salt with paprika and a bit of Chicago steak seasoning simply to find out how everything tasted

In our opinion, we like the Chicago steak seasoning a lot sometimes in combination with the smoked salt and the paprika but even on its own, it's quite good If you prepare your steak on a charcoal grill, you'll get charcoal flavor which is nice otherwise, having some smoked salt flavor is really advantageous because it works really well with steak Now in step 5, the preparation methods deviate For a bone-in steak such as a rib steak or a t-bone steak, I suggest you use the grill It all starts out on high heat

Fire up your grill and get it as hot as you can, ideally, you leave it on there for at least 15 or 20 minutes, it depends a bit on the grill Once it's really hot and you can see some flames, it's time to put the steak out because the grill is so hot, it doesn't take long to get these nice burn marks on the steak On my grill, it takes about two minutes then I flip the steak on the other side and I try to move it to a different part of the grill that is still hot Typically, I grill a steak twice on each side and I try to create a diamond pattern that is just pleasing to the eye I achieve that by slightly aligning the original mark and then rotating it a bit so I get that diamond effect

Once the steak looks great from the outside, I turn off the center burner on the gas grill and put the steak there in the middle because that way, it doesn't get direct heat, it doesn't cook too fast, so I have a nice pink center When I turn off the central burner, I also reduce the heat of the other two burners to about medium-low Overall, I want to achieve a temperature of like 250 to 300 degrees so the steak can slowly come up to the right temperature If your steak has a lot of fat, it may drip down into the flame and create flames which may char your steak from the outside which in my opinion, is not desirable So definitely pay attention to your steak

Typically, with a bone-in steak, the area around the bone heats up slower than the rest of the steak In order to counteract that, I put bigger steaks on the bone side directly over the flame That way, it gets a little more heat and the steak is done evenly at the bone and on the outside of the steak At this stage, I use the thermometer to check on the temperature just to make sure I don't overcook it Once it's five to ten degrees Fahrenheit from the desired temperature, I'd take out the steak

Look at that, I can even put it on the plate and it stands up on the bone side Once you take your steak off the grill, it's time for rest and some aluminum foil Why is that necessary? Basically, when you expose steak to heat, the juices go towards the middle but letting it rest in aluminum foil, you allow for the juices to distribute evenly across the steak and to keep the steak warm enough During that time, it also raises the temperature because you had an environment where it was hot outside and it was colder in the inside and that residual heat will help the steak cook to perfection inside the aluminum foil Typically, we rest a steak for about five to ten minutes depending on the thickness

The thicker the steak, the longer it rests The t-bone steak has the tenderloin on the one side and a New York Strip on the other, now, in my opinion, the route to the perfect steak when you have a non bone-in steak such as a sirloin steak a tenderloin a New York Strip or a ribeye is to first start by pan searing it and then finishing it off in the oven I like this method because a pan has an even surface area so I get more heat to my steak and I get a nicer sear Typically, I do not want to finish it in a pan because once it reaches higher temperatures, they climb very quickly and it's very easy to overcook your steak which is always unfortunate especially if you spend a lot of money on it On the other hand, in theoven, I can set the temperature to anywhere from two hundred twenty fifty degrees Fahrenheit and it helps me to slowly get to the ideal temperature for the steak

So how do you do it exactly? Well, first of all, I start with a heavy pan typically stainless steel with a nice even heat distribution Restaurants can sizzle steaks sometimes at 1,200 degrees, at home it's a little more difficult but if you have a cast-iron pan or a stainless steel pan, you'll definitely get there I suggest you stay clear of Teflon pans or aluminum pans because they lack the heat capacity and your steak won't brown as nicely For my steaks, I always use the biggest burner on high, let the pan preheat very nicely Also, I choose an oil that is suited for high temperatures such as grapeseed oil, maybe peanut oil

You want something with a high smoke point so no olive oil or canola oil Don't worry if your stove is powerful enough it will still smoke and so you want to cook in a kitchen that is vented Personally, I prefer stainless steel pans over cast-iron because they're easier to maintain especially an area where it gets quite humid I often had issues even with seasoned cast iron pans starting to rust and that I can't use them when I cook versus with stainless steel, you can wash them, you can put them in a dishwasher, and they always work Just make sure it's a quality pan, it is heavy, so you have that heat capacity and the pan does not cool down once you drop in the steak

Alternatively, you could use a Dutch oven which is nice because it has high walls so the fat doesn't splatter all over and it is cast iron so it has the heat capacity but it's enamel coated so it's easy to clean Add a generous amount of oil to your pan, you don't want to skimp on that otherwise, it may stick to the pan If your pan is hot, you can literally see that fat is kind of changing the way it looks Now it's time to add your steak Ideally, use some tongs and you lay it away from you so the splatters don't hit you

Personally, I always put on an apron that way, I prevent my clothes from getting fat stained If your pan is hot, the steak will sear pretty quickly and you can sear it to your desired brownness or darkness or crispness While some people like to flip their steak multiple times, others prefer to flip it just once In my experience, it's best to flip them at least a couple of times and use a timer or my phone so make sure each side gets the same amount of heat Once you have the sear, you could baste your steak, meaning you can add herbs or maybe butter to it and then use a spoon to drizzle it over the steak

It will add a little bit of flavor and it's something that you can do Personally, I prefer compound butter with garlic and herbs that I add to my steak once it's fully cooked And if you want to learn how to make compound butter at home please check out this video here Once you have the steak seared to your liking, it's time to put it in the oven Some people put it in the oven in the pan, however, I don't like that because the pan is already at a certain heat level and that would unevenly heat my steak

Instead, I put my steak on a plate that is oven safe and I put it in the oven anywhere between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit Now, I regularly measure the temperature with a meat thermometer If I want to eat it at medium rare or 125, I take it out at about 120 because I will let it rest afterwards with a bit of aluminum foil, it will still heat up and get to the desired 125 degrees after 5 minutes In theory, you could also do a reverse sear meaning you add the raw steak to the oven first then take it out and sear it at the very end While technically, you should end up with a steak with a larger pink area, the problem is that you don't know how long searing takes and how much heat that adds to your steak

Because of that, you will likely end up with a steak that is overdone or at least, it's more difficult to consistently produce steaks with the same result For example, the strip steak I had had to come out at the 105 degrees from the oven because the sear would add 20 more degrees and it's just so hard to fiddle with it and because of that, I think it's always best to start with a sear first and then I finish it in the Oven because you can get the exact right sear, the sear doesn't suffer in the oven, and you just end up with a steak that is perfect for your needs If you do not have access to an oven you can also get a perfect result for a steak in the pan however, again it's more difficult to achieve that especially with higher temperatures in a pan So if you want to just cook your steak in a pan, simply turn down the heat to about medium or medium low depending on your stove once you have the desired sear Make sure to flip it evenly so the heat doesn't just come from one side

I check the temperatures regularly with a thermometer because that's the only reliable source If you use old-school meat thermometers, they are just too slow to react and they're very inaccurate so they're not really helpful to cook steak to perfection Again, depending on the heat your pan, I suggest to remove it five to ten degrees before your desired goal temperature and put it in aluminum foil to let the steak rest Personally, I always serve my steaks on preheated plates because that way, the steak stays warm throughout the meal If you use the oven searing method, you can just add some plates in there for a few minutes and take them out just make sure you some gloves so you don't burn yourself

Also, you don't want to serve super hot plates to your guests where they burn their fingers or you leave marks on your wooden table Just a nice warm plate is all you need So what about the sous vide? Why do I think a sous vide is not the ideal machine to get a perfect steak? Basically, with a sous vide, you have to vacuum seal your steak first, let it sit in water and it has the advantage that it's very accurate more so than air and you can keep it in there at lower temperatures for longer times, which means the meat will retain its moisture and it will be evenly pink With the sous-vide, you sear the steak once it's done cooking however, I've found even though it's very juicy, it changes the texture ever so slightly so it's a bit more rubbery and I simply prefer the taste of a pan-seared steak and a grilled steak or an oven finished steak That being said, in my dream kitchen at home, I would have a built-in charcoal grill with an adjustable height and grate and adjustable airflow because that way, you could get that wonderful charcoal flavor in a controlled environment and where you can really adjust the heat to the desired levels but that would also come with someone who would clean up the whole mess afterwards

ALright now did you know how to grill the perfect steak please share with us in the comments below how you season your steaks what cuts are your favorites and what you've learned in preparing the perfect steak For even more information about steaks and infographics please check out the steak out on our website here in this video I'm wearing a typical steak grilling outfit consisting of a blue polo shirt with long seersucker pants and Sperry boat shoes in navy and burgundy

Source: Youtube

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